A tale of two LAs
April 17, 2018 3:00 AM
by Joe D'Amico
As we enter into our third week of the baseball campaign, some of our preseason predictions are spot-on, while we also see quite a few surprises.
Starting the week, Boston has sprung out to an American League-best 13-2 record. The AL Central, the tightest of all MLB Divisions, has all five combatants separated by a total of five games. However, a last-place Kansas City team owns some of the poorest offensive numbers in all of baseball.
A pleasant surprise is in the AL West, where Los Angeles (at 13-3) is three games ahead of the defending World Series champs Houston (10-6). The Angels rank first in runs per game (6.44), batting (.291), and homers (26). But all three Divisions in the NL are what we professional ‘cappers call “interesting.”
Preseason favorite Washington is fourth in the East while the New York Mets reign at 12-2. Pittsburgh is perched atop the Central at 11-4, followed by Philadelphia, and then a .500 playing Chicago Cubs squad.
Last year’s most-competitive Division, the NL West, is again going to be a dogfight as Arizona has jumped out to lead at 11-4, while surprisingly, the ever-popular LA Dodgers dwell in the cellar at 5-9.
The first few weeks of play just prove to us why MLB offers us fans as much fun and excitement as the NBA, NHL and NFL.
Speaking of excitement, is there anything more exciting than winning? If you are following my MLB releases here in GamingToday, you are 5-1 on the season. Below are this week’s winners for you.
Take UNDER in the KC/Toronto matchup: Kansas City, which averages just 1.20 RPG on the road, has played five away games already, with all five contests going UNDER the Total. Of Toronto’s seven home games, five have gone UNDER the Total. Two veterans square off against each other here. Lefty Danny Duffy owns a career record of 45-45 with a 3.76 ERA, while another lefty, J.A. Happ, possesses a lifetime, 94-77, 3.93 mark. The UNDER is 8-2 the L10 meetings in this series.
Take LA Angels over Boston: Despite a 5-1 road record, the Red Sox are averaging just 3.50 RPG away from home. This doesn’t bode well against the top-ranked and most-feared lineup in baseball. The Angels top the majors in Runs Scored (6.44 RPG), Team BA (.291), and HR’s (26). Boston sends David Price to the hill. The LH is 1-1 with a 2.40 mark. But the team is 2-6 in Price’s L8 starts on five days rest. The 32-year-old tends to get a bit stale when rested too long.
Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani gets the nod here. The RH is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA on the campaign. The native of Japan has a ton of talent and it will take opposing batters a while before they learn his delivery and pitching tendencies. Boston is 1-4 in their L5 vs. the AL West and 3-8 the L11 at Los Angeles. LA is 4-0 their L4 vs. LH starters and 14-3 their L17 overall.
Good luck and have a winning day.