It’s been a good weekend in MLB baseball, and a few contending teams are attempting to finish off big series sweeps today, including the Texas Rangers. This series has been big for two reasons; one, the Rangers are storming into control of the AL West – with Oakland plummeting back to Earth and the Angels still struggling, the Rangers are starting build a little cushion in the division. The second big reason is on the losing side with the Red Sox coming back to the pack a bit and cooling off. So is this the beginning of the inevitable slight regression to the norm, or simply a rough series on the road against one of the best teams in baseball??
For today’s two picks, let’s focus on another pair of teams looking to close out series sweeps (Note: the games are in the afternoon, as there is only one night game on Sundays!)
Cincinnati Reds -152 at Chicago Cubs +144 (Total: 7.5)
Mat Latos (2-0, 1.83 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (0-4, 6.27 ERA)
The Reds have taken the first two games of the series but not without some drama. Friday they gave up three runs in the ninth and eventually had to pull closer Aroldis Chapman before JJ Hoover came in and got the final out with the bases loaded to preserve a 6-5 win. Yesterday, it was the Cubs turn for a bullpen implosion as Carlos Marmol gave up three runs without recording an out to waste another great Jeff Smarzdjia outing and lose.
I doubt if today’s game will be as close. Mat Latos has been one of the best pitchers in the league through the first month. Edwin Jackson has been one of the worst. The Reds are finally hitting a bit and scoring some runs and they shouldn’t need more than three or four today.
I like Cincinnati to close out the sweep today and continue beating up on the hapless Cubbies who continue to fall out of touch with the four good teams in the division.
Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds to WIN -150 & Cincinnati Reds -1.5 (+115)
Chicago White Sox +114 at Kansas City Royals -123 (Total: 7.5)
Jose Quintana (2-0, 3.58 ERA) vs. Wade Davis (2-2, 5.55 ERA)
The Royals continue to be one of the best surprises in the early season, racing out to a 16-10 record and keeping pace with the offensive juggernaut Tigers in the American League Central. Today they hand the ball to veteran Wade Davis to close out the series sweep against struggling division rival Chicago.
Davis has struggled this season, and has been especially rough in his last three outings, posting a 1-2 record with a 6.36 ERA and lasting only 15.1 innings. He will need to give them a better effort this afternoon if they want to finish off the series with a sweep. Meanwhile Jose Quintana has been better than expected statistically, but despite his good ERA and record, his team is just 2-3 in games he has started and his WHIP is a pretty high 1.39.
Kansas City has hit left handed pitching very week this season, with a team average of .297 and a whopping 6.75 runs per nine innings. (Quintana is a lefty). That bodes well for today. It also makes the 7.5 total run line seem absurdly low. This feels like an 8.5 game given these two starting pitchers struggles and the quality lineups they are facing today.
So – two picks on this game. Give me the Royals to bring the brooms today and more than a few runs to dent the plate in the process.
Free Pick: Kansas City Royals to WIN -123 & Run TOTAL OVER 7.5