If there's one reason the San Francisco Giants' streak of winning the World Series in even-numbered years this decade will end, it's probably going to be the bullpen. That group blew another game on Monday in a big one against the Dodgers. It was the ninth time this season that the Giants lost when leading after eight innings, a franchise record. Since Aug. 13, the bullpen's ERA has topped 6.00 in the ninth or later compared to a 1.51 mark in all other innings during that span. Manager Bruce Bochy had pulled closer Santiago Casilla from that role a few weeks ago. He used three guys to protect Madison Bumgarner's 1-0 lead on Monday in Derek Law, Javier Lopez and Hunter Strickland. They didn't get a single out in the bottom of the ninth. Bochy will be second-guessed for pulling MadBum considering he had given up just one hit and was at 97 pitches. If the Giants miss the playoffs by one game, look back at Monday's result.
Blue Jays at Mariners (-110, 8)
A 3:40 p.m. ET start on the MLB Network in some markets and a very good pitching matchup -- not impossible we see the same pitchers in the AL wild-card game. Toronto All-Star Aaron Sanchez (13-2, 3.17) will make his first start in 10 days as the team wants to conserve his innings and he also was dealing with a blister. Sanchez was roughed up on Sept. 11 by the Red Sox, allowing six runs in just 3.2 innings, his shortest outing of 2016. He hasn't faced the Mariners this year. Kyle Seager is 2-for-3 career against him with a homer. Seattle's Felix Hernandez (11-6, 3.79) also comes off a subpar outing, giving up six runs and eight hits in 4.1 innings vs. Houston. He has now allowed six runs in three of his past four. King Felix hasn't seen Toronto this year. Jose Bautista is a career .320 hitter off him with three homers in 25 at-bats. Russell Martin might get the afternoon off behind the plate as he's only 3-for-23 off Hernandez with nine strikeouts.
Key trends: The Blue Jays are 0-4 in their past four in Game 3 of a series. The Mariners are 5-1 in Hernandez's past six at home. The "over/under" has gone under in five of Sanchez's past seven on the road. The under is 5-1-2 in Hernandez's past eight at home vs. teams with a winning record.
Early lean: Mariners and under.
Red Sox at Orioles (+105, 10)
First of an ESPN doubleheader and should have live betting at sportsbooks. Boston's Clay Buchholz (7-10, 5.20) comes off a quality start against the Yankees, giving up two runs over six innings. He is 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in three outings this year vs. Baltimore (one start) and 5-3 with a 5.10 ERA in 10 career appearances at Camden Yards. Adam Jones is 10-for-35 career against him with two homers and 11 RBIs. Chris Davis is 9-for-27 with two homers and eight walks. Baltimore has won four straight starts by Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11, 5.94). He allowed four runs and seven hits over seven innings last time out vs. Tampa Bay. Jimenez has a 3.51 ERA since the All-Star break compared to 7.38 before it. He's 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in two starts this year against Boston. Dustin Pedroia is a career .379 hitter off him in 29 at-bats. Xander Bogaerts is 7-for-18 with five RBIs.
Key trends: The Red Sox are 6-1 in Buchholz's past seven in Baltimore. The Orioles are 8-2 in Jimenez's past 10 at home vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 4-1 in Buchholz's past five in Baltimore.
Early lean: Orioles and over.
Yankees at Rays (+117, 7)
You can pretty much stick a fork in the Yankees' playoff chances, especially with the news that center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and second baseman Starlin Castro are both probably done for the season. Ellsbury has a knee problem -- he hasn't been totally ruled out yet -- and Castro a hamstring and he's basically finished. Ellsbury was a pretty big disappointment this season, but the trade of Adam Warren to the Cubs for Castro worked out pretty well, especially considering the Yankees got Warren back in the Aroldis Chapman trade. Castro was hitting .273 with 21 homers and 69 RBIs. If New York is officially eliminated, this could be the final start of the season for Masahiro Tanaka (13-4, 2.97). He hasn't given up more than two earned in six straight starts. Tanaka is 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in four starts vs. the Rays this year. Evan Longoria is just 2-for-20 against him. Brad Miller is 4-for-21 with two homers. Tampa's Alex Cobb (1-0, 3.06) has made three starts in his return from Tommy John surgery, and they've each gotten better. He allowed four runs over six innings at the Yankees on Sept. 8. New York's Brian McCann is 4-for-10 vs. Cobb with two solo homers. Gary Sanchez is 0-for-3.
Key trends: The Yankees are 7-0 in Tanaka's past seven vs. Tampa. The under is 5-1 in Cobb's past six at home vs. New York. The Rays are 5-2 in his past seven there.
Early lean: Rays and under.
Royals at Indians (-188, 7.5)
With the season-ending injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, perhaps the Tribe should put ace Corey Kluber in bubble wrap until the playoff starts rather than starting him on Wednesday against the Royals. Kluber (17-9, 3.12) wasn't as sharp as usual Friday vs. Detroit but got the win in giving up four runs over seven innings with seven strikeouts. All four runs came courtesy of Justin Upton's bat. Kluber is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts vs. Kansas City. Eric Hosmer hits .277 off him in 47 career at-bats with three homers, 13 RBIs and 10 strikeouts. Alex Gordon is just 6-for-35 off him with 15 strikeouts. Kansas City's Ian Kennedy (11-9, 3.60) took a no-decision on Friday vs. the White Sox in allowing two runs over six innings. Kennedy is 2-2 with a 6.00 ERA against the Indians. Francisco Lindor is 4-for-10 off him with two doubles. Tyler Naquin is 3-for-6 with two homers and five RBIs.
Key trends: The Indians are 5-2 in Kluber's past seven at home vs. Kansas City. The Royals are 2-5 in Kennedy's past seven road starts vs. teams with a winning record. The under is 9-4 in Kluber's past 13 on Wednesday.
Early lean: Indians and under.
Giants at Dodgers (-154, 7)
Second ESPN game. Giants lefty Matt Moore (11-11, 4.06) won a second start in a row Friday, giving up two runs over five innings against the Cardinals. He continues to be a bit wild as Moore walked at least three for the seventh time since coming over in the deadline deal with Tampa Bay. Moore pitched at the Dodgers on Aug. 25 and had a no-hitter broken up by Corey Seager with two outs in the ninth. Moore wasn't allowed to finish as he was at a career-high 133 pitches. Howie Kendrick is 6-for-18 career off him with six strikeouts. Adrian Gonzalez is 3-for-16. Dodgers rookie Kenta Maeda (15-9, 3.24) was pulled after five innings in Arizona last time out, allowing one run and three hits while throwing 94 pitches. This will be only his fourth start this year on four days rest in back-to-back outings instead of five (or more). Maeda is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts against San Francisco. Joe Panik is 2-for-3 with a homer off him. Brandon Belt is 2-for-6 with a double and RBI.
Key trends: The Dodgers are 5-0 in Maeda's past five at home. The under is 5-0 in Moore's past five on the road.
Early lean: Dodgers and under. Click here for daily free MLB betting picks.
Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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