Top MLB Betting Series of the Week (May 30-June 4)
This is one of the most important weeks of baseball’s regular season. Why? Teams that find themselves in first place as of June 1 generally will reach the playoffs, history has shown. And speaking of playoffs, here are two big series later this week in potential postseason previews. The home team will be the favorite to win the series on the MLB betting lines.
A Quick Look at the Top MLB Betting Series of the Week (May 30-June 4)
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers, Friday-Sunday
These are the top two teams in the AL West, with Texas holding a half-game lead over Seattle as of Monday. Both would be in the playoffs as things stand, with the Mariners as the second wild-card team. The clubs met in two series in April, one in Arlington and one in Seattle. Texas took two of three at home but lost two of three in Seattle.
The Mariners remain without outfielder and former Ranger Leonys Martin. He’s on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Martin’s stint on the disabled list is retroactive to May 26. Martin had been playing the best baseball of his career. In 44 games this season, he is batting .262 (38 for 145) with five doubles, a career-high nine home runs, 20 RBI and 22 runs scored. With a more disciplined approach at the plate, he’d reached base safely in 19 of his last 20 games. During that span, he was hitting. 353 with a double, five homers, 10 RBI and six stolen bases and had taken over as the team’s leadoff hitter.
You don’t see a ton of trades usually between teams in the same division, but Texas sent Martin to Seattle this offseason for outfielder Patrick Kivlehan, outfielder James Jones and reliever Tom Wilhelmsen. But then on Sunday, the Rangers sent Kivlehan back to Seattle for either a player to be named later or cash.
The Rangers just got much stronger with the return from Tommy John surgery of ace Yu Darvish. He is scheduled to pitch Friday’s opener. Darvish (1-0) allowed just one run on three hits, struck out seven and walked one over five innings in his 2016 season debut against the Pirates on Saturday. Texas limited Darvish to just 81 pitches and five frames, but his strong outing and early run support helped him capture a victory in his debut. He looked real sharp, throwing 51 strikes and inducing 13 swing-and-misses in his first MLB start in 22 months.
San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals, Friday-Sunday
The Giants lead the NL West and this being an even-numbered season are supposed to win the World Series. The Cardinals have made the playoffs five straight years and won a single World Series in that stretch. They are likely going to have to reach this postseason as a wild-card team with the Cubs running away with the NL Central Division. This is the first series between these clubs this season.
The pitching matchup of the series is Friday’s opener between San Francisco’s Johnny Cueto, a guy the Cardinals looked into signing this past offseason, and St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright. Cueto is one of three pitchers leading baseball with three complete games this season, along with Chris Sale and Clayton Kershaw. Cueto’s career-high for complete games in a season is four in 2014 with the Cincinnati Reds. It’s not just those three outings — Cueto has gone at least seven innings in nine of his 10 starts this season. The only pitcher with more outings of that kind is Kershaw with 10. Cueto moved to 8-1 Sunday, allowing just one run with five strikeouts and just two walks across six quality innings at Colorado. Cueto is dealing with a side/back injury, but manager Bruce Bochy expects him to make this start.
Wainwright (5-3, 5.71) allowed four runs on six hits over the course of seven innings against the Nationals on Saturday. He struck out five and walked none. Wainwright seems to be on the right track with seven runs allowed on 19.2 innings across his last three starts.