Dodgers stealing the show, but Royals sneaking up standings
June 27, 2017 3:12 AM
by Micah Roberts
While we’re being distracted by the dazzling Dodgers’ 10 game win streak, if we look the other way we can see the Royals doing some good things in June making them worthy of a future wager of two. Through Sunday, they had won 11 of their last 14 games to finally get them to the .500 mark at 37-37.
At one point on May 7, the Royals were 10 games under .500. Now with Cleveland having a tough time scoring or getting decent starting pitching, the AL Central is up for grabs. The Twins just returned the favor to the Indians by sweeping them one week after the Indians swept them at Target Field. The Twins briefly lost first-place last week but took it back Sunday. The Royals are only 2.5 games out.
The big difference with the Royals in June is they’re finally scoring some runs. They were right there with Cleveland as the best UNDER team in baseball between April and May scoring 3.3 runs a game, but they’ve been pressing the issue in June going 15-7 to the OVER. It’s not exactly the major leagues’ OVER leader like the Mets (46-21-8), but it illustrates what has changed with the Royals’ winning ways lately.
The point of all this Kansas City talk is there’s some value with them in futures right now. They’re going to be in the “buy” business at the end of July. One more decent bat, a starter and a quality long reliever can allow them to seal the deal in the final two months to win the division. These guys know how to win and they know how to string together long win streaks. It’s within the culture of all their home grown players that have been to two World Series, winning in 2015.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook last week had the Royals at 40-to-1 to win the AL and 80-1 to win the World Series. Both prices have great value just because the AL Central is so mediocre.
AL Cy odds
I love that Las Vegas can take wagers on the Cy Young Award now and I adore it even more that the Westgate updates their odds along the way. Boston’s Chris Sale opened as the 4-1 favorite and he’s been dramatically dropped down to 1-5 as if this vote is in already. He must be leading the AL in wins and ERA, right? No, that goes to Kansas City’s Jason Vargas who picked up his 11th win Saturday and dropped his ERA down to 2.29. Vargas is currently at 12-1 to win the award. Houston’s Dallas Keuchel is currently the second-choice at 5-2.
While Sale has an amazing 146 K’s in 107 innings with only 19 walks, a 9-3 record and 2.85 ERA, I can’t help but think about him running out of gas in July after a 14-2 start last season. From July 8 on, the White Sox won only four of his final 14 starts. He’s a much better team this time around, but it’s something to think about and worth considering a bet on someone else.
Following the NBA Draft where there was a blockbuster trade with All-Star Jimmy Butler being traded from Chicago to Minnesota, the Westgate immediately posted a few props for the 2017-18 season. Right at the top of the props sheet is a season win total posted on the Warriors at 66.5 wins. The defending champs won 67 games in the two years they won titles and 73 in the 2015-16 season when they lost to Cleveland in the Finals.
The Timberwolves haven’t made the playoffs since the 2003-04 season, but the Westgate is very confident that will change with the addition of Butler who joins rising stars Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Despite the Western Conference being very competitive, the Westgate made them a -260 favorite to be one of the eight teams making the West playoffs.
The Westgate also made the 76ers -125 favorites to make the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time since 2011-12. Their prospects look good after drafting Markelle Fultz with the first overall pick to join Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The question is whether or not Embiid and Simmons can stay healthy the entire season, or in Simmons case, simply play after missing the entire season. The short -125 price is more about the weak East.
It’s been five seasons since the Lakers made the playoffs and the Westgate is believing that number will go to 6 because the prop to make the playoffs has NO as a -700 with YES getting +500. Second overall pick Lonzo Ball has some serious talent and should make everyone on the floor with him better, but he’s got a lot of baggage with his big mouth father making statements that his son is better than LeBron James already.
We’ve got the Confederation Cup semifinals on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons which gives everyone an excuse to take off an afternoon of work and let your inner-hooligan show itself. On Wednesday (11 am PT), from Kazan, Russia, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal are -145 favorites vs. Chile with a total 2.5 under -140.
On Thursday from Sochi, Russia we see Germany favored by a half goal (+105) over Mexico and Javier Hernandez who is better known as Chicharito. Next summer at this time we’ll be watching World Cup action from 11 host cities in Russia. Practice this week to build your stamina.