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MLB Top Games July 24-31

MLB Top Games July 24-31

Can the streaking Chicago Cubs stay red-hot and get back on track to potentially make consecutive World Series appearances?

Can the overachieving Milwaukee Brewers snap out of their doldrums to keep pace with the surging lovable Cubs?

Will the Washington Nationals keep playing at a high level despite not getting the national attention they rightfully deserve and last but not least, can Aaron Judge keep smacking home runs to keep the New York Yankees in the conversation for a wild card berth at the very least?

With the 2017 MLB regular season heating up just like the still-increasing summer temperatures (Yes, global warming is real No. 45) it’s time for another look at the top MLB games of the week.

MLB Top Games July 24-31

Chicago Cubs (51-46) at Chicago White Sox (38-57)
Wednesday, July 26, 8:10 PM ET
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field

Analysis: The Chicago Cubs are heating up nicely, having won two straight and a blistering eight of their last 10 games overall. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Chicago White Sox who are fading faster than a pair of my 20-year-old blue jeans.

The ChiSox have lost a whopping nine straight and look like they’re in real trouble against their cross-town rivals on Wednesday night.

Cubs’ right-hander Jake Jake Arrieta is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in two post all-star break starts while holding opponents to a minuscule .191 batting average.

White Sox veteran right-hander James Shields has gotten smacked senseless since starting the season with a fantastic 1.62 ERA over his first 16.2 innings. Shields has gotten pounded to the tune of an 8.10 ERA over his last six starts spanning just 30 innings while allowing nine home runs and 15 walks.

Milwaukee Brewers (53-48) at Washington Nationals (59-38)
Thursday, July 27, 12:05 PM ET
Where: Nationals Park

Analysis: Milwaukee is struggling mightily right now having lost seven of their last 10 games while Washington has gone a red-hot 8-2 over their last 10. Brewers right-hander Matt Garza was solid in his last start as he limited Philadelphia to just two earned runs on three hits over five innings.

Washington’s Max Scherzer has been mostly rock-solid this season, although he did give up a stunning three consecutive homers to kick off his last start against Arizona, the only time that has happened in his career. The Nats are 26-19 at home this season, but Milwaukee has succeeded on the road more often than not in going 25-24 on the road this season.

Tampa Bay Rays (51-48) at New York Yankees (51-46)
Friday, July 28, 7:05 PM EDT, Yankee Stadium

Analysis: While Tampa Bay has posted a respectable 5-5 record over their last 10 games, they’ve also dropped four straight heading into the new week. The Yankees haven’t been much better in going 6-4 over their last 10 although they did get a win to kick off the new week the last time out.

Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Odorizzi has been wildly inconsistent in finding the strike zone this season with a whopping 82 walks in just 94.2 innings. The 27-year-old hurler gave up three earned runs on three hits in just four innings in his last start against Texas on Sunday and looks like he could give up a home run – or three to New York heavy hitters Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez

Chicago Cubs (51-46) at Milwaukee Brewers (53-48)
Saturday, July 29, 7:10 PM ET, Miller Park

Analysis: While neither team has announced their respective starter for this NL Central showdown, it certainly doesn’t bode well for the Brewers that they’ve dropped seven of their last 10 entering the new week while Chicago has won eight of their last 10 over the same span.

I guess the good news for the Brew Crew is that they’ve posted a solid 28-24 mark at home this season even though Chicago has gone 25-25 on the road.

MLB Top Games July 17-23

MLB Top Games July 17-23

With the 2017 MLB all-star a thing of the past, it’s time to buckle down and make some cold hard cash as we move into the second half of the regular season. This look at the top games of the coming week, will both inform and entertain baseball betting enthusiasts everywhere while giving a hint into just what you can expect in each matchup.

Top MLB Games July 17-23

St. Louis Cardinals at NY Mets
Wednesday, July 19, 7:10 PM ET, Citi Field

Analysis: Jacob deGrom will take the mound for the Mets, opposite St. Louis’ yet to be named starter. deGrom has compiled a perfect 6-0 mark with a 1.53 ERA over his past six starts while tossing at least seven innings each time out. The bad news is that the right-hander gave up a career-high four home runs against St. Louis on July 7 the last time he faced the Cards. New York is 4-6 over their last 10 while St. Louis has gone 5-5 over the same stretch.

Washington Nationals at LA Angels
Wednesday, July 19, 10:07 PM ET, Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Analysis: Washington lefty, Gio Gonzalez had his best start of the season on Friday, by limiting Cincinnati to just four hits in 8.1 shutout innings. L.A. right-hander Ricky Nolasco limited Tampa Bay to one run on two hits in seven innings in his last start on Friday. The 34-year-old veteran has a solid 3.65 career ERA in 23 career appearances, including 21 starts, against Washington. The Nats have compiled an impressive 29-17 mark on the road this season while the Halos have gone 24-21 at home.

St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
Friday, July 21, 2:20 PM ET, Wrigley Field

Analysis: Chicago right-hander Jake Arrieta will take the mound against St. Louis’s yet to be named starter in their Friday night NL Central divisional battle. Arrieta limited Baltimore to two runs on four hits in 6.2 innings, although he did give up his 15h home run of the season in the process, which is just one short of the figure he gave up all of last season. The veteran hurler is 1-1 in two starts against St. Louis this season. Chicago is +4 (24-20) at home this season while St. Louis is -5 (18-23) on the road.

Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles
Friday, July 21, 7:05 PM ET , Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Analysis: While neither team in this matchup has yet to name their starter for this Friday night showdown, the Astros have gone 7-3 in their last 10 games, but Baltimore will almost assuredly put up a big-time fight, seeing as how they’ve gone 25-19 at home this season. Unfortunately for Baltimore, they’ve gone 2-8 over their last 10 games at the time of this writing while Houston has gone 7-3 over the same span.

Mid-season Odds & Picks To Win 2017 World Series

Mid-Season Odds & Picks To Win 2017 World Series

The second half of the 2017 MLB Season starts on Friday, July 14. Will the teams that were hot in the first half of the season remain hot in the second half? I’m not so sure. Below, I write about the L.A. Dodgers, who were on fire to end the first half. I also make my picks for the smart, and longshot play to win this year’s World Series.

Mid-season Odds & Picks To Win 2017 World Series

Los Angeles Dodgers 10-1 3-1
Houston Astros 12-1 9-2
Boston Red Sox 10-1 5
Washington Nationals 10-1 6
Cleveland Indians 12-1 7
Chicago Cubs 3-1 12
Arizona Diamondbacks 100-1 18
Colorado Rockies 60-1 20
New York Yankees 25-1 20
Kansas City Royals 30-1 20
St. Louis Cardinals 20-1 25
Milwaukee Brewers 100-1 30
Tampa Bay Rays 60-1 50
Seattle Mariners 25-1 60
Texas Rangers 16-1 60
Los Angeles Angels 100-1 100
Pittsburgh Pirates 30-1 100
Atlanta Braves 100-1 100
Minnesota Twins 100-1 100
New York Mets 12-1 100
Toronto Blue Jays 14-1 100
Miami Marlins 40-1 200
Chicago White Sox 60-1 200
Baltimore Orioles 20-1 200
Detroit Tigers 20-1 300
San Francisco Giants 16-1 500
Cincinnati Reds 100-1 500
Oakland Athletics 100-1 500
San Diego Padres 100-1 2000
Philadelphia Phillies 100-1 9999

The Odds-On Favorite To Win The 2017 World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers 3/1

The Dodgers should be the favorites. The key is how Alex Wood continues to pitch. If Wood is as hot in the second half as he was in the first half, the odds on L.A. should continue to slide. Wood went 10-0. He also recorded a 1.67 ERA and a .89 WHIP in the first half. Clayton Kershaw is good. The bullpen is ranked second in ERA.

There are a ton of reasons to like the L.A. Dodgers. But, this is baseball. What are the chances of Wood remaining hot? They aren’t that great. I’ll look elsewhere.

The Insider Pick To Win The 2017 World Series: Boston Red Sox 5/1

Chris Sale is on his way to another Cy Young. The Red Sox ace has a 2.75 ERA, an 11-4 record, and a .90 WHIP. He can pitch 7 or 8 innings every night.

The key for the Red Sox is pitcher David Price. Price was hurt for most of the first half of the season. When he returned, he started slow, but in his last couple of starts before the All-Star Break, he was terrific. He didn’t yield an earned run against Texas on July 4. On July 9, he yielded only 2 earned runs. If Price can get even better, the Red Sox are going to be tough to beat. The bullpen is solid while they bat about as well as anybody in MLB.

The Long Shot To Win The 2017 World Series: Kansas City Royals 20/1

Watch out for the KC Royals. The team that won the World Series only 2 years ago is now only 3 games behind last year’s AL Pennant winner, Cleveland. Can the Royals make up enough ground to win the division? Yes, they can. KC’s line-up is starting to get hot with Mike Moustakas hitting homers in 3 out of the last 5 KC games before the All-Star Break.

Not only that, but Jason Vargas is having a career year as a pitcher. Vargas had a 2.62 ERA, a 12-3 record, and a 1.15 WHIP in the first half. If Vargas remains hot, KC should be right there. 20 to 1 odds aren’t bad on a team with World Series experience.

2017 MLB All-Star Game Odds & Analysis

MLB All-Star Game Odds

Finally, the MLB did the right thing. The 2017 edition of the MLB All-Star Game will no longer determine home-field advantage for the World Series. The players will now be fueled by monetary incentives.

Every player on the All-Star Game winning team will receive a $20,000 bonus. With only a handful of teams in the World Series contention, cash is a motivator for everyone. The game is scheduled to start this Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET on Fox Sports, from the Marlins Park, in Miami, Florida.

2017 MLB All-Star Game Odds & Analysis

What: 2017 MLB All-Star Game
When: Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET  
Where: Miami, Florida
Stadium: Marlins Park
Odds: American League +105 vs National League -115
Game Total: 8.5
Watch: FOX Sports
Stream: Fox Sports Go

Why Bet The American League To Beat The National League

The AL All-Stars are 13-3-1 in the last 17 All-Star games.

With the NL adding power to the lineup, the AL will have a lot of arm-strength to counter. The starting pitchers (Chris Sale, Ervin Santana and Jason Vargas) have combined for 33 wins and just 13 losses this season. None of them have an ERA over 2.99 in the season.

And of course, they will also have the number one attraction in the MLB right now in outfielder Aaron Judge. If the Yankee rookie settles in early, he should send one or two out of the park.

American League Starters

  • First base: Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays
  • Second base: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
  • Shortstop: Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
  • Third base: Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
  • Catcher: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
  • Outfield: Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
  • Outfield: Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox (replaced Mike Trout)
  • Outfield: George Springer, Houston Astros
  • Designated hitter: Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays

American League Pitchers

  • SP: Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
  • SP: Ervin Santana, Minnesota Twins
  • SP: Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals
  • SP: Luis Severino, New York Yankees
  • SP: Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
  • SP: Lance McCullers, Houston Astros
  • RP: Craig Kimbrel, Boston Red Sox
  • RP: Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians
  • RP: Dellin Betances, New York Yankees
  • RP: Chris Devenski, Houston Astros
  • RP: Brandon Kintzler, Minnesota Twins
  • RP: Roberto Osuna, Toronto Blue Jays

American League Reserves

  • C: Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees
  • 1B: Yonder Alonso, Oakland A’s
  • 2B: Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles
  • 2B: Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
  • 3B: Miguel Sano, Minnesota Twins
  • 3B: Mike Moustakas, Kansas City Royals (final vote winner)
  • SS: Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians
  • OF: Avisail Garcia, Chicago White Sox
  • OF: Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
  • DH: Nelson Cruz, Seattle Mariners

Why Bet The National League To Beat The American League

The National League has lost the last four All-Star games in a row. Their last win came in 2012. This is the perfect time to snap out of their losing streak and collect some good money out it.

It also helps when you have power bats in the starting lineup. The Washington Nationals trio of outfielder Bryce Harper, first baseman Ryan Zimmerman and second baseman Daniel Murphy have combined for 192 RBIs this season so far.

Backing them up on the NL roster are a few more heavy hitters. Outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Cody Bellinger, shortstop Corey Seager, and first basemen Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt all have the ability to hit their way to 20K.

National League Starters

  • 1B: Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
  • 2B: Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
  • SS: Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds
  • 3B: Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
  • C: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
  • OF: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
  • OF: Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
  • OF: Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins
  • OF: Justin Upton, Detroit Tigers

National League Pitchers

  • SP: Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
  • SP: Robbie Ray, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • SP: Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • SP: Carlos Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals
  • SP: Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
  • SP: Alex Wood, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • RP: Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • RP: Greg Holland, Colorado Rockies
  • RP: Wade Davis, Chicago Cubs
  • RP: Brad Hand, San Diego Padres
  • RP: Corey Knebel, Milwaukee Brewers
  • RP: Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies

National League Reserves

  • C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
  • 1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 1B: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
  • 2B: DJ LeMahieu, Colorado Rockies
  • 2B: Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • 3B: Jake Lamb, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 3B: Justin Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers (final vote winner)
  • SS: Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • OF: Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • OF: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
  • OF: Michael Conforto, New York Mets
  • OF: Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves
Home Run Derby Odds & Picks

Home Run Derby Odds & Picks

The 2017 MLB All-Star Game takes place this Tuesday, July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. After taking the HR crown last year, Miami’s top home run hitter, Giancarlo Stanton, is the favorite to win the Home Run Derby on Monday during All-Star Game Festivities. Is Giancarlo a good bet at +120? Or is Aaron Judge the smart bet? Keep reading to find out.

Home Run Derby Odds & Picks

  • Giancarlo Stanton +120
  • Aaron Judge +165
  • Cody Bellinger +900
  • Mike Moustakas +1400
  • Charlie Blackmon +1400
  • Miguel Sano +1400
  • Justin Bour +1600
  • Gary Sanchez +2000

What: 2017 Home Run Derby
When: Monday, July 10th, 2017
Start Time: 8:00 PM ET  
Where: Miami, Florida
Stadium: Marlins Park
Watch: ESPN

The Favorite To Win The Home Run Derby: Giancarlo Stanton +120

Last season, Stanton hit the most dingers in the Home Run Derby. It was his first Home Run Derby victory. Since Stanton gets to launch homers at the plate he’s most comfortable standing at, it makes sense why his odds are so low. Stanton should have this in the bag, right?

Maybe not. Giancarlo has hit 23 home runs this season. He doesn’t lead MLB in home runs even though he has more at-bats, 311, than any of the 5 players ahead of him that have hit more home runs than he has. At the odds, he’s a play against. 

The Smart Bet To Win The Home Run Derby:  Aaron Judge +165

New York’s 2017 breakout star leads MLB in home runs. He has a crazy 29 on the season. Judge also has 65 RBIs and a .331 batting average. The .331 batting average is what impresses me. Not only can Judge hit for power, he can also hit for average. That’s rare. Mike Trout and Bryce Harper are the only other 2 players that I believe can do that.

Judge can hit home runs out of any park. At 6’ 7”, 280 lbs, he’s big enough to get contact on pitches outside of the strike zone. He’s powerful enough to drive those balls wherever he wants them to go. It’s hard for me to see Judge not winning the Home Run Derby on Monday.  

The Longshot Pick To Win The Home Run Derby:  Mike Moustakas +1400

Moose has 25 home runs this season. He’s tied with George Springer for second place on the home runs list. What I like about Moustakas is he’s been hot in recent games. From his last 10, Moustakas has 6 home runs. He hit a home run at Detroit on June 28. On June 30, he hit a home run versus Minnesota. The next day versus the Twins, Moustakas hit another home run.

Moustakas hit 3 home runs, one each day, from July 3 through July 5. He’s hot. Don’t look it past Moustakas to go yard time and again on July 10. I think he’s worth a look at 14 to 1 odds.

MLB Top Plays Of The Week June 26-July 2

MLB Top Plays Of The Week June 26-July 2

The MLB season is slowly creeping towards the midway point and this week there are a few great games to keep your eyes on.

Ervin Santana and the Minnesota Twins take on the rival Kansas City Royals. Will Jason Vargas and the Royals add to Santana’s woes? On Saturday, I like the looks of another AL Central Division rivalry game when Cleveland heads to Detroit. Can Cleveland maintain first place in the tough AL Central by beating the Tigers? I like this Sunday’s nightcap between Washington and St. Louis. Who wins when the Nationals battle the Cards in Missouri?

Top Plays Of The Week June 26 – July 2

Minnesota at Kansas City
When:  Friday, June 30 at 8:15 pm ET
Where: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Listed Pitchers: MIN-Ervin Santana vs KC-Jason Vargas

Analysis: Jason Vargas’s stats this season are astounding. Vargas is 11-3. His ERA is a ridiculous 2.29. His WHIP is a good 1.13. But, Vargas allows the Twins to bat .317 against him. He’s faced Twin batters 101 times. They have 32 hits. To be fair, 14 of the 32 hits are from Joe Mauer. Vargas has pretty much shut down the rest of Minnesota’s batters.

Ervin Santana’s got Cleveland’s number. In his last 13 innings pitched versus the Indians, Santana hasn’t allowed a single. Too bad he pitches against KC on Friday.

Then again, Santana has also locked down on Royal batters. KC is good for a .227 batting average versus Santana. This is a tough game to handicap, which is why I like it as a Top Play. The odds shouldn’t favor Vargas by much.

That’s the way I’m going. Vargas has been much more consistent than Santana in his last 10. KC has looked good as well.

Cleveland at Detroit
When:  Saturday, July 1 at 7:10 pm ET
Where: Comerica Park, Detroit, MI
Listed Pitchers: CLE-Danny Salazar vs DET-Jordan Zimmerman

Analysis: Salazar and Zimmerman step to the plate in the second game of a double-header. Salazar goes into this game off the 10-day disabled list. He had a bullpen session last Thursday. He should pitch in a simulated game sometime this week before the Sunday start.

When Salazar was healthy, he wasn’t pitching all that well. His ERA is 5.40. His WHIP is 1.58. Detroit bats a decent .269 versus Salazar. He hasn’t faced the Tigers yet this season.

Detroit’s Jordan Zimmermann has allowed 8 earned runs off 12 hits in his last 10.2 innings pitched. His 5.53 ERA and 1.49 WHIP are on par with Salazar’s ERA and WHIP.

The difference in this game is bullpen. Detroit must keep Zimmermann on the mound until at least the end of the fourth. They’ve got no choice. But, Cleveland can pull Salazar after 1 or 2 innings.

The Tribe’s bullpen is that deep.

Washington at St. Louis
When:  Sunday, July 2 at 8:10 pm ET
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Listed Pitchers: WAS-Max Scherzer vs STL-Carlos Martinez

Analysis: Scherzer’s been on fire in his last 2 starts. On June 16, he pitched 8 innings, allowed 1 earned run, and gave up 4 hits. On June 21, Scherzer threw for 8 innings, didn’t allow a single earned run, and only allowed 2 hits. Scherzer pitches on June 27 against the Cubs.

If he comes out of that well, it’s hard to see St. Louis giving Carlos Martinez the necessary run support to beat Washington in this match up. Yes, the Nationals have one of the worst bullpens, if not the worst, in MLB.

But, Scherzer has been an absolute beast on the mound. The Cardinals only bat .235 against Scherzer. I believe Martinez does an excellent job. But, once the Cards pull Martinez after inning 6, Washington should get something going on offense.

Win With Baseball This Summer

The 2017 MLB season is creeping towards the mid-way point. The Astros, Dodgers & Nationals have been crushing it so far. But the biggest news this season? The dominating individual performances by previously unheralded players.

Scooter Gennett knocking out four homers in one game.

30 year-old Eric Thames is in the hunt for the HR crown with 20 so far.

Is the new face of the New York Yankees Aaron Judge the next coming of the Babe?

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Baseball's Top Games May 29 - June 4

MLB Top Games May 29 – June 4

It is Memorial Day and its time to take a closer look at America’s favorite pastime. Baseball.

With the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers streaking and the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs both struggling, let’s find out which nationally-televised matchups have the look of must-see TV pairings.

All stats are current as of May 29th, 2017.

Baseball’s Top Games May 29 – June 4

Washington Nationals (30-19) at San Francisco Giants (22-30)
Tuesday, May 30 at 10:15 PM ET

The Nats have won five of their last seven games and are up a convincing 8.5 games on Atlanta and New York in the NL East. The Giants have won two straight after losing their previous four games and are 5-5 over their last 10 games as they look to rebound from a horrific start this season.

Houston Astros (35-16) at Minnesota Twins (26-20)
Wednesday, May 31 at 1:10 PM ET

Not only is gifted youngster Carlos Correa absolutely on fire at the plate right now, but Houston has won four straight to move a whopping 10 games ahead of second place L.A. in the AL West by ranking ninth in scoring (4.94 rpg) and a stupendous second in team ERA (3.41). The Twins have dropped two of their last three, but are a robust 7-3 over their last 10 games and have already spent more days in first place this season than they did from 2011 to ’16 combined!

Boston Red Sox (27-22) at Baltimore Orioles (25-23)
Thursday, June 1 at 7:05 PM ET

The Red Sox were on the wrong end of a 5-9 shutout loss to Seattle on Sunday night, but they won their previous six games while scoring at least six runs five times and at least nine runs in three of those contests. The O’s are mired in the midst of a season-long seven-game losing streak and have gone 3-13 since they were a robust 22-10 on May 9.

New York Yankees (29-18) at Toronto Blue Jays (23-27)
Friday, June 2 at 7:07 PM ET

The Yankees have won two straight and five of seven but Toronto has been red-hot in winning five of their last six games despite falling on Sunday night. New York has scored three runs or less in six of their last 10 games. Since May 18, the Yankees are averaging just 3.5 runs per game while Toronto’s bat-flipping Jose Bautista has heated up with eight home runs in May after hitting only one in April.

Houston Astros (35-16) at Texas Rangers (25-26)
Saturday, June 3 at 7:15 PM ET

Since you already know that Houston is playing fantastic baseball, then you should know that Texas is struggling mightily despite winning on Sunday night. The Rangers dropped their previous five games and six of seven overall. Texas is an awful 5-14 against teams that are .500 or better .

St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
Sunday, June 4 at 7:35 PM ET

The Cardinals have clearly lost their way the last couple of weeks, by dropping three of their last four and seven of their last 10 games overall. St. Louis has allowed at least seven runs in each of their last three losses heading into Monday night. Nevertheless, the Cardinals should have some hope seeing how the Chicago Cubs have dropped three straight and five of their last nine games overall.

MLB Top Games May 22-28

MLB Top Games May 22-28

Can the Chicago Cubs pick up the pace to move past the surprising Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals in the face for first place in the suddenly competitive NL Central?

Will the AL West-leading Houston Astros get back on track after a weekend stumble?

Last but not least, can both, the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers pull off winning weeks as they seek to overtake their respective division leaders in the AL East and NL West respectively?

With a brand new week on tap, let’s take a look at the most intriguing nationally-televised MLB matchups this coming week.

MLB Must Watch & Must Bet Games May 22-28

San Francisco Giants (19-26) at Chicago Cubs (22-20)
Monday, May 22 8:05 pm 

Analysis: The Giants are reeling and come into their series opener against the Cubs having lost seven of 10. Chicago has won four of five and is looking to pick up the pace in the NL Central as the reigning World Series champs are currently two games behind Milwaukee and 1.5 games in back of St. Louis.

Detroit Tigers (21-21) at Houston Astros (29-15)
Monday, May 22 8:10 pm

Analysis: The Tigers dropped two of three against red-hot Texas over the weekend, but is just two games behind Minnesota and Cleveland in the tight AL Central. Houston has been fantastic this season in taking a 5.5-game lead in the AL West, but the ‘Stros were on the wrong end of a three-game sweep at the hands of Cleveland over the weekend. Still, Houston is ranked an impressive ninth in scoring (5.0 rpg) and even more eye-opening second in team ERA (3.52).

St. Louis Cardinals (25-19) at Los Angeles Dodgers (26-19)
Tuesday, May 23 at 10:10 pm

Analysis: The Cardinals beat Frisco 8-3 on Sunday to snap a four-game skid while the Dodgers won three of four against Miami and four of their last five overall. L.A. is ranked an impressive sixth in scoring (5.0 rpg) and stupendous first in team ERA (3.41). The Cardinals have been rock-solid in ranking third in team ERA (3.57), but St. Louis’ offense has been mediocre at best in pitching with a team ERA of 4.5 runs per game (19th). The Cards are 1.5 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central while L.A. is in third in the NL West, two games behind both, Colorado and Arizona.

Texas Rangers (24-21) at Boston Red Sox (22-21)
Wednesday, May 24 at 7:10 PM ET

Analysis: The Rangers are on fire, having won nine of their last 10 games while sweeping Oakland and Philadelphia and taking two of three from Detroit over the weekend. Conversely, Boston clearly hasn’t found their stride just yet despite pounding Oakland 12-3 on Sunday. That win snapped a three-game losing streak and helped the BoSox to improve to a modest 5-5 over their last 10. Texas is ranked a surprising seventh in runs allowed this season (3.9) and Boston has struggled to put runs on the board by ranking just 18th in scoring (4.5 rpg).

Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Friday, May 26 at 10:10 PM ET

Analysis: The Cubbies are ranked fourth in scoring (5.0 rpg) and 10th in team ERA (3.94), but the Dodgers are ranked sixth and first in the same categories. Dodgers’ staff ace left Clayton Kershaw is off to a fine start (7-2, 2.15 ERA), but Chicago’s Kris Bryant (.303, 10 HR) is starting to heat up in a big way after a modest start.

Saturday, May 27 at 7:15 PM ET
Baltimore Orioles at Houston Astros

Analysis: Baltimore took two of three against Toronto over the weekend after dropping six of their previous seven games. The O’s are a half-game behind the Yankees in the competitive AL East despite ranking in the middle or bottom third in almost every statistical category except home runs where they rank eighth with an impressive 61. Despite betting just .248 and .221 respectively, Baltimore’s Chris Davis and Manny Machado have smacked nine and 10 home runs respectively.

4 Must Watch MLB Games May 15-21

The 2017 MLB regular season is off to a wild and wacky start and has produced some surprising results in both leagues over the first six weeks of the regular season. With the season starting to heat up along with the rising temperatures, mark your calendars for this week’s top baseball tilts.

MLB Games To Watch May 15th-21st

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs
When: Tuesday, May 16, 8:05 PM ET
Where: Wrigley Field

Analysis: Cincinnati will look to snap  three-game skid in their series opener against Chicago on Monday night, but one day later, the Reds will hand the ball to veteran right-hander Bronson Arroyo after he tied a season high with six innings pitched while allowing two runs in a no-decision against the Giants in his last start. The Reds have gone 5-0 with the 40-year-old on the mound.

Veteran right-hander John Lackey is coming off a win over Colorado in his last start, but he’s still looking to bag his first win at home this season after going 0-2 with a 4.24 ERA in three starts at Wrigley Field. The Reds have won six of their last 10 while going a respectable 7-8 on the road this season while the Cubs have struggled in going just 7-9 at Wrigley Field.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
When: Wednesday, May 17, 3:45 PM ET
Where: AT&T Park

Analysis: At the time of writing, L.A. has won seven of its last nine games while the Giants have won three straight and four of their last five while nearly sweeping Cincinnati over the weekend.

Dodgers’ staff ace southpaw Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.43 ERA) will take the bump in this affair after tossing seven innings of two-run ball against Colorado on Saturday.

Giants ace right-hander Johnny Cueto (4-2, 4.15 ERA) has faced the Dodgers twice already this season while giving up an identical three runs each time. The right-hander threw a season-high 119 pitches in his most recent start against Cincinnati on Friday. Make no mistake bout it, no matter what the standings say, this longtime rivalry is must-see TV.

Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs
When: Friday, May 19, 2:20 PM EDT
Wrigley Field

Analysis: Milwaukee has won three straight and six of its last seven games (at the time of writing) while sweeping the Mets over the weekend. The Brew Crew has gone 9-6 on the road compared to Chicago’s uninspiring 7-9 home mark. The Cubs have lost two straight and seven of their last nine games heading into the new week.

The good news for the Cubs is that right-hander Eddie  Butler (1-0, 0.00 ERA) tossed six shutout innings against St. Louis in his first start of the season the last time out. Milwaukee

Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
When: Friday, May 19, 7:05 PM EDT
Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Analysis: Toronto hit the new week riding the wave of their five-game winning streak (at the time of writing) while bagging seven of their last eight games overall. Baltimore has lost four straight after winning their previous six contests but still sits just a half-game back of the division-leading Yankees.

Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez (0-1, 2.95 ERA) look solid in his first start back in the rotation by allowing just one unearned run in five innings following two brief stints on the DL while the Yankees have not named starter for this matchup.