• Rick

Rick's MLB Plays 8/22

New York Mets @ New York Yankees (7:05 ET)

Favorite: Mets -160

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Max Scherzer (2.15 ERA, 0.93 WHIP) vs. Domingo German (4.45 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)

Both of these pitchers in the Subway Series returned from injury in July and have picked up where they left off in the process. German's statistics aren't as pleasing to the eye, but a lot of that can be attributed to his debut start against the Astros where he allowed 5 runs over 3 innings. He still struggles with walks a bit (1.6 per start since), but has limited the deep ball well so far. Unfortunately for German, he's up against one of the hottest offensive teams in baseball, ranking 4th in OPS in August and 7th for the year, the Mets stay churning out runs with 7+ in three of their four games against the Phillies. Expect them to get to German for a few runs and then tack on a few more against the beat up Yankees bullpen (28th in xFIP in August).

Before looking at Scherzer's stats, I expected him to be down a bit given recent performances, like towards a 3 ERA. Nope, he's still nearly at a two with well below a one WHIP. Maybe it was the recency bias of allowing 4 runs on 3 hits against the Braves, but Scherzer has been nothing short of dominant. With that last outing aside, he hadn't allowed more than 2 runs in 10 consecutive starts. Given how poor the Yankees have been offensively lately (26th in August), I'd expect him to have yet another solid outing. It's expensive, but I'll go with the Mets to secure the victory in the first game of the rivalry.

Pick: Mets ML -160 (1u)

Texas Rangers @ Minnesota Twins (7:10 ET)

Favorite: Twins -210

Total: 8.5

Pitchers: Cole Ragans (5.02 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) vs. Sonny Gray (3.11 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

After losing back-to-back games at home in this series, the Twins enter Monday night desperate to split the series as they're now 1.5 games back of the Guardians in the division and only 1 game ahead of the White Sox. Enter Sonny Gray, who has been nothing short of brilliant in his last five outings. Sonny has allowed just 5 runs over his last 26.2 innings with just 18 hits in the process. Factor in his 32 strikeouts and you've got someone performing at their peak. The Twins' offense hasn't gotten been producing as much as expected in this series, but with Cole Ragans on the mound there's hope they get back on track. I'm not writing Ragans off by any means, but he's been hittable through 3 outings in his debut season. He's allowed 4 home runs over his last two starts and 8 walks over his 15.1 innings. Expect the Twins to get to him early and often for 2-3 runs and be leading after five innings.

Pick: Twins F5 -.5 -136 (1u)

Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

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