Tonight’s American League Preview
Astros (Javier) Vs Red Sox (Crawford), 8:10 EST
The Astros are buyers at this year’s trade deadline adding some depth to their batting lineup and bullpen without giving up anything too significant in return. Their key move was adding Trey Mancini from the Orioles who is expected to take over regular left field duties for Houston. Mancini was hitting .268 with 10 homers for the Orioles. Trey was a fan favourite in Baltimore after beating cancer in 2020. His last homer for the Orioles was a memorable one deflecting off the face of an Athletics right fielder for an inside-the-park rump.
In an unexpected move, Houston picked up catcher Christian Vazquez from the Red Sox just minutes before he was about to start the game at Minute Maid Park for Boston. Christian had to leave the warm-ups abruptly before making the short walk to the home clubhouse.
The Astros also added the left-handed arm of Will Smith from the Atlanta Braves to bolster their bullpen. Houston parts ways with Jake Odorizzi in the deal who was key in victory in his last start this past Sunday, a 3-2 win over Seattle. Houston has an embarrassment of riches in their starting lineup making Odorizzi expendable. This is clearly a move made for the playoffs to add a lefty in the bullpen for key matchups specifically with the Yankees in mind.
The Boston Red Sox now find themselves as idle or even sellers this trade deadline as they are now at 500 for the season (52-52) and three games back of Seattle in the American League wild-card race. The Red Sox looked hopeful of making the American League post-season just a few short weeks ago. But their recently dismal play has the Boston fan base not as optimistic and just finishing with a winning record in a stacked American League east this year may be difficult.
But the Red Sox managed a nice victory in Houston last night 3-2 powered by a two-run homer by Jarren Duran and a strong pitching performance by Nathan Eovaldi. But the Red Sox still looks sloppy in the outfield struggling to make it through any game without fielding mishaps.
The Astros are big favourites tonight (-200) with Christian Javier on the mound tonight who has been absolutely unhittable at several points this season. Boston counters with rookie Kutter Crawford to start who has been decent in his first season but faces a daunting challenge tonight from the big bats of the Astros.
American League Best Bets
August’s Best Bets: 0-1, -1.00 Units
The White Sox couldn’t get it done last night losing a close 2-1 battle against the soft-hitting Royals. I was hoping to get the month off on a good note but we keep moving forward.
American League: Blue Jays (Gausman) [-135] Vs Rays (Rasmussen) $
This is a critical series for both of these clubs. The Blue Jays are now creating some separation between themselves and some of the other wild-card contenders in the American League. They now have a four-game lead over Cleveland and are building momentum through the second half of the season. The Rays are now moving in the opposite direction and are now just one game ahead of the Guardians.
Toronto has a huge momentum advantage in this matchup as they picked five games against the Rays in their last 10 outings. The Rays are losers of three consecutive series at a critical time of the season. I do not like their chances of getting a series win in Toronto against the Blue Jays who are growing in confidence.
The pitching matchup for tonight features two quality starters with Kevin Gausman facing Drew Rasmussen. The real advantage in this series is the big bats for Toronto which have been pounding the ball lately. In particular, Matt Chapman was red hot last week going 6-17 with 4 HR and 8 RBIs in 6 games. This is just a two-game home series in Toronto and I would not be surprised to see a sweep by the home team.
MLB: Guardians (McKenzie) [-131] Vs Diamondbacks (Gallen) $
I am all in on Tristen McKenzie right now as he continues to impress the Guardians. He lost his start last week despite pitching well at Fenway. One bad pitch cost him a win after dominating the Red Sox the most of the game. He is a future all-star and I plan to ride him the rest of the season.
The Guardians are still pressing for the final wild-card birth in the American League and if both my plays go as predicted today, they will move into a tie with TB for that spot.
Zac Gallen has been a bright spot on an otherwise bad Diamondbacks team. The Guardians walked off Arizona last night in 11 innings in an exciting game but I do not expect it to be as close in tonight’s matchup.
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