22 Jun MLB Weekend Series To Watch: Week 12
By: Lou Landers – @RealSportsCrew
This weekend there are three series that really stand out. They all have playoff implications and feature some of the more talented teams in baseball. We discussed these series on the MLB Diamond Dash Podcast, along with injuries around MLB and the Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire. You can listen to the podcast right here.
Texas Rangers @ New York Yankees
These two ball clubs are headed in different directions right now. The Yankees continue to struggle over the past week while Texas is playing solid baseball. Now that the Yankees are back in the Bronx this week, I expect them to get things going again, however, they get a Rangers ball club that is loaded with left handed hitters who could have a field day with that short porch in RF this weekend. It hasn’t been the Yankees offense that has been lacking, it’s the pitching staff that has let them down as of late. Tanaka is still struggling, CC is now on the DL and the bullpen appears to have finally felt the loss of closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman is back now, however, in the time he was out, others were over worked and they’re beginning to show fatigue.
Texas on the other hand has finally figured out the back end of their bullpen. It was their achilles heel for most of April, yet it has been a strength of theirs since. With Adrian Beltre finally back in the mix for Texas, their lineup has also come alive. They are very deep in both the outfield and infield and can hit the ball as well as anyone. The American League standings are so tight right now, that even with Texas’ slow start to the season, they are right in the think of the playoff hunt. The division may be out of reach due to the Astros amazing start to the season, however, this Rangers ball club knows there is still a lot of baseball left and I expect them to be a team to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season. The Yankees should have no problem scoring runs this weekend, but I think their pitching may be over matched by a very dangerous Rangers lineup.
My Prediction: Texas Wins Series 2-1
Toronto Blue Jays @ Kansas City Royals
This is a rematch of the 2015 American League Championship Series. Although neither team is dominant like they were back in 2015, both teams are playing great baseball as of late. Both their windows are closing when it comes to being successful, seeing that the Blue Jays are getting up their in age and the Royals have three of their best players set to hit free agency at seasons end. On paper, the Blue Jays are definitely the better team right now, but of course as we know, it doesn’t matter how good you are on paper, what matters is what you do on the field.
The Royals are currently without their ace pitcher Danny Duffy, yet it hasn’t slowed them down as of late. The Blue Jays have dealt with injuries all season, first to their stars Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki. Those two are back and contributing now, yet their rotation hasn’t been intact since the beginning of April. This weekends match up between these two clubs could go a long way in deciding their playoff fates. They both are within a few games of a wild card spot, and if one team can sweep the other, it could create a good amount of separation between them in the standings. I give the edge to the Blue Jays this weekend when it comes to the pitching match ups, however the Royals seem to keep finding ways to win.
My Prediction: Jays Win Series 2-1
Colorado Rockies @ Los Angles Dodgers
There may not be a better match up in the big leagues right now. The Rockies are one of baseballs best teams in 2017 and have been doing it both at home and on the road. They have also been without their ace Jon Gray for most of the season. The Dodgers, who everyone expected to be great this year, of course has been, but its thanks to an unlikely hero; Cody Bellinger. Bellinger was called up to the big leagues on April 25th this year and since that time, he leads all of MLB in home runs.
These two teams have the best two records in the National League right now and this weekend series could be our chance to see which of these teams has the upper hand in this division. Like the NL Central back in 2015, the NL West is baseballs best division and features three teams who should be in the postseason this year. I am of course talking about these two ball clubs and the Arizona Diamondbacks. In this 3-game weekend set, I give the upper hand to the Dodgers as far as the SP goes. The best pitching matchup of this series in on Frida; Rockies Kyle Freeland against Dodgers Alex Wood. However, I have to give the edge to the Dodgers on Saturday and Sunday with Kershaw and McCarthy.
My Prediction: Dodgers Win Series 2-1