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Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Friday, September 17th (2021)

by September 17, 2021
Logan Webb

As we head into the weekend, there are many exciting series beginning that will have huge playoff ramifications. The Braves and Giants begin a three-game series in San Francisco, and these two teams might be playing a few more games against each other in October. The Reds try to get back into the thick of the N.L. wild-card race and host a Dodgers team who is dangerously close to overtaking the Giants for first place in the N.L. West. The Phillies try to put the final nail in the Mets’ coffin while keeping their slim hopes for a division title alive. However, arguably the most critical series is between the Padres and Cardinals, as the two teams are separated by one game in the N.L. wild-card standings.

While there are plenty of games involving teams unofficially eliminated from playoff contention, there are still many teams with high motivation levels for bettors to wager on. So which high-profile games made our list of wagers to end the week?

Here are my MLB top betting plays for Friday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

YTD: 168-136-8 (+16.87 units) 

Twins-Blue Jays OVER 9.5 runs (+100)

In one of the more surprising betting trends you will find today, the Minnesota Twins are 7-0 in their last seven road games against the Toronto Blue Jays. However, those wins came before the Twins were sellers at the trade deadline and had more talented rosters with playoff aspirations. So while there is little value in the moneyline odds despite this trend, there is sneaky value in the over despite a good starting pitching matchup.

Michael Pineda (6-8, 3.87) and Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-8, 4.11) are some of their teams’ most reliable starting pitchers, but both have struggled with the opposition in their careers. Pineda has allowed current Blue Jays to hit a combined .417 (30-for-72) with a .833 slugging percentage against him in his career. George Springer has done the most damage against Pineda, going 10-for-22 (.455 B.A.) with three home runs and three doubles. Six other Blue Jays are hitting .333 or better against Pineda in their careers, and collectively they have 14 extra-base hits in 72 at-bats against him. Pineda now faces a Blue Jays offense that has scored six or more runs in 11 of their last 14 games.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-8, 4.11) has similarly struggled against current Twins hitters, allowing a .391 batting average and .739 slugging percentage. While those numbers are in 23 combined at-bats from just three players, Ryu is also coming off his worst start of the season, where he allowed seven earned runs in 2.1 innings to the lowly Orioles.

The over is 5-2 in Minnesota’s last seven games and is 16-5-1 in their previous 22 games against teams from the A.L. East. The over is also 4-1-3 in Toronto’s last eight games overall, so we like these trends to support another high-scoring contest.

Philadelphia Phillies ML (-150)

The Philadelphia Phillies have struggled to gain significant ground on the first-place Atlanta Braves, despite an easy schedule that has seen them play three games against winning teams out of their last 20. However, one thing that they have been able to count on all year, and not just recently, is a solid effort from starting pitcher Zack Wheeler.

Wheeler (13-9, 2.86) has won three consecutive starts and has gone at least six innings in all of them. This is his fourth start against the Mets this year, and his last one was his best start of the season. In an August 8th home start against New York, Wheeler threw a complete-game shutout, allowing just two hits and striking out 11.

While Wheeler appears to be getting stronger towards the end of the season, his opposition, Taijuan Walker (7-9, 4.29), is regressing. Walker is winless in his last 11 starts and has not earned a victory since July 3. In addition, he has allowed at least four earned runs in three of his previous four starts and has pitched to a 9.58 ERA in two starts this month.

The Mets have to be a deflated bunch after getting swept at home in three straight games by the Cardinals. They are five games back of the second wild card spot with 15 games to play but have four teams to jump. Thus, they should begin to take on the look of a team that knows its playoff chances are over.

Braves-Giants UNDER 7.5 runs (+100)

One of the more under-the-radar but excellent starting pitching matchups takes place in this series opener between the Braves and Giants. Atlanta’s Ian Anderson (7-5, 3.61) faces San Francisco’s Logan Webb (10-3, 2.80), and there are plenty of trends to support the under.

The under is 4-0-1 in Atlanta’s last five games against teams with a winning record. In addition, the under is 9-1 in Atlanta’s previous ten road games and is 8-1-2 in their last 11 games against teams from the N.L. West.

Webb has been spectacular for the Giants for the last four-plus months and has not lost a game since May 5. His last start against the Cubs snapped a streak of 15 consecutive starts where he allowed more than three earned runs. Since the All-Star break, Webb is 6-0 with a 2.21 ERA over 73.1 innings in 12 starts.

The under is 4-0 in Webb’s last four starts against teams from the N.L. East, and has cashed Webb’s last nine consecutive home starts. How can we argue with that?

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

Baseball, Picks