MLB Tuesday: Previewing the games that still matter

A brief look at all the games Tuesday that still have something on the line in terms of playoff qualification and placement. The odds listed below are the suggested overnight lines. Most sportsbooks have delayed the odds for these games as oddsmakers wait on lineups and other key info, as per usual at this time of year.

Boston at NY Yankees 7:05 PM ET
  (-185, O/U 9)

The Boston Red Sox are showing more interest in development than winning at this point, leaving the New York Yankees with a clear path to the American League East title. The Red Sox started a lineup that included only two players from the opening day roster in Monday’s series opener and ended up getting crushed, 10-2, for their sixth straight loss. With the Orioles losing, the Yankees now lead the East by one game with two left. The total salary for Boston’s starting lineup on Monday was $12.5 million, about $136 million less than New York’s. Full Preview >>

Philadelphia at Washington 7:05 PM ET  (-125, O/U 8.5)

The Washington Nationals have clinched the National League East and the next task is earning the top record in the league. Washington is tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the best mark entering Tuesday’s game against the visiting Philadelphia Phillies, but holds the tiebreaker edge on the Reds. Philadelphia will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2006 and needs to win one of its final two games for its 10th straight winning season. The Nationals plan to start ace Gio Gonzalez to keep him on normal schedule for a probable Game 1 start in the postseason. Gonzalez leads the majors with 21 victories and is among the top candidates for the NL Cy Young Award.  Full Preview >>

Baltimore at Tampa Bay 7:10 PM ET (-135, O/U 7.5)

The Rays, despite winning 11 of their last 12 games, were eliminated from postseason contention Monday night when the Oakland Athletics beat Texas to clinch the last playoff spot and move into a tie with the Orioles for the American League wild card lead. Monday's 5-3 loss snapped a four-game winning streak for Baltimore, which is one game behind the division-leading New York Yankees in the AL East. Division title aside, the Orioles have tons of incentive to win their last two games, particularly with the possibility of having to fly to Oakland for a one-game playoff because the Athletics hold the tiebreaker.  Full Preview >>

Cincinnati at St. Louis 8:15 PM ET
(-125, O/U 7)

The St. Louis Cardinals can clinch a National League wild card berth by beating the Cincinnati Reds for the second consecutive night on Tuesday. The Cardinals are one win or one Los Angeles Dodgers loss away from returning to the postseason. The defending World Series champions have played superb baseball down the stretch and Monday’s victory was their 11th in 14 games. Cincinnati is tied with the Washington Nationals for best record in the National League. Manager Dusty Baker was back in the dugout for the Reds after missing 11 straight games because of a minor stroke and irregular heartbeat. Cincinnati needs to finish ahead of Washington to claim the top seed because the Nationals won the season series. Full Preview >>

Texas at Oakland 10:05 PM ET (+135, 7.5)

The Texas Rangers have enjoyed sole possession of first place in the American League West since April 9, but that could change if they lose a second straight game to the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday. Oakland won the series opener Monday to clinch a postseason berth and move within a game of the Rangers for the division title. The Athletics, who must win the remaining two games to win the division, also climbed into a tie with Baltimore for the wild card lead. Oakland has won four straight and six of seven. The Rangers have a decided edge in the pitching matchup, sending 18-game winner Matt Harrison to the mound against Travis Blackley, who has pitched a total of three innings in his last two starts. Full Preview >>

San Francisco at LA Dodgers 10:10 PM ET
(-188, O/U 7.5)

The Los Angeles Dodgers will learn early in their game Tuesday whether they still have a shot at the second National League wild card spot. The Cardinals clinched at least a tie for the second NL wild card with a 4-2 win over Cincinnati on Monday, which means Los Angeles will be eliminated from the postseason with one more loss or a St. Louis victory. The Cardinals’ game Tuesday against the Reds begins approximately two hours before the Dodgers face the visiting San Francisco Giants. Full Preview >>

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