The Kansas City Royals were prepared to be in a fight for the division with the Detroit Tigers this season. However, thus far, it has been a surprise contender hanging around with the Royals, the Minnesota Twins. A lot can change between now and September, so things may work out according to plan by seasons end. The way things are looking now, the Tigers have a lot of work to do to win the AL Central but wilder things have definitely happened than a small comeback in the division in the month of June. No one expected the Royals to make the World Series last season at this point in the season, and I’m sure a lot of people are already discounting the Tigers at the moment. They will need to get healthy and get strong showings from Justin Verlander when he returns, that is about it.
The AL Central is wide open and it is going to be an exciting finish late in the season to capture the title.
The Texas Rangers, surprising enough, are looking at being threats in the AL West. The return of Josh Hamilton provided them with a jolt of energy in the lineup, and Prince Fielder has been swinging the bat well. Unfortunately for the Rangers, Hamilton is already sidelined with an injury since coming back to Texas. Although, the Rangers look for the sweep today against the Royals.
Last night the Braves’ bullpen collapsed yet again. It can after Julio Teheran provided a strong start and was cruising until you could tell it was getting away from him in the 8th inning. Not long after, boom, 2 run shot and it is a 4-4 ball game. The Braves did make amends in the bottom of the 9th to get the 5-4 win. We handicapped that game last night taking into consideration the ineptness of the Brave bullpen. Sure enough they came through for us to give us a winner on the OVER 8 at plus money. The total moved to 7.5 but luckily it didn’t matter, and we were still able to take advantage of the nice price at 8. Let’s find another winner today, which would give us four in a row on the diamond.
Texas Rangers vs. Kansas City Royals
Colby Lewis (5-3, 4.48 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (4-3, 6.17 ERA)
Despite Josh Hamilton being on the mend on the sidelines, the Rangers have put together an impressive streak of winning baseball lately. The Rangers are 7-1 in their last eight games and have been getting impressive pitching from their pitching staff for the most part. Considering all the injuries they have had to endure, we have to tip our cap to the members of the Ranger pitching staff. However, not much can be said about Colby Lewis, who has been getting rocked, most notably of late where his ERA hit 8.82 in his last three starts. That includes a 1.59 WHIP and opponent OBP of .351. In his last four starts, he has allowed 21 runs! On the road Lewis has been worst off with a 5.56 ERA and .349 OBP against.
Not to be out done, Jeremy Guthrie kept pace with Lewis in the race for being the worst starting pitcher in the last two weeks. I was waiting for Guthrie to hit a wall last season, but he kept turning out pretty good starts for the Royals. This year is his wall. Guthrie enters today with an ERA of 6.17 and a 8.53 ERA in his last three starts, including a 1.74 WHIP. This has been a low scoring series with the first two games going UNDER the total. I think the bats will come out to play in the series finale. Thus, a play on the OVER 8.5 is warranted by me Sunday afternoon.
PICK: OVER 8.5 RUNS (-110)