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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians
As all first-round playoff series did this one kicked off yesterday. The Guardians took the first game while taking down the Rays’ ace in Shane McClanahan. Today’s opposition will be tough but they have already beaten the top starter on the other side. Can the Rays come back to even the series today?
Starting on the mound for the Rays today in a do-or-die game will be Tyler Glasnow. He spent nearly the entire season on the Injured List and has made just two starts this season totaling 6.2 innings pitched. They have been a strong 6.2 innings though with just one earned run allowed while striking out ten batters. One of those two stats was against this same Guardians team, and that game ended 2-1 in favor of Cleveland.
Starting for the Guardians today will be Triston McKenzie who on the season had a 2.96 ERA and a 3.54 xERA. He faced this same Rays offense just ten days ago and in that start, he went six innings allowing just one Ray to score. In the 45 plate appearances that the Rays lineup has against McKenzie, they have a .167 batting average and a .208 wOBA against him.
While Glasnow for the Rays is a fantastic starting pitcher, he hasn’t been stretched out to complete even four innings in a start this year. Meaning the bullpen will be doing the heavy lifting for them today. For the Guardians, McKenzie has a 2.27 ERA in his last 11 starts and will be facing the sixth-worst offense in all of baseball over the past two weeks in the Rays. Seems to be the end of the line for the Rays’ season today, take the Guardians to finish them off.
CLE ML, -115.
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets
This series kicked off embarrassingly for the New York Metropolitans yesterday as they lost to the Padres 7-1. The Mets’ season hangs in the balance, and they will send their former Cy Young-winning starting pitcher to try to salvage the series.
On the mound for the Mets, today will be Jacob deGrom who sported a 3.08 ERA and a 2.24 xERA on the season. He has not been his former Cy Young-winning self this season as his 3.08 ERA is his highest ERA in the past five seasons. He also has allowed at least three earned runs in his starts in his last four outings. Totaling 14 earned runs in 21 innings, where he went 0-3. In those starts he was not facing off against playoff-caliber offenses either, three of them were against the Athletics, Pirates, and Cubs.
DeGrom will be facing a Padres offense that is top ten in team wOBA and wRC+ over the past week. They have not faced deGrom yet this year but overall, the Padres’ new power bat Juan Soto has success against him. In his 19 plate appearances against deGrom, Soto has a wOBA of .360 and a xwOBA of .468.
The Mets very well could tie this series up today as their offense is no slouch, so we are going to avoid the high-priced Mets line and focus on the minuscule team total for the Padres. For the entirety of the game, the Padres’ team total is 2.5. deGrom has given up that total in his last four outings and nearly tripled that number yesterday. Avoid betting on a winner in this one and take the Padres over their 2.5-team total.
SD TT O 2.5, +115.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals thought they had game one in the bag last night with a two-run lead going into the ninth. Losing that game by three runs was not how they saw that last inning going. They look to bounce back today and keep their season alive with one of their hottest starters on the mound tonight.
Starting for the Cardinals will be Miles Mikolas with his 3.29 ERA and 3.89 xERA on the season. He has fared far better while pitching at home this season, which is where he will be tonight, as he has a 2.38 ERA while in St. Louis. He finished off the season strong with a 2.38 ERA in September. He faced this same Phillies lineup twice this season already and in those starts, he totaled 12.2 innings pitched and allowed just three earned runs to score.
On the other side for the Phillies who look to clinch the series win tonight will be Aaron Nola. On the year he had a 3.25 ERA and a 2.74 xERA. He also finished off the season strong with a 2.36 ERA in September. He squared off against this Cardinals team once this season and in that start, he took the loss while throwing seven innings and allowed five Cardinals to score.
The Cardinals still have the bullpen advantage in this series as mentioned in our previous Wild Card Preview article, even though they blew up last night. They also have the playoff experience advantage in the starting pitchers. As this will be Nola’s first career postseason appearance and Mikolas has made three prior starts. This series was always going to go the full three games as Wheeler last night had the Cardinals numbers, but this game the advantage goes to the Cardinals.
STL ML, +100.
Bonus (Non-Best) Bets!
TOR/SEA OVER 7.5: Both starters have not fared well against the opposing offense.
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