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Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Tuesday, September 28th (2021)

by September 28, 2021
Charlie Morton

With just six days remaining in the Major League Baseball regular season, there are some crucial series beginning today that will go a long way in rounding out the playoff field for both the American and National League.

The Yankees and Blue Jays begin a three-game series in Toronto, with the Yankees starting the day one game in front of the Red Sox for the AL’s first wild card spot and the Blue Jays trailing the Red Sox by one game for the second wild card. Next, the Braves and Phillies begin a three-game series that may ultimately decide the NL East division title on the National League side. The Braves enter today with a 2.5 game lead in the division. Lastly, the Rays and Astros begin what may ultimately be an ALCS preview. While the Astros have not yet officially clinched their postseason spot, their chances of making the playoffs are not at all in jeopardy.

Do any of these three high-profile games make today’s best bets column?

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

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

YTD: 178-144-8 (+18.41 units) 

Braves-Phillies UNDER 7.5 runs (-105)

The Philadelphia Phillies lost a costly game in their series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates, as they now trail Atlanta by 2.5 games heading into today’s series opener. The Phillies have to feel that anything less than a sweep will be a disappointment, as even winning two of three games in this series gives Atlanta a 1.5 game edge with three to play. We expect that kind of pressure to impact Philadelphia’s hitters the most and is a key reason we like the under tonight.

The Phillies totaled just three runs in their last two games against the Pirates. While they had broken out for 20 runs combined over the two days prior, Philadelphia failed to get their offense going with seven total runs in three games against the lowly Orioles pitching staff. The Phillies have to face Charlie Morton (13-6, 3.53), who is 2-2 against them with a 3.06 ERA in four starts this season. However, the Phillies have an ace of their own going in Zack Wheeler (14-9, 2.79), who is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA in four September starts.

The under is 3-0-1 in Philadelphia’s last four road games and is 3-0-1 in Morton’s last four games against teams with a winning record. These trends combined with the current form of both starting pitchers have us liking another low-scoring game tonight.

Texas Rangers ML (-105)

The Los Angeles Angels are 10-6 head-to-head against the Texas Rangers this year and have had even better success recently. They are 4-1 in their last five road games against the Rangers and are 8-3 in their previous 11 meetings overall. However, we like the pitching edge the Rangers enjoy in this series opener.

Los Angeles has struggled to win games that lefty Packy Naughton (0-3, 5.23) has pitched in this year. The Angels are just 1-5 in Naughton’s six games, and he has completed five innings just once. Texas counters with A.J. Alexy (2-1, 5.00), and the Rangers are 2-2 in Alexy’s four starts. One of those wins was a six-inning one-hit gem by Alexy in a 4-0 road win against the Angels on September 6. Alexy has allowed ten earned runs in his last seven combined innings against the Yankees and Astros, but we look for him to get back on track against an Angels squad that has lost eight of their last ten games.

Houston Astros ML (-140)

The Astros trail the Rays by five games for homefield advantage with six games to play. While Tampa Bay will be motivated to clinch homefield on Houston’s turf, the Astros are the more motivated team that can finally clinch a playoff spot tonight. In addition, the Astros are in line for a big day offensively facing Tampa Bay’s least threatening starting pitcher.

Tampa Bay’s Michael Wacha (3-5, 5.49) has won just one of his last 12 starts. He has pitched to a 4.50 ERA in four September starts and has struggled on the road all season, going 1-4 with a 6.56 ERA in 14 road appearances (12 starts). He is opposed by Jose Urquidy (8-3, 3.56), who is unbeaten in his last eight starts. Urquidy has only lost one decision in eight home starts this year, and he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in his previous seven.

Tampa Bay is riding a four-game winning streak while Houston enters this series opener having lost four consecutive games. However, Houston’s .550 winning percentage against teams over .500 is the best in the majors, and they will make a statement to the Rays tonight that they will be a force to be reckoned with if they eventually meet in the playoffs.

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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