When American League division leaders Baltimore and Houston got together in Monday’s first of a three-game series, it felt like a playoff game. Those riding with the upstart Orioles in the MLB game predictions came away happy in the opener.
In the National League, MLB strikeout leader Spencer Strider will look to help the Atlanta Braves even the series with division rival Philadelphia.
Keep in mind that the road favorites went 3-3 on Monday. The Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays are road favorites on Tuesday.
When it comes to the MLB news, the Texas Rangers are thrilled to have outfielder Adolis Garcia back.
According to our MLB odds, the Atlanta Braves (+275) have the best odds to win the World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers (+450), Houston Astros (+550), Baltimore Orioles (+850) and Tampa Bay Rays (+950) aren’t far behind.
Tuesday’s Best Prop Bets
When making MLB picks, here are some to consider.
Jose Abreu of the Houston Astros has four home runs and six extra-base hits in 40 career at-bats versus Baltimore starter Kyle Gibson so roll with the +110 odds for Abreu to score a run on Tuesday.
Cleveland pitcher Logan Allen has allowed eight hits and two runs with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings in his last two starts, so take a look at the +170 odds for Allen to have at least five strikeouts in a Cleveland win against Kansas City.
Nathan Eovaldi will be facing his former team when the Rangers meet the Boston Red Sox. The Rangers haven’t exactly cut Eovaldi loose since he was activated off the injury list with seven innings pitched in his last three appearances. However, it is worth taking a chance with the +180 odds for Eovaldi to have at least five strikeouts in a win by Texas.
Round 1 To Baltimore
It doesn’t get much better than two division leaders getting ready to rumble in September.
The series opener between the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles and AL West-leading Houston Astros didn’t disappoint, with both teams coming back from two-run deficits in a game that was tied in the seventh inning.
Houston got late home runs from Jose Abreu and Martin Maldonado before veteran outfielder Cedric Mullins delivered a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning for Baltimore in the 8-7 win.
Cedric Mullins just wins baseball games pic.twitter.com/uJC32LRmgQ
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) September 19, 2023
Baltimore leads the Tampa Bay Rays by 2½ games in the AL East while Houston is up by 1½ games on the fading Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners in the AL West.
It will be Kyle Gibson getting the start for the Orioles on Tuesday and Houston countering with hard-throwing rookie Hunter Brown. In Wednesday’s series finale, Baltimore’s Kyle Bradish and Houston’s Cristian Javier get the ball in a matchup of pitchers with a combined record of 20-11 this season.
The MLB odds list the Astros as the favorite in Game 2 of the series.
Classic Pitching Showdown
There are five games on Tuesday between teams with winning records and when it comes to playoff implications, it might be hard to top the series opener between the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Both teams are turning to star pitchers with Alex Cobb scheduled to go for the Giants and Zac Gallen going for the Diamondbacks.
Cobb has allowed two runs or less in three of his last four starts but is just 1-1 in those outings.
Gallen goes after his 16th win of the season and also needs one strikeout to hit the 200-strikeout mark. In his last four starts, he has a 6.29 ERA as he is fading in the National League Cy Young Award race.
Arizona is currently holding down the second wild-card spot. However, there is very little wiggle room with the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds within a half-game and the Miami Marlins one behind. San Francisco is just 2½ games back.
Dialing Long Distance
The opener between the top two teams in the National League East went to second-place Philadelphia thanks to five home runs.
Johan Rojas started it off with a two-run home run in the second inning to erase the early one-run lead for Atlanta.
Bryce Harper homered in the third inning and J.T. Realmuto had a solo shot in the fourth inning before Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber each went deep in the seventh inning.
All eight runs in Philadelphia’s 7-1 win came courtesy of the home run, counting Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies’ home run in the first inning.
It was vintage Adam Wainwright on display on Monday as he picked up his 200th career win.
Wainwright allowed four hits and no runs with three strikeouts in seven innings as the St. Louis Cardinals edged Milwaukee 1-0.
Freddy Peralta, one of the hottest pitchers since the MLB All-Star Game, gave up a home run to Willson Contreras and that was enough.
Wainwright had gone 11 straight starts without picking up a win and took the loss in seven straight appearances. However, he has won back-to-back starts for the first time since May 18 and 23.
Wainwright joins Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw as the active pitchers with at least 200 career wins. Wainwright and Kershaw are the only players to accomplish that feat with one team.
Wainwright is 200-128 in 478 career games with St. Louis.
Here’s a look at some of the injuries that could impact Tuesday’s games.
Texas got outfielder Adolis Garcia back after recovering from a knee injury that has sidelined him since Sept. 6. He leads the Rangers with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa is questionable with a foot injury.
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez landed on the 7-day injured list with a head injury.
New York Mets infielder Brett Baty is sidelined with a groin injury. The Mets are already without outfielder Starling Marte.
Miami Marlins outfielder Bryan De La Cruz is questionable with an ankle injury.
The Los Angeles Angels might finally be getting some positive injury news with outfielder Jo Adell set to be activated off the 60-day injured list.
Tampa Bay could get infielder Taylor Walls back while outfielder Luke Raley is questionable to face the Angels.
Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich has missed the last two games as a result of back discomfort and it is uncertain if he will be in the lineup against St. Louis on Tuesday.
San Diego infielder Ha-Seong Kim missed the last two games with an abdominal issue and he is questionable for the game against Colorado.
Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas landed on the injured list with a shoulder issue and closer Kenley Jensen is not expected to be activated off the COVID-19 list until Wednesday at the earliest.