It’s time for the contenders to step up and the pretenders to go home. With only a few weeks left in the MLB regular season, the division races and Wild Card races are getting hot. We’ve seen some awful choke jobs and some amazing red hot runs in this month in the past few years, so the standings could easily change in a big way between now and the end of September. There are some very key matchups this weekend that will play a major role in determining playoff positioning.

BangtheBook wants to give you more information to make your baseball bets winning ones this year. We will be posting this MLB trends article two times each week. Expect this article on Monday’s and Thursday’s of each week. This article will highlight trends to consider for this weekend’s series’.

-St. Louis and Milwaukee meet in a crucial series for the NL Central race. The Brewers had control of the division almost the entire season, but a swoon of late has crushed them. Milwaukee has lost eight games in a row. The good news for the Brewers is their deficit is only three games and they host the Cardinals for four games this weekend. St. Louis 20-8 in their last 28 games in Milwaukee though.

-One team that is playing the spoiler role very well this year so far has been the Philadelphia Philliles. They’ll be in Washington to take on the Nationals this weekend. Philadelphia swept the Nationals in their series a week ago. Philadelphia is 7-3 in their last 10 games. The Nationals are 22-8 in their last 30 home games.

-San Francisco and Detroit should be a very interesting series. The Giants are 7-2 in their last 9 overall. The Tigers are 8-3 in their last 11 home games. Detroit is also 64-19 in their last 83 interleague home games. The Giants are 24-51 in their last 75 interleague road games.

-The Los Angeles Angels have the best record in baseball. The Angels are in Minnesota this weekend. Los Angeles is 45-22 in their last 67. They are 36-15 in their last 51 as a favorite, and they should be favored in all of the games in this series. The over is 20-8-1 in the last 29 meetings between these two in Minnesota.

-One team that has completely folded up their tent for the season is the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are 18-51 in their last 69 games, and 15-37 in their last 52 home games. Seattle is 5-1 in their last 6 road games. The under is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings between these teams.

-Kansas City is 24-9 in their last 33 games. The Royals are 10-3 in their last 13 road games. They are 7-2 in their last 9 following an off day. They are off Thursday before starting a series in New York against the Yankees. The Yankees are 41-13 in their last 54 home games vs. the Royals.

-Atlanta is battling to try to get a Wild Card spot in the National League. The Braves are in Miami this weekend, and that’s probably good news for Braves fans. Atlanta is 25-9 in their last 34 games in Miami. They are 46-22 in the last 68 meetings overall.