Judging from the opening two weeks, the 2019 MLB campaign is going to be one heck of a ride.
Perennial power houses like the Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, and Nationals all sport records of .500 or poorer. The Royals jumped out of the gate to win their first two outings, and nearly two weeks later, they own the worst record in the American League at 2-7.
Both the Mariners and Dodgers are crushing the ball as they lead the majors in home runs and scoring.
We see some big names sitting on the bench instead of on the field, due to injuries. Some new faces are making a splash. And some trades are paying off while others are not.
But enough small talk. Let’s focus on making money. Here are this week’s Best Bets (all records, stats, and trends are as of Tuesday and may change, as can starting pitchers):
Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox: Tampa Bay took Game 1 of this series, 5-1, handing Chicago its third straight loss. To be honest, neither lineup is hitting the cover off the ball.
To me, this matchup is all about pitching. Tyler Glasnow is off to a solid campaign at 2-0, with an ERA of 0.82. The right-hander is a contributor to the top-ranked pitching staff in baseball. The Rays have a team ERA of 1.80 and have tallied 108 K’s.
On the opposite side, is the 29th-ranked pitching staff of the White Sox, with a whopping team ERA of 6.35. They give Reynaldo Lopez the ball. He is 0-1 with a 10.00 ERA this season. Chicago, at 1-3, is being outscored by four runs per game at home in Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Rays are 5-1 the last six games played vs. the AL Central, 4-1 the last five games played on the road, and 30-12 the last 42 games played vs. RH starters. The White Sox are 9-24 the last 33 games played overall, 3-12 the last 15 games played at home, and 7-19 the last 26 games played vs. RH starters. RAYS
Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals: Owners of the best record in baseball, at 10-2, Seattle sits atop the AL West. And they are doing it with power. The Mariners lead the majors in HR’s (32) and scoring (8.17 RPG). They took Game 1 of this series, 13-5, to extend their domination of the Royals to six games.
At 2-7, Kansas City dwells in the cellar of the AL Central, losing seven straight and being outscored by an average of 2.71 RPG during the slide. Seattle sends Mike Leake to the mound. The right-hander is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.92, fanning 13 in 12.1 IP. Jorge Lopez gets the nod at home. He is 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA. In only his fourth year, the 26-year old is making just his 12th start and owns a career 3-7, 4.93 record.
To get to the dangerous M’s lineup you must be an experienced, savvy, power pitcher. Lopez isn’t any of those. Seattle is 5-1 the last six games played on the road, 36-17 the last 53 games played vs. the AL Central, and 13-3 the last 16 games played overall.
Kansas City is 0-4 the last four games played at home, 9-44 the last 53 games played vs. teams with a winning percentage of over .600, and 0-7 the last seven games played overall. MARINERS
Last week: 1-1
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