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With teams across the MLB starting to clinch playoff spots, we can now seriously start to talk about potential match-ups in the Wild Card and the opening round. There still need to be some things decided before we know for sure who plays who and where those games will happen, but we are starting to see teams begin to jockey for position, The goal for most is to secure home field advantage for at least some portion of the postseason, so don’t expect any teams to ease up on the gas prior to the end of the regular season. The LA Dodgers look to be the safest of the bunch, as they have not only clinched their spot, but they also look as though they are going to be the #1 seed in the National League. Things are not quite so comfortable for the Tampa Bay Rays, though, as they are in a battle for one of the Wild Card spots in the American League. The Dodgers won the opening game of this series on Tuesday night and are once again favored by 1 ½ in this one. The run total has been set at 8 ½.
When: Wednesday, September 18 at 8 PM EST
Where: Dodger Stadium, LA
Starting Pitchers: McKay vs Gonsolin
MLB Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Tampa Bay Rays
You certainly cannot deny that this has been a fabulous season for the Tampa Bay Rays, especially given the division that they play in, but it will all feel as though it was for naught if they do not land one of those Wild Card spots. As it stands right now, the Rays are clinging to the final spot, but they are just a half-game up on the Cleveland Indians. Tampa has now lost back to back games and really need to get something out of this series if they are to maintain their tenuous lead. The Rays are a healthy 46-31 on the road this season and have been particularly strong in interleague play, going 13-6 SU in those outings. The problem here is that they have only won in 3 of their last 10 meetings with the Dodgers. It will be Brendan McKay (2-4, 5.27 ERA) getting the start here.
Why bet on the LA Dodgers
The Dodgers are in a fantastic position right now in that they can start tinkering with the line-up and look at methods they might employ in the postseason. That should be their path the rest of the way in the regular season, as this will be their last series against a team that is potentially playoff bound. The Dodgers have been the cream of the National League, going 98-54 SU to this point in the season, 5 wins better off than the next closest team. Home field had been where LA has been at their very best, posting a 57-20 record in their own ballpark. They have been less dominant in interleague play, going 10-9 SU. It will be Tony Gonsolin (3-2, 2.83 ERA) getting the ball on Wednesday night.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
At some point, desperation needs to start kicking in for the Tampa Bay Rays. I have a feeling that tonight might be the night, as I like them to get the win here. If you want to play it a little safer, take them ATS.
Tampa Bay Rays 4 LA Dodgers 3