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The final weekend of May is shaping up to have some of the wildest series yet this 2023 MLB Season. Teams are looking to use this weekend as a final push to gain some momentum and efficiency going into the Summer months. This weekend even has the potential to have a potential matchup for the 2023 World Series. There will be several big games to watch for and enjoy as well as potentially win some earnings.
Time: 4:10 PM E.T.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
The Los Angeles Dodgers (31-21) go on the road to take on the Tampa Bay Rays (38-15) in a potential preview of the 2023 World Series. This series is also the first time the Dodgers and the Rays have faced each other since the 2020 World Series.
Both teams are coming into this game with a loaded roster full of talented and highly efficient batters to turn the game around in an instant. The Rays’ offense ranks second in the AL in runs accounted for (319), first in hits accounted for (486), first in home runs (99), first in stolen bases (66), first in batting average (.271), first in on-base percentage (.347). Seven players for Tampa Bay have accumulated at least 24 runs this season.
The Dodgers have a unique and dominating set of players in their lineups. First baseman Freddie Freeman (43 runs, 68 hits, 18 double-base hits, a batting average of .329 and an on-base percentage of .403) is a serious contender for NL MVP. Center James Outman (28 runs, 40 hits and 28 RBIs) has a solid chance for NL Rookie of the Year.
The biggest difference of the weekend series will be pitching where Clayton Kershaw (2.98 ERA in 57l1 innings pitched) will return for the Dodgers while Tyler Glasnow is set to make his season debut for the Rays. At 35 years old, Kershaw is still playing at a high level as the only pitcher for Tampa Bay that may be more this efficient going into Saturday’s game is Shane McClanahan.
The Dodgers are looking to break a two-game losing streak including a 9-3 loss to the Rays on Friday. With Kershaw starting, the Dodgers are going to be easy favorites.
Time: 4:10 PM E.T.
One of the underrated series this weekend between NL teams continues as the Pittsburgh Pirates (26-24) are on the road to take on the Seattle Mariners (26-25). The Mariners are slowly finding their rhythm on both ends of the field after a rough start to the season. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is a big surprise in the NL Central as they are only 0.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the division.
Seattle’s batting is slowly gaining momentum heading into the Summer months, but they are still behind the leaders. The Mariners rank eighth in runs accounted for (213), 13th in hits accounted for (390), ninth in home runs (57), 13th in strikeouts encountered (489) and 11th in batting average (.229).
The Pirates are not up to par with some of the top batting teams in the NL, but they work well to avoid putting themselves in bad situations. Pittsburgh ranks 10th in runs accounted for (233), 13th in hits accounted for (409), 12th in home runs accounted for (50), first in stolen bases accounted for (55) and 10th in batting average (.247). While the Pirates are not great at the plate; they do not make mistakes as they are fourth in the NL in strikeouts encountered (412).
The pitching matchups will be unique for both teams. The Pirates will start Roansy Contreras (4.50 ERA in 50 innings pitched), while the Mariners go with their ace pitcher Luis Castillo (2.97 ERA in 57.2). There is a team in Saturday’s game that will have an edge in batting; it will be Seattle as Castillo will attempt to force the Pirates to make critical errors at the plate.
Time: 7:15 PM E.T.
Every game is critical for both the Boston Red Sox (27-24) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (29-22). The Red Sox compete in a brutal AL East Division where one game matters as the standings are tight. The Diamondbacks look to make every game count in a talented NL West Division, where they are currently in second place.
The Diamondbacks have a reliable and stable batting team that will get better as the players get older. All, but one, of the starters are under the age of 30, with most of being ranging from 23 to 27 years old. Arizona ranks fourth in the NL in runs accounted for (259), third in hits accounted for (458), third in fewest strikeouts (394), second in batting average (.263) and fifth in on-base percentage (.328).
The Red Sox also have a talented roster of young and highly efficient batters this season. Leftfielder Masataka Yoshida is at the front for AL Rookie of the Year, while third baseman Rafael Devers is set to be an easy pick for his third consecutive All-Star selection. Boston is ranked third in the AL in runs accounted for (269), fourth in hits accounted for (461), seven in home runs (60), second in batting average (.264) and third in on-base percentage (.334).
The Diamondbacks are set to have Zach Davies (5.79 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched) set to return, while the Red Sox will have Garrett Whitlock (6.19 ERA in 16 innings pitched) on Saturday. The Diamondbacks will have the edge in pitching, batting, and the home-field advantage. It should be Arizona’s game to lose.
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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