The calendar has turned to October, which means playoff baseball will soon accompany the crisp fall air. It is a bittersweet feeling to write our last MLB Betting Picks column of the regular season. Our season certainly had its ebbs and flows, but the biggest takeaway is that we spent very few days in the red. A quick look back at our previous records had us sitting at +0.59 units as recently as August 19. Thus, that means we had a blazing hot end to August and an entire month of September, as we are in a position to finish the regular season north of +20 units. Much like the St. Louis Cardinals, who recently had a 17-game winning streak, we have built tons of momentum heading into the playoffs and look to be even more profitable with our playoff picks.
With our last three selections of the regular season, we focus on a moneyline wager, a play on a run line, and a team total involving a team facing a pitcher who is making his first start of the season.
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Friday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
YTD: 182-149-8 (+16.70 units)
Miami Marlins ML (-110)
The Miami Marlins begin a three-game home series with the Philadelphia Phillies to end the regular season. The Phillies will be a deflated bunch playing their first game after getting eliminated from playoff contention. Their three-game road sweep against the Atlanta Braves ended their chances of winning the NL East, which came days after being eliminated from wild card contention. Now their struggling offense will have to face flamethrower Sandy Alcantara, in a game manager Joe Girardi may opt to give several starters a day off.
Alcantara (9-14, 3.09) has the stuff to be a potential Cy Young candidate down the road. He has pitched to a 2.19 ERA in his last seven starts, and he has been lights out at loanDepot Park with a 2.17 ERA in 15 home starts this season. In Alcantara’s only home start against Philadelphia this year (May 25), he held them to two earned runs over eight innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four. He was economical with his pitch count, although his strikeout totals of late suggest he throws many pitches early in games. Alcantara has recorded at least six strikeouts in eight of his last nine starts. He now faces a Phillies lineup that has scored nine total runs in their previous five games.
The Phillies counter with Ranger Suarez (7-5, 1.45), who has been phenomenal in his 11 starts this season. He is coming off a complete-game shutout of the Pirates and has allowed more than two earned runs just once this season. However, will Suarez be as motivated on the mound when he has nothing to pitch for besides cementing a spot in next year’s rotation?
Cleveland Indians -1.5 runs (+125)
The Cleveland Indians need a sweep in their final series of the year against the Texas Rangers to avoid their first losing season in eight years. While they may be destined for a record under .500, they have to be encouraged about next year’s rotation, specifically Eli Morgan’s ability to be a solid pitching piece behind Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale. Morgan (4-7, 5.27) is ending the year strong, especially with two strong outings in his last two starts. Morgan has allowed just one earned run over his previous 12 innings, despite facing potent lineups who had everything to play for in the White Sox and Yankees at the time.
The schedule has been brutal for Morgan, who has faced five potential playoff teams in a row. His last start against a non-playoff team came in a home start against the Rangers, and he was tagged for four earned runs in just 4.1 innings. However, the fact that Morgan has allowed more than two earned runs just once in his last five starts against all playoff-caliber teams suggests he is due for a huge bounce-back start tonight.
The Rangers counter with Spencer Howard, who is still searching for his first win as a member of the Rangers. He is 0-4 with a 7.04 ERA, and the Rangers are just 1-5 in their last six home games against right-handed starters. Therefore, we are comfortable laying the -1.5 runs with the Indians instead of backing their moneyline odds.
Chicago Cubs Team Total OVER 2.5 runs (-150)
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson (1-0, 4.91) curiously makes his second appearance of the season after missing most of the first six months with an elbow injury. He earned the win in relief in his last outing (also against the Cubs), allowing two earned runs on four hits in 3.2 innings.
The Cardinals are likely to have him on another strict pitch count to ease him back from his elbow injury. With other pitchers like the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard, we have seen that the team is still not letting them throw their entire arsenal of pitches. In Syndergaard’s case, he was limited to just fastballs and changeups, as the team did not think his elbow was capable of throwing breaking pitches at this point. If his pitching staff similarly manages Hudson, the Cubs lineup should take advantage of a pitcher throwing a glorified spring training game.
MLB Prop Bets
- Bryce Harper Prop Bet Odds
- Starling Marte Prop Bet Odds
- Brandon Lowe Prop Bet Odds
- Yasmani Grandal Prop Bet Odds
- Aaron Judge Prop Bet Odds
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