What was supposed to be a very light two-game MLB schedule today now has five games on the slate after several rainouts last week. The only real game with playoff implications is between the A’s and Mariners, as both continue to battle for one of the American League’s two wild card spots.
In what has been a very profitable season for us so far, we gear up for one last regular-season run to our goal of +20 units. Today, our two picks involve an underdog taking on a struggling pitcher and a runline involving a red-hot pitcher that the casual fan may have never heard of.
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Monday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
YTD: 177-143-8 (+18.31 units)
Detroit Tigers ML (+140)
The Detroit Tigers are quietly playing good baseball to end the season. Though they were beaten two out of three games in their last series against the Royals, the Tigers went 8-3 and 3-0-1 in four series against first-place teams. Two of those wins came against the Chicago White Sox, who appear destined to play on the road against the Astros in the first round of the playoffs. With little left to play for this last week, we like the value of the underdog Tigers.
Detroit’s Matt Manning (4-6, 5.73) has pitched to a 4.37 ERA in nine home starts. He is making his third career home start against the White Sox and has allowed five earned runs in 7.2 combined innings thus far. However, he could face a White Sox lineup resting many key players, especially in a tough spot traveling for this one-game series.
Chicago counters with Dallas Keuchel (8-9, 5.18), who is likely using this start as one of his last auditions to be included on the postseason roster. Keuchel has just one win in his previous 12 starts and has pitched to a 7.92 ERA in his last seven. Though he allowed two runs in five innings in his last start against Detroit, he worked out of trouble in every inning as he scattered 11 hits. Look for them to capitalize if the Tigers put that kind of traffic on the basepaths again this afternoon.
This year, the Tigers have won six of their 15 meetings against Chicago, so this is not as big of a mismatch as one would think. In addition, the fact that they do not have to travel for this make-up game gives them a significant edge.
Cleveland Indians -1.5 runs (+110)
The Indians have dominated the Royals this year, going 12-3 in their head-to-head matchups. Cleveland starter Cal Quantrill (7-3, 2.82) has been one of the hottest pitchers not many have known about lately, going 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in his last seven starts. His last start against Kansas City was a gem, as he allowed just one earned run in 6.2 innings while striking out six.
Kansas City counters with Jackson Kowar (0-4, 11.45), who has struggled mightily in his seven career appearances (six starts). His struggles get even worse on the road, as he is 0-3 with a 15.75 ERA in his three road starts. He has allowed a .361 OBA in eight road innings and has eight walks in that span. He pitched well in his lone start against Cleveland on September 1st, allowing two earned runs in six innings. However, that was one of just two career starts where he allowed fewer than four earned runs, so we believe the Indians are due for a bounce back.
The Indians are 3-0 in the three games Quantrill has pitched against the Royals this year, and we like Cleveland to make it 4-0 today.
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