August is here, meaning the race to the finish line is speeding up. Teams will continue battling for postseason positioning as the final months continue on. Those playoff races are heating up, with three division races being separated by less than five games. The wildcard battles will begin to heat up, too.
At the moment, there are a handful of clear-cut playoff contenders. All have eclipsed the 60-win mark and should find themselves playing into the Fall when the regular season ends. Those five clubs are the Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, Braves, and Astros. You might throw the Padres in there, too, as they got a lot better at the trade deadline.
This weekend will have a huge impact on the divisional races as we see huge series matchups between the Mets and Braves, as well as the Padres and Dodgers. We’ll take our best shot at picking a few of these games and more as BetMaker gives its top MLB picks for the weekend slate.
The odds for these games are not yet set but be sure to place your upcoming wagers at BetRivers sportsbook.
Saturday, August 6
Braves vs. Mets (Game 1)
The Braves and Mets meet in a huge divisional series that could help determine the leader in the clubhouse. Entering the weekend, New York holds a slim lead in the NL East over Atlanta. A strong performance from the Braves could help narrow that gap.
Saturday afternoon’s meeting gives fans a doozy of a pitching matchup. The Mets will throw ace Max Scherzer, who’s held opponents to two runs or less in eight straight starts. Against the Braves this year, Scherzer is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and nine Ks.
He’ll face off against Braves ace Max Fried, who’s won 10 games this year. The lefty has given up just one home run over the last two months of action, and he’s fresh off a shutout performance against the Diamondbacks. Against the Mets, Fried is 1-1 with an ERA of 3.27 and 11 strikeouts.
Expect a low-scoring affair in the first game of a Saturday doubleheader.
The Pick: UNDER the run total.
Phillies vs. Nationals
The Phillies take on the depleted Nationals, who just got rid of their two best offensive stars at the trade deadline. Juan Soto and Josh Bell will now compete for a pennant in San Diego while Washington continues to fall further below .500. They’ll have more than they can handle when facing a Philadelphia team that’s battling for a playoff spot.
The Phillies will throw Ranger Suarez, who’s posted respectable numbers on the year (7-5, 3.60 ERA). But it’s who his club will face that makes this matchup intriguing. Washington’s Patrick Corbin is just 4-15 on the season with an ERA of 6.57. While he does have some strikeout ability, he’s struggled to keep runners off the basepaths.
Corbin has allowed four runs or more in each of his last five starts. That includes a matchup with the Dodgers where he failed to get out of the first inning (6 ER, 0.2 IP). Over these last five starts, he’s made it past the fifth inning just once, giving way to one of the worst bullpens in the National League.
Corbin has an ERA of 10.29 since July 9, and we don’t see it getting better against a dangerous Phillies lineup. In his lone start against Philadelphia, he surrendered nine runs (3 ER) over just 3.1 innings of work.
Back to the Phillies.
The Pick: Philadelphia Phillies RL
Sunday, August 7
Brewers vs. Reds
The Brewers face the Reds in an NL Central showdown as Milwaukee hopes to stay atop the division race. They’ll throw their ace, Corbin Burnes, against rookie Hunter Greene, giving his club a sizeable advantage on the bump. Burnes boasts a 2.49 ERA on the year compared to Greene’s mark of 5.26.
Greene has faced his division rival three times, and the Brewers have not been kind. Over 13 innings, Greene’s given up 14 earned runs. That’s equated to an 0-2 record and 9.69 ERA. Greene is also just 2-7 on the road with an ERA above 5.00.
Burnes, meanwhile, has posted a 2.94 ERA at home, and he should leave with another win on Sunday.
The Pick: Milwaukee Brewers RL