Well sports fans, we are coming around past the last quarter of the season and we see four of the six Divisions shaping into what is going to be street fights.
Boston and Cleveland look to be the only first place teams to have a stronghold on their Divisions. The AL West along with all three NL Divisions are up for grabs. Who will be taking these top spots is anybody’s guess right now. What is leaving no guesswork whatsoever are my releases here in GamingToday as I swept the board again last week to bring my season record up to 26-9-1. Here are this week’s Best Bets (all stats and trends are as of print and may change as can starting pitchers),
Tampa Bay over Kansas City: How can a team, in just three seasons, go from being a World Series Champion to being one of the worst teams in baseball? Well, the Kansas City Royals did just that. In 2015, they won it all. This season, as of late-August, they dwell in the cellar of the AL Central, 33.5 GB, at 38-86.
Tampa Bay’s only crime is sharing the Division with Boston and New York. The Rays are basically locked into the No. 3 slot in the AL East, but are still giving chase. They have taken all three meetings vs. the Royals this season and send their best pitcher to the mound here. LH Blake Snell leads the pitching staff in both Wins and ERA, and has quietly amassed a 14-5, 2.10 record.
Taking the hill on the road is Glenn Sparkman. The RH is making just his second career start, as he is 0-1 with a 4.95 mark on the campaign. Kansas City is 18-40 in the last 58 on the road, 6-21 vs. the AL East, and 11-44 vs. teams with a winning record. TAMPA BAY
Chicago Cubs over Detroit: Chicago is in a tight race for the NL Central crown, as they lead Milwaukee by 3.5 games and St. Louis by 4. The Cubs need every win they can get right now. They send their ace Jon Lester to the bump here in Game 2 of this series. Lester is en route of having not just his best year as a Cub, but quite possibly the best year of his career. The LH is 13-5 with a 3.72 mark on the season.
The veteran pitcher faces a Tigers lineup that ranks among the worst in baseball (27th in scoring, 26th in team BA, and 30th in homers). Detroit is 0-2 against Chicago in 2018 and they give Francisco Liriano the nod here. The LH has struggled with a 3-8 record and 4.72 ERA. The Tigers have thrown in the towel already and show no fight or pride. They are 3-10 in the last three matchups vs. the NL Central, 3-9 in the last 12 interleague games, and 15-37 in the past 52 overall. CHI CUBS
Good Luck and have a winning day.