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Top MLB Playoff Betting Picks for Saturday, October 9th (2021)

by October 9, 2021
Max Fried

Today’s Major League Baseball playoff action focuses on the two NLDS matchups as the American League teams get the day off. The Brewers and Giants won as favorites, and both games were pitchers duels that stayed well below the projected total. So do either of those results affect today’s games?

Here are my best bets for Saturday’s NLDS action. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

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

YTD: 185-155-8 (+13.91 units) 

Braves-Brewers First Five Innings UNDER 3.5 runs (-105)

Game 1 of the Braves-Brewers NLDS was an old-fashioned pitchers duel, with both Charlie Morton and Corbin Burnes combining for 15 strikeouts in their 12 innings of work. Morton allowed just three hits, but manager Brian Snitker stuck with him a little too long, as Rowdy Tellez’s seventh-inning two-run home run was the only offense Milwaukee needed. This bet feels like an overreaction to last night’s game, but we envision Braves starter Max Fried (7-0, 3.04) being lights out early. We prefer to take bullpens out of the equation, mainly after Milwaukee resorted to using starting pitcher Adrian Houser for two innings last night and All-Star closer Josh Hader in the ninth.

Fried had a tremendous end to the regular season, going 7-0 with a 1.46 ERA over his last 11 starts. He is opposed by Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff (9-10, 2.56), who pitched to a 2.31 ERA in 14 home starts this year. Woodruff allowed three earned runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings in a July 31st road loss to the Braves, but he allowed two of those runs in the sixth inning, and we are confident he will have a similarly strong start to this Game 2.

The under is 7-0 in Fried’s last seven starts as a road underdog and has cashed in each of Fried’s last four road starts. The under is also 5-0 in Milwaukee’s last five Divisional Playoff games. Look for Fried and Woodruff to match zeroes early.

Los Angeles Dodgers ML (-115)

The San Francisco Giants continue to prove the doubters and oddsmakers alike, who made them home underdogs in Game 1 despite coming into the playoffs with the best record in baseball. Logan Webb continued his home dominance, and he struck out ten Dodgers while holding them to five hits in 7.2 dominant innings. Unfortunately, today’s starter did not finish the regular season as well as Webb, and since we are expecting a long series, we like the Dodgers to win Game 2.

Tonight’s pitching matchup is between Julio Urias (20-3, 2.96) against Kevin Gausman (14-6, 2.81). Urias is 2-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 20 career appearances (14 starts) against the Giants and was 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five starts against them this year. He struck out 33 Giants hitters in 29.1 combined innings, walking just three batters in that span. Gausman is 1-3 with a 3.99 ERA in eight career appearances (seven starts) against the Dodgers, but much of those struggles came in 2016 and 2019, the first two years he ever pitched against them. In two starts in those years, Gausman allowed seven earned runs in 9.1 combined innings. Since then, he has allowed ten earned runs in 29 combined innings while striking out 30. Gausman faltered a little down the stretch, pitching to a 4.42 ERA over his last 15 starts. However, he allowed just two earned runs and had a 16:1 K:BB ratio in his previous 13 innings, which were two pressure-packed starts with Los Angeles breathing down his team’s neck in the final two weeks of the regular season.

The under is 4-0 in Urias’ last four road starts, while the over is 7-1 in Gausman’s last eight starts versus teams with a winning record. This is Gausman’s first career postseason start, as his four previous appearances (10.0 combined innings) were all in relief, mostly in 2014 as a member of the Orioles. Thus, we give the edge to Los Angeles’ 20-game winner and look for a tied-up series that looks to be on the path to being decided in the final game.

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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