MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Nationals vs Pirates, Diamondbacks vs Mets (Thursday, September 14)
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The only thing better than midweek day games is the opportunity to bet on midweek day games and that's exactly what we have on Thursday, September 14.
There are nine games on today's MLB slate and our betting experts have found value in two of them, including the first game of the day — Nationals vs. Pirates.
There's also a best bet for Diamondbacks vs. Mets, so continue reading as today's MLB best bets are below.
Today's 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.
Nationals vs. Pirates
By D.J. James
This month, the Washington Nationals have shown a spark at the plate and should be able to score some runs early. The Pittsburgh Pirates bullpen has been the better of the two this season, but the Nationals should be able to score on Mitch Keller. As a result, taking the Nationals to go over their team total is the best bet for this matchup.
The Nats have been hitting well lately, especially against right-handers. Washington has a 113 wRC+, a .792 OPS, a 9.1% walk rate and a 17.4% strikeout rate in September off of right-handers. In that time, the Nationals have six batters with a xwOBA over .320. In other words, the top of the lineup should feast on the struggling Keller.
Keller has a 4.22 ERA against a 4.09 xERA. He has an 8.5% Barrel Rate, an Average Exit Velocity of 87.3 mph and a 34.3% Hard-Hit Rate. In the second half, his numbers have fallen off of a cliff. Since the All-Star break, he has a 6.09 ERA over 57 2/3 innings and has given up six or more earned runs in four starts.
In relief, the Pirates own a 4.07 xFIP. If Keller doesn't go deep into this game, Pittsburgh's bullpen will have some trouble in the middle innings, allowing the Nationals to tack on a couple more runs.
The Nationals have a decent lineup, particularly at the top of the order. Additionally, Keller hasn't been the same in the second half and the Pirates have a few holes in middle relief. With that being the case, Washington's over is in play. Play the Nationals total to 4.5 (-125).
Pick: Nationals Over 3.5 Runs (-115)
Diamondbacks vs. Mets
By D.J. James
Kodai Senga was the best signing of the New York Mets’ offseason. He has a spectacular 3.07 ERA against a 3.78 xERA. His Barrel Rate is only 6.2%, his Average Exit Velocity is 88.6 mph and his Hard-Hit Rate is 39.6%. In addition, he has a Pitching Run Value in the 98th percentile. His walk rate is 11.2%, but his strikeout rate is 28.9%.
Today, he faces Merrill Kelly and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kelly has a 3.16 ERA against a 4.09 xERA with a 7.5% Barrel Rate. His Average Exit Velocity is 89.2 mph and his Hard-Hit Rate is 40.2%. He strikes out 26.2% of batters and walks 9.1% with a Pitching Run Value in the 91st percentile. Overall, he's very reliable, but a small edge goes to Senga.
The D'backs have struggled off of righties in September. They have a 92 wRC+ with a .702 OPS, a 9.4% walk rate and a 23.4% strikeout rate.
Meanwhile, New York has a 114 wRC+, a .784 OPS, a 6.4% walk rate and a 23.9% strikeout rate off of righties this month.
Now, New York's issue may be the bullpen as the Mets relievers have a 5.17 xFIP this month. That said, the Mets still have four arms with an xFIP below 4.00.