There are only two days left in the Major League Baseball regular season! I am already starting to miss baseball, and it isn’t even over yet! But this is the time of the year that the games really start to matter, and the action heats up. Just a quick recap for those of you that might not follow the league with a laser-like focus like I do.
The American League is basically wrapped up at this point. But don’t tell the New York Yankees that. The Yankees are still holding out hope that they can backdoor into a one-game playoff for the American League East Division title. With two games left in the season, they trail the Boston Red Sox by two games. The Yanks took care of business last night when they won 4-0 against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox held up their part of the bargain as they have now lost two in a row and four out of five to keep that door cracked open.
The Yankees have a tough matchup today with the Jays as they face ace Marcus Stroman. The books have installed the Bombers as big -165 favorites, but I think this just might be the day the division title dreams go up in smoke for New York. The Red Sox will try and take care of business on their end and make the Yankee results irrelevant as they face the Houston Astros. The Astros are red hot at the moment and are favorites in this one with Lance McCullers on the mound.
The Astros are playing for something themselves as the number one seed is on the line. The ‘stros are just one game back of the Cleveland Indians for the number one seed in the American League playoffs. Both teams are on fire and can’t lose, so we will see who blinks first as the season winds down. Cleveland is -300 with Corey Kluber on the mound against the terrible Chicago White Sox, so you might as well pencil them in for the win. I would be shocked at this point if Cleveland drops a game this weekend and doesn’t hold onto that one seed.
The National League has a different kind of drama as all the seeding is locked up, but we still don’t know all the teams that will make the playoffs. The Colorado Rockies hold a two-game lead with two games to go on the Milwaukee Brewers. Colorado was able to keep the lead intact as they were able to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in L.A. last night. Tonight’s matchup is a lot tougher though as All-World pitcher Clayton Kershaw is on the mound for the Dodgers. Milwaukee has a tough matchup as well as they take on the St. Louis Cardinals with an upstart Luke Weaver on the mound. I am always rooting for the drama so here’s to hoping that Colorado loses and the Brewers win so we can extend the drama to game 162!
Today’s MLB Pick:
Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers
Now to the game that I am actually targeting today. Generally, I don’t like to take games that “don’t mean anything” to anyone. Two teams playing that are completely out of contention scares me a little bit. You just never know what to expect when both teams don’t need to win. However, I have reason to believe that isn’t the case tonight in Texas.
Rangers starter Andrew Cashner has emerged in the season’s second half as one of the more consistent pitchers in the American League. Cashner has assumed the role of ace for the Rangers pitching staff as they traded away Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels struggled. Over the year’s second half, Cashner has run up a 7-3 record with an ERA in the low threes. It has been a big run for the journeyman right-hander. Cashner signed only a one-year contract with the Rangers in the offseason and after this run he could be one of the more coveted arms in free agency.
But if you ask Cashner, he doesn’t want to go. Cashner is a Texas native and grew up a Rangers fan and loves pitching in Texas. He has a huge following of friends and family that will be at the ballpark today to see what might be his last start with the Rangers. I don’t know if the rest of the lineups on Saturday are going to be giving a full effort, but I know damn well that Cashner will be. For that reason, I am going to back the Rangers today in this one. It is a smallish number for a home favorite, and I think Cashner will be at his best in this one. Give me the Rangers at -129.
The Bet: Rangers -129