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Before the start of the 2023 MLB Season, there were plenty of reasons to believe that this series between the Texas Rangers (33-19) and the Detroit Tigers (25-26) would be a blowout. As the season progressed, the Rangers looked like a valuable team, but so do the Tigers.
The Rangers are going to Monday’s game against the Tigers with their ace pitcher in Nathan Eovaldi (2.60 ERA in 69.1 innings pitched). Through 10 games this season, Eovaldi has allowed 21 runs and three home runs while delivering 66 strikeouts.
He will face a Tigers team that is not good at the plate this season. Detroit is 13th in the AL in runs accounted for (189), 14th in hits accounted for (393), 14th in home runs accounted for (43), 10th in batting average (.231) and 11th in on-base percentage (.306). There are any major expectations for the Tigers to create a high-volume performance against one of the most efficient pitchers in the league.
Detroit will be starting Matthew Boyd (5.74 ERA in 42.1 innings pitched), who not is the most efficient pitcher for the Tigers this season. He has, however, created some solid performances with a 3-3 record.
The Rangers are a team that can start fast in the first inning as they rank fourth in the league in runs in the first inning (0.69). With Eovaldi the Rangers are certain not to put so much pressure in starting fast. Boyd has enough potential to slow down the Rangers for most of the game.
In one of the most confusing statistical matchups on Monday is set for the Colorado Rockies going on the road in a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks rank in the bottom six of runs accounted for in the first inning. Colorado ranks 25th in the league in runs in the first inning (0.42) and has not accounted for a run in any of the last three games. Arizona is 27th in the league in runs in the first inning (0.38).
While this seems like the perfect opportunity to be under 0.5 runs in the first inning of how slow teams start, the key to this bet is in the starting pitchers. The Rockies are set to start Karl Kauffman (9.35 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched) while the Diamondbacks are set to start Ryne Nelson (5.02 ERA in 52 innings pitched).
Kauffman has been the least efficient pitcher for the Rockies in limited playing time while has given up the most runs out of all the pitchers for the Diamondbacks (56). Both the Rockies and the Diamondbacks are efficient at batting this season. They are going to give the starting pitchers a hard time trying to keep runs limited.
With the state of the pitching being at its worst on Monday, there is a great chance that runs could happen as early as the first inning.
The Atlanta Braves come into new series against the Oakland Athletics (10-44) to overcome some tough losses this past week. The Braves split a 2-2 home series versus the Philadelphia Phillies after losing two of the three games at home versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Braves have a solid chance to win Monday’s game no matter which pitcher is starting. Atlanta is preparing to start Michael Soroka, who has not played in the Major Leagues since 2020. The Athletics are 14th in the AL in runs accounted for (188), 13th in hits (397) and 15th (last) in batting average (.221).
No matter how the Athletics are, playing in his first Major Leagues game in three years is a lot to ask for a pitcher. There are likely going to be early-game struggles from the Soroka.
Atlanta, on the other hand, is one of the best teams in the batting portion of the game. The Braves are ranked third in the NL in runs accounted for (264), first in home runs (86) and third in on-base percentage (.330). They are going against an Oakland team that is last in the AL in ERA (6.81), last in runs allowed (378) and last in home runs allowed (89).
The Braves are also currently the best team in the MLB this season accounting for runs in the first innings (0.85). With the combination of the Braves starting an inexperienced pitcher, the Braves having an incredible batting team and the Athletics being terrible in pitching, there is expected to be a lot of runs early in the 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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