With one full week now in the books, things will really start to heat up in Major League Baseball.
In the National League, things are pretty normal as Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles (tied with San Diego) are all in first place in their divisions. However, none of the preseason American League predicted division leaders are sitting anywhere near the top of their perspective divisions.
The East has New York sitting in third and Boston in fifth as Tampa Bay leads. The Central and West are even stranger. Not because division favorites Cleveland and Houston are in third and fourth places, but because Kansas City and Seattle are atop both divisions. Both the Royals and the Mariners went off at 60-1 to take the Central and West.
One thing for sure, this is going to be one most exciting MLB campaigns in years.
Here are this week’s Best Bets (all records, stats, and trends are as of print and may change as can starting pitchers):
Mets at Marlins: How about those Amazin’ Mets? They have started the season 3-1 and are doing something they aren’t known to do — they are scoring runs. New York is accounting for over 6.25 runs per game.
They send Jacob deGrom to the mound here. The right-hander was brilliant in his opening day victory over Washington, going six innings with 10 strikeouts and just one walk, allowing only five hits and zero earned runs. The 30-year old has had issues with Miami, as the team is just 1-7 in his last eight starts vs. the Marlins. But the Mets are putting up runs and DeGrom is overflowing with confidence.
The Marlins have come out of the gate with a 2-3 record and give Trevor Richards the nod at home. He pitched well on March 29th in his season debut, going six innings, fanning four, and yielding one ER on four hits. The bullpen then got shredded for five earned runs in the team’s 6-1 loss to the Rockies. The 25-year old, in his second season, has a career record of just 4-9 with an ERA of 4.28. He is not a power pitcher and New York will get to him and then tear up the shaky bullpen as well.
The Mets are 6-1 the last seven meetings vs. the Marlins, 5-1 the last six games vs. the NL East, and 4-0 the last four games vs. RH starters. The Marlins are 1-5 in Richard’s last six starts vs. the NL East. METS
White Sox at Indians: Once again, Cleveland is a different team at home than it is on the road. The Indians have scored as many runs in their sole home contest as they have in their three road outings (five runs). Playing Chicago is surely to boost any team’s confidence. The White Sox are just 1-3 and have begun this season where they left off last season — losing. They have Carlos Rodon (0-1, 3.38) on the bump. The RHP has had issues on the road, as the team is 5-11 in his last 16 overall road starts and 1-4 in his last five road starts vs. Cleveland.
Corey Kluber (0-1, 2.57) just didn’t get any run support whatsoever in his first start. He went seven innings, striking out five, walking one, and allowing two runs on four hits, in the team’s 2-0 defeat at the hands of Minnesota. Expect the veteran (96-56, 3.08 lifetime) to once again pitch well, but this time, get some offensive support. INDIANS
Last week: 2-2
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