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The Cubs are in a must-win game on Tuesday against the Braves. Chicago is hanging on by a thread to the final Wild Card spot, and it won’t be easy to stay with their series against the Braves beginning. Atlanta is one of the best teams in baseball, and the number one seed in the National League playoffs.
However, the one blessing for Chicago is that they have their ace on the mound in Justin Steele. This is a game the Cubs desperately need because Steele gives them their best chance to win. We believe Steele will be extra motivated by the Wild Card spot, and this is why we’re going to lean on the over for his strikeout total.
Steele’s total is listed at 4.5 and the over is -166. The pitcher is 16-5 on the season with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Over 168 innings, he has recorded 170 strikeouts. He has hit this total in ten straight games.
This includes a start against the Braves on August 6, where he pitched 5.1 innings and fanned seven batters. The Cubs won 6-4 and we’re expecting a similar performance from Steele. This line will undoubtedly jump to 5.5 for lower juice by game time. At 5.5 it’s still a viable betting option, but the 4.5 line is a good deal because of Steele’s high hit rate.
Tanner Houck has been one of the better starters for the Boston Red Sox this season, but that isn’t saying a lot in 2023. The Red Sox pitching staff hasn’t been strong, and they’re not getting better at this point in the season, as they finish the year against the Rays and Orioles.
Both teams are still fighting for playoff positioning, and we should see a motivated Rays team on Tuesday. This is why we’re going with the under on Tanner Houck’s strikeout total. The line is listed at 5.5 and the juice is -122. This is a very fair price against a Rays team that has been solid at the plate.
The Rays are 11th in MLB in most strikeouts, but we don’t see them swinging and missing much on Tuesday. The first reason is because Houck’s primary start averages five innings. In his last start, he struck out four batters in four innings against the Rangers, so he doesn’t have a lot of momentum coming into this contest.
He has only gone over 5.5 strikeouts once in his past five games against the Yankees. New York doesn’t have the same caliber of offense as the Rays. Look for Tampa Bay to shine at this game and score at Fenway Park on Tuesday.
The Rangers have a 2.5-game lead in the AL West and should maintain that lead in the final stretch of the season. However, the final AL Wild Card is coming down to the wire between the Astros and Mariners.
Houston currently holds a 1.5-game Wild Card lead over Seattle. Yet, we don’t believe this game will go in favor of the Astros. We’re taking Seattle on the moneyline in this contest, which means Julio Rodriguez needs to have a big night.
His 2+ bases total has a -145 price attached, but this is still worth paying. Rodriguez is the best hitter for the Mariners and the player that sets the tone for his team. He has been tremendous this season, considering he is 22, batting .283 with 31 homers, 101 RBI, and a .835 OPS.
Rodriguez has gone over this total in two of his past three games. He can hit this total in one swing with a home run or a double. He will face Cristian Javier who is 9-4 with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP.
Javier was strong in his last start, but he hasn’t been overly effective as of late. Take Rodriguez to have a big night at the plate.
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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