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One of the top three games on Monday is set as the Philadelphia Phillies (53-46) will host the Baltimore Orioles (61-38) to kick off a three-game series. The Orioles are serious contenders for the ALCS while the Phillies are a team that is making a solid stride in the second half of the season.
Both the Orioles and the Phillies are teams that are among the most consistent batting teams in the league. As of Sunday afternoon, Philadelphia ranks ninth in the NL in runs accounted for (438), fifth in hits accounted for (864, fifth in batting average (.256) and fifth in slugging percentage (.418). The Phillies have five batters that have accounted for a batting average of .277 or more this season.
The Orioles are ranked fifth in the AL in runs accounted for (483), eighth in hits accounted for (832), seventh in home runs accounted for (114), seventh in batting average (.252), sixth in on-base percentage (.321) and fifth in slugging percentage (.420). They possess five players who have accounted for more than 10 home runs this season.
Surprisingly, both Philadelphia and Baltimore are not consistent at accounting for runs in the first inning. The Phillies rank 12th in the MLB in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.55). They have only scored twice in the first inning in the last six games.
The Orioles are ranked 25th in the MLB in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.44). In their last seven games, Baltimore scored in the first inning three times. With a solid set of starters at the mound, there is likely to be limited scoring early in the game.
The Kansas City Royals (28-73) and the Cleveland Guardians (49-50) are set for another AL Central Divisional matchup starting on Monday. The Guardians are needing every game possible to take the incredibly weak division that has the Royals at the bottom of the division.
Cleveland is 4-2 over Kansas City this season. This series would help get the series matchup this season even, but more importantly, it would create a huge roadblock in the playoff chances of the Guardians.
Both the Guardians and the Royals are among the bottom five batting teams in the AL this season as of Sunday afternoon. Cleveland ranks 12th in the AL in runs accounted for (407), 15th (last) in home runs accounted for (71), 13th in walks accounted for (288) and 12th in slugging percentage (.382). Kansas City ranks 14th in the AL in runs accounted for (369), 14th in home runs accounted for (85), 14th in walks accounted for (250), 11th in strikeouts encountered (890), 11th in batting average (.232), 15th (last) in on-base percentage (.293) and 13th in slugging percentage (.372).
Both teams are among the worst batting teams in the AL in a division that has poor results offensively. There isn’t much faith for either team to hit their stride at the plate in Monday’s matchup.
The Guardians are set to have Logan Allen (3.21 ERA in 67.1 innings pitched) start at the mound while the Royals will have Ryan Yarbrough (5.21 ERA in 38 innings pitched) on Monday. Cleveland will have the better opportunity to score, but they are ranked 18th in the MLB in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.50). Kansas City is tied for 22nd in the league in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.45).
The final game on Monday will also be one of the biggest matchups of the week. On Monday, the Los Angeles Dodgers (57-41) are set to host the Toronto Blue Jays (55-45) in a three-game series in a potential World Series Preview.
In terms of production on both sides of the field, the Blue Jays and the Dodgers are two of the most efficient and reliable teams in the batting, fielding, and pitching game. They are teams that can start a solid rhythm early by accounting for a significant amount of runs to finish strong.
The Blue Jays rank seventh in the AL in runs accounted for (448), third in hits accounted for (893), third in fewest strikeouts encountered (798), third in batting average (.261), fourth in on-base percentage (.330) and sixth in slugging (.417). Toronto has six players that have a batting average of more than .260 and two more that have a batting average of more than .250.
The Dodgers are a solid power-hitting team that found ways to score consistently. The Dodgers are ranked first in the NL in runs accounted for (558), second in home runs accounted for (162), second in walks accounted for (414), second in on-base percentage (.335), and second in slugging percentage (.456). They have seven players who have accounted for more than 10 home runs this season, with four accounting for 20 or more home runs.
The Dodgers are ranked second in the league in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.75). Los Angeles, alone, could make the bet of runs in the first inning worth the risk. This game has a high amount of potential earnings compared to the other games, considering the high-power batting teams in this game.
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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