MLB September 18: Major League Picks and Predictions

From left to right: Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros celebrate their Division Titles, Photo Credit: MLB

 

A lot happened this Sunday in Major League Baseball with some exciting and close games to cap it off. With 15 days left in the regular season, two teams joined the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers as the only teams to secure an appearance for the postseason.

The Cleveland Indians claimed the American League Central’s crown after a close 3-2 win against the Kansas City Royals to end their latest home stand before heading out west for their last road trip. While the Houston Astros had a convincing 7-1 win over the Seattle Mariners to clinch their first American League West title in franchise history.

Elsewhere, Detroit Tigers’ Joey Gallo smacked a 490-foot dinger when he faced Los Angeles Angels’ Garrett Richards to put himself in the record books with the 3rd longest homer of the year. On the other hand, Detroit Tigers’ Matthew Boyd almost had a no-hitter if Chicago White Sox’s Tim Anderson didn’t spoil the fun with one out left in the ninth, at least he got a shutout as a consolation prize.

Now, if those performances didn’t leave you breathless at some point then you better fasten your seat belts as we go on the final stretch of the season with multiple teams slugging it out for a Wild Card spot in the postseason.

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Monday, September 18

7:05 PM ET – Baltimore Orioles vs Boston Red Sox (Orioles win)

7:05 PM ET – Los Angeles Dodgers vs Philadelphia Phillies (Dodgers win)

7:05 PM ET – Pittsburgh Pirates vs Milwaukee Brewers (Pirates win)

7:05 PM ET – Minnesota Twins vs New York Yankees (Twins win)

7:10 PM ET – New York Mets vs Miami Marlins (Marlins win)

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7:10 PM ET – Oakland Athletics vs Detroit Tigers (Tigers win)

10:10 PM ET – Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Diego Padres (Diamondbacks win)

Key Matchups

Baltimore Orioles vs Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox haven’t clinched their division yet because the New York Yankees are still hot on their trails. While their upcoming opponents and division rivals, the Baltimore Orioles, are 5.5 games behind a Wild Card spot as they hold on to a sliver of hope to keep their season alive.

The O’s will send Dylan Bundy (13-9, 4.03 ERA) to the mound as they face American League East’s top team. Bundy has started in four games against the BoSox this year but he split the results for a 2-2 record and a 2.49 ERA. Whereas, Doug Fister (5-8, 4.40 ERA) will start for the Red Sox but he’s only faced the Orioles once this season and he still ended up with a loss in that game despite delivering a quality start.

Both pitchers had quality starts in each of the games they played against each other’s teams this year however the O’s recent thrashing of the BoSox in a series sweep last August 25-27 also included a total run tally of 25-4 in favor of the Orioles. So, this could be a one-sided affair if things continue as they are.

Prediction: Baltimore Orioles Win

Minnesota Twins vs New York Yankees

The Minnesota Twins will face the New York Yankees in a three game series which could potentially turn up to be an AL Wild Card matchup preview for the fans. The Yanks hold a four game advantage over the Twins for the top AL Wild Card slot while Minnesota only has a two game lead over the Angels for the final spot of the playoffs.

The Twins previously took two wins in a three game series at home against the Yanks last July 17-19 and they’ve been solid recently with a 3-2 record over their last five. However, the Yanks have been better lately after going 4-1 which included a four game winning streak before losing their last game.

Unfortunately, the Yanks can’t say their latest acquisition has gotten the same luck they had because starter Jaime García hasn’t won a match since joining the Yankees on August 1. While the Twins will send Ervin Santana to the mound with confidence because the righty hasn’t lost since July 21. To make things worse for New York’s side, key batters such as Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius have both been struggling against Santana.

Looks like it’s going to be a long night for the Yankees after this one.

Prediction: Minnesota Twins

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