Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, August 4, 2015 at 7:00 AM
Even though the Kansas City Royals won the American League last year, before losing in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants, they were still seen as inferior to the Detroit Tigers by the major betting markets entering the 2015 season.
But…NOW…as the teams begin a three-game set Tuesday night in Motown…fans and handicappers must seriously consider the possibility…or serious probability that Kansas City is going to be the better team moving forward in the immediate future.
*Kansas City has been MUCH better this season
*Kansas City just added Johnny Cueto!
*Kansas City has better, younger talent
*Detroit no longer has Max Scherzer or David Price
*Justin Verlander might be on the cusp of being a has-been!
So, this series isn’t just about shaping the rest of the 2015 pennant race. This may be confirmation that two ships passed in the night earlier than expected or realized. Let’s run JIM HURLEY’S key indicator stats to see what they say about this high profile series…
Kansas City: 4.32 runs per game, .319 on-base, .405 slugging
Detroit: 4.58 runs per game, .332 on-base, .431 slugging
Detroit still has the better offense…though it’s fairly close when the Tigers aren’t enjoying full health. Both teams are scoring enough to reach the playoffs. Kansas City is a dominant force in the AL again because their bullpen is fantastic while everything else is “good enough.” This team scores enough to keep the pressure off that great bullpen.
Danny Duffy: 4.28 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 5.7 K-Rate, 5.5 IP-per-Start
Justin Verlander: 4.86 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 6.3 K-Rate, 6.3 IP-per-Start
Duffy has four quality starts in his last five outings. But, his best chance is to hope for six quiet innings before the bullpen takes over. The low K-Rate and high WHIP tell you he’s at the mercy of opposing bats. Detroit has some scary opposing bats! The Tigers are only 1-7 in Verlander’s eight starts. But, he’s coming off a pair of real gems vs. Boston and Tampa Bay. Plus, he got 10 strikeouts in the win over Tampa Bay. That may be the sign everyone was looking for that he’s about to find his old form. Huge game tonight in terms of Verlander’s future as a Tiger and relevant Major Leaguer. Tigers and/or the Over might make some sense for handicappers.
Johnny Cueto: 2.70 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 8.4 K-Rate, 6.8 IP-per-Start
Buck Farmer: 8.50 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 6.5 K-Rate, 4.5 IP-per-outing
Cueto had the bare minimum for a quality start in his first outing as a Royal. That was 6 innings pitched and 3 earned runs allowed in Toronto. Not bad considering the opponent and site. But the Royals did lose the game 7-6. High pressure road game here vs. a divisional rival. Though, facing Farmer may take a lot of that pressure off! Farmer’s made three starts and had one long relief appearance. So far, he’s not fooling anybody. Big edge to the visitors on the mound unless nerves get to Cueto. The Tigers basically forfeited their hopes for a Wildcard when they let David Price move to Toronto and allowed Buck Famer to be in the rotation.
Yordano Ventura: 4.98 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.2 K-Rate, 5.6 IP-per-Start
Anibal Sanchez: 4.77 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 7.9 K-Rate, 6.5 IP-per-Start
Ventura has only thrown one quality start in his last six outings. He’s kind of a feast or famine pitcher…meaning he will mix in gems with sluggishness. So, he’s not consistently a “5.00 ERA” pitcher. He vacillates from great to horrible. Sanchez continues to be home run prone in a way that’s killing his stats. He’s allowed 24 gopher balls in 22 starts. His fade has been one of the biggest surprises of 2015, but has been hidden until recently by consistently good run support. Note that this is only a getaway game for the Royals, who fly home to face the White Sox Friday. Detroit stays at home to the incoming Boston Red Sox. Tricky, volatile mix of factors for sports bettors.
JIM HURLEY may or may not have a big play in this series. You have to be a paying customer to find out! You can purchase daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155. Remember to ask about our special “Dollars of August” package when you call. It’s August…and those dollars are waiting for you!
Back to football tomorrow in the NOTEBOOK…as we wrap up our summer series of college conference previews and start the NFL. Here’s what’s coming up over the next several days…
Wednesday: College Football Preview…Pac 12 North
Thursday: College Football Preview…Pac 12 South
Friday: College Football Preview…Big 12
Weekend: NFC North Preview to get you ready for the Hall of Fame Game (Vikings vs. Steelers)
Monday: MLB Series Preview…Washington Nationals at LA Dodgers
Tuesday: MLB Series Preview…Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals
Wednesday August 12: MLB Big Game Preview…choosing from Houston/San Francisco, Texas/Minnesota, and Detroit/Kansas City.
Thursday August 13 thru Sunday August 16: four straight days of NFL Divisional previews that line up with marquee Preseason matchups Green Bay/New England, Denver/Seattle, San Francisco/Houston, and Indianapolis/Philadelphia!
Are you ready for some football! JIM HURLEY sure is. Be sure you’re with us every day for great handicapping information from your friends at NETWORK!
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