Sports BIT: Rays-Yankees, Cubs-White Sox & 2017 Chiefs

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On the Thursday, July 27 Sports BIT show, Teddy Covers & Pauly Howard examine two games on the diamond: Rays at Yankees and Cubs at White Sox. Also, a Deep Dive on the betting prospects of the 2017 Kansas City Chiefs and bad beats from around the sports world Wednesday.


Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees

Opener of a four-game set from the Bronx between these playoff hopefuls, with both still in the mix for the AL East title and the two wild-card spots. It’s Chris Archer (7-6, 3.77) for Tampa Bay. Archer has made five straight quality starts and has gone at least six in 12 consecutive starts. His FIP of 3.09 suggests Archer is pitching better than his ERA shows, but he also has a BABIP of .326. While Archer has been a bit unlucky, big veteran Yankees lefty CC Sabathia (9-3, 3.44) has been fortunate. His FIP on the season is 4.18 and his BABIP is .272. Sabathia’s strikeouts per nine innings rate is his worst since 2004 and his walks per nine his worst since 2002. But the 50.2 percent ground-ball rate is the second best of his career.

Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox

Bragging rights for the Windy City on the line here in the finale of the Crosstown Classic from the South Side of Chicago. The Cubs go with their ace, lefty Jon Lester (7-6, 3.95). He struggled in his final two starts before the All-Star break but is 2-0 since with just three earned runs and six hits allowed in 15 innings. That has dropped his ERA from 4.25. The Cubs as a team are hitting more than 50 points higher as a team post-break and slugging more than 100 points better. The White Sox are essentially throwing scraps out there as this point as they have sold off most of their good players. They go with journeyman Mike Pelfrey (3-7, 4.46). He hasn’t gone more than five innings in an outing since June 17, but the White Sox have no choice but to keep trotting him out there. He’s a warm body.

Deep Dive on 2017 Kansas City Chiefs

You pretty much know what you are going to get with the Chiefs under Andy Reid: well-coached, win the turnover battle, stout defense and mediocre ball-control offense. It has worked the past two years as the Chiefs have won 23 games but lost in the divisional round in each season. There’s no reason to think much will change in 2017. QB Alex Smith is a game manager and not much else. Kansas City released its No. 1 receiver, Jeremy Maclin, in a salary dump. So Smith’s primary options are likely to be Tyreek Hill, who was electrifying as a rookie but isn’t really a full-time receiver, Chris Conley and tight end Travis Kelce. Kansas City will pound the ball with Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West and rookie Kareem Hunt. Kansas City drafted Smith’s long-term replacement in Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes at No. 10 in this year’s draft, but the Chiefs prefer that Mahomes doesn’t see the field as a rookie. Kansas City has a win total of 9 at SBR’s top sportsbooks with the over a slight favorite.  

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