Here we have a betting preview of next week's series matchups in Major League Baseball: Join us to find which MLB odds have the most value and which are the most solid picks.
Every week during the course of the MLB season, I will be taking a look ahead to upcoming series from a betting perspective. Here are two of the marquee series taking place in MLB between Monday, April 11th and Thursday, April 14th.
Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros
This should be an intruguing series as the Royals and Astros battle for the first time since last year's American League Division Series in which the eventual World Series champion Royals rallied from a series deficit to win in 5 games. Probable starters (subject to change) are Chris Young (KC) against Collin McHugh (HOU) Monday, Yordano Ventura (KC) against Mike Fiers (HOU) Tuesday, Kris Medlen (KC) against Scott Feldman (HOU) Wednesday and Ian Kennedy (KC) against Doug Fister (HOU) Thursday.
The Houston Astros will assuredly enter this series with a chip on their shoulder and be fired up to play the Royals after a very crushing playoff defeat against Kansas City last season. However, it is still important to evaluate this series on a game-by-game matchup standpoint from a betting perspective, and review their MLB odds before making a call. Unfortunately, I have concerns with every Astros starters in this series, and top books such as Bovada and Intertops have not yet released the numbers.
McHugh got lit up by the NY Yankees in his first start. Fiers didn't fare much better against the Bronx Bombers. Medlen is a guy that has bounded back and forth between being a starter and a reliever and Fister is still trying to work his way back into top form after struggles and some injuries in the last couple seasons.
I think the edge could still lie with the defending champs here as their lineup is good enough to match what Houston can bring to the table and obviously when it comes to team defense and the bullpen, there aren't many teams that are better in either of those categories than Kansas City.
MLB Pick: Royals Wins Series
New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
The AL East Division came down to these two teams down the stretch of the 2015 season with the Blue Jays eventually pulling away and winning the division. They will meet for a divisional series at the Rogers Centre in Toronto for three games on Thursday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Probable starters (subject to change) are Michael Pineda (NYY) against Aaron Sanchez (TOR) Tuesday, Nathan Eovaldi (NYY) against J.A. Happ (TOR) Wednesday and Luis Severino (NYY) against Marcus Stroman (TOR) Thursday.
The Yankees have one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball but their key to success will be handing the ball to those late inning relievers like Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and eventually Aroldis Chapman (when he returns) with a lead by delivering enough offense and getting enough innings from their largely still questionable starting rotation. Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda have battled injuries and Nathan Eovaldi simply hasn't been able to live up to expectations where his quality of pitching hasn't matched the type of live arm that he possesses. Luis Severino has plenty of upside and potential but he is still young so this will be a challenging series for the Yanks rotation as they face one of the best offenses in Major League Baseball.
The Jays trio of starters in this three game series of Sanchez, Happ and Stroman have all looked good for Toronto in their first start of the season including dominance by both Sanchez and Stroman as both of them went at least 7 innings allowing just 4 runs in 15 innings combined in their openign starts. It could be tough sledding for New York in this series and it's worth noting Toronto wnet 13-5 in 18 games against the NY Yankees last season.
I think the edge overall goes to Toronto as an MLB Pick for the matches in the series, especially if they are able to get out to early leads and avoid facing what is a very strong back end of the Yankees bullpen.
MLB Pick: Blue Jays Wins Series