Between The Lines by Kevin Stott | With September, the MLB pennant races really heat up but in my mind, the only three things still uncertain are which AL team won’t make the playoffs – the Rays, Red Sox, White Sox or Twins – and who will win the NL East and NL West. Seriously, I still haven’t given up on the Rockies with last season’s fantastic finish still fresh in my mind.
And there’s a whole lotta freakiness going on in the MLB with the Indians winning 10 straight – and still resting below .500 (65-67), the Nationals sweeping the Dodgers who are apparently back to their non-scoring ways and the Padres (last in the NL West) sweeping the Diamondbacks (first in the NL West).
One thing is consistent: nothing is consistent…
Starts Monday, Sept. 1
Mets at Brewers (M-W): Milwaukee is ultra-motivated as the team they are chasing, the Cubs, simply refuse to use. The Mets are 1-2 vs. the BrewCrew this season and need wins right about now but this series is in Milwaukee. The Brewers have been hot lately (9-3 L12 after Sunday) and have Sheets-Parra-Bush slated to go up against Santana-Niese-Perez meaning lay off the opener with Johan (-130 favorite Monday) going and bang the Brewers on Tuesday and Wednesday. BREWERS.
Astros-Cubs (M-W): The aforementioned Cubs are hotter than the weather here in Vegas (103 degrees in the shade if you’re wondering), winning seven of nine and going 25-8 in their last 33 games. The Astros are a scary team to bet against though and you can bet the numbers will be overinflated (-220 to -300) so this is a series to tread lightly on, meaning if you bet the Cubs all three you’ll probably have to win all three to make money as one loss at -220 means the $100 bettor could lose $20 by going 2-1 taking Chicago. Still, it seems like they will never lose again the way they’re playing … and the gaudy 51-19 mark at The Friendly Confines gets double takes. CUBS.
Mariners at Rangers (M-W): Both teams are playing for nothing so don’t expect any of these three to be on ESPN. Texas is 8-6 against the Mariners so far and scores runs like Homer Simpson eats donuts. The Rangers should win two or all three of these but avoid King Felix’s start for the M’s Wednesday. RANGERS, OVER.
BONUS: ESPN over FOX Sports, THE BATMOBILE over Kit the Talking Car ("Knight Rider"), BAGELS over Scones, STARBUCKS over Dunkin’ Donuts, COLLEGE FOOTBALL over Pro Football, APATHY over Giving a Rat’s Ass.
Starts Thursday, Sept. 4
Pirates at Reds (Th-Sun): Pittsburgh is so pathetic it’s scary. They have lost 10 in a row (into Monday) and are fighting the Reds for last place in the NL Central. After trading away two of their best players in Jason Bay and Xavier Nady, the Buccos have apparently packed it in for the season and will be likely prey for opponents from here on out. REDS.
Nationals at Braves (Th-Sun): Washington apparently got sick of getting trashed in this BTL column so they won a couple but they still have the least wins and the most losses in the Bigs. Atlanta has been no bargain recently, going 3-7 in its last 10. The way the Nats have trouble scoring, the home team is the call in this series. BRAVES.
Padres at Brewers (Th-Sun): San Diego is the pits. The only thing keeping the Padres from being the worst team in Major League Baseball is the Nationals. Milwaukee has been on fire lately, going 9-2 in its last 11 and winning three straight. BREWERS.
BONUS: MADE IN USA over Made in China, COLLEGE FOOTBALL over NFL, LEONA LEWIS over Richard Lewis, ANTI-PERSPIRANT over Deodorant, REAL POTATO CHIPS over Pringles.