Top MLB Series Of The Week (Sept. 19-21)

Posted by Peter Boysen on September 19, 2016 in

The Chicago Cubs were the first team to clinch a division when they locked away their National League Central title. The Texas Rangers are closing in on the American League West title and home field advantage throughout the American League playoffs. All four American League East teams could win the division — and they could conceivably finish in a four-way tie. As you plan your online sports betting for the week, take a look at this series.
 

Top MLB Series Of The Week (Sept. 19-21)

 

 

Monday-Wednesday: Cincinnati at Chicago Cubs

 
In Monday’s matchup, the Reds will start Dan Straily, one of their more reliable starters this season (13-8, 3.83 ERA). Straily has won his last two starters, permitting eight earned runs in 14 innings and striking out 13. He has permitted no more than three earned runs in his last four starts.
 
On the other side, the Chicago Cubs start Jason Hammel. His record (14-9) and ERA (3.60) are impressive for the season, but he has struggled as of late, taking losses in four of his last five starts and only finishing six innings once. In those last five starts, he has only lasted a combined 23 innings, permitting 27 runs (22 earned) and seven home runs. He did strike out nine men his last time out against the Cardinals, but given that he is still giving up so much offense, I like the free-swinging Reds to win the opener.
 
In Tuesday’s matchup, the Reds send out Tim Adleman to face Jon Lester and the Cubs. His record (2-4, 4.21 ERA) is more typical of what the Reds have been getting from their pitchers this season. He has lost four of his last five decisions, including a four-run, five-inning performance in which he walked three as the Brewers rolled to a 7-0 win.
 
Lester has had a storybook season for the Cubs this year, going 17-4 with a microscopic 2.40 ERA. His last two starts have featured 15 scoreless innings and 15 strikeouts against just one walk while scattering ten hits. I don’t see any reason why he can’t cool down these Cincinnati bats and take the middle game for the Cubs.
 
The Wednesday finale features Robert Stephenson on the hill for the Reds. He has only made five starts this season for the Reds, three since his return from the disabled list on September 5. He has not gone more than 5 1/3 innings in any of his starts, and his last two outings, both against Pittsburgh, saw eight earned runs in just eight innings, with a home run permitted in each game.
 
The Cubs start Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.66 ERA). He has pitched well but has suffered from poor run support. In his last two matchups, he faced the Brewers both times and permitted two earned runs in 11 combined innings, but a lack of run support (in the first game) and a shody bullpen (in the second game) took those wins away. In this game, I like the Cubs to find some hittable pitches from Stephenson and give Montgomery the run support he needs for the win.