There is a massive schedule of games this Monday, October 11th – including two elimination games in the ALDS! We have previewed all four of today’s Division Series playoff games and found our best MLB picks for each!
The two National League series have a decisive Game Three tonight, with both series squared at 1-1. Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox needed 13 innings to get over the line against Tampa and Chicago breathed some life into their postseason chances, winning Game Three to keep their series alive.
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for today’s four Division Series playoff games.
Milwaukee Brewers @ Atlanta Braves (Game 3) – 1.07pm EDT
The Atlanta Braves were able to get a split in Milwaukee and return home with a heap of confidence following their 3-0 win over the Brewers on Saturday. This was always going to be a defensive series, with six total runs through the first two games, but can the series open up with a change in location?
As the preview suggests, this has been an extremely defensive series. Both sides are tied on 11 hits through two games, with the Braves leading the total runs by 4-2, thanks to their 3-0 win on Saturday. Looking ahead to tonight’s game, can either side get a flow on with the bat?
Freddy Peralta and Ian Anderson would like to think that they will continue the defensive way this series has been played, but both have been giving up more runs than their season averages to close out the regular season. Peralta had regular season stats of a 2.81 ERA and 0.97 ERA but when looking at his last seven games, they ballooned to 5.04 and 1.25 respectively. Anderson had a similar pattern, going from a 3.58 ERA and 1.23 WHIP for the season to 4.41 and 1.41 respectively, over his last seven.
Does that mean that both batting lineups could finally get something going here? Of the remaining eight teams in the postseason, Atlanta ranks seventh for OPS and eighth for average while Milwaukee ranks eighth for OPS and seventh for average. That fills me with no confidence for this clash so I am siding with the Braves. Their batting lineup has performed slightly better of late and when looking at the two starting pitchers, Anderson is the only one of the two that has a start in the postseason. From four games, all starts, Anderson’s postseason stats show a 2-0 record and 0.96 ERA, giving up just two runs across 18.2 innings of work in those four games. That should give the Braves the edge, at home, and I like them to take a 2-1 series lead.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves (-112)
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 9, 2021
Things are all leveled up at one game apiece, in what was another low scoring affair. The first game saw just three runs scored in total, when the Brewers won 2-1. The second game also had just three runs scored, when the Braves leveled things up 3-0. Now we are heading for two games in Atlanta, so will the Braves be able to take advantage of playing in front of a home crowd?
The Brewers need to get their batting in check, as they have only scored two runs in the past two games against the Braves. This is a team that has really struggled all season long at the plate, as they average just .233, with a slugging percentage of .396. They will be looking to the likes of Adames and Tellez to lead the pack and get the Brewers some much needed runs on the board. While the Brewers may have only scored two runs in the first two games, the Braves aren’t really doing much better, thanks to the pitching staff. The Brewers have a combined ERA of 2.00 with a 1.00 WHIP throughout the first two games.
It is also the Braves pitching that is helping them in this series, with a regular season combined ERA of 3.88 along with a 1.24 WHIP. It is Anderson that will be on the mound for the Braves, and he has a 9-5 record which includes a 3.58 ERA with 124 strikeouts. The team finished in the middle of the league when it came to batting average, but they are fifth in terms of slugging percentage. The Braves will be looking towards the likes of Riley and Pederson, who have both hit a home run for the Braves in the postseason.
I’m going to go for the Braves in this one. Anderson has been pitching very well in his last couple of starts and they love playing at home, winning five of their previous six. If Anderson can pitch well, then the Brewers don’t really stand a chance.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves (-112)
The Braves stole a big win in Milwaukee and now go back to Atlanta for a 2 game home stand that could win them the series. The Braves delivered a textbook defensive performance off the back of Max Fried’s great 6 inning performance where he had 9 strikeouts and no runs allowed.
Now the Braves will be starting Ian Anderson to try to win 2 in a row against the 95-win Brewers. Ian Anderson doesn’t really inspire much confidence as he only pitched in 128 innings this season and had a decent 9-5 record. His statistics aren’t bad though with a 3.58 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in the regular season. Anderson has been good this season in his lone game against the Brewers with 1 run allowed and 4 strikeouts in 6 innings. If Anderson can ensure the moment doesn’t become too big for him, he could very well subdue this Brewers hitting unit once again.
On the other side, the Brewers will be trying to bounce back from an embarrassing loss where their weaknesses were exposed. To lead this bounce back they’ll be bringing in Freddy Peralta who has been very good this season. Peralta had a 2.81 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 195 strikeouts in 144 innings this season. He was very well one of the best pitchers in the league. If Peralta can play to the level he is used to this will end up being another low scoring affair. Based on the pitching matchup and the last game, I think the unders is a good punt.
Houston Astros @ Chicago White Sox (Game 4) – 3.37pm EDT
**Game has been postponed until Tuesday, October 12th. Check tomorrow’s MLB picks for an updated preview and prediction from our experts**
With their backs against the wall, the Chicago White Sox delivered, beating the Houston Astros 12-6 last night. They dominated proceedings, recording 16 hits to 6, but they still face elimination this afternoon and the Astros will be wanting to progress to the American League Championship Series.
Can the White Sox force a Game Five? They showed incredible fight yesterday but they have to back it up this afternoon, and I think they will. 16 hits to six is a massive difference in a postseason game and based on who is pitching in tonight’s game, I think there could be a similar story.
Jose Urquidy is starting on the hill for Houston and he has modest numbers of an 8-3 record and 3.62 ERA from his 20 starts in the regular season. However, when looking at his last three games, that ERA balloons to 4.35, giving up 15 runs across 31 innings of work. Meanwhile, Chicago is starting Carlos Rodon, and I am much more impressed with his figures. His 24 starts this season returned a 13-5 record along with a 2.37 ERA, and over his last seven games he is 5-1 with a 2.81 ERA. While the ERA does increase slightly, it is still much better than Urquidy’s, both for the season and over the last seven games, plus Rodon also only gave up 10 runs from 32 innings of work.
Given the performance they put together last night, Chicago showed that they can compete and be a dominant force in this series, and throughout the postseason. It is just a matter of piecing it all together at the right time. They still did allow Houston to score six runs, but they managed to outscore them and I think they will again this afternoon.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Chicago White Sox (-126)
This guy had a good night.
Chicago White Sox second baseman Leury Garcia hits a three-run homer during the third inning in game three of the American League Divisional Series against the Houston Astros Sunday in Chicago. pic.twitter.com/4vUaYhsyRP
— armando l sanchez (@mandophotos) October 11, 2021
The White Sox needed that win to stay in the hunt, and it was a great win at that, with the final scoreline, 12-6. They will need to continue the momentum, as one slip up will cost them the chance to play in the fifth game of the series and potentially moving on to the next round of the postseason. After putting the White Sox in their place in the first two games, the Astros really got a taste of their own medicine in the third.
All games so far in this series have been pretty high scoring, and the White Sox will once again be feeding off the crowd to help them post a big enough score. The White Sox ability to get base hits is what is keeping them so competitive game after game. They will be looking for Robert to step up again, as he is having a good playoff run so far. Rondon is the starting pitcher for the White Sox and he will be looking to utilize his slider, which has been his best pitch this season with a batting average of .107 along with a slugging percentage of .126.
The Astros have a very deep lineup, but need their offense to click into gear as this helps take the pressure off the pitching staff. The Astros are great at drawing out the walks, in fact they have drawn 13 walks in just three games, something that the White Sox will need to keep their eye on. The Astros will be looking to get the win here, to give the team and pitchers an opportunity to rest before moving to the next round.
I’m not too sure about Rondon for the White Sox, so I’m taking a punt on the Astros for this one. The Astros batters may very well overwhelm him and take him to town. With so much experience and depth in the Astros team, I’m expecting a win for the Astros on the road.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros (+108)
After a big bounce back win, where the White Sox scored 12 runs, Chicago will be looking to equalize the series at home. The White Sox surprised many with their explosive hitting performance where 4 batters scored 2 runs each. Leury Garcia shined with 2 big hits leading to 4 runs batted in. Now this big hitting may have been the result of poor pitching by Luis Garcia. Garcia allowed 5 runs in 2.2 innings leading the Astros to start on the back foot.
The Astros will be looking to avoid such a poor pitching performance in game 4. The White Sox on the other hand will be trying to replicate this big hitting. They haven’t been unable to stop the Astros from scoring as evident by the fact they have allowed them to an average of 7 runs per game in the 3 playoffs games they’ve played. The only way the White Sox can equalize this series is with a big hitting performance by their batting unit.
They will also need pitcher Carlos Rodon to minimise the impact of the Astros batters. Rodon should be able to do so as he has held the Astros to 1 run in 12 innings during the regular season and had 18 strikeouts during those 2 games. If Rodon can replicate his regular season success and the White Sox can continue their great hitting at home, they could very well win this thing. Therefore, I’m going to take a chance on the White Sox to equalize the series.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Chicago White Sox (-126)
Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox (Game 4) – 7.07pm EDT
What a thriller! With the series tied at 1-1, the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox found themselves deadlocked at 4-4 after nine innings and the bonus baseball lasted for four innings! Christian Vazquez hit a two-run walk-home homer in the bottom of the 13th, giving Boston the win and the 2-1 series lead. Can they close out #1 seed Rays tonight or will Tampa show some life? Find out below!
After siding with Boston for the last two games, I am flipping back to Tampa. Surely, with their backs against the wall, the Rays have to keep this series alive. They are yet to name a start for the game, at the time of writing, but Boston has named their and that is a big positive for the Rays.
Eduardo Rodriguez is starting Game Four and he was the starter in Game One, when Tampa won 5-0. He lasted just 1.2 innings on Thursday, giving up two runs on two hits in that time, highlighting the fact that the Rays can get a hold of him. He faced the Rays on three occasions in the regular season and in one game, he gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings.
Clearly Boston has the momentum, and their batting lineup has been the best of all teams in the postseason. They have a massive 51 hits from their four games, averaging nearly 13 hits per game, with no other team averaging 10. However, Tampa are facing elimination and I expect that they will step up to the plate and deliver.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (-108)
WALK-OFF INTO THE SERIES LEAD! pic.twitter.com/t8h8VBAGUr
— Red Sox (@RedSox) October 11, 2021
Such a disappointing loss for the Rays last time out, going down to the Red Sox in the 13th innings, and they now need to overcome a 1-2 series deficit. The good news? If they can win this game they will be going to a fifth game, which will be played in Tampa Bay.
The Rays will need to bounce back fast, and while they haven’t yet named their starting pitcher at the time of writing, they have a number of different high quality options they can choose from. They are also powerful with the bat, and way too good of a team to go down to the Red Sox 0-3 in the Division Series. They have scored 222 home runs during the regular season, which put them sixth in the league, and they were among the top five when it comes to runs allowed, staff ERA and WHIP. Expect a short leash for whoever the starting pitcher is, the Rays do not want a repeat of the second game.
The Red Sox offense has been on display all season long, and they aren’t letting up in the postseason either, in the first three games of the series, they have outscored the Rays, 20 to 15. I’m expecting another fiery and high scoring affair from the likes of Devers and co, with the crowd right behind them every step of the way.
The Red Sox will be feeding off their victory yesterday and I think this will be enough to set them apart and help them wrap up the series. The Red Sox have won seven of their previous 10 games playing at home, and they will be looking to take the Rays out of the game, right from the start.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Boston Red Sox (-108)
After a big win by Boston, they now lead the series against the defending American League champions and have a chance to finish the Rays at home. In Game 3, the Red Sox scored 2 runs in the 13th inning as a result of a walk off home run by Christian Vazquez. Nathan Eovaldi fared well holding the Rays top 2 batting unit to just 2 runs in 5 innings.
In game 4 the Red Sox will be looking to shock the world and beat the Rays. The Red Sox have destroyed the Rays defense scoring 20 runs in the last 2 playoff games after scoring 0 runs in game 1. The Rays will need to stop the batting dominance of the Red Sox for a chance to win it here. The positives for the Rays is that the Red Sox are one of the streakier batting teams in the league. During a regular season series against the Rays, the Red Sox scored 20 runs and then scored just 1 run the next game. This could happen once again if the Red Sox aren’t careful.
Another positive for the Rays is that the Red Sox are starting Eduardo Rodriguez, who allowed 2 runs in 1 inning in game 1, giving Rodriguez a 10.8 ERA in the postseason. If Rodriguez can’t hold it together, the Rays could pull out to an early lead and win this. I think this outcome is extremely likely, which is why I am going to go with the Rays to equalize the series and win game 4.
San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Game 3) – 9.37pm EDT
After being held run-less in Game One, the Los Angeles Dodgers made their presence felt in this series, beating the San Francisco Giants 9-2 in Game Two on Saturday. The series now heads to LA and Game Three presents itself as the most important game these two NL West rivals will play all year.
Saturday night saw the Dodgers bounce back and dominate the Giants, leveling the series 1-1 with their 9-2 win. The series now returns to LA and I am picking the Dodgers to keep going with it in this one.
Max Scherzer is starting on the mound and that only means one thing for the Dodgers – they will have every chance to win and they most likely will. Since coming across from the Nationals mid-season, Scherzer has played in 12 games for LA, including the Wild Card Playoff, and has a 7-0 record along with a sub-2.00 ERA. In the other five games that he wasn’t awarded the win, Los Angeles won anyway, meaning the Dodgers are perfect when Scherzer starts.
He is going up against a former Dodger, Alex Wood. After five seasons in LA, Wood made the move to San Francisco and has had an exceptional season, posting a 10-4 record from his 26 starts, along with a 3.83 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. However, he gave up five runs across the two games pitched to LA in the regular season and doesn’t have a good record as a postseason starter, being 0-1 from just two games. That doesn’t bode well in a matchup against FanDuel’s World Series favorites, the Dodgers, especially with Max Scherzer starting on the other side.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-215)
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 10, 2021
We were expecting a close series, and this is exactly what we are getting, with things all tied up after two games. The series now moves to Los Angeles where the Dodgers and the Giants will play two games, and the Dodgers will be looking to take full advantage of their home crowd for those two games, to wrap up the series.
The Giants have been hitting pretty well so far this postseason, but will be looking to draw more walks, to try and make things easier for them. Wood will be starting on the mound for the Giants and he has faced off against the Dodgers three times throughout the regular season, for a 0-2 record in 17 innings. He allowed nine runs on 20 hits, which included 22 strikeouts and three walks.
The Dodgers are obviously a good postseason team, and they are very strong both offensively and when it comes to pitching. Scherzer will be on the mound for the Dodgers and he has a lot of variation that could very well help get the Dodgers across the line tonight. The Dodgers just need to put in a performance like we are all used to when they are playing at home, and this should be another win for them.
How can you go past the Dodgers, playing at home and especially after their previous performance? The Dodgers have won five of their previous six playoff games at home, and have won four of their previous five playoff games when they are the favorite. Whereas the Giants have won just one of their previous five playoff games where they are the underdog. Back the Dodgers here.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-215)
The Dodgers bounced back in game 2 with a dominating 9-2 win against the Giants to steal a game on the road. Julio Urais showed us why he is the winningest pitcher in the league with yet another key win when it counts. Now the Dodgers are heading back home to try and take the series lead and show the world why they are considered the best team in the MLB.
The Dodgers will once again be trusting Max Scherzer to take down the Giants. Scherzer was a freak in the regular season with a 2.46 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 236 strikeouts, and took care of the Cardinals in the Wild Card game with 1 run allowed in 4 innings leading to a 2.08 ERA. The Dodgers will be looking for Scherzer to continue his regular season form against the Giants. Surprisingly Scherzer didn’t pitch against the Giants once this season, leading to an interesting variable in this matchup. I think Scherzer should still be able to hold the Giants to a low run total.
On the other side, the Giants are starting Alex Wood. Wood was decent in the regular season with a 3.83 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Wood starting is a bit of a head scratcher as he didn’t play particularly well against the Dodgers in the regular season with 20 hits and 9 runs allowed in 17 innings. These are good but not great figures. Regardless, Wood will contend against a hot Dodgers’ batting unit who has shown they can go on big hot streaks as they did in the regular season. I think the Dodgers win this one, there is just too much stacked against the Giants for them to feel like a good pick.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-215)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.