We’ve had an uneven start to the baseball season, winning a few, dropping a few and generally treading water for the first week of the long, long season. Kind of like most major league teams in general. After a week-plus, just under two-thirds of the league are within two games of .500, but the biggest stories are the teams that are under that mark. If you need any more evidence of just how unpredictable and long a baseball season is, look at the teams that are floundering and you’ll see a collection of some of the slimmest World Series odds before the season began; San Francisco, Washington, Cleveland, Miami, Minnesota. Ok, the last one was a joke, but the first four (first three especially) were considered among the best teams in baseball. It will be interesting to see if it is just a slow start or the beginning of disappointing seasons.
Meanwhile, we took a disappointing loss last night with the total staying under at Wrigley. The Reds bullpen once again gave up some runs, but rookie Anthony DeSclafani pitched seven innings of two-hit, shutout baseball to keep the score low and secure the Reds win (despite their bullpen’s best efforts to concede). Let’s see if we can do better today.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Kansas City Royals -126 at Minnesota Twins +115 (Total: 7.5)
Edinson Volquez (1-0, 1.13 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (0-1, 14.73 ERA)
SO let me get this straight, I can stop my losing streak by getting the BEST team in baseball with a quality starter on the mound against the WORST team in baseball with a starter who got shelled in his opening start and a team who has easily the worst run differential in all of MLB and only pay -126 for the privilege? Um. Yes please.
The Royals have started the season with a vengeance, seemingly enjoying the underdog status rarely bestowed upon a young team that was one Madison Baumgarner away from winning the World Series. Yet despite that season and the epic run, most pundits picked them third in the division behind Detroit and Cleveland, and some even behind the White Sox. It still is possible that is the result of the season, but the first week-plus looks like a lot of us were sleeping on a fantastic ballclub.
The Royals still catch the ball as well as any team in the league. They still have good starting pitching and a solid pen and their lineup seems to be growing up quickly. The injury to newly-acquired Alex Rios hurts, especially given his hot start, but I think they have enough depth to cope.
Meanwhile, it has been an abject disaster in Minnesota. They scored one unearned run in their opening SERIES, and haven’t been too much better since. It’s hard to see the Royals failing to get to 8-0 tonight. I am taking the Royals to win, but wouldn’t object to the Royals on the -1.5 runline at +130 to +135.