What better way to cap off a long holiday weekend than with some Labor Day Major League Baseball picks for a pair of games on Monday night.
First up, the Cleveland Indians (79-57, 2nd place in AL Central) host the visiting Chicago White Sox (60-75, 3rd place in AL Central). The home team is priced at -250 for this divisional showdown with the over/under set at 10.
Next, on the Monday Menu we head out west to Dodger Stadium, where Los Angeles (88-50, 1st place in the NL West) takes on their division rival Colorado Rockies (59-78, 5th place in NL West). The Dodgers are -300 favorites with the totals set at 8.5.
Lets’ take a closer look into these two matchups, starting pitchers and betting trends and make some winning MLB picks to end your long weekend on top.
Cleveland Indians (Aaron Civale) vs. Chicago White Sox (Ross Detwiler), 7:10 p.m. ET
The Cleveland Indians are coming off a tough sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend. They enter the week in second place in the AL Central, trailing the Minnesota Twins by 5.5 games in the pursuit of another division title. The losses this weekend to Tampa Bay were particularly devastating as the Rays now take a half-game lead in the Wild Card race, leaving the Indians just a half-game up on the Oakland Athletics.
The Indians are taking a chance tonight by starting rookie right-hander Aaron Civale, who carries a 2-3 record with a 0.90 WHIP and a stingy 1.96 ERA into this game, his first start at Progressive Field since August 5. Civale is not a strikeout machine, posting just 30 strikeouts in 36.2 innings, but he has found success as a pitcher who pounds the strike zone and pitches to contact.
“He keeps the hitters off-balance. He just competes, pounds the strike zone and goes after hitters. That’s what you want,” Indians catcher Kevin Plawecki said.
As a team, Cleveland gives up and average of eight hits per nine innings while striking out more than a batter an inning. The bullpen has a very spiffy 3.51 ERA, something you want whenever backing a rookie pitcher, and figures to see some work today as Civale has pitched seven innings just once in six appearances this season.
The Chicago White Sox will counter with Ross Detwiler, who enters Monday with a 2-4 record and a rather unsightly 6.45 ERA in eight starts this year with a 1.57 WHIP. Needless to say, 2019 has not been kind to Detwiler. He had to wait until August 22 to pick up his first win of the season vs. the Rangers after tossing six innings of one-run ball, by far his best outing to date.
It seems like the lone bright spot on the White Sox these days is shortstop Tim Anderson, who tore up pitching in August hitting a robust .364 with 9 RBIs and 21 runs scored. His RBI numbers would be much better if he were on a better team, his 44 August hits really went to waste with such a bad supporting cast.
The Indians have enjoyed consistent success vs the White Sox at home, amassing a 12-4 record over their last 16 games and have won 35 of the last 51 games vs AL Central Rivals.
It seems all fingers point to the Indians as an obvious pick for this hometown battle with the White Sox. With Cleveland’s ML odds at -235, we recommend a play on the Indians runline odds at -124. With the Indians above average hitting and Detwiler on the hill, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where the White Sox remain in this game past 5 innings. The Over/Under for this matchup is a stay-away bet with team trends favoring the under but both starters are over bets, so be wary and try to stick to the spread.
Los Angeles Dodgers (Walker Buehler) vs Colorado Rockies (Peter Lambert), 8:10 p.m. ET
The late-game Monday night sees the struggling Colorado Rockies head out to Los Angeles for a game against the Dodgers. At this point, the Dodgers are well on their way to their seventh National League West title in a row, and the Rockies will be a mere blip on their way to the playoffs.
Colorado is coming off an August which saw them tie a franchise record for the worst August in team history after a 9-19 record. This was actually an improvement of their July 6-19 mark, their worst overall month in team history. Needless to say, the Rockies are in an absolute tailspin and will remain a punching bag until season’s end. There are some bright spots on the team, specifically Trevor Story who hit .376 in August and Nolan Arenado who tied a club record with 12 homers last month. Two players, however, are not nearly enough to keep a team in the win column and the Rockies will have a lot of offseason work to do if they wish to remain competitive in 2020.
The Rockies will be starting rookie righty Peter Lambert, who has a 2-5 record with a 6.63 ERA on the season. Lambert has seen the Dodgers twice already this season and saw little success against the powerhouse, posting a 0-2 record while giving up 8 runs and 16 hits over 9 ⅔ innings. Colorado is just 2-11 in Lambert’s last 13 starts, with the over 4-1 in his last 5 starts. Another troubling statistic is the Rockies bullpen, which ranks near the bottom in ERA and saves on the season. This is particularly important as Lambert has only once pitched more than six innings once on the season, his first start of the year back in June. So, expect the Rockies bullpen to make an early and unimpressive appearance Monday night in Los Angeles.
Last season the Dodgers we’re merely ‘in the hunt’ around this time and actually had to play Colorado in a one-game playoff to make the postseason in the first place. Lucky for them, they currently lead the NL West by 18 games with just a few weeks of play left.
Los Angeles turns to Walker Buehler to keep them in the win column Monday night with the youngster sporting an 11-3 record with a 3.03 ERA and 185 strikeouts on the season. Buehler is also 3-1 with a 3.59 ERA and 66 strikeouts against the Rockies over the course of his career in LA. The Dodgers are 17-5 in Buehler’s last 22 division starts and 5-1 over his last 6 starts at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles is also 5-0 vs the Rockies in Buehler’s last 5 starts vs Colorado. Long story short, there is a lot to like about the Dodgers on Labor Day.
With money lines odds in the +275 area, it’s hard to pass up a big underdog bet on the Rockies tonight. But you need to remain strong as Colorado is the wrong play Monday night, most nights in fact.
Your best bet for this game Monday night is the Dodgers -1.5 (-150) and trust that Buehler keeps the Rockies off the board long enough for LA to do some damage. Total betting trends lean toward the under, which is 3-0-1 in Buehler’s last 4 home starts vs Colorado and 5-1-1 in his last 7 overall starts vs the Rockies. We still think the spread bet is the better pick tonight but the UNDER is also a strong play and would make for a nice parlay ticket tonight.