Tough break for the Tampa Bay Rays in their pursuit of an AL Wild-Card spot as they were hoping to get back breakout second baseman Brandon Lowe soon, but instead have shut him down for the season. Lowe was working his way back from a right shin contusion suffered in early July but recently suffered a strained left quad that ends his 2019 campaign. In 76 games, Lowe hit .276/.339/.523 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs and was named an All-Star. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week MLB games and check back for their MLB odds.
Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – August 26th Edition
Chicago Cubs at NY Mets
- When: Tuesday, 7:10 PM ET
- TV: MLB Network
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
This could be a preview of the NL Wild-Card Game. The Cubs figure to at least be a Wild-Card team but also might win the NL Central Division. The Mets, who haven’t made the playoffs since 2016, are Wild Card or bust as they have no chance of catching Atlanta in the NL East. Last year, the Cubs swept a series at the Mets for the first time in franchise history.
It’s Yu Darvish for the Cubs. Darvish (4-6) did not factor into the decision during last Wednesday’s 12-11 win over the Giants, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits while striking out eight over 5.1 innings. After serving up a two-run home run to Evan Longoria in the first inning, Darvish found some of his own success at the plate with an RBI single in the second inning to give the Cubs a 3-2 lead. He settled into a better groove until the fifth, when Mike Yastrzemski broke through with another two-run shot. Darvish then allowed back-to-back homers in the sixth to Stephen Vogt and Kevin Pillar before getting pulled.
The 33-year-old did not issue any walks for the sixth straight game. Darvish now owns a 4.43 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 176:51 K:BB. The right-hander is the first pitcher in MLB history to have five straight outings with at least eight strikeouts and zero walks.
It’s expected to be Marcus Stroman for the Mets. Stroman (7-11) made an early exit from his start last Wednesday against the Indians after experiencing tightness in his left hamstring, but an MRI showed no structural damage and he expressed confidence that it won’t be an issue fine moving forward. The 28-year-old right-hander has posted a 4.58 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, and 18/10 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings (four starts) since getting dealt to the Mets a few days before the July 31 trade deadline.
Stroman pitched 9.0 shutout innings in his only start against the Cubs on September 8, 2014 as a member of the Blue Jays. He allowed just three hits and struck out eight batters in his first career complete game shutout.
New York has won 13 of its last 17 home games and is 37-24 at Citi Field this year. The Mets will play 20 of their remaining 32 games at home. New York’s 20 remaining home games are the most in the majors. The Mets have gone 14-5 at home since the break.
NY Yankees at Seattle Mariners
- When: Wednesday, 4:10 PM ET
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
It’s former Mariners lefty James Paxton on the bump for the Yankees. He was acquired this offseason for prospects. Paxton (10-6) earned the win last Friday, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out 11 over 6.2 innings in a 10-2 win over the Dodgers.
The Yankees provided five homers in support of Paxton, who took care of suppressing the Dodgers’ dangerous offense. Across 30.1 innings in August, Paxton has a 3.56 ERA and 35 strikeouts, compared to a 5.68 ERA over 25.1 innings in five July starts. For the season, Big Maple owns a 4.43 ERA and 152:44 K:BB in 120 innings.
One of the prospects the Mariners got in the Paxton trade was highly-touted lefty Justus Sheffield, and he’s opposite Paxton here. Sheffield allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks Friday, striking out three over four innings. He did not factor in the decision as the Mariners won 7-4 over the Blue Jays.
Sheffield was making his first major-league appearance in four months, but he didn’t pitch long enough to be eligible for the win in a back-and-forth contest. Through seven innings this year, Sheffield has allowed five runs on a combined nine hits and seven walks while striking out six. With Wade LeBlanc getting demoted from the Seattle rotation, the rookie is expected to remain in a starting role down the stretch.
Yankees batters have asset the major league record for home runs in a calendar month with 61 in August. It’s only the third month any team has had at least 58 homers, joining Baltimore in May 1987 (28G) and Seattle in May 1999. The previous club record for the Yankees was 54 homers in a month, done twice, in August 1998 (32G) and July 1940. Twelve different Yankees have hit multiple HRs this month, including six with at least 5HR.
Expert MLB Betting Picks
Back Mets and Yankees.