Last week for MLB bargain prices
September 26, 2017 3:05 AM
by Ramon Scott
Excluding a dramatic turn of events, we likely know the matchups for this postseason’s puzzle.
Sure, nothing is certain with less than a week to go in this record-breaking offensive campaign but one-game Wild Card matchups featuring Colorado at Arizona and Minnesota at the Yankees would seem to be likely to hold. The American League matchup will be contested next Tuesday with the NL playoff to follow on Wednesday.
Two of the division series matchups seem nearly set, as well, taking much of the drama out of the final week of the season.
The one spot that will be hotly contested this week will be the race for the last Wild Card in the NL where Colorado sits in the second position with Milwaukee and St. Louis with one last shot at chasing the Rockies down.
One key playoff note not to be overlooked is that the home team for each series is determined by – get this – the overall best won-loss record. A novel concept, eh?
This season’s overachievers – those that finished OVER their season win totals – are Milwaukee, Minnesota, Arizona, Colorado and the Dodgers.
While the disappointing teams that finished UNDER their season win totals so far are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Toronto, San Francisco and the Mets.
CUB (EV, 8.5o20) at STL (Wed., 4): Cubs seemed destined for playoff series at the Nationals, while Cardinals need to pretty much win ‘em all from here. The Cubs’ John Lackey has held this Cards lineup to a .221 avg. over 139 PAs, but Lackey has a 5.44 ERA this season. Michael Wacha currently down three units for the season despite a 12-8 overall record.
CIN (+110, 10o15) at MIL (Wed., 5:10): Brandon Woodruff has been okay since being forced into the rotation with a 3.76 ERA and a 7.1 K/9 ratio. The Reds’ Homer Bailey has an ERA near seven for the season and has won just one of his last seven starts. Bailey beat MIL here on Aug. 11 despite five walks in 5 IP.
MIN (+140, 7.5o20) at CLE (Thu., 9:10): These two could meet in the division series, as the Indians will face the Wild Card winner. Twins still had a little work to do this week to make sure they can make the trip to New York. Ervin Santana still up over five units this season, though his profit has steadily declined in the second half. Trevor Bauer has been a break-even proposition for the season, but has lost just once in nearly two months.
HOU (-105, 7.5o20) at BOS (Thu., 4:10): AL Division Series preview with Eduardo Rodriguez for the Sox, who has been fixed up nicely since his return from a knee injury and has been pretty sharp over his last four outings. For the Astros, Brad Peacock continues to show that his success is not short-term, as he is 12-2 on the season, but where he fits in the postseason plans now is unclear.
LAD (-240, 9.5) at COL (Fri., 5:10): Another possible postseason division series, though the Rockies would need to win the WC game at Arizona should current form hold. Clayton Kershaw has bounced back from two rough outings this month with strong performances the next time out. He won his 18th on Sunday, notching his 7th 200-K campaign. Colorado’s Chad Bettis is the feel-good story of the year with his comeback from cancer, though overmatched here.
MIL (-120, 8.5u20) at STL (Fri., 5:15): One of these teams may need a sweep in order to catch the Rockies for the road Wild Card spot. The Brewers’ Chase Anderson has done his part, coming in here with a 2.81 ERA and up over 4.5 units on the season. John Gant gets a second start for the Cards as he went three innings, allowing one ER on Sunday. Cards will be in the bullpen early here.
HOU (+130, 9u15) at BOS (Sat., 10:05): Boston’s Drew Pomeranz has been a money maker this season to the tune of nearly nine units for backers and he has a 16-5 record overall with just one loss over the last two months coming into the week. Lance McCullers, Jr. has gone six straight starts without a win coming into the week, but has allowed 26 ERs in his last 27-plus innings spanning six starts. Teams may be locked into playoff spot, diminishing game’s significance.
MIL (+145, 9o25) at STL (Sat., 1:15): If this game still means something here then we may have a story; but if so, Luke Weaver of the Cards seems like the man to go with as he has won six consecutive starts and has held this roster of Brewers to under a .220 avg. over 75 PAs. The Brewers’ Aaron Wilkerson gave up three runs in his first ML start as the Brewers have had patchwork pitching do them in down the stretch.
HOU (+150, 7.5) at BOS (Sun. 12:05): Still a chance this game could have meaning in playoff positioning, but if not, we still have the last game of the playoff series preview. Chris Sale is expected to wrap up the regular season campaign, though he will finish shy of 20 wins. His form has been up-and-down over the final weeks, but a little postseason motivation will surely change that. Collin McHugh doesn’t fare well against Boston, but his form has been pretty strong of late since his return.
DET (EV, 10.5u20) at MIN (Sun., 12:05): The Twins had better wrapped up the spot before here, but uncertainty looms beyond that after losing Miguel Sano for possibly the playoff game with the Yanks or beyond, as his shin injury has been slow to heal. Minnesota goes with Bartolo Colon, who has come off the scrap heap to provide some help, but is fading miserably down the stretch. Anibal Sanchez turned in two fantastic outings last week, racking up 19 strikeouts and allowing one earned run in each game, but still has an ERA over 8 on the road.