Previous Day’s Record: 2-1
Overall Record: 15-9
The month of September spoiled us with an almost daily dose of sports action, and today is no exception with a bonus dish for our NFL football diet, and the start of the Division Series in the Major League Baseball postseason.
Let’s take a look at today’s matchups as we go for our fourth consecutive winning day. That‘s right! We are 7-2 in our last nine bets and we feel confident about rolling on under the bright lights of the postseason.
NFL – WEEK 4
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (3-0) vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (2-1)
“The Game That Almost Didn’t Happen” will overshadow the actual Monday Night Football game on ESPN as Mahomes and the Chiefs welcome…sigh…Brian Hoyer and the Patriots to Kansas City for a nationally televised date.
It was hard enough for the Pats to face this challenge with Cam Newton as their starting quarterback, but insert Brian Hoyer and his 1-10 record as a starter since 2016 (his last win was a starter was a 17-14 “shootout” for the Bears against the Lions on October 2, 2016) and I’m not exactly brimming with confidence if I was them.
Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick will scheme to keep the score respectable, but it would take a complete meltdown for the Chiefs to blow this one at home.
My pick: Chiefs (-10.5 @ 1.91) 31 – 20 Patriots
MLB PLAYOFFS – AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES. GAME 1.
TAMPA BAY RAYS VS. NEW YORK YANKEES
These AL East teams loathe each other and, believe it or not, this is the first time that they will be facing each other in the playoffs. It’s actually not that hard to believe, since the Rays stunk for the first decade of their existence until 2008 and they have playoff history within their division with the Boston Red Sox, but not the Yankees.
Ok, no playoff history to go from. Scratch that. How about head-to-head this season? Well, that’s advantage Tampa Bay with a decisive 8-2 edge in that category, but keep in mind that eight of those contests were decided by three or fewer runs.
How about the starting pitchers? Gerrit Cole and Blake Snell never faced each other this year, but Cole did face the Rays three times going 0-1 with a 4.96 ERA and averaging 5 1/3 innings per start.
Snell was slightly more successful with a 1-0 record against New York in two games that come with a caveat: The first saw Snell hold the Yankees hitless over just three innings of action, and he got the win but also allowed two homers at Yankee Stadium in his second stint.
Cole and Snell were both stellar in their respective playoff outings, as well. The pinstriped ace allowed just two runs and struck out 13 Indians in seven innings of work, while Snell allowed one hit and struck out nine against the Blue Jays.
It comes down to who you trust most at a neutral venue like Petco Park in San Diego. A pitcher’s park that could help neutralize the potent Yankee offense. And when it comes to execution of the little things, I’m trusting the Rays.
My Pick: Rays (moneyline @ 2.25) 4 – 3 Yankees
MLB PLAYOFFS – AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES. GAME 1
OAKLAND ATHLETICS. VS. HOUSTON ASTROS
The small market team that wants to end years of frustration faces its biggest test against the big bad of its division that will continue attempting to prove that it doesn’t need to steal signs to win championships.
The A’s don’t have a cavalcade of names you may recognize, but remember this one: Starting pitcher Chris Bassitt. Bassitt allowed 1 run in his last 26 2/3 regular-season innings and was stellar in a do-or-die elimination game against the White Sox , allowing just one run and one walk throwing 65 of his 92 pitches for strikes in Game 2 of the Wild Card round.
In fact, Bassitt shut down the Astros twice this season with respective seven inning gems that saw him allow a single run combined in both regular season contests. He also had a clunker sandwiched in between with four runs allowed in 3.0 innings during the first game of a seven-inning doubleheader against Houston.
If Bassitt and the fifth most effective pitching staff in the Majors can continue their dominance, then Matt Chapman’s absence may continue to not be as harmful as it could be.
I’m leaning towards the AL West winners that were the only ones with a winning record in its division and also went 7-3 against the Astros during the regular season.
My pick: Athletics (-1.5 @ 2.39) 5 – 3 Astros
Place your bets on today’s action now over at play.spreads.ca
Today’s 3-game parlay gives 10.30 odds meaning a $10 bet will have a total return of $103.00
-- by El Hombre