September 29, 2015 (Posted at 2:00 PM ET)
There are two MLB picks tonight.
1: Take KC Royals on the Money Line (-132) against White Sox risking 3.96% of the bankroll to win 3%.
(Cueto and Samardzija must start for wager to have action)
The Kansas City Royals will no doubt have revenge on their minds after being swept at Kauffman Stadium earlier this month by this same Chicago White Sox team. While they have simply been going through the motions over the last 30 days, having cemented their place in the postseason this year, this team finally has something to play for. They have held the position of best record in the AL for much of this season and just recently succumbed to the recent surge of the Toronto Blue Jays. Kansas City now sits a game behind the Blue Jays for the top spot in the AL and that will no doubt re-ignited the fire under this team and given them the added motivation they were lacking to go out and perform. This is an ideal situation to back Kansas City.
Johnny Cueto is no doubt finding his form in his new surroundings and is an extremely dangerous pitcher for opposing offenses. With Cueto coming over from the NL, the White Sox lineup has very limited at-bats against him, which no doubt gives the former Cincy ace the advantage. Kansas City has completely owned their division (AL Central) this season and have crushed right handed pitching all season long and should do so again tonight with their extra added motivation. Knowing that the will face two southpaws next, places an extra emphasis on this opener as they know they must get it done against right hander Jeff Samardzija to take a lead in this series. Samardzija is 0-4 with an inflated 7.13 ERA against the Royals in his career so to say he's struggled would be an understatement! He may be coming off a great outing against the Tigers but he's got a 5.03 ERA overall on the season which shows just how hittable he has been.
It's been quite awhile since we have seen the Royals play the type of game that had them easily lead the American League. They have been relaxed and simply biding their time until the end of the season, however if there was a time for them to buckle down and regain their focus, it would be in this series. We expect the Royals to come out and prove a point in this contest and we believe they will get it done. Given their recent struggles and lowered public opinion, we are getting a great team in a fortuitous situation at a very reasonable price. Take Kansas City.
2: Take SF Giants as underdogs (+116) on the Money Line against LA Dodgers risking 3% of the bankroll to win 3.48%.
(Bumgarner and Kershaw must start for wager to have action)
Baseball fans all over the world will be tuning in to watch two true aces duel each other in a classic NL West rivalry! For the San Francisco Giants, every game is do or die from here on out. In fact it already has been over the last few games and they've responded by winning 3 in a row! One slip-up and the door will be closed on them. Bruce Bochy and his squad realize that and that makes them that very dangerous as it has brought a whole new level of intensity and urgency to their play. If they lose, they're not only elminated from contention but will witness their biggest rivals celebrate the title in their ballpark, at AT&T Park! Few sights can be more painful for such a loyal fanbase and that's why we expect Buster Posey and company to keep their postseason aspirations alive for at least one more game by taking this crucial lefty vs. left matchup.
Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner are two of the biggest names in baseball and for good reason. Both talented southpaws are enjoying another very impressive season and have dominated their respective opponents! Kershaw has great numbers against the Giants and recently even threw a 15-strikeout complete game! We don't expect him to fare as well tonight however in a venue where he owns a 4.02 ERA this season. As for the man affectionally known as 'MadBum', he's 2-1 with a miniscule 1.61 ERA against the Dodgers this season! He's put his team on his shoulders on more than one occasion and recently addressed the media telling them that they have not yet give up hopes of winning the division and that the upcoming 4-game series against LA presents them with a great opportunity. At the time he said that, the Giants were 7 games behind and many considered them all but eliminated. That may still happen but that number has since been trimmed down to 5 and while we believe they will ultimately fall short, we don't foresee San Francisco's season ending tonight. We expect Bumgarner and his teammates to give everything they have to take another step closer to the reeling Dodgers.
Don Mattingly's squad has dropped 4 in a row including the series opener last night despite having Cy Young front-runner Zach Greinke on the mound against Jake Peavy! If they wanted to put San Fran away once and for all, last night and that pitching matchup was their best chance to do so. By not taking advantage, they've given the Giants a new lease of life. Hope, can be a very dangerous thing when handed out to a direct rival deep in a pennant race. After being swept in Colorado by the Rockies and losing the opener, the Dodgers are suffering a crisis of confidence and we don't believe having Kershaw on the mound will magically fix everything. This is a team with a fragile psyche right now and that often leads to unearned runs (errors) and missed opportunities with runners in scoring position.
Both pitchers are two of the very best in the world and will likely have quality starts. The clincher then, will likely be the offense and the relievers and we believe San Francisco has an edge in both. The Giants took the opener last night in what had turned into a battle of the bullpens and also rank #1 in NL batting average! They've had great success with Madison Bumgarner toeing the rubber at this ball park and have done just enough against Clayton Kershaw to win. Let's not forget that the Dodgers have dropped 7 straight games at AT&T Park! Neither club makes many fielding errors but the Giants are the defense that turns more double-plays and that could be another advantage tonight. Last but not least, the power of Bumgarner's bat can no longer be overlooked. Afterall, unlike his counterpart, he's hit 5 home runs this season including one against Clayton Kershaw! The Giants know they can't lose this game and have momentum and confidence coming into this contest. They should do enough to edge this game and put LA's party on hold for at least one more game. Take the home side as underdogs in we believe this is a false favorite situation.
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