Typically, I will provide picks in article format for Tuesdays and Fridays. But it’s the last week of the MLB regular season, so let’s get crazy and give you some picks on a Monday. I had a 3-1 Sunday and currently sit at 125-101-1 (55.3%) overall. There are not as many games on Mondays, but I see enough spots to make you all some cash.
Indians vs. White Sox
I figured the White Sox would be able to get to the Cincinnati bullpen yesterday, but they walked the Reds like they were helping them prevent blood clots on a long flight. Either way, they lost handily, which is why I’m betting them here. Aaron Civale faces off against Dane Dunning in the series opener tonight. I trust Dunning and his 44.3% groundball rate. Civale pitched well against the Sox twice, but that was incredibly early (7/28 and 8/7). In his short season, Dunning’s peripherals are better than Civale’s, and the White Sox have a slightly stronger bullpen. In addition, the Indians have a team WRC+ of 85, while the Sox sport a 119. More than likely, the Sox will give Tim Anderson the day off after he exited Sunday’s game due to hamstring cramps. Not having his bat to spark the lineup will be tough, but look for Nick Madrigal to get things started instead.
Pick: White Sox +102
Pirates vs. Cubs
J.T. Brubaker, a guy whose last name sounds like his family owns a bread company, faces off with Jon Lester, who has been smacked around this season, like attending a Catholic School with nuns. Anyways, Brubaker has slowly transitioned into the role of starter for the Pirates, pitching five-plus innings in each of his past four appearances. Lester, on the other hand, has been all over the map. His Barrel Percentage ranks in the 8th percentile, which is atrocious, but he pitched well in his last two outings. The Pirates cannot hit the ball, which kind of matters (69 WRC+ as a team), and the Cubs have scored two runs in their last 27 innings. This is where I expect the Cubs to bounce back. The Cubs just need to put a couple runs together and hold the lead. It should do the trick.
Pick: Cubs -150
Mets vs. Rays
I saw this open last night at Mets -230, and I thought I was hallucinating. Yes, Jacob deGrom throws against Pete Fairbanks and the Rays bullpen, but Vegas was actually telling me that the Mets were worth that much juice against one of the best teams in the MLB. I do not think so. We know the prowess of deGrom, so I do not have to delve too deeply into that. Only Ryan Yarbrough and Oliver Drake threw for Tampa yesterday, so the rest of the bullpen should be fresh. If you combine Fairbanks with Aaron Loup, Ryan Thompson, Josh Fleming, and Nick Anderson, you should be able to make up for lost ground against Jacob deGrom. Don’t forget the Rays have one of the best bullpens in the MLB. Let’s also not forget that both the Mets and Rays have above-average offenses. The line was too large to pass up, even at this point. Take the Rays.
Pick: Rays +170
That does it for today’s picks, folks. As always, follow me on Twitter @cwsdjt. I give out picks daily in addition to these articles. There could even be a couple more picks later today, so stay tuned and good luck!