A belated congratulations go out to the San Francisco Giants for being the first team in the majors to clinch a postseason berth. This marks the earliest date in franchise history that they have clinched a playoff spot, and the Giants are headed back to the postseason for the first time since 2016. Many continue to doubt San Francisco’s chances of winning a World Series this season, but those are the same people that have been questioning them since day one. Unlike other teams who rest players and get their roster ready for the postseason, the Giants will still have many steep moneyline odds over the next couple of weeks, as the Dodgers (who clinched a playoff berth of their own yesterday) still lurk as a threat to overtake their first-place standing in the NL West.
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Wednesday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
YTD: 167-135-8 (+16.03 units)
Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 runs (+110)
We backed the red-hot Blue Jays in yesterday’s column, citing their four-game winning streak and 12 wins in their last 13 entering Tuesday. However, we did not know their 13-game run was historical, as Buster Olney explained on Twitter.
From @EliasSports: The Blue Jays' +58 run differential in 13 games in September is their best run differential in any 13-game span in franchise history.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 14, 2021
A team does not earn a +58 run differential without a supremely productive offense. Toronto entered Tuesday having hit 36 home runs with a .331 team batting average through September’s first 13 games. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, that made the Blue Jays the first team in modern MLB history to hit at least 36 home runs and hit .330 or better as a team through any 13-game span.
It would have been easy to back the Blue Jays today based on their offensive prowess alone. However, it is even easier to get onside them with ace Robbie Ray toeing the rubber. Ray (11-5, 2.69) is gaining serious steam to take home the American League Cy Young Award and would likely be atop many ballots if the season ended today. He is unbeaten in his last nine starts and has pitched to a 1.86 ERA in that span. He is opposed by Tampa Bay’s Michael Wacha (3-4, 5.37), who has a 6.55 ERA in his last seven starts and a 6.28 ERA in 53 innings pitched on the road this year. This season, Wacha has allowed a slugging percentage of .501, which is the 13th-highest among all qualified starting pitchers.
The under is 6-0-1 in the last six meetings between these teams and has cashed in each of Ray’s previous five starts against teams with a winning record. We are not worried about Toronto’s ability to score runs even though they were shut out yesterday, but like the fact that these trends suggest Tampa Bay will have a hard time scoring runs of their own.
Red Sox-Mariners OVER 8.5 runs (-115)
The Red Sox and Mariners have played many high-scoring games against each other, especially in Seattle. The over is 7-0 in their last seven meetings in Seattle and 14-3 in their last 17 head-to-head matchups. Given Boston’s numbers against Seattle’s starting pitcher, we expect another shootout in this one.
Marco Gonzales (8-5, 4.03) has allowed current Red Sox hitters a combined .444 batting average and .844 slugging percentage in 47 plate appearances in his career. 11 of the 20 hits Gonzales has surrendered to the Red Sox have gone for extra bases, and six Red Sox hitters have at least a .400 batting average against him. The Red Sox entered Tuesday ranked ninth in the majors in OPS and sixth in team batting average against left-handed starting pitchers. Though the under is 4-1 in their last five road games against lefties, the fact that they have hit Gonzales hard should buck that trend.
Boston’s Tanner Houck (0-4, 3.54) has electric stuff but has not put it all together at this early stage of his career. While he has a 48:5 K:BB ratio at home, he has not missed many bats on the road. His K:BB ratio in 19.2 road innings is 15:10. Houck has pitched past the fifth inning just once in his last five starts, which is troubling considering Boston’s relievers rank in the league’s bottom half with a 4.05 ERA.
The over has cashed in each of Seattle’s last five home games and should be the right side again today.
New York Mets ML (-155)
The Mets have not played well against the Cardinals at home of late, losing six of their last seven home games in their head-to-head series. However, it could be argued they have the pitching edge tonight in a matchup between a veteran and a rookie.
Tylor Megill (3-4, 4.06) has given the Mets rotation a much-needed lift after injuries to Jacob deGrom and others afforded him an opportunity. He is coming off a season-high ten strikeout performance in one of the most important games of the year for New York when they beat the Yankees in their series opener. Megill now has 18 strikeouts in his last 13 innings and 55 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched at home this season. Megill has lost just once in nine home starts, and his OBA and WHIP are all much better at Citi Field than they are on the road.
The Cardinals counter with Jon Lester (5-6, 4.75), who has just two wins and a 4.96 ERA in ten road starts this year. Lester has allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts but has been known to give up the long ball to Mets hitters. Six combined home runs in 77 at-bats for Mets hitters against Lester has helped them to a .545 slugging percentage against him, and their ability to produce extra-base hits should be the difference in this series finale.
MLB Prop Bets
- Nick Castellanos Prop Bet Odds
- George Springer Prop Bet Odds
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Prop Bet Odds
- Austin Meadows Prop Bet Odds
- Trea Turner Prop Bet Odds
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