It is the final weekend of the MLB regular season, and the hay is pretty much in the barn. We know the Cubs and Nats are matched up for an EPIC NLDS next week. We know the D’Backs will be hosting the NL Wildcard – likely the Rockies barring a home sweep collapse to the nothing-to-play-for Dodgers, and we know the Dodgers are the most-questioned 100-plus win team in modern history.
But just because the weekend lacks the excitement we have been spoiled with in recent seasons doesn’t mean we can’t grind out a few W’s and pad the bankroll before the playoffs.
There is still hope in Milwaukee. They need to Dodgers to play it straight (or the Rox to gag) and they need to win all three in St. Louis – possible that the Cards will be in winter vacation mode – so the fan in us can stayed tuned for at least one more interesting night nonetheless…
Today’s MLB Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers -107 at Colorado Rockies -103 (Total: 11.5)
Hyun Jin-Ryu vs. Chad Bettis
The best thing going for the Rockies is how little this game means to Los Angeles. They simply need to avoid injury, get a few swings for the hitters, and set up their rotation for what they hope will be a deep October run.
Tonight means EVERYTHING for Colorado. Their magic number is down to just two, and a win tonight coupled with a Milwaukee loss (and that game will be happening at a similar time) and there could be some champagne tonight in Denver. Chad Bettis is the best story in baseball this season, and it would be only fitting if he can shake off a few bad outings and be the guy to get the win in the clinching game. The 28-year old only has one quality start since his triumphant return from cancer; the magical first outing. Since then, it has been spotty; a few good outings with a conservative pitch count preventing the quality start, but a LOT of five runs in five innings (or two starts ago, five runs with one OUT) driving up the ERA.
However, his last outing was a solid one; allowing just one run on a conservative 84 pitches over five innings. The bullpen will have to chip in tonight, but the Rockies HOPE for Bettis to give them four of five reasonable innings. But in reality – storybook sentiments aside – it could be a rough night. He has a 1-2 record with a 9.60 ERA in his career against the Dodgers, and by all accounts, the Dodgers are putting their real team on the field tonight. Add in Ryu’s 1.38 ERA in three September starts, as well as 13 strikeouts in 13 innings, and the edge is clearly Los Angeles’s tonight.
Ryu is trying to lock down a postseason roster spot. He has a good chance to do so with a nice outing tonight. The Rockies have things in place for a storybook ending, but I think it will have to wait until the weekend.
Today’s MLB Pick: LOS ANGELES DODGERS TO WIN -107