It’s the final weekend of the MLB regular season, and we have an amazing race to the finish in store! The AL Wild Card is still up for grabs, and the NL will see a 104+ game winner have to settle for a one-game playoff.
Is there value to be found in any of these hotly contested races? Let’s take a look and see.
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Let’s get after it!
Orioles at Blue Jays
- 0.5 units: 3-inning total under 3 (-155)
- 1.5 units: TOR -1.5 (-136)
Orioles starter John Means isn’t just the ace on a horrible Baltimore staff. He’s a legitimately solid pitcher. He has held hitters to a 2.05 ERA (3.60 FIP) and skimpy .184/.232/.320 slash line the 1st time through the order. He has given up 3 runs or fewer in his past 7 starts and rarely gets blown up. The Blue Jays lineup is potent – and this is a must-win game for the hosts – but it will be Baltimore’s league-worst bullpen (5.65 ERA) that coughs up the majority of the runs in the later innings today.
Toronto’s Alex Manoah has one of the best young arms in baseball. He has held RHBs to a .166/.257/.265 slash line in his first 104.2 IPs at the big-league level, and today faces a below-average Baltimore lineup with 7 right-handed hitters. He should have a quality start – especially in the early goings. In the off chance he struggles, the Blue Jays will give him a quick hook in what’s a must-win game for the hosts.
The Blue Jays have won 6 of their last 8 against Baltimore and scored an average of 8.6 runs in each of those games. I think this trend continues. Bet for the game to start slow, but Toronto to pull away in a blowout.
Padres at Giants
- 1.5 units: SF -1.5 (+125)
The Padres have absolutely mailed it in. They’ve lost 7 straight games and 17 of their last 20. Oof. Meanwhile, the Giants can clinch the NL West and best record in all of baseball with a win today.
Even San Diego starter Joe Musgrove has fallen off a cliff. An early-season Cy Young contender, the 28-year-old registered a 5.14 ERA in September. Two months ago, Musgrove locking horns with Kevin Gausman – himself a mid-season Cy Young-caliber standout – would have been a mouth-watering matchup. Today, it projects to be a yawner. Back the Giants to clinch and wrap up one of the most unexpectedly successful seasons in recent memory.
Tigers at White Sox
- 1 unit: CWS -1.5 (-136)
Chicago is still playing for seeding. If they gain one game on the Astros this weekend, the White Sox will host the ALDS. Meanwhile, Detroit has been content to plan for next year. Virtually all of the starters in their young rotation have been on lower pitch counts and Matt Manning should be no exception today. Manning hsn’t been especially effective even when he’s had a long leash. The 23 year-old right-hander’s 6.16 ERA (4.84 FIP, 5.29 xFIP) is more real than not.
The White Sox will counter with Lucas Giolito. The right-hander now has put together three straight seasons with an ERA around 3.50 and a K-BB% north of 21%. He projects as one of the top options on the entire slate, and should get all the run support he needs to comfortably log a spread-covering win.
Brewers at Dodgers
- 1 unit: MIL (+115)
Run, do not walk, to back Corbin Burnes and the Brewers as slight underdogs. Once the Giants win this afternoon, the Dodgers will have nothing to play for. They’ll likely trot out a watered down lineup and begin setting up their rotation to have all hands on deck for the NL Wild Card game. And did I mention Los Angeles needs to face Corbin Burnes, the best pitcher in baseball, either way?
This is the last game Milwaukee will be quasi-competitive in before the NLDS, so take the value on the visiting brew Crew before it dries up. You can consider the Brewers 5-inning moneyline at (+105) regardless.