MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Braves vs Marlins, Cubs vs Diamondbacks, More (Friday, September 15)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Cody Bellinger
The only thing better than Friday baseball games is the opportunity to bet on Friday baseball games and we have plenty of games to bet on today.
There are 15 games on today's MLB slate and our betting experts have found value in three of them, including picks for Braves vs. Marlins, Nationals vs. Brewers, and Cubs vs. Diamondbacks.
So, continue reading as today's MLB best bets are listed below.
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.
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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.
Braves vs. Marlins
By Doug Ziefel
The NL East champions meet an NL playoff contender in this crucial series as the Atlanta Braves take on the Miami Marlins. Miami will have to contend with Bryce Elder, who has provided great stability for the Braves at the backend of their rotation. Elder's contact metrics suggest he's due for sizable regression, but we've learned that sinkerballers are a rare breed that can consistently outperform expectations because even the hard-hit balls are likely to be on the ground.
However, for this matchup, I'm looking at Elder's strikeout potential as he's being undervalued against a Marlins' lineup with much more swing and miss than their team strikeout rate portrays. The Marlins may be 21st in team strikeout rate but have seven hitters on their roster with above-average strikeout rates.
With little value in the side or total of this matchup, I'm looking towards Bryce Elder to provide us with the best edge. As mentioned above, the Marlins have more holes in their lineup than you would see on the surface, and Elder's strikeout total is too low.
Elder has appeared in 38 games in his young career, and he has gone over this strikeout total in 65.8 percent of them. That is implied odds of -192 that he will record four strikeouts tonight. It also helps that our Action Labs projections are in favor of this over as well.
Nationals vs. Brewers
By Kevin Rogers
The Nationals head to Milwaukee looking to rebound from three consecutive losses at Pittsburgh.
Washington’s Jake Irvin struggled to begin the season, but has pitched better of late. Irvin is 5-0-2 in his last seven starts in the first five innings, which includes a victory over Corbin Burnes and the Brewers as a home underdog in July.
Irvin has tossed at least six innings in four of his last five starts, while allowing two runs or less four times during this stretch.
The Brewers rallied past the Marlins on Thursday to improve to 5-2 in the last seven games. Milwaukee is riding an 8-2-3 record in the last 13 games in the first five innings, including a 6-1 mark at home in this span.
Wade Miley heads to the mound for the Brewers as he allowed one hit in less than four innings against the Yankees his last time out. Miley is listed as a favorite of -150 for the third time this season as the Brewers are 0-2 in this situation.
The Nationals have fared well against left-handed pitchers on the road recently in the first five innings by posting a 5-3-1 mark in the last nine opportunities.
Let’s back Washington at +0.5 in the first five innings at +100 and play it to -105.
Cubs vs. Diamondbacks
By D.J. James
The Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks have both been weak offensively in September. On Friday, Cy Young hopeful, Justin Steele takes the hill for the Cubbies, while prized prospect, Brandon Pfaadt throws for the D-Backs.
Steele has a 2.49 ERA against a 3.41 xERA. His Barrel Rate is 5.3%, his Average Exit Velocity is 87.6 MPH, and his Hard Hit Rate is 36.4%. His walk rate is only 5.1%, and his strikeout rate is 24.5%. He definitely excels because he can keep the ball on the ground at 49.4%. All of this has led to a Pitching Run Value in the 99th percentile.
Pfaadt is not as good, just yet. He has a 6.25 ERA against a 4.94 xERA. Most of this is inflated from earlier in the season, before the D-Backs sent him down to the minors. After the All-Star Break, he has a 4.58 ERA, which is probably more in line with expected numbers.
The kicker in this game is both teams have above average bullpens in September. The Cubs hold a 4.07 xFIP, while Arizona has a 4.13 xFIP in relief.
The Cubs have fallen off against right-handed pitching this month. In September, they have a 105 wRC+, but in the last week, that has fallen to 85 wRC+. Jeimer Candelario going in the Injured List does not help.
The D-Backs have a 90 wRC+ in September off of southpaws. On the season, they have one of the highest groundball percentages, so this will play into Steele’s gameplan.
Expect pitching to dominate in this one. Take the under to 8 (-125).