Can KC Royals Extend Their Cinderella Story?
Wayne Root: Can KC Royals Extend Their Cinderella Story?
Last year the Kansas City Royals were one of the biggest surprise entries in the World Series EVER. Nobody gave them a shot before the season started. Nobody gave them a shot when the playoffs started. Nobody believed their eyes as the team kept right on winning the American League. Then, in the offseason, they were a popular "Under" pick against regular season victory totals in Las Vegas even though oddsmakers had only projected a .500 season.
But, two weeks into the 2015 campaign, the Royals are still winning! They're off to a sizzling 9-3 start which includes a road sweep of the Los Angeles Angels (preseason betting favorites to win the AL West). The offense is still scoring runs even though stathead nation insisted they wouldn't. The pitching has held up even though ace starter James Shields is no longer with the team (he's moved to the Padres).
And...this hot start could last awhile! Look at what's on tap this week for the Royals
*Home vs. Minnesota for three games (Twins only 1-5 on the road so far)
*Road vs. the Chicago White Sox for four games (Sox 4-7 out of the gate)
It should be a winning week for the Royals...and could conceivably be another blockbuster week. That sets up a two-week stretch that could shape the American League Central race for months. Before the season began...pundits were expecting a two-team race between Cleveland and Detroit for the divisional pennant. Kansas City will play 13 straight vs. that pair beginning Monday April 27.
3 games at Cleveland
4 games vs. Detroit
3 games vs. Cleveland
3 games at Detroit
We'll likely know by the end of that stretch whether or not Kansas City is extending their Cinderella story from last season. For now, the Royals are still offering solid value against the betting lines. Smart handicappers will be playing very close attention to KC over these next three weeks.
Of course, there are great potential stories all over the Major Leagues right now. Some good surprises (Mets, Braves, the fact that the Rockies and D-backs are both over .500, how about the Astros leading the AL West!). Some bad surprises (all of these projected contenders finished the past weekend below .500: Nationals, Giants, Blue Jays, Indians, Angels, Mariners, A's.) And, surely some hibernating surprises that will make themselves apparent between now and the All-Star Break.
As THE KING OF UPSETS, I'm always encouraging you to anticipate surprises and exploit the slow-reacting market. This story with the Royals last year and this is a reminder of how slow the markets can react! This is why it's so important for you to embrace baseball as a serious part of your portfolio. Yes, everyone loves the NFL. That's 16 games a week. Major League Baseball plays 15 games a day...day-by-day...week-by-week...for six months! The most schedule-dense sport also has the slowest reacting markets! A sports bettor's dream!
I'm not going to get too specific about which early surprises I think will hold up. I need to protect that information for my clients. Obviously, being born in New York has me watching the Mets and Yankees very closely. I still have great contacts there (I was born a true S.O.B. in Mt. Vernon New York, a son-of-a-butcher!). And, Las Vegas absolutely LOVES the Chicago Cubs. They may become a fun story to watch...though line value may not be present because everybody already wants to bet the Cubs!
Here are general keys to look for based on my read of the first two weeks:
*Look for "hot" teams who played tough schedules to continue winning
*Look for "hot" teams who played soft schedules to start losing
*Look for "hot" teams who stay healthy to stay hot for awhile longer
*Look for "hot" teams running into injury issues to cool off
*Look for "cold" teams suffering from fluke hitting slumps to heat up
*Look for "cold" teams with unimpressive offensive skill sets to keep losing
*Look for "cold" teams with mediocre or worse bullpens to keep losing
*Look for "cold" teams with great ace relievers to win once they start getting leads
Whether you like riding hot "good" surprises, or fading "bad" surprises...there's a lot on the plate right now for you in baseball. When those stars align just right, you're getting great payoffs when the wrong team is favored!
If you'd like some help finding the best underdogs and small favorites, you can purchase my top plays right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my long term programs best suits your individual needs, please talk to my representative in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS. Call during normal business hours and ask about full season baseball and my complete NBA Playoff package.
See you again at the end of the week with what will probably be a basketball discussion. Underdogs didn't have a great start (3-5 ATS), and there was only one upset (Washington over Toronto). Perhaps the underdog story of the 2015 Playoffs will be late-developing. You can be sure I'll stay right on top of it. With so much going on right now in baseball and basketball, it's obviously time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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