The season is entering the part where the contenders are well set and the rest of the league are looking towards their winter breaks. Ben Steele previews the best of the action.
"The Mets have won 14 of their last 18 games, including a number of surprise, comeback wins"
Dodgers will be comfortable in Miami
LA Dodgers @ Miami Marlins
Thursday 20:05 BST
The National League sees a worst vs first matchup tonight as the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Miami Marlins. LA are an absolute powerhouse, and are looking to complete a series sweep. Boasting a lineup packed with stars, with multiple run scoring options, the Dodgers have won their last four games by an aggregate score of 37-4, so clearly have enough to provide pitcher Walker Buehler with support. Buehler is good enough to be the ace in probably about half the teams in the MLB, but in LA he is the third option behind Hyun-jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw. In contrast the Miami Marlins are bereft of confidence and probably already wishing the season would end, expect LA to win very comfortably behind Buehler's arm and multiple star hitters.
Red hot Mets will be tested by Atlanta
New York Mets @ Atlanta Braves
Friday 00:20 BST
The New York Mets are the hottest team in baseball, tonight they face the Atlanta Braves looking to continue their charge towards playoff relevance. The Mets have won 14 of their last 18 games, including a number of surprise, comeback wins.
Tonight, Marcus Stroman starts for New York looking to improve on a record (6-11) that he probably doesn't deserve. Stroman, an acquisition that seems to have sparked this exceptional run, has a solid ERA and lost many of his games while playing for Toronto due to a lack of run support from a Blue Jays team who are well below .500. If Stroman and the Mets can get a win tonight, it will be a real statement game against a Braves side who are probably the main threat to the Dodgers in the National League. Look for a low scoring game, with the Mets covering the handicap.
Twins need win in tight playoff fight
Minnesota Twins @ Texas Rangers
Friday 01:05 BST
The Minnesota Twins face the Texas Rangers in the latest installment of an enthralling playoff race in the AL Central. The Twins and Cleveland Indians have both won an impressive 72 games so far in 2019 in what has been a real back and forth race. Minnesota hold a slim half game lead in the race right now and facing the 60-60 Texas Rangers tonight, while the Indians play a dominant New York Yankees side, the Twins will hope to widen the gap at the top of the division. With Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler both over 30 homers this season, and the whole lineup combining for 233 in total, Minnesota are on pace to set records in the batting box this year. Look for the bats to carry them to victory tonight.