After a lot of grinding, we finally come off of a huge day with 2 1/2 weeks left in the MLB Regular Season. Do we have one last major run in us as the importance of games ramp up?
Joe C. Record 140-88 +46.70 Units
New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays: Heavy Chalk
There is nothing but heavy chalk on the board as teams are in "must win" situations. You don't want to get yourself into a situation after a great season in which you deal with the heavy chalk routinely but sometimes, it's unavoidable.
We are in a decent spot and ready to make a run, but one big loser of great odds set you back. This is my thinking going into today. I don't love Adam Warren starting for the Yankees, especially against Jake Odorizzi, but New York has been my 'bread and butter" all season long and they have a lot more at stake than the Rays.
For once, the Yankees are the underdogs as they've made up 1 1/2 games on the Toronto Blue Jays in 2 days as they sit at 79-64 and just 3 games behind the Blue Jays.
I always say that good pitching wins games and at this point in the season, the starter will be given a short leash, therefore Adam Warren (3.29 ERA, 1 SV) concerns me a lot less as he only pitches 3 innings or less per ball game. This can be very taxing on the bullpen and the Yankees offense will need to produce more than the 3 hits that they did yesterday as they came back from a 1-0 deficit in the 9th inning with 4 runs to win the ball game 4-1.
Alex Rodriguez came up with a clutch RBI double and Slade Heathcott delivered the winner with a 3 run home run. It appears that destiny is on New York's side and they will need for this to continue when they face Jake Odorizzi.
A Major Advantage
Odorizzi (7-8, 3.21) is coming off of a superb start in which he pitched 6 scoreless innings in a victory over Detroit. For the season, he hasn't had great luck against the Bombers as he's pitched to a 5.68 ERA in 19 innings against New York this season. This game will come down, once again, to the Yankees hitting and the Yankees have proven that they can deliver with guys such as Slade Heathcott.
MLB Pick: Yankees (+113) at BetOnline 3 UNIT PLAY
Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies: Belief In Irony
I expressed this in a previous article about how Washington was too far behind the Mets and in the wild card picture to catch anyone, but they face a bottom-feeder such as the Philadelphia Phillies and should sweep this series.
They took game 1 and are now on a mini 2 game winning streak and Stephen Strasburg (8-7, 4.30) gets the start. Although Strasburg hasn't lived up to expectations, he should have no problems here as the MLB betting odds are indicative of that opinion. Strasburg is coming off of a strong outing in a game in which he lost against the New York Mets. He allowed 3 runs and 5 hits in 7 1/3 innings and struckout 13 batters. Philadelphia doesn't have the offensive talent to handle the nasty stuff that he delivers. look for Stephen Strasburg to have a big game and shut down the Fightin Phils.
"Werth" the Money"
Yesterday, we talked about Bryce Harper. Today we talk about Jayson Werth as Werth was the catalyst in Washington's 8-7 victory yesterday as he hit 2 home runs and the game winning home run in the 10th inning to put Washington over the top to defeat the Phillies. Bryce Harper still had another great game as advertised as he was 2 for 5 with a home runs, but Monday was Werth's night as he came up with the game winner from the cleanup position..
Philadelphia simply has no fight in them and luck comes into play a bit when a team is used to losing. Take the heavy chalk with 1 unit on the Nats with a pick Tuesday as they need to win basically every game to get back into the playoff picture.
MLB Pick: Nationals (-225) at 5Dimes 1 UNIT PLAY