While the divisions around baseball have been decided (except for one), we still have plenty of drama in the Wild-Card races and in individual statistical races with the regular season concluding on Sunday – unless of course there’s a one-game tiebreaker. Here’s a look at two early-week 26 intriguing MLB Betting matchups. Check back for Mybookie MLB Odds.
Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – September 23rd Edition
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Philadelphia Phillies at Washington Nationals
- When: Tuesday, 7:05 PM ET
- TV: MLB Network
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
It’s Game 2 of a day-night doubleheader and one of the best pitching matchups of the week as the Nationals try to lock down a Wild-Card spot. The Phillies are a long-shot Wild-Card team and could be eliminated by the time you read this. I’m sure the Washington fans will be booing former National Bryce Harper plenty in this series.
Thus, it’s probably the last start of 2019 for Phils ace Aaron Nola. Nola (12-6) allowed five earned runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out four across five innings to take the loss last Thursday against the Braves.
Nola surrendered two home runs, accounting for three of his five earned runs. It was the first time he surrendered multiple home runs in a start since July 28, a span of 10 starts. However, he’s now allowed four or more earned runs in three of his last four appearances. That’s spiked his ERA to 3.75 across 196.2 innings for the campaign.
What about the Nats?
Meanwhile, if the Nationals do get a Wild-Card spot, there’s a pretty good chance that Max Scherzer would start it – unless he is needed Sunday. Scherzer (10-7) allowed five runs on seven hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts across 6.2 innings while taking a loss against the Cardinals last Wednesday.
The star pitcher yielded two homers and runs in three of the seven frames he took the mound. Scherzer, like his team, is limping to the finish line, as he is 1-2 with a 4.62 ERA in his last seven outings. While he’s short on wins and his ERA (2.81) is rising, he still owns a 1.03 WHIP, .222 batting average against and 233 strikeouts in 166.1 innings this season. Scherzer has allowed one earned run in 12.0 innings with 19 strikeouts and three walks in two starts against the Phillies in 2019.
NY Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
- When: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. ET
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
This could be a preview of the ALDS – if the Rays get there. Tampa Bay is fighting for a Wild-Card spot and the winner of that game would take on the team with the AL’s best record. That’s going to be either the Yankees or Astros.
The Rays are attempting to make the playoffs for the fifth time in franchise history (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013) and have a 68.2 pct. chance of doing so, based on the average of four common projection sites—Baseball Reference, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs and FiveThirtyEight. This is the third consecutive season the Rays have improved their record which is why you should consider them into your MLB Betting ticket.
It’s likely going to be an opener for the Yankees as they are giving all their four projected postseason starters extra rest. Was to be Masahiro Tanaka here but now probably won’t.
His importance just skyrocketed with ace Domingo German out the rest of the year due to an off-field issue last week that came out of nowhere. German has been placed on administrative leave by MLB. German, who is 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA and 153 strikeouts in 143 innings, had been by far the Yankees’ most reliable starter and had helped mitigate the struggles of veterans in the rotation.
How good has Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu been this year? He’ll get some MVP votes and has a career-best and MLB-best 60 multihit games in 2019. As of this writing, he’s second in the AL with a .329 batting average. His 26 homers this year match the combined totals of his two highest HR seasons before he joined the Yankees (15HR in 2018, 11HR in 2016).
LaMahieu Is the fourth player to hit 25HR out of the leadoff spot in Yankees history, joining Alfonso Soriano (38 in 2002, 35 in 2003), Rickey Henderson (28 in 1986) and Bobby Bonds (25 in 1975).
What about the Rays?
Should be Rays All-Star ace Charlie Morton (15-6, 3.15). Morton allowed two runs on five hits and a walk while striking out eight over 6.1 innings last Friday against the Red Sox. He didn’t factor into the decision. Morton made it through the first six innings unscathed, but he surrendered a two-run blast in the seventh inning before being lifted from the contest.
The 35-year-old is 2-0 over his last four starts, allowing three or fewer runs in each outing. He owns a 1.10 WHIP with a 231:54 K:BB over 188.2 frames this season for the Rays.
Expert MLB Betting Picks
Back Nationals and Rays.