We expect certain superstars like Bryce Harper to excel. That’s why they are superstars.
Certain players are put on pedestals, but let’s face it, this isn’t without justification. It’s even tougher on Vegas born athletes because they hear it from both the sports fans and bettors alike.
Harper was a stud at Las Vegas High School, one of the highest touted collegiate players in the nation at CC of Southern Nevada, 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, and 2015 NL MVP. Bryce is one of baseball’s elite. The RF has had some problems early on this season finding success at the plate, resulting in Washington sitting in third place, 3 GB, in the NL East.
The Nationals were a pre-season favorite to not just take the Division but challenge for the pennant. Their pitching has been respectable. It has been run support that has hurt the team in the standings. Because he is the team leader, fingers are pointing to Harper. But, the perennial dangerous slugger is coming out of his funk of late with fewer K’s, more BB’s, and more hits, going into the All-Star break.
As with all great ballplayers, I expect Harper to come out of this slump with flying colors and lead the Nationals into contention for the Division and possibly more.
This time of year, many of us do what is called spring/summer cleaning. If you are following my Best Bets here in GamingToday, you need a broom because I swept the board three consecutive weeks to bring my current record up to 18-6.
Here are this week’s top two plays (all stats and trends are as of print and may change as can starting pitchers):
NY Yankees -1.5 runs over Philadelphia: New York got swept by Tampa Bay, losing three in a row for the first time in 2018. This will not sit well with MLB’s best team. Game 1 of this series had an opening line of -$1.30. That was with Jonathan Loaisiga on the mound for New York. Game 2 sees Luis Severino on the hill at a much higher price. The RH is 11-2 with a 2.24 ERA on the season, striking out 123 batters in 104.2 IP. The 24-year-old faces a Philadelphia lineup that ranks 25th with a Team BA of just .237.
Jake Arrieta gets the nod at home here. The RH owns a 5-5, 3.42 record on the campaign, with only 54 K’s in 79.0 IP. The TCU alum has yielded 71 hits, including 7 HR’s. It’s going to be a long, tough outing for him against the deadly Yankees offense that was kept quiet in their last series, but averages over 5.17 RPG. New York is 6-1 in Severino’s last 7 Interleague starts, 9-3 their L12 IL road games, and 11-4 in the L15 IL overall games. NY YANKS (run line)
Milwaukee over Kansas City: Despite being a first place team, the Brewers are still flying under the radar by oddsmakers, making them quite a value. They cross over in an Interleague series and play the worst team in baseball, the Royals. It’s hard to fathom that just a few seasons ago, this team was a World Series Champion. Now they are 23-54 and rank 30th in both Scoring (3.57) and Team ERA (5.27).
Jakob Junis takes the bump here. The RH is 5-8 with a 4.43 record in 2018. For Milwaukee, Freddy Peralta gets the home turn. The RH is 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA, fanning 25 batters in just 15.0 IP. The Royals are 2-8 their L10 on the road, 2-9 their L11 vs. the NL Central, and 0-5 in Junis’ L5 overall starts. MILWAUKEE
Good Luck and have a winning day.