It was expected that the Kansas City Royals would be able to replicate the form that brought them last season’s American League championship in 2015. So far they have done just that, but it’s their opponent over the weekend, the New York Yankees, that has exceeded expectations through the first fifth of the season.
Kansas City and New York will play three games from Friday until Sunday, in a clash between the top two teams in Major League Baseball’s American League. While top baseball betting experts could have easily predicted the Royals to perform well after last year’s run to the World Series, it would have taken some hard work to predict this kind of performance from the Yankees, who are in first place in the American League’s East division.
A key to New York’s success has been its offense, which has performed well in spite of the low expectations set for it this season. Traditionally a slow starter, first baseman Mark Teixeira is among the league leaders in home runs, with 11 on the year as of Wednesday. Joining him in carrying the team offensively is Jacoby Ellsbury, who is in the top five in batting average, and Alex Rodriguez, who is consistently hitting for power in his return after a year long suspension for performance enhancing drug use.
New York’s pitching has also been solid for the most part, even if one of their richest arms has yet to pitch to his potential. While C.C. Sabathia is just 1-5 on the year, it’s been Michael Pineda who has kept the starting pitching rotation moving smoothly. His 5-0 record is the best on the team, and he’ll be testing that mark against the Royals in Friday’s series opener. In the bullpen, relievers Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller have yet to allow a run in over 35 innings of combined work. Top baseball tipsters know that that duo is incredibly formidable at the end of games.
In order for New York’s arms to be successful this weekend, though, they will need to deny a very strong Royals lineup, in which about half of the squad is hitting at or around .300 on the season. This facet of Kansas City’s game is led by Eric Hosmer, who is top of the team in batting average, hits, runs batted in, and home runs. And while the team only has 27 home runs combined, their .287 team batting average is the best in Major League Baseball. This is a product of manager Ned Yost’s philosphy, where stringing hits together is a more sustainable strategy than hoping for a parade of home runs.
The Yankees will also need to contend with a pitching staff ranking in the top ten in team earned run average, which includes Edinson Volquez, a pitcher with tons of big game experience. And with Kansas City having home field advantage, top baseball betting experts know that the Yankees will have a tough road ahead of them in this early season test.
BY: JASON M. SANIN