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Pretty nice day on the diamond overall. The Rockies couldn’t score two more runs to give us the sweep, but again, I’ll always take a 2-1 day over a losing day. Let’s see what we can do today.
Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay
Guess which team in Major League Baseball strikes out more than any other team… That’s right, it is the Tampa Bay Rays. Tonight, they have the unenviable task of facing Chris Sale and the Red Sox. All Sale has done since he returned from injury is strikeout 21 batters in 15.1 innings while allowing 4 earned runs. Over the 72 times that Rays hitters have faced Sale, they’ve struck out 25 times. Assuming Sale goes six innings tonight, he should face between 20 and 25 batters. If he strikes out a third of those, as is his career average experience against the Rays, he should get to 8 strikeouts. His strikeout total is 7.5, heavily juiced toward the under. I’m playing the over at +116, he’s too good and the Rays are too accommodating with strikeouts to pass this up.
Orioles vs. Blue Jays
The Orioles stole a game from the Blue Jays, can they do it back-to-back days? Well, they have one good thing going for them, they are one of the best hitting teams against left-handed pitching in all of baseball. Tonight, they face Steven Matz who has a 4.20 home ERA and slightly higher 4.50 night game ERA. He had a great August though, going 27 innings and allowing only four earned runs. It was by far his best month. Now the question is will it continue? The Orioles are 6-for-18 against him in their previous at-bats. Matt Harvey goes for the Orioles and despite him pitching better lately, the Blue Jays have absolutely mashed him, giving up 13 runs in 13.1 innings this season. Harvey has faced Blue Jays hitters 84 times, allowing 31 hits, including three home runs in 14 at-bats to George Springer. In fact, the last “bad” game Harvey had was against the Blue Jays. I’m looking at both pitchers to be strong enough for the game and keep the under 9.5 runs alive. Play that at -104. I’m also playing Springer to hit a dinger at +280.
Brewers vs. Giants
You have two really strong pitchers that have been very effective enough at keeping their team in the game while they pitch. Brett Anderson for the Brewers is likely to give up two or three runs through five innings then hand the game over to the bullpen. Against the Giants, he allows a hit just about every third batter, so they should have some men on the basepaths this game. Kevin Gausman has a 2.49 ERA but is more hittable at his home ballpark. He too is likely to give up two or three runs over five or six innings. Brewers’ hitters are getting a hit off of him about once every five at-bats, so expect some clean innings from him. Ultimately, I think the Giants win the first half of this game but at -188, I won’t pay that price. Instead, I’ll take them to win this game by 2 runs (run line) at +125.