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Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets – 12.10PM ET
After winning just one match in their opening three game set against the Phillies, the New York Mets are on the cusp of a vindicating sweep, as we look ahead to the final game of their second set of head to head matches.
Although New York had a 2-3 overall record and were considered underdogs against the 6-4 Phillies heading into the first match of their Tuesday double header, three straight wins has improved the Mets to a 5-3 record, and will see them enter Thursday’s match as favorites.
New York have outscored Philadelphia 14-4 across their three game winning streak, pitching a shutout 4-0 victory in the second game of Tuesday’s double header and most recently defeating Philadelphia 5-1 on Wednesday.
Brandon Nimmo and James McCann both scored once from their three hits on Wednesday, while Francisco Lindor scored twice in the victory. David Peterson struck-out 10 Phillies batters in his six innings at the mound.
Francisco Lindor goes the other way for his first extra-base hit as a New York Met! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/xcsxNRG59m
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 14, 2021
Contrastingly, Philadelphia’s three recent losses have resulted in their once impressive 6-3 start to the season slipping to a .500 record, as the Phillies are looking to avoid a sweep on Thursday’s afternoon.
Prior to Wednesday afternoons matchup, the Phillies 41 runs were the third fewest in the league of teams that have played 11 games. Having only added one more run to their total in their most recent outing, it is clear that Philadelphia’s lineup is struggling to score in 2021.
Given that the Mets have outscored the Phillies by 10 runs in their active three game winning streak, we haven’t seen anything from Philadelphia in their three recent losses to suggest that they are capable of causing an upset against the Mets in New York, especially given their batting struggles this season.
Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves – 12.20PM ET
The Miami Marlins will look to complete a sweep against the Braves in Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon.
After starting the season 1-6, things were beginning to look bleak for the Marlins as they prepared for a second set of games on the road. However, Miami defeated the Mets in their final game in New York and have since won their first three games against the Braves in Atlanta.
The Marlins won 5-3 on Monday, 14-8 on Tuesday and most recently 6-5 in the 10th inning on Wednesday. Now with a 5-6 overall record for the season, Miami will look to complete a four game sweep against the Braves on Thursday and subsequently improve their record to .500 for the first time since Opening Day.
Starling Marte has been the key to Miami’s recent success, scoring eight of his 11 runs for the season in the Marlins active four game winning streak.
Subsequently, the Braves will look to avoid a sweep at home on Thursday, after suffering their fourth consecutive loss on Wednesday.
With Ronald Acuna Jnr batting at .447 (sixth in the league) with six home runs (equal seventh in the league) and 12 RBIs, Atlanta’s batting hasn’t been their issue this season. The issue for the Braves rests solely with the bullpen, having allowed 28 runs in their past four losses.
With Ian Anderson taking the mound for Atlanta on Thursday, we think there may be more pain for the Braves in the final game of their set against the Marlins. Despite throwing 13 strikeouts in his 10.1 innings, Anderson has an ERA of 4.35 for the year and an ERA of 6.75 through the last seven days.
Having not made a significant improvement at the mound, the Marlins should continue their clean hitting in Atlanta, returning to Miami with a .500 record after completing a 4-0 sweep against the Braves on Thursday.
Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins – 1.10PM ET
Following their Wednesday double header, the Boston Red Sox now have three wins from their three games against the Twins in Minnesota, as they prepare for a sweep on Thursday afternoon.
Boston’s most recent victory over Minnesota has not only extended their winning streak against the Twins to three games, but also their overall winning streak to nine consecutive matches since dropping their opening three games of the season.
For those keeping count…
That’s NINE STRAIGHT.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 14, 2021
Despite recording 11 hits in game one of Tuesday’s double header, the Red Sox only managed a 3-2 victory. However in game two, Boston won the encounter 7-1 thanks to a two run performance from right fielder Alex Verdugo.
Contrastingly, the Twins were an above .500 team prior to this set of games against the Red Sox, however they have since fallen into a slump of form. Minnesota only managed to score five runs in their three recent losses to Boston, which has extended their losing streak to five consecutive games.
Game one of the double header got away from Minnesota in the second inning as Kenta Maeda struggled at the mound. Maeda allowed three straight singles to left field, which resulted in a 3-0 second inning in the 3-2 loss.
The Twins will welcome Michael Pineda back to the mound for Thursday’s game. Pineda is 1-0 from his one start this season, pitching with an ERA of 1.64 and a WHIP of 0.91, with 11 strikeouts from his 11.0 innings this season.
However, we can’t pick against Boston in this match, as the Red Sox are just one win away from capping off a fourth consecutive sweep. Boston are arguably the most in-form team in the league at the moment and we can’t see them being upset by the struggling Twins.
Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays – 7.10PM ET
The 5-7 Rangers and the 5-7 Rays will conclude their four game set in Tampa Bay on Thursday night, with the winner of this clash advancing to 6-7 and the loser slipping to 5-8.
After going down 1-0 in their first game against the Rays in Tampa on Monday, Texas won their matches on Tuesday and Wednesday to take a 2-1 in their four game set on the road.
The Rangers have outscored the Rays 13-5 in their three games so far, as their bullpen rotation has allowed just one run, three runs and one run through their three most recent games.
Jordan Lyles will be taking the mound for Texas on Thursday, looking to continue the Rangers bullpen success against Tampa Bay. Lyles has one win from his singular start this season, with nine strikeouts in his 10 innings.
As for Tampa Bay, they have allowed Texas to outscore them 13-4 since their 1-0 victory over the Rangers on Monday.
Unfortunately for the Rays, both their pitching rotation and their batting lineup have underperformed in their past two losses, allowing the Rangers to score seven runs per game and only putting up two runs per game themselves.
Randy Arozarena and Austin Meadows have both been carrying their weight with bat in hand this season, however their lineup lacks depth and that has shown in their 5-7 start to the year.
Seeing as the Rays had to keep the Rangers scoreless on Monday to secure a 1-0 victory over Texas, we haven’t seen enough from Tampa Bay in their two most recent games to suggest that they are capable of snapping their two game losing streak against the Rangers on Thursday.
Having defeated the Rays by an aggregate of nine runs in their past two encounters, we think Texas will finish their trip to Florida with a third consecutive victory.
Toronto Blue Jays @ Kansas City Royals – 8.10PM ET
The first match of a four game set between the Blue Jays and Royals will kick off on Thursday night in Kansas City.
Although Toronto are playing their home games in Florida due to COVID-19, the Blue Jays wrapped up their six game stint at ‘home’ with a victory over the Yankees, improving to 3-3 at Dunedin Stadium and 6-6 for the season.
For the second time this year, the Blue Jays ended their three game set against the Yankees with a 2-1 record. Toronto outscored New York 13-10 in their most recent series, winning the final two games 7-3, 5-4.
In their most recent 5-4 victory, Bo Bichette hit two home runs, including a walk-off homer in the ninth. Bichette now has eight runs, eight hits and three walks from his 16 at bats across Toronto’s last four games.
💣 BO BICHETTE WALK-OFF HR 💣
— theScore (@theScore) April 14, 2021
Similarly, the Kansas City Royals also wrapped up their three game home set with a 2-1 record, defeating the Angels in their two most recent games. Kansas City outscored Los Angeles 9-3 in their past two outings, largely thanks to two runs from Whit Merrifield’s two hits on Tuesday and two runs from Salvador Perez’s two hits on Wednesday.
Kansas City have been dominant on home turf since closing out last season on an 8-2 run, and have continued that this year with a 4-2 record at home in 2021.
Given that both sides are coming into this encounter with six wins to their names this season, and have been in similar form in recent games, we like the Royals to continue their stretch of wins at home.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.