With less than three weeks left in the 2021 MLB regular season, there are three types of teams in the MLB, those who are already in the playoffs, those who are fighting for that, and those who are already with their minds on the offseason.
The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers have already made it to the playoffs, with the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, and Milwaukee Brewers being very close to book their place in the postseason as well.
There are a couple of teams who have the same achievement insight but it will all depend on their form in the last three weeks of the season. Two of those teams are the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies who are entering the week playing against the opponents who are at the very bottom of the league.
Following are our predictions for the top-two games that are scheduled for Monday and then bet on them at on our bookmakers!
Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates
Date: Monday, September 20, 2021
Time: 6:40 PM (ET)
Location: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati, Ohio
Monday night's match is the start of a three-game series between the Reds and Pirates which might be crucial for the outcome of the Reds’ season. Cincinnati is a -145 road favorite.
Cincinnati is currently third in the NL Central division with 13.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers who are untouchable at the top. Still, the Reds have a chance to make it to the postseason through the Wild card game. They are fourth in that standings with only 1 game behind the second St. Louis Cardinals and 17.0 behind the Los Angeles Dodgers who are already locked at the top. The spread is set at -1.5 on the Reds and +1.5 with odds of -125 and -110 respectively to cover the spread.
With the Monday night game against the Pirates they are entering the last 15 games of the season and if they manage to go for a winning run, they will have a great chance to reach the postseason.
Things haven’t gone so smoothly for David Bell’s team since they have won only 25% of the games since August 28th.
Recently the Reds have lost 4 out of their last 5 games with two of those losses being from the Pirates.
Still, the Reds have been the better team lately as they have won 7 out of the last ten against the Pirates.
Both teams will play another three-game series in the beginning of October which may be crucial for Cincinnati for their postseason hopes.
Derek Shelton’s team is last in the NL Central with only 37% wins with only the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks having a worse record.
The Reds have four injured players currently while the Pirates have eight.
The last ten games of the series between the Reds and Pirates have seen an average of 9.7 runs per game which is a good lead that this one will also go over.
Philadelphia Phillies vs Baltimore Orioles
Date: Monday, September 20, 2021
Time: 7:05 PM (ET)
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Another game where two teams with totally different ambitions for the last weeks of the regular season meet.
The Philadelphia Phillies are second in the NL East being only 3 games behind the Atlanta Braves who are currently at the top holding the division playoff spot. Orioles are 5-5 in moneyline bets in their last 10 games against the Phillies for -0.45 total units lost.
In the NL Wild card game race, the Phillies are third behind the line with 2.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.
On the other hand, the Baltimore Orioles are the worst team in the entire MLB with only 32.2 winning percentage. Baltimore have odds priced at +105 while Phillies are set at -125.
Both teams have struggled recently as they have 4-6 record in their last ten games.
It is a must for the Phillies to win all three games in the Orioles series in order to put themselves in a situation to reach the playoffs with only 15 games left in the regular season.
The good news for Joe Girardi’s team is the favorable schedule until the end of the regular season. Besides the Orioles, the Phillies will play the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins who are not in the playoff picture.
At the end of September, they are facing the division rival Atlanta Braves in a duel that might be key for the first spot in the division standings.
Ranger Suarez is their starting pitcher for the Monday night game. The 26-year-old has a 6-4 record this season with an impressive 1.50 ERA. The Venezuelan has 86 strikeouts so far this season and 1.04 WHIP.
Both Phillies and Orioles have seven players on their current injury lists.