It is the time year where not every game matters with many teams out of the playoff chase. Nonetheless, key series are emerging weekly and to win you have to know your MLB odds.
These matchups begin to frame how the postseason will pan out and baseball handicappers have to spend extra time looking over the pitchers and hitters to assign the right value to be accurate for sports picks.
Here is our three-pack of the biggest games of the day, reviewing the starting pitchers and teams against the sportsbooks betting odds.
Pirates vs. Mets: Happ vs. Colon
At least Pittsburgh didn't get swept in St. Louis, but with the red-hot Cubs breathing down their necks, the Pirates road trip does not get any easier. Pittsburgh just faced the team with the best home record in the majors and next face the Mets, who have the second-best home mark at 42-18 (+21.8 units), talk about a tough road trip!
J.A. Happ (4-7, 4.82 ERA) is back with a National League team after spending most of time with the team on the other side of Pennsylvania and he will called upon to slow a New York club that is on a 14-4 roll. Happ has not started in 10 days and skipper Clint Hurdle hopes the break refreshes Happ whose last three starts has him posting a gargantuan 12.54 ERA.
The Mets Bartolo Colon (10-11, 4.76) has not been a whole lot better with a 1-7 record over his last nine starts and a bloated 5.30 ERA. New York is a -120 home favorite but has lost 12 of 16 to the Bucs, however, for MLB picks, Colon has been super in series openers with a 13-2 mark on Friday's the last three seasons. (Team's Record)
Slight Advantage - Colon and N.Y. Mets
Yankees vs. Blue Jays: Nova vs. Price
Ivan Nova (4-4, 3.52) and David Price (11-4, 2.35) squared off last Saturday and Price was the right choice in Toronto's 6-0 white-washing. The Blue Jays are the talk of the town and go after a franchise-record 12th consecutive win in what promises to be an electric atmosphere with all three games sold out.
Though Toronto is technically in first place, they trail New York by a game in the loss column, having played three more times. Being traded to Toronto was good for Price, as lifetime he is 8-0 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 starts at the Rogers Centre. For the left-hander, he's either been good or awful against the Yankees (Last three starts for runs allowed - 0,8 and 8) and is 11-7 with a 4.31 ERA.
For Nova, it has been mostly bad and he's taking on baseball's best offense and has a 6.94 ERA in his last five starts versus the Blue Jays. Wagerweb.ag has the Jays and Price as decided -230 favorites and the lefty is 12-2 if his club is off a triumph this season. (Team's Record)
Advantage - Price and Toronto
Nationals vs. Giants: Scherzer vs. Cain
Washington has lost 10 of 14 and trails the Mets by four games in the loss column and they keep preaching they are staying calm and will turn it around. That thinking might have validity if the Nationals were an elite team just going through a bad spell, but at 58-56 (-10.2), this is .500 squad on a serious downward spiral.
For most of the season, one would believe Max Scherzer (11-8, 2.44) could bail out Washington, but he's surrendered seven runs in 12 innings of his most recent starts. On the plus side for MLB picks, the right-hander is 7-3 with a NL-best 1.87 ERA in dozen road starts. The other potential upside for Washington is seeing the tosses of the Giants Matt Cain (2-3, 5.59), who is 0-2 with a 7.80 ERA in his last three starts.
Washington and Scherzer are listed as -150 or higher favorites and since last season and he is 40-10 as a favorite of -150 or more. (Team's Record) Where some doubt creeps in is San Francisco is 10-3 as a home underdog of +100 or higher this season.
Slight Advantage - Scherzer and Washington