NYM: Marcus Stroman – R (7-11, 3.18 ERA/1.30 WHIP)
The Braves will make an unusual road trip out to Colorado to face the Rockies for just one game – this is a makeup date for an April 10 cancellation due to inclement weather.
Moneyline – Cubs @ Mets (-114)
The Mets were the slight favorites at the open, but it looks like the Cubs gained some steam not too long after. These two teams split the four-game series back in late-June, and the Cubs were much larger favorites in the first three games of this series before being nearly identical for the finale. Both teams do, however, come into tonight’s game being swept in their previous series – Chicago by Washington, New York by Atlanta.
Cubs Betting Form
Yu Darvish is coming off one of the worst outings of the season in his last start against the Giants, but that was mainly attributed to heavy winds blowing to the outfield – he did allow a season-high four homers. Earlier this season against the Mets, Darvish allowed four runs (two homers) in six innings of work en route to a 5-4 Cubs loss.
The Cubs’ offense has been somewhat mediocre over the last month, so they’ll look to close it out on a high note. They still have marquee names like Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Javy Baez which always makes life difficult on opposing pitchers.
Mets Betting Form
Marcus Stroman left his start against the Indians due to hamstring tightness. He hasn’t necessarily been a great addition for the Mets, but there’s still plenty of meaningful baseball left for the right-hander to make his mark. For what it’s worth, the Mets have won all four of the games he’s started and the trade for him sort of signaled that this team was going all-in for the stretch run.
The Mets’ offense has slowed down a bit over the last week, but this team has lots of upside against Darvish in this matchup. We can attribute some of those struggles to facing solid pitching teams like the Braves and Indians, but the Cubs are no slouch either.
Betting Tip: Under 8.5
This game is monumental for the NL Wild Card race, so we should expect to see tons of bullpen work late and that bodes well for each side. While neither starting pitcher is necessarily in peak form, both offenses can certainly say the same about themselves. Four of the last five games at Citi Field have gone under the total, and it’s likely that we’ll see the same tonight.
St Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers
Time: 7:40 p.m. EST
STL: Miles Mikolas – R (7-13, 4.43 ERA/1.25 WHIP)
MIL: Adrian Houser – R (6-5, 3.62 ERA/1.28 WHIP)
The Milwaukee Brewers sit 4.5 games back of the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central race. The Cards have won 13 of their last 16 games, with two of them coming against the Brewers in a three-game series last week.
Moneyline – Cardinals @ Brewers (-146)
For the second straight evening, the Brewers opened as convincing favorites over the Cardinals. And this is strange, considering the Cardinals have now won 14 of the last 17 games. What’s even more interesting, is that the Brewers’ moneyline has increased from -123 at the open to now being -146.
Cardinals Betting Form
As we mentioned, the Cardinals are now 14-3 over the last 17 games. However, they’ll put Miles Mikolas on the mound and he’s allowed five earned runs in each of his last three starts – yet, the Cardinals have still won two of those games. Nonetheless, Mikolas has not pitched well on the road this season, posting a 2-8 record and 6.54 ERA in 13 starts.
The Cardinals’ offense is rocking and rolling over the last five games, scoring a total of 43 runs. Look for that trend, at least, to continue.
Brewers Betting Form
After a few bullpen outings, Adrian Houser has returned to the starting rotation with a renewed sense of confidence. The second-year righty has now allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his last five starts. Tonight’s matchup against the Cardinals presents a whole slew of problems, but he did face them in his last outing, allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings en route to getting the Brewers a 5-3 victory.
While Milwaukee’s offense is doing the complete opposite of what St. Louis is, tonight’s matchup is a great one against Mikolas. The Brewers only faced him once this season but did hang five runs (via three homers) in five innings en route to a 5-4 victory.
Betting Tip: Over 9
Given how the Cardinals’ offense is operating at the moment, the over seems quite plausible in this one. Not to mention, the current form of Mikolas should certainly help the Brewers’ offense get back on track.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Houston Astros
Time: 8:10 p.m. EST
TB: Charlie Morton – R (13-5, 2.85 ERA/1.06 WHIP)
HOU: Justin Verlander – R (15-5, 2.77 ERA/0.81 WHIP)
Moneyline – Rays @ Astros (-175)
Not much has changed on the Astros’ moneyline since the open, but the total did drop from 8.0 to 7.5 almost immediately.
Rays Betting Form
Charlie Morton makes his return to Houston, after spending two years there and even winning a World Series title. The right-hander has had a mixed bag of starts recently, but the common theme of the opposing starting pitcher on the other side is for them to match him pitch for pitch. Morton hasn’t the Astros since the opening series of the season and allowed two runs over five innings while striking out eight.
The Rays’ offense sputtered in their last two games at Baltimore over the weekend, which both turned out to be losses. Things will get much more difficult for them tonight against one of the best pitchers in baseball. As you’ll find out in a bit, they may have some good luck, but it won’t come in a high volume.
Astros Betting Form
In stunning style, Justin Verlander has been a part of sports betting history in two of his last three starts. August 11 at Baltimore marked the biggest underdog moneyline for a team and it came against Verlander, despite him allowing only two runs in a 3-2 Orioles win. Not to be outdone, the Tigers were bigger underdogs on August 21 when they became the biggest underdog moneyline winner with a 2-1 victory – Verlander was also magnificent in that game, allowing only two hits, but they were both homers.
Nonetheless, Verlander has posted a double-digit number of strikeouts in each of his last seven starts. The Astros haven’t been giving him a ton of help on offense, and it’ll certainly get much more difficult against Morton.
Betting Tip: Under 7.5
As we mentioned at the top, the under dropped from 8.0 to 7.5. This is probably a good sign for both starting pitchers having breakout performances tonight. In fact, six of the last seven games that Verlander started had a total of seven runs or fewer scored. Do you believe in signs?
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