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As opposed to talking about the success of overall teams this week, I want to give praise to those individuals that are standing out this baseball season.

In the American League when it comes to hitting, there is one name that jumps out above all else. Boston’s Mookie Betts at the start of the week was batting .359, a solid, .019 points ahead of the next player. AL pitching is another story.

The three top AL pitchers are all on Houston. Justin Verlander (1.08 ERA), Gerrit Cole (1.86), and Charlie Morton (2.04) are just ahead of such honorable mentions as Chris Sale (2.16), Corey Kluber (2.17), Luis Severino (2.28), Trevor Bauer (2.35), Blake Snell (2.78), and Reynoldo Lopez (2.94).

The National League has a much tighter race as far as batting goes, as .006 points is the difference between, Atlanta’s Nick Markakis at .344, just in front of Odubel Herrera (.339), and Matt Kemp (.338). Two of the top four NL hurlers are on the St. Louis staff, but the top spot belongs to New York’s Jacob deGrom (1.54). The second and fourth places go to the Cardinals’ Carlos Martinez (1.62) and Miles Mikolas (2.24), while third is perennial Max Scherzer (2.14) of Washington.

If you are following my releases here in GamingToday, you are 11-5 on the season. Here are this week’s top plays.

Wednesday’s best

Take NY Yankees over Houston: After facing Verlander and Morton (a combined 13-2 this season), the top scoring lineup (5.74 RPG) of New York will be stepping into the batter’s box, just 60 feet away from Dallas Keuchel. The LH is 3-6 on the campaign, with only 53 K’s, in 69.0 IP. And taking the mound for the Yankees is their ace Luis Severino. The RH owns a 7-1, 2.28 record with 81 K’s in 71.0 IP.

The Bronx Bombers have taken three of the four meetings over the defending World Series champs. NY is 40-12 in their last 52 games played at home and 24-7 in their last 31 games played overall. Expect MLB’s top power offense (83 HR’s) to pad their stats here. YANKS

Take Seattle over Texas: This is a contest between one of the league’s worst teams and one of baseball’s hottest. Texas dwells in the cellar of the AL West at 22-33, while Seattle’s 8-1 run has brought them within one GB of Houston in the division. Lefty Matt Moore is a dismal 1-5 with a 7.99 mark. Going back to the start of last season, he’s a lowly 7-20.

James Paxton gets the nod at home. The southpaw has pitched superbly, donning a 4-1, 3.10 ERA, with 90 K’s, in 69.2 IP. The Mariners are 6-0 in their last six against teams with a losing record and 6-0 their past six games at home. SEATTLE

Season record: 11-5

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