Time to Focus on Baseball Once Again

Jared Weaver takes the mound in Cleveland looking to keep the Angels close to the A's in the West.

The world of sports is cyclical. Some of us want to start the calendar on January first when the NHL, NBA, NFL, College Football and College Basketball are in full swing. Others like to call the opening day of baseball the true start to the sports calendar. This is when the NHL and NBA are gearing up for their playoffs while College Basketball is awaiting its’ Final Four.

Regardless of when you mark the start, the period we are now in is all about Major League Baseball. Oh sure, the World Cup is going on but that happens once every four years so I don’t count it.

What we can count on is today’s lines in the world of baseball.

LA Angels (-120) at Cleveland (EVEN), O/U 8.5Jared Weaver 7-5 vs. Trevor Bauer 1-3┬áThe Angels head to Cleveland following a loss in Atlanta last night. They’ve gone 6-4 over their last ten games and remain 4.5 games behind West Division leader Oakland. The Indians are 5-5 in their last ten games, but have won two straight and have a 21-11 record at home.

Both pitchers went just five and a third innings in their last starts and they’ve both struggled in their last three games. Weaver is 1-2 with an ERA of 5.71 while Bauer is 0-1 with an ERA of 4.58.

The Angels and Indians rank third and fourth respectively in batting in the American League so I expect runs to be scored with both pitchers struggling. Take the Indians at home and I like the OVER as well.

Verlander has been quite average this season and that needs to change immediately for the Tigers.

Kansas City (+135) at Detroit (-155), O/U 8.5Jason Vargas 6-2 vs. Justin Verlander 6-6 This was a series that didn’t appear to be all that important a month or so ago as the Tigers had a five and half game lead and the Royals were struggling. That isn’t the case now as the Royals have won seven straight games and eight of their last ten. The Tigers have righted their ship a bit after some serious struggles. They’ve won two in a row and have gone 5-5 over their last ten.

Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander has been extremely disappointing this season going just 6-6. His ERA is a whopping 4.61 and over his last three starts is 6.64. While has been a bit better at home, it’s hard to ignore what’s happening here. His fastball is not what it was and his curve is not biting like it once did. Meanwhile, Vargas is 2-0 with an ERA under three in his last three outings.

Until Verlander proves he has his old stuff back, I have zero confidence in him. I like the Royals and take the OVER as well.

Texas (+150) at Oakland (-170), O/U 7.5Colby Lewis 4-4 vs. Drew Pomeranz 5-3 Can you call a series in June a BIG series? I certainly can. If the Tigers and Royals have a big one starting in Detroit today then this one in Oakland then this one certainly is. The Rangers are in fourth place in the AL West and they trail the Athletics by eight games.

While the Rangers cannot look to gain back everything in one series, they can fall pretty much out of it should they be swept. The pressure in game one falls on Colby Lewis is 4-4 with an ERA of 5.72. In his last three starts he is 0-1 with an ERA that sounds more like an airliner at 7.47. His opponent is Drew Pomeranz who is 5-3 with an exceptional ERA of 1.90. His last three starts have seen him go 1-1 with an ERA of 2.79 which is still very good.

I think Lewis will pitch well tonight but I like Oakland behind Pomeranz and their solid offense which is tops in the AL. Take the UNDER tonight.