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Kicking off Thursday’s slate of MLB games is the matchup between two teams at the bottom of their divisions in the AL and NL East. The New York Yankees (61-65) are set to host the Washington Nationals (58-69) in the middle of the day to kick off an exciting slate of games.
There are many opportunities for bettors to win significant earnings, with the biggest coming from the Yankees' pitching game. The over/under for Yankees' Michael King is set at 2.5, with the odds believing he will go under.
King (3.26 ERA in 66.1 innings pitched) has had some good moments this season as he has delivered 79 strikeouts. While King is not a consistent deliverer of strikeouts and the Nationals are not prone to many strikeouts, they are still one of the worst teams in baseball. They are a team that has succeeded in the batting game, but not in power-hitting moments.
The Boston Red Sox (67-60) have a solid set of impactful rookies on their team, with two in the top three odds for AL Rookie of the Year. First baseman Trison Casas is the rookie who has success in the power-hitting portion of the game, along with efficiency in the fielding game. While Casas has been great at the plate this season, he has limits.
Those limits will be enforced when the Red Sox take on the Houston Astros (72-56) on the road. The Astros are going with their most efficient starting pitcher in J.P France (2.75 ERA in 108 innings pitched). Not only is he one of the most efficient pitchers for the Astros, he is one of the most efficient pitchers in the entire MLB this season.
Casas has been efficient at the plate this season. In the month of August, he accounted for nine runs, 15 hits, 17 strikeouts, and a batting average of .234. Seven of the 19 games this month are games where Casas didn't account for a hit. He will face one of the best pitchers in the league on Thursday.
One of the biggest games on Thursday is set as the Minnesota Twins (65-62) host the Texas Rangers (73-54). The Twins are going with one of their most trusted starting pitchers in Pablo Lopez (3.51 ERA in 153.2 innings pitched) to potentially halt the best batting team in the MLB.
The Rangers are ranked first in the AL in runs accounted for (708), first in hits accounted for (1179), third in home runs (174), first in walks accounted for (446), first in batting average (.269), first in on-base percentage (.339), first in slugging percentage (.457) and first in OPS (.769).
The Rangers have a series of reliable hitters with some valued as underrated due to the high-level All-Star talent. One of those players is utility player Ezequiel Duran, who has accounted for 100 hits, a batting average of .287, and an on-base percentage of .337 in 348 at-bats. This Thursday will be another solid chance for him to make an impact in the batting game.
The matchup between two really bad teams in the AL will have some benefits, especially in player props. Much like the lines of New York Yankees’ starting pitcher Michael King, the over/under for a limited, but talented White Sox’ rookie pitcher in Jesse Scholtens is set at 4.5.
Scholtens (3.79 ERA in 44 innings pitched) has delivered 42 strikeouts this season. In 20 games played for the White Sox this season, Scholtens has only three games where he has delivered more than four strikeouts in a game.
The Oakland Athletics are officially the worst team in the MLB, but they are not completely terrible at the plate. Oakland ranks 12th in the AL in strikeouts encountered this season (1165). The Athletics have a chance to win a series, which is a rare occurrence, they are going to attempt their best efforts in the batting game. This means limiting mistakes at the plate.
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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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