Starting Nine (Week of June 5th)

The same nine teams will be filled out in our lineup card this week but there is a new #1. The Evil Empire has emerged as the top dog in baseball and they have the power. Here is this week’s Starting Nine:

Starting Nine (Week of June 5th)

Hope to see you back: The More Things Change; Welcome Back to the Show: The More They Stay the Same

#9. KC Royals 36-26 (+1400/3000) - The Royals blew a 5-0 lead with Lugo on the mound in Cleveland last night and have lost 7 of 10. Still, this team has the type of starting pitching that should prevent prolonged slumps. Last Week’s Rank: 6th

#8. Seattle Mariners 35-27 (+600/+1400) - It took a while but the Mariners’ offense is starting to perform and they have the best pitching staff in the division. Last Week’s Rank: 9th

#7. Milwaukee Brewers 36-25 (+1100/+2500) - The Brewers are scrappy and determined. How else can you explain their standing despite having just one true standout starting pitcher and a banged up bullpen. Last Week’s Rank: 7th

#6. Atlanta Braves 34-24 (+400/+800) - Max Fried is emerging as a true ace once again and it couldn’t come at a better time. This team is going to need Matt Olson and Austin Riley to find their strokes again, however. Last Week’s Rank: 8th

#5. Baltimore Orioles 39-20 (+400/+850) - The O’s are ranked fifth but they are the last team that anyone would want to see in a series if Burnes and Rodriguez are on the schedule. Lineup depth is aplenty as well. Last Week’s Rank: 5th

#4. LA Dodgers 38-24 (+155/+300) - The Dodgers have been a bit inconsistent lately but lets not forget that this team still doesn’t have their top five starting pitchers yet. Oh, and they’ve got money to spend. Last Week’s Rank: 4th

#3. Cleveland Guardians 40-20 (+600/+1500) - They proved their resiliency again last night, coming back from a 5-0 hole to win 8-5. They have some pieces that others cherish: a superstar in Jose Ramirez, a budding star in Josh Naylor and the best closer in the AL in Emmanuel Clase. Last Week’s Rank: 1st

#2. Philadelphia Phillies 43-19 (+285/+650) - The Phillies survived a scare when Ranger Suarez had to leave his last start with a hand injury. He looks to be fine for his next start. Last Week’s Rank: 1st

#1. New York Yankees 43-19 (+235/+500) - The Yankees keep on hitting and keep on winning with a 1-2 punch of MVP candidates in Juan Soto and Aaron Judge. Oh and Garrit Cole was outstanding in his first rehab start yesterday. Last Week’s Rank: 3rd

AL/NL Cy Young Candidates:

Here are this week’s Cy Young candidates for each league.

American League

  1. Tarik Skubal, LHP Detroit Tigers (+150) - The Tigers lefty has been healthy and dominant thus far on the season. He is second in WHIP, third in WAR and top ten in both ERA and strikeouts. If his health holds up, he will be tough to beat.

  1. Seth Lugo, RHP KC Royals (+1600) - Lugo allowed five runs for the first time all season last night in Cleveland. He has 10 quality starts in his first 13, and is on pace for a career-high in wins, ERA, strikeouts, WAR, and WHIP. He also is playing for a contender.

  1. Corbin Burnes, RHP Baltimore Orioles (+450) - Burnes is tied for the MLB lead in quality starts, and is in the top ten in wins, ERA, and strikeouts. He is top 25 in WAR and WHIP and will most certainly be in a position to win every game this year going forward with that lineup.

National League

  1. Zack Wheeler, RHP Philadelphia Phillies (+225) - Wheeler is tied for the MLB lead in quality starts thus far. He is also in the top five in strikeouts, wins, and WHIP. The veteran righty also fronts the team that is tied for the best record in baseball. A solid resume to date.

  1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP LA Dodgers (+650) - With Glasnow, the story has always been about health. He leads baseball in strikeouts and K/9 and is top ten in WHIP. He should benefit from more returns to the Dodgers’ staff as well, allowing him more rest in between starts.

  1. Max Fried, LHP Atlanta Braves (+1500) - I went with Fried over Ranger Suarez this week after Suarez early departure in his last start. Fried has put together two complete games already this season, has a WHIP of just 1.02, and has allowed just 53 hits in 73.1 innings pitched. He missed some time early this season with an injury but looks to be hitting his stride right now.

*All odds courtesy of

By Mark Ruelle

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Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.