NL East gets interesting

Aug 28, 2019 3:01 AM

With approximately 30 games remaining in the regular season, excitement around the league is beginning to peak. 

The most interesting development to me is the situation occurring in the NL East. The division has become the most competitive in all of baseball, as four teams sport winning records. 

The Braves, who have played some of the most consistent baseball we’ve seen by any team this season, owned a six-game lead over the Nationals as the week began Monday. Washington has also heated up, riding a five-game win streak. 

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Then there are the Phillies and Mets, who are just 1.5 and 2.0 GB of a wild card spot respectively. In my opinion, keep an eye on Atlanta and Philly, as they are the only teams with winning road records in the division. If there is any team that can give the NL’s best team, the Dodgers, some issues, I still feel it is the Braves.

The Cardinals have also started to hit their stride, winning their last four outings and taking a 2.5-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central. The Brewers are only 2.0 GB of a wild card slot. But unlike the two teams in the East, the Central does not consist of a single team with a winning road record. This will crush whichever team represents this division come the postseason.   

After a valiant effort in which they went on a 33-12 run, the Indians have cooled off a bit, going 4-8 the last 12. They still own a wild card spot and are just 3.5 games in back of the Twins in the AL Central. This team has the experience and the savvy to surprise Minny and I wouldn’t count them out just yet. 

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The Yankees went on the road to Chavez Ravine and took two of three from the Dodgers over the weekend. Currently, New York is 4-1 to win the World Series, while Los Angeles is at 5-2. Keep in mind that the Yankees are 27-13 in the Fall Classic, while the Dodgers are 6-14. 

By the way, these two teams have met 11 times with baseball supremacy on the line, with New York taking eight of the 11 World Series meetings. 

Speaking of the Bronx Bombers, it brings me into this week’s Best Bets. I am so happy that we are on a 14-5 run the last eight weeks. I am going to do my best to keep this going straight through the end of October for you. 

Wednesday

Yankees at Mariners: Just about everyone has taken a bite out of Seattle lately, but New York has made it an art form. The Yankees have taken three of four meetings over the Mariners in 2019 and own a 21-6 record the last 27 games played at T-Mobile Park. 

They send James Paxton to the hill. The left-hander owns a 10-6 record with an ERA of 4.43 on the season with 150 K’s in 120.0 IP. The University of Kentucky product has won five consecutive starts over such notables as the Red Sox, Indians, and Dodgers. 

The Mariners give Justus Sheffield the nod here. The rookie lefty has a record of 0-0, with a whopping ERA of 6.43. Sheffield is making just the second start ever and his seventh overall appearance. Facing his old team (three appearances for NY last season, ERA of 10.13) will not give the 22-year old any advantage. The Yankees’ lineup ranks 2nd in scoring (5.85 RPG), 3rd in team BA (.272), and 2nd in HR’s (241). 

To make matters worse, New York accounts for over 6.25 RPG on the road this season. The four earlier meetings saw lines go from -124 up to -158. If this line happens to rise higher, then you can feel confident playing NY on the run line. YANKEES

Indians at Tigers: Cleveland has devoured Detroit, winning 11 straight meetings against their AL Central rivals this season, en route to a 12-1 overall series mark in 2019.

Mike Clevinger gets the road start. The right-hander (9-2, 3.00) owns an 8-0 record over his last 10 turns and has fanned 113 batters in just 78.0 IP. Daniel Norris take the bump at home. The lefty (3-10, 4.70) has a mere one win in his last 18 starts. 

The Indians, which are in a wild card spot, need every win they can get right now as they want the AL Central title. They have had amazing success at Comerica Park, where they are 25-10 the last 35 games played. In Cleveland’s 12 victories over Detroit this season, the average margin of victory has been 4.66 RPG, with only one meeting being decided by a single run. 

This is a team that accounts for over 4.86 RPG as a visitor while Detroit puts up just 3.39 RPG when paying host. INDIANS RUN LINE

Last week: 2-1

Season: 31-22

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