After an exciting full slate of baseball on Sunday, we’ve only got 9 games scheduled on Monday. With under four weeks left in the season, there will be plenty of playoff implications.
The Guardians will be hoping to build on their lead in the Central, as the Angels come to town for the beginning of the home stretch. The game of the day is in Toronto, where we’ll see two teams fighting for playoff positioning in the AL Wildcard race. In the nightcap, we’ll see if Spencer Strider can lead the Braves to a bounce-back victory in San Francisco.
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6:10 PM EST Los Angeles Angels (+102) @ Cleveland Guardians (-120)
Starting Pitchers: Reid Detmers (LAA) vs Konnor Pilkington (CLE)
The Guardians have won 5 of their last 6 and are now attempting to take control of the AL Central. Their recent hot stretch has widened their lead to two and a half games over the White Sox. Tonight’s matchup will mark the first game of a 9-game homestand for Cleveland. Konnor Pilkington will be getting the ball for the Guardians on his 25th birthday. Pilkington is 1-2 on the year with a 3.99 ERA.
Despite having a hot Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in their lineup the Angels remain mediocre at best. Trout, who missed last night’s 12-4 loss to the Astros, has homered in the last six games he’s been in the lineup. He should be penciled in tonight alongside Ohtani. Reid Detmers will be on the bump tonight for the Angels. Detmers has been the second most consistent starting pitcher on this team, after Ohtani. The 2020 first-round pick Detmers is 5-5 this year with a 3.67 ERA.
Both teams have inexperience on the mound tonight. Each lineup is hot so we can expect this to be a high-scoring game. The Guardians are playing the better baseball of the two teams and will need this win much more. It could be a back-and-forth contest but the Guardians will get the better of Anaheim when this game gets into the bullpens.
Wicked Wagers – Guardians ML (-120) / Total Runs o7.5 (-118)
7:07 PM EST Tampa Bay Rays (+132) @ Toronto Blue Jays (-150)
Starting Pitchers: Cooper Criswell (TBR) vs Jose Berrios (TOR)
It will be Cooper Criswell’s second career start in the big leagues when he takes the mound tonight against the Blue Jays. He’ll be going up against the much more experienced Jose Berrios. Berrios has not had a good 2022 campaign. His win-loss record looks nice, but his ERA is hovering above 5. Criswell made 8 appearances this year in AAA and never went beyond 4 innings pitched in any one of them.
Each of these teams will be fighting for playoff positioning over the remainder of the season. They’re only separated by half a game in the standings, making this series even more critical.
The Jays are the smarter bet here. We don’t know what to expect from Criswell on the mound, but he probably won’t go beyond three innings. Berrios hasn’t been great this year, but he’s been effective in 3 of his last 4 starts, including his last one. The Jays are going to need a good performance out of him tonight.
There’s going to be a lot of hits in this one. Probably a lot of scoring too. Take the Jays to edge them out late though.
Wicked Wagers – Blue Jays ML (-156) / Total Runs o8.5 (-118)
9:40 PM EST Atlanta Braves (-186) @ San Francisco Giants (+160)
Starting Pitchers: Spencer Strider (ATL) vs Alex Cobb (SFG)
The Braves are coming off a heartbreaking loss in Seattle to the playoff-hopeful Mariners. That loss and a Mets win on Sunday means the Braves are now a game and a half back in the division. They’ll be going up against a Giants team that has not played very good baseball since mid-June.
Spencer Strider will be taking the mound for the Braves tonight. Strider is having a sensational season and will be coming into this one hoping to make it 5 straight quality starts for the righty. Alex Cobb will be opposing him for the Giants. Cobb has had an average year but has pitched much better over the last month. He’ll have to deal with a Braves lineup that features a number of guys that can leave the yard. If Strider doesn’t win the Rookie of the Year Award it will be his teammate Michael Harris II. Harris, 21, had his first career multi-home run game yesterday. 17 of Harris’ 18 long balls this year have come off righties. He’ll be a threat to go deep again tonight at Oracle Park.
The Braves will be needing to pick up wins, while the Giants will be playing the role of spoiler the rest of the way. The advantage goes to the Braves in the pitching matchup tonight. It also goes to them in the lineup. Look for the bats to come out aggressive today early in counts. There’s good value in taking them in the run line.
Wicked Wager – Braves Run Line -1.5 (-103)