In the “we have some good news and we have some bad news” department when we look at today’s MLB games, there are just four games on the schedule for Monday. However, all of them feature at least one team vying for playoff spots.
Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres, Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros and Jon Gray of the Texas Rangers are among the pitchers to keep an eye on when it comes to Monday’s action.
When looking at the MLB news, the New York Yankees joined the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets among the teams eliminated from the playoffs.
Keep in mind that the road favorites went 3-2 on Sunday. The Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers are road favorites on Monday.
According to our MLB odds, the Atlanta Braves (+275) have the best odds to win the World Series. The odds for the defending World Series champion Houston Astros have gone from +550 to +900 in the last week.
As well explore a variety of other MLB odds here to win!
Monday’s Best Prop Bets
When looking at the MLB odds on Sept. 25, here are some to consider.
Go with San Diego’s Blake Snell at +145 to have at least seven strikeouts in a win over the San Francisco Giants.
Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros is 4-for-12 with a double and home run over his last three games so keep that in mind when looking at his +115 odds to go over 1½ total bases against Seattle. That is among the MLB player props for today that will be tempting options.
Teoscar Hernandez of Seattle is batting .343 versus the Astros. Even though he hasn’t contributed many extra-base hits, it is still worth considering the +105 odds for him to go over 1½ total bases.
The Yankees are hitting just .216 in September so that is enough to take a chance on the +150 moneyline for Arizona’s Merrill Kelly to have at least six strikeouts in a win over the Yankees.
Snell Back to the Mound
Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees might have put the finishing touches on winning the American League Cy Young Award. Now it is time for San Diego Padres ace Blake Snell, who is listed by the MLB betting lines as the National League Cy Young award front-runner, to do the same.
Snell hasn’t allowed a run in four of his last five starts, and in his last two outings, he surrendered one hit and no runs with 18 strikeouts in 13 innings. The most impressive statistic of all could be that San Diego is 10-1 in the last 11 games started by Snell. The only loss came when the Padres were shut out.
San Diego has won nine of its last 10 games and is tied for San Francisco at 77-79. Heading into a three-game series, both teams are five games out of the final playoff spot with six games left to play so neither team should be making postseason plans.
.@GerritCole45 threw a gem in his final home start of the year.
Is his first Cy Young Award on deck? pic.twitter.com/BDoZbhV6Ws
— MLB (@MLB) September 22, 2023
Setting the Stage
With just four games being played, it is a perfect time to take a deep breath and take a look at the final push for the playoffs.
Four of the division champions have been decided. The Minnesota Twins won the American League Central Division while in the National League, the Atlanta Braves (NL East), Milwaukee Brewers (NL Central) and Los Angeles Dodgers (NL West) wrapped up their divisions.
Baltimore leads Tampa Bay by 2½ games. The Orioles have six games left and Tampa Bay only has five games yet to play. Whichever team fails to win the American League East title will be the No. 1 wild-card team in the AL.
A five-game winning streak by Texas has given the Rangers a 2½ game lead in the AL West.
Houston and Seattle both have a chance to catch the Rangers, and the Astros and Mariners begin a three-game series on Monday.
Toronto leads Houston by two games in the race for the second wild card in the AL. Seattle is a half-game behind Houston in the battle for the final playoff spot. No other American League teams are still in the running for a playoff spot.
In the National League, Philadelphia is closing in on the top wild-card spot. Arizona (82-73), the Chicago Cubs (82-74) and the Miami Marlins (81-75) are separated by 1½ games and only two of them can make the playoffs.Padres, Giants Still Alive – Barely
The Cubs begin a series against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday. The Braves just became the first time this season to reach 100 wins so that’s a tough bit of scheduling for Chicago.
Arizona gets to face the 60-96 Chicago White Sox, Miami draws the New York Mets and Cincinnati meets up with Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Giants and Padres begin a three-game series on Monday knowing that it will likely take a sweep to remain in playoff contention heading into the final series of the season.
Checking the Numbers
There are some individual races worth checking out as well.
Miami’s Luis Arraez would need a late meltdown to avoid becoming a rare player to win batting championships in both the American League and National League. He would accomplish the feat in consecutive seasons after being traded from the Minnesota Twins to the Miami Marlins.
Arraez is batting .353 and his closest competitor is Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves at .336.
The American League batting race could be a little more interesting with Corey Seager of the Texas Rangers leading the way at .333. He is followed by Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz with a .326 average.
It is safe to declare Atlanta’s Matt Olson the National League and MLB home run and RBI champion. His 53 home runs are eight more than any other player and the 133 RBIs are 18 ahead of his closest challenger, who happens to be Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.
Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels looks good to win the HR title in the American League as he is six ahead of Luis Robert Jr. of the Chicago White Sox. Ohtani won’t play for the rest of the season while Robert is also dealing with an injury. Kyle Tucker of the Houston Astros has a six-RBI lead on Adolis Garcia of the Texas Rangers.
Acuna (National League) and Oakland’s Esteury Ruiz (American League) will finish with the most stolen bases.
Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves leads the majors with 19 wins and 274 strikeouts.
In the American League, Baltimore’s Kyle Gibson, Tampa Bay’s Zach Eflin and Chris Bassitt of the Toronto Blue Jays are tied with 15 wins.
Toronto’s Kevin Gausman leads Minnesota’s Pablo Lopez (232-228) in the strikeout race.
Nobody is catching Snell (2.33) in the ERA race while Cole (2.74) and Minnesota’s Sonny Gray (2.80) are sitting first and second in ERA among qualified pitchers in the American League.
Cleveland’s Emmanuel Clase will lead the American League in saves as he has 42. In the National League, San Francisco’s Camilo Doval leads Pittsburgh’s David Bednar 38-37 with Alexis Diaz of the Cincinnati Reds also at 37.
No Bang for the Bucks
This is just the second time since 1995 that the Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and New York Yankees all missed the playoffs in the same season.
The last time it happened was in 2014.
The Yankees were the last of the trio to be eliminated from the playoffs and they are the only of the three currently with a winning record.
It wasn’t supposed to play out like this. Coming into the season, the Yankees had the second-best odds of +750 to win the World Series with the Mets among the teams tied at +850.
Injuries and underperforming veteran players will keep all three out of the postseason.
Here’s a look at some of the injuries that could impact Monday’s games.
San Francisco pitcher Alex Cobb landed on the injured list with a hip issue while infielder Brandon Crawford is sidelined with a tender hamstring.
Pitcher Tyler Anderson is the latest member of the Los Angeles Angels to be shut down for the season after he landed on the injured list with a knee injury. Six players in the opening-day lineup for the Angels have suffered season-ending injuries.
Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley is sidelined with a shoulder issue.
Arizona outfielder Ketel Marte is questionable for Monday’s matchup with the New York Yankees after missing the last game due to illness.