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Normally, there would be a good reason to fade the Tigers as a favorite. But they’re 7-4 in their last 11 games despite losing the first game of this series on Tuesday. Detroit is also 17-11 when favored this season, which is one of the best-winning percentages in the majors as a favorite. With Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound, there are plenty of reasons to believe the Tigers respond to Tuesday’s loss with a victory over the Reds, who are feeling the pressure of being in a tight playoff race.
While Rodriguez endured some struggles in July that likely took him out of the Cy Young discussion, he’s come back around in August and September, now owning a 3.18 ERA on the year. Since the start of August, the Tigers are 5-2 in his starts because the lefty has pitched well and gone deep in games to reduce the strain on Detroit’s bullpen. While the Reds boast some talented young hitters, most haven’t seen Rodriguez before. The Reds are also just 5-6 in September, so they’ve been feeling the pressure and may not respond well if Rodriguez is sharp out of the game.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati will be relying on 22-year-old rookie Connor Phillips. He made his MLB debut last week, giving up five runs on six hits over 4.2 innings. To be fair, he struck out seven despite being bounced in the fifth inning. But he also walked two and gave up two home runs. Even though the Reds are giving him a second chance, it’s possible that he’s just not ready for the big leagues, especially since he’s joined the Reds in the middle of a playoff race. That pressure could get to him, making the Tigers the best bet in this game, especially with Rodriguez on the mound.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
This might be the most important game on the schedule on Wednesday as far as the playoff race is concerned. Texas has taken the first two games of this series, putting them half a game ahead of Toronto and Seattle in the Wild Card standings, as the Blue Jays and Mariners are now for the final Wild Card spot. While the Rangers have a four-game winning streak, they’ve been a little too erratic in recent weeks to think that streak is going to continue much longer, especially with Jordan Montgomery on the mound. His recent struggles make Toronto the best bet in this matchup.
The acquisition of Montgomery at the trade deadline just hasn’t worked out for Texas. The lefty had a few good starts immediately after the trade, but he’s gotten shelled recently. Across his last two starts, Montgomery has allowed 11 runs on 15 hits over 9.1 innings. Keep in mind those starts came against the Twins and A’s, who aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts. The Rangers are now 2-5 in Montgomery’s starts, including four consecutive losses. Things clearly aren’t trending in the right direction for Montgomery, making this a bad time to face a Toronto lineup with some serious firepower, especially with the Blue Jays averaging 5.9 runs per game over their last 12 games.
Toronto will counter Montgomery with fellow lefty Yusei Kikuchi, who has been a little more reliable lately than Montgomery. Kikuchi posted a 3.03 ERA in August and has a 2.79 ERA over his first two starts in September. Going back a little further, the lefty has allowed two runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts. Granted, Kikuchi doesn’t always go deep in games. But he has a good track record against some of the key hitters in the Texas lineup and should at least give the Blue Jays four or five innings to score some runs against Montgomery and position themselves for a much-needed win.
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
This has not been San Diego’s season, as the Padres have fallen well short of expectations. They’ve also gone 3-9 in head-to-head games against the Dodgers. However, the Padres have a chance to take a series from Los Angeles with a win on Wednesday, which would be a nice consolation prize for them. With Blake Snell on the mound, San Diego has a chance to make that happen, especially since the Dodgers have scuffled lately, going 5-7 in their last 12 games. Given those recent struggles for Los Angeles, this is a great time to take a chance on the Padres as slight underdogs.
Despite their losing record in September, the Dodgers are still favored in Wednesday’s game because Ryan Pepiot is on the mound. He’s made four starts since being recalled in mid-August and has been brilliant. In those four starts, Pepiot has allowed two runs on nine hits over 21 innings of work, giving him a 0.86 ERA. That’s nothing short of dominance, albeit in a small sample size. The other caveat is that Pepiot hasn’t faced too many top-flight offensive teams, as two of his starts have come against the Marlins. While the Padres can go cold at times, they have some heavy hitters in their lineup. They’ve also scored 11 runs twice in their last five games and scored at least five runs in seven of their 11 games in September, so they do pose a legitimate threat to Pepiot.
More importantly, the Padres always have a good chance of winning with Snell on the mound. He ranks second in the majors in ERA at 2.52 and fourth in strikeouts. The lefty has pitched 19 innings over his last three starts, allowing just two runs on 10 hits during that span, so he’s been every bit as good as Pepiot in recent weeks. The kicker is that the Padres have won eight of the last nine games that Snell has started, including a win over the Dodgers in early August. Even with the Los Angeles lineup heating up in recent days, this is still a good opportunity to get value with San Diego listed as an underdog with Snell on the mound.
Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
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