The Major League Baseball draft got underway yesterday, and I would fathom a guess that not many people knew about it. Out of the four major sports in North America, the MLB is the only draft that doesn't have extensive draft coverage, millions of mock drafts and/or a live show that draws a massive crowds and revenue. It is also the only draft that takes place during the season, which I've always found to be very strange. I figure now would be a great time to recap some of the first-round selections and give you an idea of who and what to expect possibly later in the year (when your team is completely out of the playoff race) or in next year's spring training.
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The Minnesota Twins had the first overall pick and they selected Royce Lewis out of JSerra Catholic High School. Lewis is a shortstop and was the top consensus player in this year's draft. He has been compared to Derek Jeter with his defensive ability and knack for making contact at the plate. The Cincinnati Reds had the second pick, and they selected Hunter Greene from Notre Dame High School. Green is a pitcher that can hit triple digits with his fastball on the radar gun, and should he pan out he could give the Reds a bonifide ace - something they've been missing for a long time. San Diego had the third overall pick and used it on strike-throwing lefty MacKenzie Gore. Gore checks all the boxes in terms of velocity and spin on his breaking ball, and many scouts considered him the best pitcher in this year's draft class. And lastly, the defending World Series Champs had the 27th and 30th overall pick and chose to use them on pitchers. The Chicago Cubs took lefty Brendon Little from State College of Florida at 27 and righty Alex Lange out of LSU at 30. Lange is projected to be a mid-rotation type starter after positing a 2.88 ERA and 3.61 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 50 career college starts. The draft will continue today, but let's move on and focus tonight's games.
Tuesday's MLB card features all 30 teams in action and a handful of interleague matchups. The series I am most looking forward gets underway tonight at the Rogers Centre where the Blue Jays will host the Tampa Bay Rays. This may look very "homer" of me since I'm Canadian, but the Jays are riding a two-game winning streak while the Rays have won five of their last six games. Both teams are playing well, and this mini-two game series figures to have some drama to it - as with every Rays/Jays series. The Jays are currently -150 with the total set at 9.0. Marco Estrada gets the ball, and he will oppose Jacob Faria, who was just recalled from Triple-A Durham. Another thing I'm looking forward to tonight is watching Aaron Judge. Judge has become one of the scariest hitters in the Majors this season, leading the AL in average (.347) and the Majors in home runs with 22. The Yankees are currently -128 favorites against the Angels, with CC Sabathia set to duel J.C Ramirez.
All odds are courtesy of 5Dimes.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs Detroit Tigers
Many people would be quick to call me crazy for betting against a team like Arizona, who ranks in the Top-10 in runs per game (5.2), runs allowed (3.9) hits (8.9) and hits allowed (7.9), average (.260), OBP (.330), SLG (.448) OPS (.778), homeruns (87) and stolen bases (55). Typically speaking, those kinds of stats would usually have a team comfortably atop their division without any worries about a slump derailing their postseason hopes. That isn't the case for the Diamondbacks as the once-laughable NL West is now home to three of the best teams in baseball. The Diamondbacks reside in third, just a half game back of the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers and a game-and-a-half back of the front-running Colorado Rockies. Arizona has won five of their last six games to keep pace in the division and now heads to Detroit with their ace on the mound.
Zack Greinke is finally living up to his massive contract and is 8-3 on the season with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. He has struck out 100 and walked just 17 in 84.1 innings pitched. Greinke has been solid against the Tigers in his career, boasting a 13-7 record with a 2.79 ERA. That's one of the main reasons I'm fairly confident that there will not be a run in the first inning tonight.
The second reason why I'm confident in tonight's wager is the pitching form of Buck Farmer (one of the best names in baseball). Farmer has been lights out over his last two games as he has not allowed a run in the last 13 innings. It'll be a much tougher task to quiet the Diamondbacks' bats as they are much better offensively then the Angels and White Sox. However, one other thing working in our favor tonight will be the weather. It's supposed to rain tonight in Detroit, and the wind is expected to be blowing in, which means a lot of balls will be hung up in the air and the defenses will be busy scooping up ground balls in the infield.
The price of +105 is just too juicy to pass up, which is why I am making this my best bet of the night. I would also recommend taking the full game "under" 9 (-105). There are a few trends working in favor for the "under" tonight such as; Arizona is 7-3-1 to the "under" in their last 11 interleague games, the "under" is 6-1 in their last seven road games vs. a team with a winning home record and lastly the "under" is 4-0 in Greinke's last four starts on the road.
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