Monday night means one thing: Monday Night Football. Actually, check that. This week it means two things: MNF and the race for baseball’s postseason.
With just 10 days left of the regular season, Major League Baseball is beginning to heat up. Monday sees plenty of contenders looking to secure a spot. Meanwhile, the NFL Monday night game features an intriguing – if not all that fan-friendly – matchup between Green Bay and Seattle. Settle in with the remote and get ready to flick between the action.
NFL: Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks
(8:30 PM ET)
Green Bay (1-1, 0-0 road) heads to the rowdy confines of CenturyLink Field for a showdown with Seattle (1-1, 1-0 home) that will hopefully go some way to clearing up what each team is about this season.
The Packers spluttered in their season-opener against San Francisco before showing an improved performance against the Chicago Bears. Seattle lost a close one in Arizona and then thumped Dallas in the Pacific Northwest. Will the real Packers and Seahawks please stand up?
Green Bay enters the game as 3-point favorites, a number that has dwindled from the opening -6 odds.
In years gone by, this fixture would have been considered just about a dead cert for the Pack. Green Bay is 10-5 all-time against the Seahawks, including seven wins in the last nine. The last time the two teams met, the Packers won 48-10.
Seattle hasn’t beaten Green Bay since November 2006.
Green Bay is 2-2 all-time in visits to Seattle.
But that dominance could be lacking this season as the Packers struggle to find their feet. Aaron Rodgers (522 yards, 3 TDs, 68 percent completion rate) hasn’t quite looked like Aaron Rodgers and the team hasn’t looked sharp around him, especially in the running game. The Packers are averaging just 75.5 yards per game.
Seattle has no such problems running the football. Marshawn Lynch has averaged more than 100 yards per game while the team has averaged 148.5. Meanwhile, rookie QB Russell Wilson has been steady if not stunning, which is exactly what the ’hawks needed.
Having had four days extra to prepare, the advantage still sits with Green Bay, but the eight (yes, eight!) upsets on Sunday’s schedule makes you wonder if it’s not worth taking the Seahawks in this one.
It’s a tough choice, but Green Bay still looks like a good pick. Take the Pack to win this one outright and to beat the spread. With the over/under set at 44 points, take the over. This could turn out to be the shootout we’ve been waiting for from Green Bay.
If you’re looking for some side action, take Aaron Rodgers (at -125) to go over 299½ yards and Marshawn Lynch (at -135) to break 92½ yards rushing.
MLB: Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers / Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox
7:05 PM ET / 8:10 PM ET
In the race for the AL Central title – and the postseason berth that comes alongside it – Detroit and Chicago are both in action tonight.
With just one game separating the two, Detroit (80-72, 46-31 home) will be looking to defeat Kansas City (70-82, 34-40 road) whilst hoping Chicago (81-71, 43-31 home) drops a game to Cleveland (63-90, 29-49 road).
Both teams have had the better of their opposition this season, with the Tigers holding a 7-4 edge over the Royals, and the Sox besting Cleveland 8-4 so far.
Justin Verlander (15-8, 2.74 ERA) goes for Detroit whilst Chris Sale (17-7, 2.82 ERA) takes the mound at ‘The Cell’. Unsurprisingly, both are favorites.
If you’re looking to bet on this, go with both home teams. There might not be a lot of glory involved, but a smart bet is a smart bet. Then take Detroit to edge out Chicago for the division title at the start of next week.
MLB: Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays
4:05 PM ET / 7:05 PM ET
Baltimore (87-65, 45-33 road) remains one-game back of the Yankees for first place in the AL East after both teams fell on Sunday afternoon.
The Orioles now face a four-game set north of the border, starting with a doubleheader on Monday. Toronto (66-85, 36-38 home) is long gone from postseason reckoning but will be looking to play spoiler this week, first against Baltimore then the Yankees. The Jays would also like to leapfrog Boston and get off of the bottom of the division.
Game 1 sees Henderson Alvarez (9-13, 4.87 ERA) go up against Baltimore rookie Steve Johnson (3-0, 1.91 ERA). Game 2 pits Ricky Romero (8-14, 5.72 ERA) against Wi-Yin Chin (12-9, 3.98 ERA). Expect a split of the doubleheader, with Baltimore taking the second game. Unless Game 1 goes to extras; then take Baltimore who appears to be unbeatable after the ninth.