Three key games with playoff implications will be broadcast on Tuesday night with an ESPN Game of the Week and regional coverage on west coast on MLB Network. The Milwaukee Brewers take on the St. Louis Cardinals on ESPN, while the Seattle Mariners battle the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Texas Rangers take on the Oakland Athletics on MLB Network.

Matchup: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals

Date/Time: September 16, 8:15 p.m. ET


MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: MIL: Wily Peralta (16-10, 3.75) v. STL: Lance Lynn (15-9, 2.73)

Moneyline: St. Louis -152

Total: 7

Even though the NL Central Division is no longer in play for the Milwaukee Brewers, they are within striking distance in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot. The St. Louis Cardinals are trying to inch closer to their second consecutive NL Central title. These two teams are going in different directions as the Cardinals are playing well at the right time like most veteran teams do and the Brewers are struggling to stay afloat.

Wily Peralta will take the mound for the Brewers as every game is a must-win. Peralta showed some signs of how good he can be last season, but he’s taken it to another level this year. He’s 16-10 with a 3.75 ERA, though his 4.36 FIP suggests that some regression could be possible in his last few starts. Peralta has a 3.81 ERA since the All-Star Break and bounced back from two terrible outings to end the month of August.

Lance Lynn has put together an excellent season for the Cardinals with a 2.73 ERA and the league’s best HR/9 at 0.4. Lynn’s strikeout rate has dropped from where it was last season, but he’s been locating better in the zone and it has paid dividends. Over his last 17 starts, Lynn has a 2.18 ERA and opposing batters are batting just .224 over 107.1 innings of work.

Peralta has faced the Cardinals eight previous times with mixed results. He’s 4-4, but has a 4.60 ERA. Most of the damage was done last season as Peralta had a 7.81 ERA in four starts. This season, he has a 2.08 ERA in four starts. The Brewers are 17-12 in his 29 starts for a profit of 3.87 units.

Lynn has faced the Brewers 13 times overall and nine times as a starter. In those 60.2 innings, Lynn has a 5-2 record and a 2.37 ERA. This season, Lynn is 2-0 in three starts with a 2.00 ERA. The Cardinals are 19-11 in Lynn’s 30 starts for a profit of 6.80 units.

Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals

Lance Lynn is in quite a groove right now and the Brewers are not at a point where it feels like they have leveled off from their long slump. Lynn has been one of the game’s more profitable pitchers and he has thrown the ball very well against the Brewers in his career. The Cardinals have been dominant at home on the season.

Matchup: Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Date/Time: September 16, 10:05 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: SEA: Roenis Elias (10-12, 3.81) v. LAA: Cory Rasmus (3-1, 2.80)

Moneyline: Los Angeles -121

Total: 8.5

The Seattle Mariners have taken advantage of Oakland’s struggles to get right in the thick of the hunt for either AL Wild Card spot. The Angels have taken advantage of Oakland’s struggles to run away and hide in the AL West standings and are on the verge of locking up both the division and home-field advantage for the duration of the AL playoffs. A lot is at stake in every game for contenders at this time of year, but that’s especially true of these two teams.

Roenis Elias probably didn’t expect to pitch in big games in September when he got to Spring Training this season. With just 22 starts worth of experience at Double-A, Elias made one start at Triple-A Tacoma in the middle of this season and that’s the extent of his upper minors experience. Elias has thrown the ball well for the Mariners this season with a 3.81 ERA and eight strikeouts per nine innings.

Cory Rasmus has been pushed into the Angels rotation due to injuries and ineffectiveness and the experiment has had mixed results thus far. Rasmus hasn’t built up his arm strength, so his longest start has been just 3.1 innings. He has allowed just three runs over eight innings in three starts, and the Angels are actually 3-0 in his starts, despite the short outings.

Elias will face the Angels for the third time this season. He is 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA. Elias has allowed three runs or less in each of his nine starts since the All-Star Break. The Mariners are 12-16 for a loss of 5.04 units in Elias’s 28 starts.

Rasmus will face the Mariners for the fifth time in his career, but the first time as a starter. He has allowed one run on four hits in 5.1 relief innings. The Angels are 3-0 in Rasmus’s three starts for a profit of 3.11 units.

Free MLB Pick: Seattle Mariners

There’s only so much a bullpen can take this time of year and a quick exit from Rasmus will put a lot of strain on the Anaheim bullpen. Elias has thrown the ball extremely well since the All-Star Break and the Mariners are certainly playing with some desperation right now.

Matchup: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics

Date/Time: September 16, 10:05 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: TEX: Nick Tepesch (4-10, 4.47) v. OAK: Jeff Samardzija (4-5, 3.41)

Moneyline: Oakland -230

Total: 7

The Oakland Athletics are hoping that a matchup against the Texas Rangers can be the cure for what ails them. The A’s entered this series with a 7-5 record against the Rangers, but the Rangers have been in shambles for quite a while. With Ron Washington’s firing and a legitimate shot at 100 losses, the Rangers have not been worth backing for quite a while.

Nick Tepesch draws the short straw as his turn in the rotation comes up against the Athletics. Tepesch has thrown the ball reasonably well for the Rangers, considering that the Rangers have given him just 2.87 runs of support per start. Since the All-Star Break, Tepesch is just 1-5 with a 4.64 ERA in nine starts and one relief appearance.

Jeff Samardzija has been what the A’s expected when they acquired him from the Cubs in early July, but the A’s haven’t been what Samardzija expected. The big right-hander is 4-5 with a 3.41 because the A’s have scored 63 runs in 13 starts, including one game in which the A’s scored 13 runs. Take away Samardzija’s four starts against Houston and the A’s have scored 32 runs in nine starts.

Tepesch has not fared well against the Athletics. In five previous appearances, three starts, Tepesch has a 7.11 ERA and has given up 23 hits in 19 innings. The Rangers are 7-12 for a loss of 3.18 units in Tepesch’s 19 starts. Samardzija will face the Rangers for the first time in his career. The A’s are 7-6 in his 13 starts for a loss of 2.23 units.

Free MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics

The Rangers haven’t been worth backing in quite some time and that’s certainly true again on Tuesday night. The Rangers have nothing to play for and the A’s find themselves fighting for their postseason lives thanks to a prolonged stretch of bad play. The Rangers may take some solace in playing spoiler, but certainly not that much.