The time is running out, and some teams need to start winning if they want to stay in the MLB playoff picture. Wednesday night brings a few encounters that promise great battle. We want to take a look at those tricky matchups to see if there’s any value.
Two NL East rivals meet each other at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The Phillies welcome the Braves in the second of a four-game series. Entering the opening contest last night, the Braves sat top of the NL East. They will almost certainly win the divisional title, but the Phillies are in a must-win situation.
Philadelphia is three games behind the wild-card spot. The Phillies will meet Atlanta once more this month, and they travel to Cleveland and Washington, too. Hereof, the Phillies desperately need to beat the Braves tonight.
Philadelphia will start Zach Eflin, and the Phillies are 2-8 in his last ten starts. Zach has a 4.31 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP in 2019. He’s 2-2 in five starts against the Braves in his career. On the other side, Dallas Keuchel (3.47 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) will get the ball for the Braves, looking for his fifth straight victory.
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Atlanta is playing in a great form, winning ten of its last 11 games before the opener in Philadelphia. The Phillies won six of their previous 12 contests overall. Also, they struggled against the left-handers this season, tallying 15 wins and 22 losses.
Considering all the facts, the Phillies will have a tall task tonight. Still, at +120 odds in front of the home fans, they are certainly worth a shot.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets are both chasing the wild card in the National League. The D-backs are three games behind the Chicago Cubs, while the Mets are trailing by four games. They will meet each other tonight in the third of a four-game series in New York.
The Mets won the opener 3-1 on Monday. It was their second win over the last ten outings at home. Also, they defeated Arizona at Citi Field for the fourth time in a row. On the other side, the D-backs lost just two of their 13 games prior to Monday’s defeat.
Despite D-Backs’ excellent form, the Mets are slight -115 favorites to win tonight. We’ll see the battle between two southpaw pitchers who have been playing very well lately. The D-backs won eight of Robbie Ray’s last ten starts. The Mets won five of Steven Matz’s previous eight starts.
Ray is 2-0 in four starts against the Mets in his career. Matz is 1-1 in his four starts against Arizona. While the Diamondbacks have a 23-17 record against the left-hander starting pitcher, the Mets are just 14-21. This one could easily go either way.
Finally, we’ll see the AL West showdown at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Astros host the Oakland Athletics in the third of a four-game set. Houston won the opener 15-0 just one day after a 21-1 victory over Seattle.
However, the Athletics bounced back on Tuesday. They humiliated the Astros and scored 17 points in the first four innings. Likewise, they recorded 18 hits in that span.
Both Oakland and Houston need a win tonight. The A’s are fighting for the wild card with Tampa Bay and Cleveland. The Astros, on the other side, are racing for the best record in the league. The bookies haven’t announced the odds yet, but the Astros should be listed as favorites around -145.
Framber Valdez should take the hill for the hosts, and the lefty is 4-7 this term with a 5.62 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP. Houston is 2-5 in Framber’s last seven outings, and this could be a tough matchup for him. The A’s are 28-12 against the southpaw starter. They destroyed Wade Miley last night.
On the other hand, Houston is 31-9 versus the left-handers and will meet Brett Anderson. Oakland’s lefty is 11-9 this season and 2-4 in the last eight starts. He has a 4.08 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.
I expect a thrilling clash at Minute Maid Park. If the price is right, I would go with the Astros to win. They are 7-2 in the last nine home meetings with Oakland and 18-2 in the previous 20 home matchups with the AL West.
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