Big surprise in baseball on Monday as the Boston Red Sox fired team president Dave Dombrowski. Sure, the Red Sox have been huge disappointments this year, but they won the World Series and had arguably the greatest season in franchise history in 2018. Interesting. Here’s a look at two intriguing MLB matchups early this week. Check back for the lates MLB Odds.
Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – September 9th Edition
Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres
- When: Tuesday, 10:10 PM ET
- TV: MLB Network
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
The Cubs’ push for a playoff spot took a big hit with the news that star shortstop Javier Baez, who was the NL MVP runner-up last year, has a fractured thumb. He was to consult with the club’s hand specialist on Monday, at which point they’ll have a better idea of how long his recovery might take.
Almost surely Baez will be headed to the injured list and could miss the rest of the season. It would be just the second IL stint of his major-league career to date. The two-time All-Star is batting .281/.316/.532 with 29 home runs, an .848 OPS, and 4.3 fWAR through 560 plate appearances. He’ll continue to be replaced by fellow middle infielder Addison Russell until his return to the lineup.
That’s if Russell is OK. He was hit in the face by a 94 mph fastball from Brewers pitcher Adrian Houser in Sunday’s game. He eventually was pulled in a precautionary move. He has a nasal contusion and is under evaluation for a possible concussion. He will travel with the team to San Diego, though. Chicago probably won’t be catching the Cardinals in the NL Central but currently holds the NL’s final wild-card spot.
The Cubs start lefty Jose Quintana in this one. Quintana (13-8) picked up the win Thursday against the Brewers, allowing four runs on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out five across five innings. The long ball proved to haunt Quintana. After giving up a two-run home run to Hernan Perez in the second inning, Quintana got into some trouble in the third when he loaded up the bases, but the left-hander narrowly escaped without damage. Quintana then allowed a two-run homer to Yasmani Grandal in the fifth, which would be his final blemish of the night. The 30-year-old was coming off 5.2 shutout innings against the Brewers in his previous start. Over his last seven starts, Quintana is 5-1 with 47 strikeouts across 45.1 innings pitched. He has 4.00 ERA and 1.28 WHIP on the season.
San Diego, which is out of playoff contention, starts Roland Bolanos (0-1, 3.00). Bolanos was mostly sharp in his MLB debut last Tuesday vs. Arizona, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings. The Padres‘ No. 15 prospect was a surprise late-season callup, but he’s being given a chance to make his case for a spot in the crowded 2020 rotation mix.
Washington Nationals at Minnesota Twins
- When: Wednesday, 7:40 PM ET
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
Possible World Series preview. Wouldn’t call it likely but both teams should make the playoffs. Minnesota will win the AL Central while Washington should be the NL’s top wild-card team. The Nats will add the designated hitter for this series in the AL park.
Minnesota got some bad news over the weekend with starting pitcher Michael Pineda given a 60-game suspension by MLB. Pineda, 6-foot-7 and 280 pounds, said in a statement he took an over-the-counter medication given to him by an acquaintance to help manage his weight. The pills contained hydrochlorothiazide, a diuretic that can mask other substances. Pineda, who went 11-5 with a 4.01 ERA, will miss the Twins’ final 21 games plus any postseason games. In his past 14 starts, the big right-hander was 10-4 with a 2.96 ERA and 87 strikeouts in 82 innings.
It’s lefty Martin Perez here. Perez (10-6) got the win against the Red Sox on Thursday, giving up one earned run on two hits over six innings, striking out one and walking two as the Twins bagged a 2-1 victory. Perez was blown up for seven earned over 2.2 innings in his last outing against the Tigers, but he bounced back with a quality start in this contest that allowed him to nab his 10th win of the season. It’s still been an erratic campaign overall for the 28-year-old, who has a 4.75 ERA and 1.46 WHIP across 147.2 innings.
The Nationals counter with NL Cy Young contender Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg (16-6, 3.50) was charged with the loss against Atlanta on Thursday, pitching six innings and giving up three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out seven.
Strasburg gave up a pair of runs in the first inning but settled down to allow only a single tally on a Ronald Acuna homer over his final five frames. The effort was not enough to prevent his sixth loss, however, as Max Fried outdueled Strasburg by allowing only one baserunner in seven innings of work. Despite the outcome, Strasburg hurled his fourth straight quality start while tossing a season-high 115 pitches, 71 of which were strikes.
Strasburg will pitch in Minnesota for the first time in his career. His only other appearance against the Twins came in April 2016 when they came to Nationals Park, and Strasburg struck out 10 and gave up four runs in 7 1/3 innings.
Expert MLB Betting Picks
Back Cubs and Nationals.