Royals-White Sox Preview
TOP TWO TEAMS IN THE AL CENTRAL WILL PLAY FOUR IN MOTOWN
Talk about a huge series! The compact American League Central division is starting to get some structure as we approach the 70-game mark of the 2014 Major League Baseball season. And, that structure now sees suddenly vulnerable Detroit sitting in first place, followed by young and hungry Kansas City in second. Those two teams play a massive four-game series in Detroit beginning Monday Night. The results of that series could go a long way toward shaping the rest of the race.
*If Kansas City can win at least three of four…they’re suddenly a legitimate threat that must be taken seriously as a top contender.
*If Detroit can win at least three of four…they’ll have re-established dominance in the division, suggesting first place is theirs, and everyone else will be fighting for a Wildcard.
As always, we’ll start our series preview with a look at the offenses…
Kansas City: 4.07 runs per game, .309 on-base, .366 slugging
Detroit: 4.50 runs per game, .326 on-base, .434 slugging
Kansas City basically has a National League offense while playing in the American League. They rank #14 out of 15 teams in both on-base percentage and slugging. They were hoping for so much better from this young lineup. The good news is that there’s virtually no place to go but up. They're already a temporary contender even with a pathetic offense. Detroit ranks #2 in slugging (no surprise), but a mediocore #7 in on-base (mediocre for a team eyeing the World Series). Big edge to the Tigers in this matchup.
Jason Vargas: 3.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 6.5 K-Rate
Justin Verlander: 4.61 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 6.6 K-Rate
Arguably the main reason Detroit is falling below early expectations rests on the shoulder of Justin Verlander. He’s having a horrible year by his past standards. Remember, this is a LOW scoring year in baseball. The K-Rate has collapsed from his norms. The WHIP is ridiculous for a rotation starter. If he’s “pacing” himself for the playoffs, he’s in danger of making the second half of the season way to interesting for Tigers fans. Good stuff from Vargas, who’s thrown four straight quality starts and five of six. But, that low K-Rate is a concern in terms of sustaining success…and he was hit hard by Detroit the last time he faced them (allowing 11 hits and 7 earned runs in 5 innings on May 5).
Yordano Ventura: 3.20 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 8.1 K-Rate
Max Scherzer: 3.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 10.1 K-Rate
Ventura has thrown quality starts in five of his last seven. Scherzer is coming off a shutout of the Chicago White Sox, but had four ugly starts just prior (by his standards). Given the low scoring standards in MLB this year, Scherzer’s numbers reflect a slight disappointment. He still gets the clear nod over Ventura. The market will probably overprice the size of that nod though.
WEDNESDAY’S PITCHERS (Day Game)
Jeremy Guthrie: 4.04 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 4.9 K-Rate
Drew Smyly: 3.58 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 7.6 K-Rate
Things could get wild here, with mediocre pitchers facing hitters who had to deal with scarier arms in the first two days. Guthrie has little ability to force strikeouts, so he’s relying on guile and crossed fingers ina lot of games. Smyly’s throwing acceptably for a back-of-the-rotation guy. Tough to invest in guys like that with confidence though.
The Best in Baseball is Blue Ribbon!
Get Games Trending at 85% and Higher All Season Long
Click Here For More Info!
THURSDAY’S PITCHERS (Day Game)
Danny Duffy: 2.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 7.0 K-Rate
Anibal Sanchez: 2.44 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 8.5 K-Rate
Duffy has been surprisingly effective, but is very unlikely to sustain those gaudy ERA and WHIP numbers through an extended say in the rotation. Sanchez has a better ERA and WHIP than Scherzer, making him the “ace” of the staff to this point in the season. Big edge to Sanchez in terms of best expectations. But, he has been dealing with pitch count issues in his last two appearances. An “ace” for 6.0 or 6.1 innings isn’t the same as an ace for eight!
JIM HURLEY is very likely to have at least one release in this series over the next few days. You can always purchase game day BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453.
Big game and series previews continue through the week here in the NOTEBOOK. We’ll begin football coverage in very short order as well as everyone gears up for the college and pro seasons. Read us daily for handicapping tips. Then link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK for BIG, JUICY WINNERS!
Today’s Hot Plays
Network CFB Wild West Game of the Week
$15.00Purchase this nowLast Friday night Jim Hurley ADDED PROFIT TO THE SATURDAY BANKROLL and sent his players into the weekend by cashing with Arizona (-23) over UTEP 63-16!. Tonight will be just as profitable as Jim has his Wild West Game of the Week.
Hurley Belmont Longshot Is Friday Fund Raiser
$20.00Purchase this nowNothing Beats Jim Hurley Archaeology And On Friday His Belmont Longshot Has Shown In The Past That These Are His Conditions Plus Get Churchill Bonuses
Network Early College Dog Kicks off Winning Saturday
$11.00Purchase this nowEARLY UNDERDOG STARTS ANOTHER WINNING SATURDAY. Won Last Saturday’s Early Move With Virginia (-10) over UConn 38-18. Today’s Early Action Play is a Dog That May Just Win Outright! Pick available now.
Network College TV Game of the Week
$19.00Purchase this nowTCU at Oklahoma State. This Game has graded out so strong I’ve made it my College TV Game of the Week. Don’t Miss This Next Easy Cover!! Pick is available now.
Network Big Ten Dynamic Duo Part II
$12.00Purchase this nowLast Saturday I released my first Big Ten Dynamic Duo, and swept BOTH games, covering by 39 points and 18 points. Two more Never-In-Doubt BIg Ten Games Ready to score Now!
Score Twice With Network SEC Double Play
$15.00Purchase this nowScore Twice With Network’s SEC Double Play! Won Last Week’s 2-Team SEC Parlay with Tennessee & Mississippi State, two more winners available now.