Home run (Safe bet)
Take the Kansas City Royals, on at 1.53, to win at home against the Seattle Mariners. No team is hotter in baseball right now than the Kansas City Royals and don’t expect them to cool down with this Saturday contest. The Royals came into the weekend having won nine of their last ten games. One of the key cogs in that run has been pitcher Jason Vargas. In his last five starts he’s 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA. He’ll also be backed by an offence that’s red-hot. Coming into this series, Kansas City boasted a .320 batting average, .373 on base percentage and .482 slugging percentage over the past seven days. Momentum is undoubtedly on this team’s side.
The big question with the Mariners in this game is what they’ll get from their starter Chris Young. Overall, this has been a successful campaign for the veteran pitcher (6-4 with a 3.40 ERA), but he has particularly stumbled on the road. While he’s 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA at Safeco Field, his numbers anywhere else are a far less impressive 2-3 with a 4.89 ERA. In terms of his team’s scoring capabilities, the club currently rank a low twelfth out of fifteen American League teams in run production.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
In Miami, look for the Marlins and the Mets to combine for more than eight runs; take it at 1.81. This game features two pitchers who are struggling, which should open the door for a strong offensive contest.
The Marlins’ Tom Koehler has good basic numbers: 5-5 with a 3.84 ERA. But if you unpack his current situation a little more there’s definite reason for concern. Koehler’s fielding independent pitching (FIP), which is a statistic that tends to better reflect pitching performance than ERA, is a far less impressive 4.49. This suggests he’s been overachieving so far this year. Moreover, even if you want to take direction from his ERA, he’s been hit hard lately. In his past four starts, he owns a 5.79 ERA.
As for the Mets, the club’s starter Jacob deGrom has really fallen apart after a promising start to the season. His overall ERA is 4.39, but in his past five games that number is 5.14. And, in his last two starts his ERA balloons to 8.10. With Miami ranking as the second-best run scoring squad in the National League, deGrom will, no doubt, have his work cut out for him.
Bet on all the MLB action this weekend here.