After landing a trio of winners, Ben Steele returns to preview the best MLB games from tonight's schedule, including a look at one of the most unlikely win streaks.
"In his two year career Eric Lauer has never lost to the Dodgers, he boasts a 1.72 career ERA and 0.93 WHIP against one of the best batting lineups around and even beat his opposite number earlier this month."
Streaking Cardinals looking to lock down Central
St Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers
Tuesday 00:05 BST
On a day when many of the big guns don't feature you can always rely on the NL Central to throw up a crucial series. The St Louis Cardinals travel to Milwaukee to face the Brewers knowing that if they can continue their good form they will be hot favourites to win the division. The Cards arrive in Milwaukee off the back of a dominant four game series sweep of the Colorado Rockies where they outscored their opponents 31-12 to continue their impressive end to August.
Adam Wainwright takes the mound for St Louis looking to avoid a repeat of his last outing, also against the Brewers, where he gave up five runs in five innings in a 5-3 loss. The 14-year veteran is too experienced to let the same thing happen again and will expect to improve to 10-9 on the season. St Louis are good value for the win.
Oakland hope Homer can help them close the gap
Oakland Athletics @ Kansas City Royals
Tuesday 01:15 BST
The Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays both have the day off today, and in their absence the Oakland Athletics will be looking to capitalise. The three teams are locked in an intense battle for the two wildcard spots in a very top heavy American League. In a league where seven teams have already won 70 games (four more sides than the National League) there is guaranteed to be two good teams missing out on the playoffs but with a favourable matchup tonight Oakland could be on to a winner.
In the form of Homer Bailey, the A's have a pitcher who has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his last seven starts and facing the 46-85 Kansas City Royals he will fancy his chances of repeating that feat tonight. Kansas have been terrible all year and won't expect anything positive from a series that features five Oakland hitters with more than 20 home runs this season. Oakland should have more than enough to cover the spread.
Lauer looks to keep LA under the thumb
LA Dodgers @ San Diego Padres
Tuesday 03:10 BST
Over the last few years the Dodgers have owned the National League West, and they are on course to pick up their seventh consecutive divisional title. As a result, the San Diego Padres don't have many positive memories against LA but they can look to tonight's starter as a ray of hope. In his two year career Eric Lauer has never lost to the Dodgers, he boasts a 1.72 career ERA and 0.93 WHIP against one of the best batting lineups around and even beat his opposite number earlier this month. Lauer, who makes no secret of the fact he doesn't like the Dodgers, beat Dustin May on 2nd August to improve to 4-0 against LA in his career.
Although May will be pitching to try and earn a playoff roster spot it is difficult for me to look past the weight of history in Lauer's favour, especially given May's inexperience and the price San Diego are available at.