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The first MLB game of Monday isn't a game that casual fans are going to get crazy for. The first game of the day is an AL Central matchup between the Chicago White Sox (53-84) at the Kansas City Royals (42-96), who have already been eliminated from a postseason playoff appearance. This game should offer plenty of reasons for bettors to go and make bets on this game, especially for the first inning.
The White Sox and the Royals are two of the worst overall teams in the league in terms of roster development. Both teams have been a disaster in the batting game, which should be a great reason to bet that there won't be any runs scored in the first inning.
The Royals are ranked 13th in the AL in runs accounted for (551), 11th in hits accounted for (1119), 14th in home runs accounted for (133), 14th in walks (333), seventh in strikeouts encountered (1180), 10th in batting average (.242), 14th in on-base percentage (.299) and 11tth in slugging percentage (.392).
The White Sox are ranked 11th in the AL in runs accounted for (562), 10th in hits accounted for (1122), 11th in home runs accounted for (149), 11th in stolen bases (79), 15th (last) in walks (328), 10th in strikeouts encountered (1207), 11th in batting average (.240), 15th in on-base percentage (.295) and 12th in slugging percentage (.389).
The key to bet is the pitching lineups as the White Sox and the Royals have two of their better-starting pitchers at the mound. The White Sox are going with Jesse Scholtens (3.97 ERA in 70.1 innings pitched) while the Royals are going with Cole Ragans (1.73 ERA in 41.2 innings pitched).
Two of the most underrated teams in the NL are set at the start of a three-game series. The San Francisco Giants (70-67) go on the road to take on the Chicago Cubs (73-64) with significant NL Wildcard implications on the line.
The Cubs are 3.5 games above the third-place teams in the NL for a wildcard spot. They are also 3.5 games below the Milwaukee Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central. The Giants are 14.5 games below the Los Angeles Dodgers for the top spot in the NL West. Their best chance is potentially getting that third and final wildcard spot in the NL where there is a four-way tie with San Francisco competing against the Miami Marlins, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Cincinnati Reds.
There isn't expected to be much scoring between the two teams on Monday due to the stellar pitching lineups. Not only do Chicago and San Francisco have great starting pitching, but they also possess solid replacement and closing pitchers to keep the opposing batting team from scoring.
The Giants will be starting Logan Webb (3.49 ERA in 180.1 innings pitched), who is their ace pitcher to keep the Cubs at bay. The Cubs will be starting their own ace pitcher in Justin Steele (2.69 ERA in 144 innings pitched) on Monday.
This will be a huge factor that could keep both teams from scoring early and often. There are many times this 2023 MLB Season where both teams will come into the game with their ace pitchers. Expect both Webb and Steele to make a big statement in this game.
One of the biggest games on Monday is the start of a three-game series between AL East divisional rivals. The Tampa Bay Rays (83-54) will host the Boston Red Sox (71-66) in the matchup between two talented batting teams with highly efficient pitching units.
Both the Rays and the Red Sox are highly efficient at scoring early in games. Tampa Bay is ranked fifth in the league in runs scored in the first inning (0.63). The Red Sox are 11th in the league in runs scored in the first inning (0.54).
The Red Sox are ranked fourth in the AL in runs accounted for (683), second in hits accounted for (1245), first in double-base hits (299), eighth in home runs (163), eighth in stolen bases (91), fourth in strikeouts encountered (1105), second in batting average (.264), fourth in on-base percentage (.330) and third in slugging percentage (.438).
The Rays have been one of the most reliable batting teams in the league since the start of the 2023 MLB Season. Tampa Bay ranks second in the AL in runs accounted for (732), fifth in hits accounted for (1206), first in home runs (198), first in stolen bases (145), eighth in walks (431), ninth in strikeouts encountered (1195), fourth in batting average (.260), third in on-base percentage (.331), slugging percentage (.446) and second in OPS (.777).
This will be one of the few games today that will feature a run in the first inning despite the efficient pitching matchups.
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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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