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Razor Baseball – 8/10/2017

Razor Baseball – 8/10/2017

Astros/White Sox:

The Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox are two teams headed in opposite directions. OR are they?

In the scheme of things, the Astros are highly likely to win the AL West, whereas the White Sox have abdicated the 2017 season for improvements of the future. However, at the moment, it appears as though the southside Chicago squad is heating up and the Astros are finally experiencing struggle.

In their last ten games, Houston has only three wins. It may be really their first “groan zone” experience of 2017, as they were the best team in baseball for the earlier chunk of the season. It can be argued that the Astros are experiencing significant injuries with the bullpen, starting staff, and offensive players. As of right now though, it is safe to say that they are out of sync. From what I can observe in their past two losses in Chicago this series, losing is a new thing to this young Astros squad. Coping appears to be a challenge.

The Chicago White Sox undoubtedly are not fielding a lineup that is expected to contend these days, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t motivated to play spoiler. In the past two games, it is evident that the team is on track in trying to get in the way of Houston’s overall success, as they have generated 15 runs on the top of the Astros pitching rotation.

Though a three game sweep of the best team in the AL sounds like an absurd task, the pitching matchup may be a lot more favorable to the White Sox than one might imagine.

Brad Peacock has been a pleasant surprise for the Astros so far this season, and a lot of it came from his slider rhythm over the past couple of months. He filled the absence of Dallas Keuchel a lot better than most people expected. However, last game is when he finally slipped out of groove, giving up 7 ER against the Blue Jays. Could this be a sign of the law of averages turning the tides on the 29 year old? I’m going to say yes. Peacock has been pitching above his head, and a rhythm breaker can spiral a guy in the opposite direction…even if it is temporary.

Carlos Rodon has not broken out yet, but his mid 90s fastball is starting to turn some heads, as he has recorded 31 strikeouts in his past three starts which only encompassed a total of 18.1 innings. With quality starts against the Red Sox and Indians, expect Rodon to be beaming with confidence right now as he takes on another powerhouse.

Though I’m not the only one thinking this way (the sharps have moved the line in favor of the White Sox since it was first released at around +180), I think this a shot worth taking. Please do not dump the account on this one, but this will be a bet where you may be kicking yourself if the White Sox won again and you missed out on it.

White Sox moneyline +148 1 unit

 

Chicago White Sox Pitcher Carlos Rodon

Chicago White Sox Pitcher Carlos Rodon

 

Royals/ Cardinals:

The interleague midwest rival series between the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals has been a lot more lopsided than most would have thought. This is the finale, and I expect a few things to change.

The Cardinals offense has been in beast mode and now that the club has crawled its way back into contention, they may start to feel the pressure. St. Louis has seen four straight OVERs, in which three of them they covered the total of their own runs alone. Today they will meet Jason Hammel, a veteran that some of the lineup is familiar with from his time with the Cubs. There are guys in the lineup with solid numbers against Hammel, and there are guys with atrocious numbers. While Hammel has been known for his early season success followed by a late season fade in the past, things have been opposite this season..as he is finding rhythm after a bad start to 2017. In his last 14 appearances, Jason Hammel has given up more than 3 ER in a game just twice. He has an elaborate and well polished arsenal that appears to be firing on all cylinders. Expect him to be a guy who could shake St. Louis out of rhythm.

On the other end, we have Lance Lynn, who is arguably one of the most underrated pitchers in baseball. The most impressive thing about the fastball wizard is not so much his solid 3.12 ERA, but also the fact that he has been consistently able to keep things under control all season long. In 23 starts so far, Lynn has only had two considerably bad outings, which came in late June as back to back 7 ER implosions. He has been astonishing at home and during the evening games, with below 2.70 ERAs on both accounts. At this point, any bad game would be an anomaly.

The Royals have clearly been performing under one of two (if not both) factors. Their streaky nature has come into effect for the opposite of their recent hitting success and/or they are really starting to feel the playoff pressure affect them psychologically. Kansas City has 2 wins in their last 10, and only saw good offensive outings few and far between in that stretch.

I understand that both teams have seen a high amount of bullpen activity this series, and a lot of casual bettors will be expecting the runs to continue in one way or another. I feel like this is the type of game where the complete opposite happens..and both teams lay an egg and look forward to moving on to their next series. Even the Midwestern classic gets watered down and loses its appeal after awhile.

UNDER 9 -115 3*

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