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The end of basketball and hockey is very near which means that we are nearly in full-on baseball season. The storyline of the season thus far has been the greatness and dominance of the Chicago Cubs who looked poised to make another run at the playoffs and breaking their long World Series drought. Of course, being the best team in the regular season and being the best team in October are far different things, but this team looks ready and versatile enough to at least make a run at it.
The best division races this season are the AL Central with the White Sox, Indians, Tigers and World Champion Royals looking to battle it out for the entire season and the NL East which should be tight between the Nationals and Mets all season. There is also an interesting scenario out in the AL West with the Mariners and Rangers at the top with the Astros desperately trying to climb back in.
The other division to watch is the AL East which sees just seven games separate the first place and fifth place teams. None of the Orioles, Red Sox or Blue Jays have really shown themselves to be the dominant force so I’m not quite ready to count out the Yankees or Rays just yet. However, Fangraphs projections see the Sox running away with the thing which is believable when you look at that offense.
We have a long road ahead to get there though so let’s just focus on today and our tips.
MLB Betting Tips:
The Astros had a terrible start and are now doing their best to fight back into the race. They are currently 28-31 after starting the season 7-17. I think it’s safe to start counting on them as being the juggernaut that everyone thought they would be in the preseason. There are still issues with the bullpen, but 21-14 run is impressive. Tonight they get a chance to make up more ground with the Mariners continuing to struggle and a game against the first place Rangers with their ace Dallas Keuchel on the mound. He’s had a rough season, but has looked decent in his last two. The game before that was against these same Rangers who tagged him for seven runs. He faced off against Cole Hamels who allowed just one earned run to the Rangers over eight innings. So, maybe not a great chance. The Rangers are killing it right now and I have to go with them tonight based on Keuchel’s recent struggles and the fact that they are a home dog. Yes, place. Rangers +108
The White Sox are a team who had a hot start and are now coming back down to earth. They could come even further down with Mat Latos on the mound tonight against the Nationals. Latos is 6-1 with a 4.02 ERA, but that hides a lot of luck as his FIP sits at 5.29. The Nationals are a tough offense and I think they will make him pay today. Joe Ross goes for the Nationals and he’s been great this year with a 2.52 ERA. The Nationals -131 are going to send the Sox down to .500 today and I’m not sure they’ll be coming back.
Boston’s offense has been historic this year and today they get to face a rookie pitcher making his second start. Yes, please. A rookie pitcher so often need to sort of figure out what works in the major leagues as opposed to the minors. The Red Sox are NOT the team to do that against. I’m expecting some balls to splash in the water in San Fran tonight. Red Sox -122