Last week, we previewed the quick two-game series between the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers in a rematch of the infamous 2017 World Series. We noted that the home team from Los Angeles had a pitching advantage in both matchups, with particular focus on the Dodger debut of Max Scherzer.
Well, Mad Max did not disappoint pitching seven strong innings with 10 strikeouts, one walk, and two earned runs against. In what could very easily be a rematch of 2017 in this year’s World Series, Scherzer could be a difference-maker once Clayton Kershaw is back to full health.
In what is a candidate for MLB game of the year so far, the San Francisco Giants rallied twice to take out the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers in extra innings. The Giants were trailing 2-1 for a majority of the game until Tommy La Stella hit a lefty on lefty game-tying triple off of Brent Suter in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The tenth inning is where things got fun, as Buster Posey laced a single into center field cashing in two runs, followed by a Brandon Crawford sac fly to give the Giants a three-run lead. In the bottom of the tenth, Luis Urias hit a pinch-hit two-run home run and was followed by a Willy Adames solo shot to tie the game once again.
In the top of the eleventh, the Giants’ offense went back to work as a LaMonte Wade Jr. single scored Austin Slater, which was followed by a two-run Brandon Belt homerun. Newcomer Kris Bryant who has been on fire since he joined the Giants sliced a double to right-center field to score Buster Posey as San Francisco once again found themselves up by three runs. In the bottom of the eleventh, Lorenzo Cain singled home Avisail Garcia, but closer Jake McGee was able to close the door to secure the 70th win of the season.
The Giants are the first team in the majors to hit that mark, and more importantly, closed the weekend still up four games on the Dodgers in the NL West.
Betting on MLB: The Upcoming Games
In a series that could determine NL Wildcard seeding, the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds faceoff at Truist Park in Atlanta. The odds aren’t posted yet as I assume the bookmakers are awaiting news on Freddie Freeman’s status. The all-star missed Sunday’s game with an illness and hasn’t been confirmed for Tuesday yet.
The Reds have been on fire lately with 6, 7, 10, and 11 runs scored in four of their last five games. On Tuesday they take on veteran Drew Smyly, who has been fine, but not spectacular this season. I’m betting the Reds here as either small favorites or road underdogs with or without Freeman in the lineup.
One player to watch this week is Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels. The all-star was forced to miss a few games this week as the Angels played National League teams where there is no Designated Hitter. He may not suit up against the lefty Steven Matz on Tuesday, but the game I am watching for is the marquee matchup on Thursday where Ohtani pitches against Jose Berrios. There is a chance he could show some rust after sitting out for a week, so keep bets small if you are taking the Angels in that game.
MLB Game of the Week
The series to watch this week sees the Los Angeles Dodgers heading out to the City of Brotherly Love to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. The matchup on Tuesday in particular pits Max Scherzer in his second start with the Dodgers against Phillies Ace Aaron Nola. The Dodgers are -170 road favorites, on Tuesday night, and I can’t think of any reason not to take them.
The matchup also sees a reunion of former Nationals teammates Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer, both of whom don different jerseys now. I think the real value in this game lies on the under though as the total runs are currently set at 8.5. Scherzer shut the door on Houston who has a much more potent offense than Philly, and Nola should be able to keep the Dodgers bats in check for a few innings at least to preserve the under.