Hard to believe it’s the final week of baseball’s regular season already. It’s a good thing we have the wild-card races in each league because there’s no drama in which teams will win the six division races. Here’s a look at three games I highly recommend this week in MLB betting because of the starting pitchers in them.
Tampa Bay at Chicago White Sox (Tuesday, September 27th)
The Pale Hose will be favored on MLB odds behind ace lefty Chris Sale in what could be the final home start of his White Sox career as many people feel he could be traded this offseason so the White Sox can rebuild their farm system. Sale (16-9, 3.19) suffered an embarrassing loss last Wednesday against the Phillies. He allowed six runs on seven hits while striking out five in four innings. Entering the game, the Phillies owned MLB’s second-worst team batting average (.238) and ranked dead last in team OPS (.682). Sale had pitched at least eight innings in each of his previous five starts, owning a 1.50 ERA while notching 50 strikeouts over 42 innings. But Sale threw a complete-game two-hitter at the Rays early in the season. Sale already has set a single-season career- high with 214 2/3 innings pitched. Tampa goes with right-hander Alex Cobb (1-1, 6.16). His last time out, Cobb had his worst start since returning from Tommy John surgery, getting just four outs while giving up nine hits to the Yankees. Before that, he’d given up just six runs in his first three starts after coming off the DL. Take Chicago here and the under total.
Cleveland at Detroit (Wednesday, September 28th)
This ESPN game should mean nothing for Cleveland is it should have clinched the AL Central Division by Wednesday. The Tigers absolutely have to have this as they chase Baltimore and Toronto in the wild-card race. They start AL Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Fulmer (11-7, 2.95). He dominated the Royals in his last start, allowing one run over seven innings with nine strikeouts. Barring a tiebreaker game, Fulmer will pitch his regular-season finale against a Cleveland team that roughed him up for six runs in five innings two weeks ago. The Tribe go with Trevor Bauer (12-8, 4.26). Bauer (11-7) allowed six runs on six hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over 5.1 innings in a loss last Tuesday to the White Sox. Bauer was dealing through five innings, as he had allowed just one lone run and had induced nine groundouts to go with six strikeouts. But he lost his grip in the sixth, as he issued a walk and four singles before he was finally lifted. His bullpen didn’t help him out, as all three runners he left on base would eventually score.
NY Mets at Miami (Wednesday, September 28th)
I would bet against the Marlins the rest of the season in the wake of the shocking death of ace pitcher Jose Fernandez on Sunday in a boating accident. He is the youngest All-Star to ever die in Major League Baseball and the Marlins can’t possibly be very motivated the rest of the season now that they are out of the playoffs. Miami starts Andrew Cashner in this one. Cashner (5- 11, 5.13) didn’t factor into the decision Friday versus the Braves, giving up an earned run on three hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out six. Cashner put a stop to his recent struggles Friday, after having given up 16 earned runs in three of his previous four starts. New York is still fighting for a wild-card spot and goes with Seth Lugo. Lugo (4-2, 2.61) will make his final regular-season start against the Marlins, whom he first face in relief on July 23. Miami tagged Lugo for the first run of his career, but he hasn’t allowed many more since, going 4-0 with a 2.31 ERA his last 6 starts. Take New York in MLB odds.