MLB Picks: Wild Card outlook for Tuesday’s games

LT Profits Sports Group

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The American League wild card race has come down to the final week, and the LT Profits Group have selections for games involving the top three teams chasing the final wild card spot Tuesday.

The American League wild card race has come down to the last week of the regular season, and we have MLB picks in games involving the top three teams in pursuit of the second and final wild card spot on Tuesday.

The Tampa Bay Rays seem to be in pretty good shape on the MLB odds for one wild card spot after beating the Baltimore Orioles on a walk-off pinch-hit ninth-inning home run by James Loney, as they are sitting in the first wild card position by one game over the Cleveland Indians in the second wild card spot, but more importantly with a two-game lead over the Texas Rangers, who are on the outside looking in.

Thus, Cleveland has a one-game lead over Texas for the final playoff spot with the Kansas City Royals clinging for dear life but still fighting hard at three games behind the Indians. The Royals need the Indians to lose some games to stay alive provided Kansas City keep winning, and if our Tuesday predictions hold true, the Royals may still have life! Here are our predictions for Tuesday night with all odds coming from Pinnacle Sports.

Chicago White Sox +206 over Cleveland Indians (7:05 ET): Ironically the Indians may be the least talented of the three teams currently chasing the second wild card, but to their credit they have taken advantage of a relatively easy September schedule that continues this week with two games vs. this White Sox team that has the second worst record in the American League ahead of only Houston before ending the season with a four-game series on the road vs. the fourth place Minnesota Twins. And this is after just competing a four-game sweep of those league worst Astros this past weekend. With that said, tonight’s game is hardly a given even with the hot Ubaldo Jimenez on the bump, as the White Sox actually offer nice value at this price with Hector Santiago, who obviously deserves better than a 4-9 record and would probably be a winning pitcher on a team that scores more runs. That is because Santiago has a 3.53 ERA and 136 strikeouts on 142.2 innings, but most impressively, he has allowed three earned runs or less in 19 of his 22 starts! Santiago has also allowed three earned runs or less in three of his four starts vs. Cleveland over the last two seasons, so we feel Chicago offers long-term value and could pull the upset here, much to the delight of the clubs chasing the Tribe.

[gameodds]3/243965/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Texas Rangers -334 over Houston Astros (8:05 ET): We thought that the Rangers were vulnerable as humongous favorites last night with Derek Holland on the hill, and all that Texas did was win 12-0. Oops! Now the Rangers have ace Yu Darvish on the hill vs. the worst team in baseball taking on Brad Peacock, and although the young Peacock appears to have nice potential, we just don’t think the Astros will score enough runs off of Darvish to be competitive tonight despite the attractive price. Darvish has as deceiving a 13-9 record as you will ever see as he has actually been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season, if not the very best. Darvish has a fantastic 2.81 ERA and 1.06 WHIP while yielding a miniscule .193 batting average, and he leads the Major Leagues with 260 strikeouts in only 198.2 innings against just 74 walks. And then there are Darvish’s performances vs. Houston this season as he has faced them four times and has allowed 11 hits in 29.2 innings with two near no-hitters while striking out 43 Astros and walking eight! He had been pitching in terrible luck somehow going winless in six straight starts, a period that included back-to-back 1-0 losses, before finally breaking through with a win at Tampa Bay last time out.

[gameodds]3/243970/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Kansas City Royals -128 over Seattle Mariners (10:10 ET): The Royals had a difficult time with the pesky Mariners here in Seattle last night while uncharacteristically blowing several leads before winning 6-5 in 12 innings, with the turning point being when they got out of a bases loaded, nobody out jam in the 10th inning when left fielder Alex Gordon threw out Seattle’s Kyle Seager at the plate for the final out. The Royals have already clinched their first winning record in many years with their 83 wins, but this youthful bunch is apparently not ready for the season to end with four wins in the last five games to stay in the hunt. Their starter tonight Bruce Chen did not begin the year in the starting rotation, but he has certainly helped stabilize it by going 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Seattle counters with young James Paxton, who has certainly looked impressive in his three starts with a 2.12 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, but this will be the most pressurized game that he has pitched in and the Royals look like a confident bunch right now. Also the Royals should have a huge edge if the bullpens get involved, as the Kansas City pen has a sparkling 2.08 ERA the last 10 games while the Seattle pen has an ugly 5.91 ERA in that same span.

[gameodds]3/243976/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]