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Razor Baseball – 8/11/2017

Razor Baseball – 8/11/2017

Royals/ White Sox:

While today’s Division Rival matchup between the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox is not really an overly meaningful one, there are certain motivations involved here..and quite frankly, both teams are heading in opposite directions at the moment.

Though we know that Chicago’s season is over, they appeared to be very determined spoilers in their last series, as they swept the AL best Houston Astros. In that series, the White Sox bats came to life in the first two games, and made just enough clutch hits in the third game to develop a late rally and finish Houston off on a walk off. Today, the motivation should be no less. First off, any chance to disrupt a rival’s playoff quest will be taken somewhat seriously. Second, the current number six prospect for the White Sox Reynaldo Lopez will be making his Major League debut. A number six prospect in most clubs is nothing to gander at. However in the rich prospect pool accumulated by Chicago, he definitely is a highly anticipated arrival. Scouts saw all they needed to see when the right handed Dominican got over his command issues. He operates on a fastball/curveball/changeup trio, has incredible stuff, and likes to attack batters in the strike zone. With a team like Kansas City, whose confidence may be at a low, this is bad news. The Royals have obviously never seen him before, and have now lost four games straight. Clearly, the playoff race pressure has crept up on them.

Danny Duffy, who will be starting for KC, has a love/hate relationship with the White Sox over the past two years. He either does great or atrocious. So far in two back to back starts against Chicago much earlier this season, Duffy showcased his weakness against them..giving up 6 ER in each of those two games. With him in much better shape and form now, I have reasons to believe that three is a charm. Since return from injury, Duffy has been a great rebound pitcher, and displays far more focus after coming off a bad game. Duffy had a subpar start against Seattle a couple series ago, and is experienced enough to understand that the team will rely heavily on him today.

All in all, we have a high pressure situation for the Royals..and even the White Sox were showing that they were starting to overthink things a bit last night in a spoiler situation. With the Royals bullpen being awful lately, and also fatigue, I will only trust the process for the first half of the game.

2*  FIRST FIVE INNINGS UNDER 5 -115 

 

Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy

Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy

 

Angels/Mariners:

Quite similar (although not fully to the same extent) to the Royals/White Sox game, this is a division series between the Los Angeles Angels and the Seattle Mariners that will have Wild Card implications.

While the Angels are still a bubble team in terms of contention, they are operating with a lot less pressure than the Mariners. This was evident last night, as Seattle struggled to get much offense going until the later stages of the game. After tying it up late, they were teased as Mike Trout drove in three runs at the top of the ninth to give the Angels the victory.

The pressure struggle is not a new concept to the Mariners, as they have displayed unreliability in previous seasons where they have been in playoff contention as well. Today they will face a veteran in Ricky Nolasco. While Nolasco has been nothing special for the majority of his career, he does indeed have a very versatile pitching arsenal and is solid in rebound situations. I believe the Mariners will continue to be stumped today, as guessing pitches under pressure is not a formula to offensive success.

I would have probably laid off this bet if not for the fact that Marco Gonzales has given me no reason not to fade him. There is nothing special about this guy so far, as he operates mainly on an average four seamer and changeup duo which can become very predictable after the third time through the order. Seattle does not exactly have the most reliable relief staff that can back him up either. With Mike Trout being the glue of this Angels offense, expect the rest of the lineup to be as focused as they were yesterday…and Gonzales does not even remotely compare to James Paxton.

2*  Angels moneyline +105 

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