The 2020 MLB season was supposed to begin in late March but because of the coronavirus didn’t until late July. It has been an unprecedented regular season, one that comes to a close Sunday. Here are three must-bet matchups for Sunday’s final day. All games start around the same time.
How to Bet MLB must bet games for the weekend
Baltimore at Toronto
- When: Sunday, 3:07 PM ET
- Where: Sahlen Field, Buffalo
This game might be meaningless in the grand scheme of things as the Orioles are out of the playoffs and the Blue Jays should have the final AL Wild-Card spot sewed up by Sunday. However, what makes this one noteworthy is that it will be almost surely the last Major League Baseball regular-season game in Buffalo for a very long time.
The Jays are playing their “home” games at the site of their Triple-A affiliate this season because of some border issues in Canada with the USA. Barring COVID-19 getting worse by next spring, the Jays should return to Toronto. Because the Jays are a Wild-Card team, they will play that series on the road and then every other series going forward in the 2020 postseason is at a neutral site.
Tanner Roark is scheduled to start for Toronto. He might be pitching for a spot in the postseason as Roark has been terrible this year with a 2-3 record and 7.01 ERA. Roark was pounded for six runs in 4 1/3 innings by the Yankees on Tuesday. Roark has had to face the Yankees in three straight outings, which is rough. He held his own in the first of those, but he’s given up 12 runs in the last two.
Cincinnati at Minnesota
- When: Sunday, 3:10 PM ET
- Where: Target Field
This one is huge as the Twins could be fighting for the AL Central title on Sunday; they are in the playoffs regardless. The Reds can’t win the NL Central but could be battling for a Wild-Card spot on Sunday depending on what happens leading up to that day.
The Twins are scheduled to start veteran left-hander Rich Hill (2-2, 3.27). He will be very well rested as Hill was charged with the loss against the Cubs last Friday, allowing just one run on three hits and a pair of walks while striking out five across seven innings. Hill got off to a tough first inning but managed to only allow one run to score on an RBI single by Willson Contreras. The southpaw blanked Chicago the rest of the way during his longest outing of the season.
Cincinnati goes with Sonny Gray. He fanned eight while allowing one run over five innings Tuesday against the Brewers. Gray allowed just two hits in his return from the injured list. He is now 5-3 with a 3.73 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings. If the Reds already have clinched a playoff spot by Sunday, they probably will skip Gray and save him for the Wild-Card Round.
Milwaukee at St. Louis
- When: Sunday, 3:15 PM ET
- Where: Busch Stadium
Both these teams could make the playoffs as Wild-Card teams or neither could depending. That’s how bunched up the NL Central Division is. The Cubs will win the division and the second-place team automatically gets a Wild-Card spot. How great would it be if this is a winner-take-all game for the last NL playoff spot?
Certainly, the projected pitching matchup Sunday could change depending on the circumstances. For now, it’s lefty Brett Anderson scheduled for the Brew Crew. Anderson yielded two runs — one earned — in six innings and struck out seven in the Brewers’ 3-2 victory over the Reds on Tuesday. It was the first time he’s had seven strikeouts since Sept. 15, 2015. Anderson moved to 4-3 with a 4.00 ERA. He struggled some with a blister out of the gate, but he’s turned in quality starts in four of his last six outings.
Anderson faced the Cardinals in Milwaukee on Sept. 15 and limited them to two runs over six innings to pick up a win in the Brewers’ 18-3 blowout victory. Anderson allowed an RBI double to Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning and walked Goldy with the bases loaded in the fifth, but that’s all the Cards were able to muster. He permitted five hits and a couple walks while notching three punchouts.
Young Austin Gomber (1-1) is scheduled for the Cards. Gomber hurled six scoreless innings on Tuesday in a win over the Royals. The lefty had most dominant performance of his big-league career, scattering four hits. He finished with three strikeouts and didn’t hand out a walk. He wasn’t overpowering by any stretch, generating only 10 swinging strikes, but threw 52 of his 76 pitches for strikes. The 26-year-old lefty has compiled a 1.80 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 24/13 K/BB ratio across 25 innings (13 appearances, three starts) this season.
After that terrific outing, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said that it’s “likely” Gomber will start on Sunday against the Brewers. He pitched a third of an inning in relief against them on Sept. 14.
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