MLB Odds, Picks Today | Best Bets for Red Sox vs Blue Jays, Cubs vs Diamondbacks (September 16)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Hendricks #28 of the Chicago Cubs.
The MLB season is winding down, so we have to capitalize on the few full slates remaining. Each team is in action today as there are 16 games — and even more betting opportunities — on the Saturday, September 16 schedule.
Our MLB betting experts have looked over the odds in an attempt to identify today's MLB best bets.
After looking at those MLB odds, our experts have found betting value in a pair of moneyline picks and are betting Red Sox vs. Blue Jays and Cubs vs. Diamondbacks. Today's MLB best bets are below, so be sure to continue reading.
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.
Red Sox vs. Blue Jays
By D.J. James
Chris Sale doesn't look like the perennial Cy Young contender he used to be. He's had a troublesome year and will be tasked with facing the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Toronto will hand the ball over to Chris Bassitt, who has been exceptional in the second half and will be looking to silence an already slumping Boston lineup.
Neither bullpen has been good, but the Jays can count on Bassitt to pitch deeper into this game than Sale. As a result, backing the Blue Jays on the moneyline is the smart bet.
Sale has a 4.88 ERA against a 3.75 xERA. He limits opponents to an 87.7 mph Average Exit Velocity and a 33.2% Hard-Hit Rate. That said, both his ground- ball rate (38.9%) and Barrel Rate (8.7%) are below average. Expected stats may favor the left-handed veteran, but his second-half numbers tell another story. Sale has a 5.53 ERA over 27 2/3 innings since the All-Star Break and hasn't thrown more than five innings since the beginning of August.
The Red Sox offense has also been underwhelming lately. Boston boasts a 92 wRC+, a 7% walk rate, a 27% strikeout rate and a .729 OPS off of righties in September. The bottom of this lineup is weak, and Bassitt should thrive.
Bassitt has been as solid as ever. Yes, his xERA (4.29) is higher than his 3.89 ERA, but both numbers are fine. His Barrel Rate is 8.9%, but his Average Exit Velocity is 87.6 mph and his Hard-Hit Rate is 35.7%. Additionally, his second-half numbers are phenomenal. Over 69 innings, he has a 3.26 ERA since the All-Star Break.
The Blue Jays can also hit better than Boston. Toronto has a 120 wRC+, a 12.4% walk rate, a 15.2% strikeout rate and a .778 OPS off of southpaws this month.
Overall, Sale isn't the pitcher he once was and Bassitt has been incredible in the second half. Look for the Jays to win this game. Back Toronto on the moneyline to -135.
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Cubs vs. Diamondbacks
By D.J. James
The Chicago Cubs aren't hitting right-handed pitchers well, and their main trade deadline acquisition — Jeimer Candelario — is on the Injured List. However, Zach Davies is set to start for the Arizona Diamondbacks and will be opposed by Chicago's Kyle Hendricks.
Davies is awful. In September, he owns a 6.23 ERA over 13 innings and has only logged more than five innings in one of three starts this month. On the season, his Pitching Run Value ranks in the fifth percentile and his ERA sits at 6.81 (5.42 xERA). His Average Exit Velocity is nearly 90 mph, and his Hard-Hit Rate is 42.9%. He also has a 10.6% walk rate and a putrid 18.8% strikeout rate.
Conversely, Hendricks' Pitching Run Value is in the 69th percentile. His Average Exit Velocity is 85.1 mph and his Hard-Hit Rate is 31%. His strikeout rate is 16.4%, but his walk rate is only 4.2%. His ERA is 3.71 against a 4.08 xERA.
In relief, Chicago and Arizona have fared similarly this much, so there's not much of an edge either way.
However, this month, the Cubs have a 105 wRC+ off of righties, which is much better than Arizona's 82 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Even though the Cubs have regressed a bit, they've still been better than the D'backs.
Back the better pitcher and look for the Cubs to get on the board early. Take Chicago's moneyline to -145.