MLB Tipsheet: The best bets from the midweek action
With teams looking to hit form at the right time Ben Steele returns from the All-Star break to pick out the best bets from tonight's MLB action...
"Jake Arrieta will take the mound for Philadelphia boasting an impressive head to head record against just about every member of the Dodgers batting lineup, including LA's newest star Manny Machado."
Arrieta the key to postseason preview win
Dodgers @ Phillies
Wednesday, 17:35 BST
The Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers have both won 56 games this term, both lead their respective divisions and the season series between the sides is tied at 3-3. Tonight is the final time they'll play in the regular season so will be seen as an opportunity to lay down a marker before a potential playoff series in October.
Jake Arrieta will take the mound for Philadelphia boasting an impressive head to head record against just about every member of the Dodgers batting lineup, including LA's newest star Manny Machado.
LA have a number of weapons, their 138 home runs this season are the most by any National League club, but catcher Austin Barnes is the only man in their lineup with a batting average above, or even close to, .300 against the Phillies ace. The 32-year-old Arrieta's experience will be key to Philadelphia's attempts to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and, starting tonight, I expect him to rise to the challenge.
A's to continue their hot streak
Athletics @ Rangers
Thursday, 01:05 BST
On 16th June the Oakland A's lost 8-4 to a Mike Trout inspired Los Angeles Angels and dropped to 34-36, well out of playoff contention. Since then they have gone 25-6, including an outstanding comeback win over the Texas Rangers last night, to force their way in to the wildcard conversation.
Tonight's game is the third in a series that has already seen 41 runs scored and with the likes of Khris Davis, Matt Olson and Joey Gallo on show the scorers are likely to be kept busy again. Unfortunately for Texas, tonight's pitcher is Martin Perez who has struggled all season at home, Perez has an ERA of 10.05 when he starts in Arlington and that level of inconsistency is not good enough when facing the hottest team in baseball.
Expect Khris Davis and his teammates to run out winners again in a high scoring game.
Expect runs in Colorado
Astros @ Rockies
Thursday 01:40 BST
Every Major League ball park is different and his its own little quirks and Coors Field in Denver, Colorado is famed for being a hitter-friendly stadium. The high altitude and large outfield gives batters a lot of opportunity to get the ball in play, something that will suit both teams tonight.
The Astros and the Rockies have lineups that are built around players who hit for average and have an ability to generate runs in a number of ways, turning them both in to top 10 offensive outfits. Gerrit Cole managed to keep Colorado's hitters quiet last night as Houston ran out 8-2 winners in extra innings but it is rare that the Rockies are held down for too long.
Look for Houston's array of hitters to continue their unbelievable season and the Rockies to respond to last night's disappointment and ensure a high scoring game.