MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Phillies vs Diamondbacks Game 4 (Friday, October 20)

MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Phillies vs Diamondbacks Game 4 (Friday, October 20) article feature image
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Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Ketel Marte

The MLB playoff slate for Friday, October 20, features Astros vs Rangers Game 5 and Phillies vs Diamondbacks Game 4.

The Astros and Rangers continue their ALCS with the series tied, 2-2, after Houston's offensive performance in a win last night.

The Diamondbacks kept their hopes alive with a Game 3 win last night, bringing the series margin to 2-1, Phillies. They look to even things up at home tonight.

Here are our best bets for Astros-Rangers Game 5 and Phillies-Diamondbacks Game 4 on Friday, October 20.

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MLB Best Bets

The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

GameTime (ET)Pick
5:07 p.m.
5:07 p.m.
8:07 p.m.
8:07 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Astros vs. Rangers

Friday, October 20
5:07 p.m. ET
Fox Sports 1
Rangers F5 ML (-114)

By Kevin Rogers

The Rangers looked like they were going to run away with the American League pennant after winning the first two games in Houston.

However, the defending champion Astros just won’t go away. They took care of the Rangers in the first two games in Arlington to even up the ALCS at 2-2, setting up a pivotal Game 5 today in Arlington.

It’s a pitching rematch from Game 1, as Houston sends out Justin Verlander opposing Texas southpaw Jordan Montgomery.

Texas blanked Houston in the series opener, 2-0, as Montgomery tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He has held the Astros to two runs in 13 innings of work this season.

In the postseason, the Rangers are 3-0 in the first five innings with Montgomery on the mound, while Texas has outscored its opponents 13-4 in those three games.

Verlander has given up three runs in his last four starts and is always a reliable pitcher to back, as the Astros are 5-0 in his past five road outings.

Houston is a much better road team than home team and the Astros will eventually have to win a game at Minute Maid Park if they want to advance to the World Series again.

Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi have been the Rangers' best pitchers this postseason, as Texas owns a perfect 6-0 record behind both overall, and also in the first five innings when either hurler takes the mound.

Let’s take the Rangers in the first five innings at -114 and play it to -120.

Pick: Rangers F5 ML (-114)

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Astros vs. Rangers

Friday, October 20
5:07 p.m. ET
Fox Sports 1
Under 9 (-122)

By Brad Cunningham

One big thing going into this game is whether or not the Rangers decide to keep the roof open. They opened it for Game 4, which Dusty Baker was not too thrilled about. It's a pretty massive difference in terms of a run-scoring environment if they decide to keep it open.

The reason they opened the roof on Wednesday was because it was 76 degrees in Arlington, Texas. With it being 90 degrees on Friday afternoon, I highly doubt they are going to keep the roof open.

With that in mind, it's going to create a lower run-scoring environment for each team's best pitchers. Jordan Montgomery can keep this Astros lineup at bay if he continues to utilize his curveball, and given the form Justin Verlander is in right now, he can shut down this Rangers lineup. Both bullpens having been able to save all of their high-leverage arms for this game tonight is also key.

The total for Game 1 closed at Under 8.5. There is an Under 9 available right now at FanDuel that I would grab, because I am projecting only 8.2 runs for this game. I don't see a reason why this total should be above or exactly the same as Game 1 given the success these two starting pitchers had.

Pick: Under 9 (-122)


Phillies vs. Diamondbacks

Friday, October 20
8:07 p.m. ET
TBS
Ketel Marte Over 1.5 Total Bases (-109)

By D.J. James

The Arizona Diamondbacks got a much-needed win in Game 3, thanks to their lineup’s rock: Ketel Marte.

Marte has been crushing the ball, as he is 10-for-30 in the postseason with a .955 OPS. Marte also provides a boost for the Diamondbacks in that he is matchup-proof. The switch-hitter has an .879 OPS against left-handed pitching and an .828 OPS against right-handed pitching.

He'll be be facing a southpaw today, at least to start the game, in Philadelphia's Cristopher Sánchez, who had a 3.77 xERA this season and a 57.7% ground-ball rate. He rarely walks batters, so Marte should expect to swing.

Marte struck out less than 17% this regular season while walking over 10% of the time. He also carried a 42.8% Hard-Hit Rate, which is one of Sánchez’s weaknesses.

The Philly bullpen has not been lockdown, either. After all, Marte hammered a ball from Craig Kimbrel for the game-winner on Thursday.

Since the Phillies only have three arms below a 4.00 xFIP and Marte can hit pitchers from both the right and left side, he has a leg up on the competition. He should continue his red-hot hitting.

Look for Marte to cash his total bases over 1.5 and play it to -115.

Pick: Ketel Marte Over 1.5 Total Bases (-109)

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Phillies vs. Diamondbacks

Friday, October 20
8:07 p.m. ET
TBS
Cristopher Sanchez Under 4.5 Hits Allowed (-155)

By Anthony Dabbundo

The Phillies aren't officially going with a bullpen game in Game 4, but that's essentially the plan for Rob Thomson.

Cristopher Sanchez will start the contest, but I think there's a hard cap on how far Thomson trusts him to go in this game. Because of the Phillies' bullpen depth, I expect to see Michael Lorenzen and Matt Strahm fill those early innings behind Sanchez to bridge the gap to the stable of high-leverage options behind them.

Ranger Suarez had a ton of success with his changeup from the left side against the Arizona hitters in Game 3. Sanchez will look to replicate that success.

Unlike Suarez, Sanchez hasn't yet earned the full trust of the Phillies though. They won't want the same Diamondbacks hitters to get multiple looks at the changeup, and they are acutely aware of Sanchez's alarming HR/9 rates and the impact that one big homer can have on a playoff game.

As a result of this, I'm projecting Sanchez for 11 hitters. He'll face Corbin Carroll twice for the left on left matchup, but Thomson will aggressively avoid letting Gabriel Moreno, Tommy Pham and Christian Walker see Sanchez multiple times in the middle of the order.

He'll likely have a right-hander waiting in the second, third or fourth inning, whenever that spot comes.

Because of the limited usage for Sanchez, I'm betting under 4.5 hits allowed at Caesars. The leash will be short for Sanchez in this pivotal Game 4.

Thomson knows he has Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola waiting for the next two games, so it's time for him to stretch his bullpen.

Pick: Cristopher Sanchez Under 4.5 Hits Allowed (-155)

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