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The Cleveland Guardians (13-15) are a team that is currently struggling to find their rhythm and stride to get to serious contention of the AL Central. The New York Yankees (15-14) are crashing down hard and falling deeper in a loaded AL East Division.
Cleveland has been seeing more positive results in their ability to score runs in the first inning. The Guardians have averaged 1.33 runs in the first inning of the last three games, but it is not enough to say that the Guardians are in a good place, offensively.
The Guardians rank 13th in the AL in runs accounted for (108), 11th in hits accounted for (220), last in home runs (17) and 10th in batting average (.232). A case can be legitimately made that Cleveland does not have a true leader at the plate this season.
The Yankees are not better than the Guardians, outside of their power-hitting. New York ranks 11th in the AL in runs accounted for (116), 12th in batting average (.226) and 10th in strikeouts (90). They have five players this season who have struck out 20 times this season.
Both German (5.54 ERA) and Quantrill (5.40 ERA) are not exactly becoming the top pitchers for their respective teams. They do, however, have a much more likely chance to hold either team from scoring in the first inning than anything on Monday’s game.
One of the most enjoyable games of Monday is set between the San Francisco Giants (11-16) going on the road for the start of a three-game between the Houston Astros (15-13). This game also has a chance to give betters the best opportunity to bet over the line of runs scored in the first inning.
The Astros and the Giants are not great batting and scoring teams through the month of April. San Francisco ranks seventh in the NL in runs accounted for (126), 10th in hits accounted for (229), 15th in strikeouts (289) and 11th in batting average (.245). Houston ranks eighth in runs accounted for in the AL (128), eighth in hits accounted for (233) and seventh in batting average (.245).
The key to this bet is the starting pitchers going into Monday’s game. Both San Francisco and Houston possess quality pitchers with the Astros being ranked second in the AL in ERA (3.22) and the Giants having three starting pitchers below an ERA of 2.45.
San Francisco will be starting Ross Stripling (6.89 ERA in 15.2 innings) while Houston will be starting Luis Garcia (4.00 ERA in 27 innings). These pitchers will give the opposing team several chances to get on the board than the other pitchers in the bullpens. Normally, the smart move is go under one run in the first innings, but with these pitchers, it might be smart to go over.
Both the Los Angeles Dodgers (16-13) and the Philadelphia Phillies (15-13) have to feel better about their chances to come out of the NL after accounting for some solid wins in their last series.
The Phillies have won seven of their last nine games including two wins games each against the Seattle Mariners and the Houston Astros. They have become a more established batting team, despite not having star outfielder Bryce Harper. The Phillies are first in the NL in hits accounted for (273) and second in batting average (.272).
Philadelphia has also become a more established pitching team as they rank fifth in the NL in ERA (4.34), fifth in hits allowed (227) and second in strikeouts accounted for (264).
The Dodgers remain one of the top offenses in the NL as they are a solid power-hitting team. Los Angeles ranks second in the NL in runs accounted for (146), first in home runs (47) and first in walks accounted for (130). Third baseman Max Muncy (11 home runs and 18 runs), centerfielder James Outman (seven homes runs and 17 runs), first baseman Freddie Freeman (21 runs) and rightfielder Mookie Bets (17 runs) are key reasons for the Dodgers’ batting success.
Los Angeles started the 2023 MLB Season in rough shape when it came to scoring in the first inning. Within the last three games, the Dodgers have averaged 1.33 runs in the first inning, only behind the Miami Marlins.
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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