As the MLB enters the final month the race for the playoffs intensifies, Ben Steele, fresh from another three winners last week, previews tonight's action.
"The 31-year-old is on red hot form since the All-Star break, boasting a 4-0 record and a 1.04 ERA in that time, as he stepped back in to his role as the Mets ace."
Clevinger should find it easy against woeful Tigers
Cleveland Indians @ Detroit Tigers
Thursday 18:10 BST
The Detroit Tigers have been comfortably the worst team in baseball this season, they have the worst record, the worst offence and a defensive unit that are bottom five in multiple categories. Tonight they face the playoff chasing Cleveland Indians and pitcher Mike Clevinger who is chasing his 10th win of the year. Clevinger has had a more limited season than last year but has arguably been in the best form of his career, he has won nine of his 14 starts and held opponents to an ERA of 3.00. The Indians are a solid, if unspectacular, offensive unit so the game is unlikely to be high scoring but Cleveland will have more than enough to beat a hapless Tigers outfit.
Mets will stop the sweep
Chicago Cubs @ New York Mets
Friday 00:10 BST
The New York Mets and Chicago Cubs are both chasing a National League playoff spot and their three game series, which ends tonight has emphatically swung the needle in favour of the Cubs. A pair of Chicago wins in New York has strengthened their hold on a wildcard spot and pushed the Mets four games back in the race. Tonight New York turn to their best pitcher to try and avoid the sweep. Jacob deGrom is one of the best pitchers in baseball and despite an 8-7 record is still making a case to win the Cy Young Award this year. The 31-year-old is on red hot form since the All-Star break, boasting a 4-0 record and a 1.04 ERA in that time, as he stepped back in to his role as the Mets ace.
With the Mets needing a win to stay in the race will fancy their chances behind their golden arm and facing Jon Lester, who is struggling in August, they could win well.
Ryu fatigue becoming an issue
LA Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks
Friday 02:40 BST
The main threat to Jacob deGrom's Cy Young chances is undoubtedly Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers man has been spectacular this season but his heavy workload is starting to take its toll. Ryu has pitched 152.2 innings so far this year, more than any season in his career other than his rookie year, and he looked tired in a short outing against the New York Yankees last time out. With the Dodgers a shoe-in for a playoff spot their thoughts will now turn to managing their stars so that they are fit and ready for October baseball. With that in mind, look for Ryu to only feature for a few innings tonight, which may give the Diamondbacks an opportunity to earn a win.
Arizona have been involved in a lot of close games this season, so backing them to cover the spread against a Dodgers outfit with one eye on the playoffs looks a good bet to me.