Thursday was Sept. 1 and that’s obviously an important date for forecasting playoff teams. Since 1996 — the first full season with at least one Wild Card in each league — 120 of 150 eventual division champions held at least a share of their division lead entering September 1. That’s 80 percent of division winners. There has not been a season since 1996 where none of the division leaders entering September went on to win their divisions that year. Let’s parlay two weekend games that involve division winners.The complete preview for your MLB betting.
Winning MLB Parlay Picks for the Weekend Action
Seattle at Cleveland, Saturday
This could be a first-round playoff preview as Cleveland leads the AL Central and Seattle should be a Wild-Card team. Entering the weekend, Seattle is 59-13 when scoring at least 4 runs and 14-45 when scoring 3 or fewer runs this season. The Mariners own a 14-4-2 series record over their last 20 series. The team has eight wins this year when trailing going into the seventh inning.
It’s lefty and 2021 Cy Young winner Robbie Ray on the mound for the M’s. Ray (11-8) allowed three hits and struck out seven without walking a batter across seven shutout innings to earn the win over the Guardians last Sunday. Ray relied more on his four-seam fastball than usual, touching 95 mph and getting six of his seven strikeouts with it.
“Going into it, we wanted to lean a little heavier on the four-seam, but it just seemed like it was really working and I was able to use it at the top of the zone and get some freezes at the bottom of the zone as well,” Ray said.
Ray closed out a fantastic August with his fifth straight quality start, and this one was his best of the bunch. He posted a 1.64 ERA and 41:11 K:BB through 33 innings across those five starts, and he’s won three in a row. The strong month lowered Ray’s season ERA to 3.58 with a 1.14 WHIP and 180:53 K:BB through 155.2 innings across 26 starts. Mariners starting pitchers overall have gone at least 5.0 innings in 21 consecutive contests.
It’s Aaron Civale for Cleveland. Civale (2-6) took the loss last Sunday against the Mariners, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five over 6.1 innings. Civale limited the damage well, but two of the Mariners’ four hits were home runs. Dylan Moore hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning, and Ty France added a solo shot in the seventh. It was Civale’s longest start in his last four turns through the rotation, but the four runs he allowed matched the total he gave up in his last three starts combined. For the season, he has a 5.40 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 75:20 K:BB through 75 innings across 16 starts overall.
San Diego at LA Dodgers, SundayThis is the ESPN Sunday night game.
Potentially terrible news for the Dodgers today after they put Cy Young contender Tony Gonsolin on the injured list earlier this week. Gonsolin isn’t progressing as quickly as the Dodgers had hoped in his recovery from a forearm strain, and manager Dave Roberts said the right-hander will undergo an MRI on Friday.
Roberts was careful to note that Gonsolin hasn’t suffered a setback since being placed on the injured list Monday, but the 28-year-old All-Star was unable to do any light throwing over the past couple days as had been originally planned. The MRI should shed light on a potential return date for Gonsolin. Even a best-case scenario now would probably only give Gonsolin three regular-season starts to get ready for October.
San Diego is battling for the last Wild-Card spot in the National League so they need every win they can get. The Dodgers are going to clinch the NL West very soon and probably the best record in baseball not long after.
It’s scheduled to be Mike Clevinger on the mound for San Diego. Clevinger (5-5) earned the win over San Francisco on Monday, pitching five innings and allowing two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out three batters. He allowed only one extra-base hit — a fourth-inning homer by Joc Pederson — and stuck around long enough to pick up the victory.
The right-hander hasn’t been striking out many batters recently and has posted a career-low 7.7 K/9 on the campaign, but he’s managed a respectable 3.59 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Clevinger started six games in August, posting a 3.94 ERA and 1.22 WHIP along with a 20:11 K:BB over 32 frames.
It’s Andrew Heaney for LA. Heaney (2-1) did not factor into the decision Tuesday against the Mets, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits. He struck out eight and did not allow a walk. The Mets scratched out an unearned run against him in the opening inning, then tacked on solo homers from Starling Marte in the third and Mark Canha in the fourth. That was the extent of the damage done against him. Heaney got 21 swings and misses on 85 pitches in the game, registering an elite CSW of 40 percent.
In his 10 starts, the southpaw has recorded a 13.5 K/9 but has reached six innings only twice. Heaney now owns a strong 2.12 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.
- Mariners runline and Dodgers moneyline