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The sad thing about all the injuries in the NFL this season is that none of them are making way for young exciting quarterbacks. The Bears lose Cutler and start Jimmy Claussen, the Steelers lose Ben Roethlisberger and start Michael Vick and the Saints lose Drew Brees and start Luke McCown. We’ve been there and done that with all these guys. Maybe the position just isn’t as deep as NFL defenses have grown smarter and offenses have grown more complex, but injuries should sometimes be an opportunity for a franchise not just a moment of dread.
Speaking of opportunity, the Los Angeles Angels led by Mike Trout have suddenly given themselves a great one for the final week of the season. Thought to be out of the race, they now sit just two games behind the Rangers for the lead in the AL West and 0.5 games behind the Astros for the second Wild Card. They have two games left against the Astros before finishing the season with four against the Rangers that could decide who goes to the playoffs and who goes home. The Astros find themselves in a great position as they finish the season against the Mariners and Diamondbacks, two teams without much to play for. The Twins are still in the Wild Card as well, at 1.5 games out with six to play, but games against the pesky Indians and still-fighting-for-the-top-seed Royals make them underdogs in this race. The wild West should provide all the last season excitement in this final week.
MLB Betting Tips:
St. Louis Cardinals at Pittsburgh Pirates: If the Pirates want to win the division, a very slim possibility, they need to win this game. We saw how badly they want it last night when they pulled JA Happ for a pinch hitter when he had only allowed one hit and thrown 56 pitches. The Cardinals have Michael Wacha going to the mound tonight who has been rough over his past month of play with a 6.75 ERA. He goes against Charlie Morton who has also struggled in his past month with a 5.81 ERA. Despite those numbers this total is set at just seven runs. While I could see a quick hook for both pitchers, I could easily see this being a 3-3 game in the first five innings. Take the over 7 runs.
Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox: The Royals should be relaxing down the stretch, but the Blue Jays have made that impossible for them as they recently overtook them for the top seed in the playoffs. Instead they need to win this game and that is a bonus for us. Johnny Cueto has struggled over the past month, but his last two starts have been promising. He goes against Jeff Samardzija who is coming off a near no-hitter, but that game might as well have come against a Triple-A team as the Tigers put out a terrible lineup of utility players on that day. He won’t be so lucky today as the Royals have one of the lowest strikeout rates in all of baseball. I think this will be an easy win for Kansas City and Royals -131 is the play.
Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks: Christian Bergman goes for the Rockies tonight and it could be a great night for Diamondbacks hitters. He has a 5.24 ERA over the past two seasons and a 1.3 HR/9 rate. That will be trouble in the hitter friendly Chase Field and the Diamondbacks hitters are great fantasy targets. Robbie Ray goes for the Diamondbacks who is solid, but unspectacular. The Rockies struggle against left handed pitching and the Diamondbacks should win this one, but the over 9 runs is the strong play here. There will be runs.