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The Colorado Rockies (91-72) will play in a different city
for the third time in three days Tuesday when they visit the Chicago Cubs
(95-68) as small road underdogs in the National League Wild Card game.Both the
Cubs and Rockies are coming off losses in divisional tiebreaker games on
Monday ,
with Chicago falling 3-1 at home to the Milwaukee Brewers and Colorado dropping
a 5-2 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers.MLB betting line: The Cubs opened as
-128 favorites (wager $128 to win $100); the total is at 7.5 runs, according to
sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)Check out
the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or Spotify or at for more
odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week's top sports
betting news.Why the Rockies can pay on the MLB linesThe Rockies went 44-38 on
the road during the regular season, including Monday's setback. But they still
have life and will be playing a reeling Cubs team that probably should not even
be in this position right now. Chicago is just 6-6 in its last 12 games while
Colorado got into the postseason by winning nine of 11.The Rockies will send
southpaw Kyle Freeland (17-7, 2.85 ERA) to the hill, and he has not suffered a
loss since August 1. Since then, they are 10-1 in Freeland's last 11 starts,
with him going a perfect 8-0 during that stretch. He is 12-4 with a 2.49 ERA in
21 starts under the lights.Why the Cubs can pay on the MLB linesThe Cubs have a
lot more playoff experience and hope that will benefit them in this situation.
Countering Freeland will be a pitcher who has been here before in veteran Jon
Lester (18-6, 3.32 ERA) Adrian
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, who also finished strong to close out the regular
season. Lester has gone 6-1 in his last eight outings with one no-decision that
Chicago rallied to win anyway after he left the game.Lester has not allowed more
than three runs in any of his starts over that period and pitched well in his
lone appearance versus Colorado back on April 30, giving up two unearned runs
and five hits in 5.2 innings of a 3-2 victory. Smart betting pickThe Rockies
have fared well against the Cubs over the past two seasons, going 8-5 in 13
meetings, according to the OddsShark MLB Database. In addition, they are 6-2 in
their last eight games at Wrigley Field. Take Colorado to pull off the upset on
the road. MLB betting trendsColorado is 9-2 in its last 11 games.The total has
gone under in 11 of Colorado's last 15 games on the road.The total has gone
under in six of Chicago's last nine games.All MLB odds and betting trends
according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out
OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and
analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker
app. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joe Mauer disagreed with two called strikes by Laz Diaz
and offered as much objection as the mild-mannered veteran will provide by
looking back at the plate umpire following the second one that forced a full
count.Mauer, pinch-hitting in the seventh inning, shook off the frustration and
hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off reliever Louis Coleman Jose
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, and the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers
5-4 on Friday night.“That’s about as professional an at-bat as you’re going to
see,” Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson said. “That’s Joe Mauer right there. He’s a
guy that gets a tough pitcher’s pitch on 3-1, doesn’t panic and gets the pitch
he needs to hit and just put one of the best swings you’ve ever seen.”Eddie
Rosario and Tyler Austin added solo home runs for the Twins, who finally broke
through against Detroit starter Matt Boyd to win their fourth straight
game.Gibson (7-9) allowed three runs and eight hits and struck out five in seven
innings. Taylor Rogers earned his first major league save by striking out Jeimer
Candelario with two runners on in the ninth.Mauer entered the game leading the
majors with a .419 average with runners in scoring position.“Well, it was moment
in a career full of them,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Mauer’s home run.
“You get a chance to use one of the best players in the last decade and a half
in the game in a big situation, it is kind of a nice card to have in the
deck.”Added Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire: “He got one up, he yanked it a little
bit, and Mauer killed it. I’ve seen him do it many times.”Boyd (7-11) beat
Minnesota on Sunday and had not allowed a hit over the previous nine innings
until Austin singled to start the fifth on Friday. Boyd stranded
Austin ,
but the Twins finally broke through an inning later.Rosario homered to break the
scoreless streak against Boyd. Austin started a four-run seventh with his second
home run in five games for Minnesota, a towering shot that reached the second
deck in left-center field.Mauer capped the scoring in the seventh with the
second pinch-hit homer of his career and the first since May 25, 2009, at the
Metrodome. He took a curtain call at the urging of his teammates, including
Gibson.“We don’t give them out too much here, so that was pretty special
tonight,” Mauer said. “Definitely appreciate it.”Boyd surrendered four runs on
four hits in 6 1/3 innings and struck out seven. The Tigers lost their fourth
straight game.“I need to finish,” Boyd said. “That’s what it came down to. Made
a few mistakes, kind of put us in a bind there. It’s my job. I just need to
finish it for the boys in here. It’s on me.”GROUND BALL GIBBYGibson worked his
way through troubles with his ability to get ground balls. Detroit had singles
in the first three innings only to be erased with a double play. Gibson got four
double-play ground balls in the first five innings.Gibson has 18 ground-ball
double plays this season. He entered the night with the most double plays
grounded into in the majors since 2014.TRAINER’S ROOMTigers: LHP Blaine Hardy
was placed on the 10-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left elbow. Hardy
had been dealing with pain in the elbow and reported issues again Friday in
throwing before the game. The move is retroactive to Aug. 15.Twins: LHP
Adalberto Mejia was diagnosed with nerve irritation in his left wrist and he’s
been shut down from throwing until the issue can be resolved. Mejia
(2-0 Devin
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, 2.01 ERA) felt the injury at the end of his last
outing, a five-inning, scoreless start on Aug. 7 against Cleveland. He had
thrown back-to-back, five-inning outings against the Indians without allowing a
run. … RHP Michael Pineda made his second start with Class A Fort Myers on
Thursday, giving up one run on two hits in three innings. Pineda will continue
his rehab from Tommy John surgery with three more starts for Triple-A
Rochester.UP NEXTDetroit will start left-hander Ryan Carpenter (0-1, 6.39) on
Saturday. Carpenter was recalled when the team placed Hardy on the disabled
list. Minnesota will have rookie Kohl Stewart, the fourth-overall pick in the
2013 draft, make his second start in the majors on Saturday. Stewart allowed
three runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings in a loss to Detroit in his major
league debut on Aug. 12.
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