The Atlanta Braves wrapped up their sixth straight National League East Division title after coming into the season listed by the MLB predictions as the favorite to win the division title.
When it comes to making MLB picks, keep an eye on the matchup between the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays as the teams with the best records in the American League clash in a huge AL East four-game series.
When making MLB predictions, keep in mind that the road favorites went 2-2 on Wednesday. The Miami Marlins, Minnesota Twins, and San Francisco Giants are road favorites on Wednesday.
When looking at the MLB news, former Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer will miss the rest of the regular season for the Texas Rangers and there are concerns that reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara might need to do the same.
According to our MLB playoff odds, the Atlanta Braves (+300) have the best odds to win the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers (+450), Houston Astros (+500), Baltimore Orioles (+800) and Tampa Bay Rays (+1000) aren’t far behind.
Thursday’s Best Prop Bets
Washington shortstop C.J. Abrams is batting .333 with three home runs and four extra-base hits in his last five games so keep that in mind when looking at the +125 moneyline for him to go over 1.5 total runs against Pittsburgh.
Pete Alonso of the New York Mets has hit three home runs in 13 career at-bats against Arizona’s Merrill Kelly so why not roll with the +300 odds for Alonso to hit his 45th home run of the season on Thursday?
After hitting a home run on Wednesday, Spencer Torkelson of the Detroit Tigers is hitting .333 with seven extra-base hits in 11 games in September. Feel free to go with Torkelson at +135 to go over 1½ total bases.
Spencer Torkelson created the Tigers home run celebration with the Red Wings hockey gear. Nobody has celebrated more with it this year.
He just hit his team-best 28th HR of the season.
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) September 13, 2023
None of the odds for the pitchers jump out, but it could be worth taking the +105 odds for Tampa Bay’s Aaron Civale to go over 4.5 strikeouts
Let’s Get Ready To Rumble
The Atlanta Braves wrapped up their sixth straight National League East Division title on Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the second-place Philadelphia Phillies as Austin Riley drove in three runs and Spencer Strider won his MLB-leading 17th game of the season.
Austin Riley just hit this baseball to the center field concourse. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/Z11OXFwOvZ
— MLB (@MLB) September 13, 2023
There should be some clarity when it comes to the American League East race by the end of the weekend.
The Baltimore Orioles lead the Tampa Bay Rays by two games heading into the four-game series in Baltimore that starts on Thursday.
Baltimore has won six of the nine games between the teams this season and that includes two of the three games played in Baltimore.
The series price has both teams listed at -115 heading into Thursday’s opener.
The good news is that the AL East runner-up will make the playoffs barring a major meltdown as Tampa Bay is 9½ games ahead of Toronto in the wild-card standings.
While National Cy Young candidates Strider and Blake Snell took care of business, Arizona’s Zac Gallen continued to have issues pitching on the road.
Strider struck out nine batters in seven innings to push his MLB-leading total to 259.
Snell regained the ERA lead among qualifier pitchers after allowing one hit and no runs in six innings in a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Snell continues to be listed by the MLB odds as the favorite to win the NL Cy Young.
Blake Snell continued his Cy Young campaign against the 1st place Dodgers.
He now sports a 1.31 ERA over his past 20 starts. pic.twitter.com/bemR4J6SN3
— MLB (@MLB) September 14, 2023
Gallen allowed eight hits and seven runs in five innings in a loss to the New York Mets as Arizona fell into a tie for Cincinnati for the final playoff spot in the National League.
Gallen can take solace that he is still in a better place than as a pair of former Cy Young Award winners.
The Rangers announced that three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer will miss the rest of the season due to shoulder issues. If the Rangers make the playoffs, there is a chance he could return for the postseason run.
Breaking: Rangers ace Max Scherzer is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season with a strained teres major — a muscle that connects the scapula to the humerus.
Scherzer is “unlikely” to pitch in the playoffs, according to Rangers GM Chris Young. pic.twitter.com/awusonhbKP
— ESPN (@espn) September 13, 2023
Scherzer is 4-2 with a 3.20 ERA in eight starts since being acquired from the New York Mets.
Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins is dealing with forearm and elbow issues that has his availability for the remainder of the season very much in question.
Rangers Eyeing Sweep
The Texas Rangers have a chance to make quite the statement with a win over Toronto on Thursday.
The Rangers and Blue Jays are among the teams vying for wild-card spots in the American League. The Rangers have won the first three games of the series and have outscored the host Blue Jays 26-7 to move ahead of Toronto to take over the final playoff spot in the American League.
There will be a top-notch pitching matchup in the series finale with Nathan Eovaldi going for Texas and Kevin Gausman getting the ball for the Blue Jays.
Pitching Matchup for Game 4 in TOR:
Nathan Eovaldi (2.90 ERA)
Kevin Gausman (3.28 ERA)
The Rangers look to extend their 5 game win streak
The Astros and Mariners have an off day, a win tonight would put the Rangers 0.5 games behind HOU in AL West, 1 game in front of SEA pic.twitter.com/7x3UHPM8BK
— Texas Rangers Insider (@RangersInsiders) September 14, 2023
Texas has struggled on the road this season but can move to .500 away from home with a win while Toronto would move back in front of Texas in the battle for the final wild-card spot with a victory.
All wins count the same in the standings. However, there is something special about getting the better of your division rival.
The Atlanta Braves not only have the best record in baseball (96-50) but the 30-9 mark versus the NL East is the best of any team in division play.
Baltimore is 28-16 and Tampa Bay is 24-16 when facing fellow AL East teams. Toronto is just 12-25 against the AL East and that is the difference between the Blue Jays fighting for a playoff spot and potentially challenging for the best record in the American League.
It might surprise some to find out that the Detroit Tigers have the best division record of 30-16 among American League teams. Houston also has 30 division wins. Meanwhile, the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers are 27-14 against the NL West.
Here’s a look at some of the injuries that could impact Thursday’s games.
Baltimore first baseman Ryan Mountcastle’s status for Thursday’s series opener with Tampa Bay is up in the air as a result of a shoulder issue.
Miami Marlins outfielder Jazz Chisholm is questionable to face Milwaukee as a result of a knee issue.
For Milwaukee, outfielder Mark Canha (wrist) is questionable while a back injury has sidelined outfielder Christian Yelich for the last five games. Pitcher Adrian Houser is expected to be activated off the injured list in time for the game.
— solely news (@SolelyNews) May 14, 2016
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder and former No. 1 overall pick Henry Davis landed on the injured list with a hand injury. The Pirates are already without infielder Oneil Cruz and outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
Infielder Brett Baty of the New York Mets is questionable to face Arizona on Thursday due to a groin injury. Fellow infielder Ronny Mauricio (illness) is also questionable.
Texas, already without Adolis Garcia and Josh Jung, might be without outfielder Leody Tavares as well on Thursday.