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MLB Tipsheet: Trio of series clinchers on the cards

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A big night of playoff baseball as all four Division Series games could be completed tonight. Ben Steele previews the action and expects the Championship Series to be starting soon.

With the likes of Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler lining up tonight it is hard to see how the third game in this ALDS matchup will be low scoring.

Greinke in to seal the sweep

Houston Astros @ Tampa Bay Rays
Monday 18:05 BST

The Houston Astros travel to Tampa Bay to face the Rays as they look to complete a series sweep. Pitcher Zack Greinke is a good man to be able to call on in a situation like this, the veteran is 8-1 in his Astros career and in his last appearance carried a no-hitter in to the ninth inning. Tampa Bay will try to counter Greinke with Charlie Morton, a former Astro, who has a history of impressive playoff performances.

Morton already has an October win this season, as he lead the Rays to a 5-1 Wildcard win over Oakland, and he earned his place in the Houston history books with a win in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. However, with the Rays batting lineup often struggling for runs I expect Greinke to earn the win in an incredibly tight game. Look for an Astros win and under 7.5 runs in the game, as the World Series favourites advance.

Scherzer will struggles with Dodgers bats

LA Dodgers @ Washington Nationals
Monday 23:40 BST

Max Scherzer is the man of the moment again for the Washington Nationals as they look to survive against the LA Dodgers. Scherzer, who pitched in the Wildcard game win over the Brewers, was called out of the bullpen in Washington's win on Saturday night so is coming off short rest in a must win game. Unfortunately for Scherzer, the Dodgers showed just how dangerous they can be in last nights win.

With two outs in the 6th inning, and down 2-1, the LA lineup exploded for an incredible seven runs to blow the game open and set up this potential series clinching win. The output is all the more impressive when you consider that the Dodgers are scoring at this rate with MVP candidate Cody Bellinger yet to get in on the act. The 24-year-old All-Star has a playoff batting average of .182 and is yet to register an RBI as the Nationals pitchers have kept him incredibly quiet. Look for Bellinger to finally turn up and provide support for starter Rich Hill as LA wrap it up.

Runs expected in Minnesota

New York Yankees @ Minnesota Twins
Tuesday 01:40 BST

In 2018 the New York Yankees broke the record for most home runs hit by a team in a single season, a record that had stood for 21 years. The Yankees mark lasted less than 12 months as tonight's opponents, the Minnesota Twins hit 307 in the 2019 season, 40 more than New York's record. With the likes of Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Nelson Cruz and Max Kepler lining up tonight it is hard to see how the third game in this ALDS matchup will be low scoring.

The Yankees are favourites to win, despite being on the road, and will look to give pitcher Luis Severino a lot of run support. Severino missed most of the season with a shoulder problem but looked solid when he did play, it is likely that he will be on a short leash so New York will know they need to get after Twins starter, Jake Odorizzi. The Twins' man was chased from the game after just four innings last time he faced the Yankees, after conceding nine runs. Look for history to repeat itself in a high scoring game.

Ben Steele,

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