MLB Odds & Picks for Friday: 3 Best Bets, Including Rays vs. Yankees, Giants vs. Padres & More (Oct. 1)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Giancarlo Stanton.
- The MLB season is winding down, but there's still plenty of action to bet on Friday night.
- The Yankees can lock up a wild-card spot with a win over the Rays among other crucial games.
- See how our staff is betting that game below, along with plays in two other matchups.
It’s officially October as we have reached its final weekend of the MLB regular season.
Our analysts have found angles on three games from Friday’s slate, including pivotal matchups between the Rays vs. Yankees and Giants vs. Padres that have postseason seeding implications.
Here are our three best bets for Friday in Major League Baseball.
MLB Odds & Picks
|9:45 p.m. ET|
Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees
Kenny Ducey: It’s hard to find a game which is meaningful with just one weekend of baseball remaining, but the Yankees still have a lot to fight for on Friday against the Rays. Considering both Nestor Cortes and the New York offense have favorable matchups, and Tampa Bay is taking things easy to gear up for the postseason next week, I think the Yankees are a great deal here.
Shane McClanahan is an exciting player with a bright future, but his electric fastball has been very hittable in the early stages of his career. He’s carrying a 45.4% hard-hit rate into this outing with a 4.63 expected ERA, and he has to deal with an offense absolutely lacing the ball at the moment.
The Yankees have hit 12 home runs over the last week to rank fourth in baseball and hold the league’s top barrel rate over that span. They are also seventh in OPS to lefties.
Speaking of which, the Rays rank in the bottom half of the league in OPS to left-handers and have struck out in 25.5% of those plate appearances. Nestor Cortes is a high-strikeout arm who has had lots of success this season and poses a real threat to a Rays team that already may be lackadaisical in addition to being in a bad spot.
I think the Rays could fall behind early, and at that point they will have no reason to bring in their high-leverage relievers having already locked up the best record in the American League. The Yankees should all but clinch home field in the AL Wild Card Game tonight.
Phillies vs. Marlins
Collin Whitchurch: Ranger Suárez continues to confound with his success since entering the Phillies’ rotation at the beginning of August. In 11 starts, he has a 1.69 ERA.
Anytime someone (not named Jacob deGrom) has an ERA that low, there’s going to be some luck involved, and Suárez has surely been lucky with only one home run allowed in 58 2/3 innings. But in his last start of the season, there’s no reason to believe that luck is going to run out today, especially against the moribund Miami offense.
Sandy Alcantara is one of the brightest young pitchers in baseball, and if he pitched anywhere but Miami he might be getting the praise he deserves. He’s become the workhorse of the Marlins’ rotation, eclipsing the 200-inning threshold for the first time this year, and with five strikeouts today he will reach the 200-strikeout mark on the season as well.
The Phillies’ offense went to sleep at the worst possible time, and their season is over after the Braves walked all over them during the week. With nothing to play for, there’s no reason to believe in a weekend resurgence, especially against a pitcher like Alcantara.
This is a nifty pitching matchup and one in which runs should be at a premium. The totals are understandably low, but the best odds come from BetMGM where you can play the first five innings under 3.5 at -110. I would play it to -115.
San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres
|9:45 p.m. ET|
DJ James: The San Diego Padres have definitely mailed it in after being eliminated from playoff contention earlier this month. The San Francisco Giants need a couple of wins or Dodger losses to fully lock up the National League West title, and more importantly, avoid the NL Wild Card Game, instead of a advancing straight to the NLDS with home field advantage.
Joe Musgrove pitches for the Padres and Anthony DeSclafani goes for San Fran. DeSclafani has been unbelievable this month and very well could be one of the reasons for a Giants pennant. His 2.67 ERA in September and his 3.85 xERA overall is something that should be noticed across the league.
Musgrove, on the other hand, seems to have taken the company memo from the San Diego Padres and decided to cruise his last few starts. He has a 5.14 ERA this month and specifically gave up five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings to this same Giants team on September 21. The advantage clearly goes to DeSclafani in the starting pitcher department.
Furthermore, the Giants are slugging .508 as a team with a 138 wRC+ this month against right-handed pitchers. With those same parameters, San Diego has a .308 team OBP and 97 wRC+. With the encouraging sign that the Giants will be fielding a full lineup, take them at -130 and play to -150. San Diego has zero incentive to win this game.