MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for White Sox vs Nationals, Brewers vs Cardinals (Monday, September 18)
Getty Images. Pictured: Adam Wainwright
We've reached the home stretch of the MLB season as these final two weeks will determine whose seasons will continue into October.
There's a lot of drama and intrigue, even in Monday's abbreviated 11-game slate.
Our analysts are on two games tonight: White Sox vs. Nationals and Brewers vs. Cardinals. That latter game has two of our experts in agreement.
Continue reading for our MLB best bets on Monday, September 18th.
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.
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.
White Sox vs. Nationals
By Kevin Rogers
The White Sox have dropped seven of their last nine games and now travel to D.C. for a three-game interleague series with the Washington Nationals.
Chicago has led after the first five innings once in its last 20 road openers, including scoring a total of one run in the past three opportunities in this situation.
Mike Clevinger takes the mound for Chicago and the Sox are 1-3-1 in his previous five starts in the first five innings. The Sox have not helped the right-hander in this span by scoring zero runs in three straight starts by Clevinger in the first five innings.
The Nationals wrapped up their road trip with an extra innings win at Milwaukee as a +260 underdog on Sunday. Joan Adon allowed four runs in his last outing at Pittsburgh and is 0-3 in his last three starts in the first five innings.
Since the start of September, Chicago is riding a 3-11-2 cold stretch in the first five innings. The White Sox have only scored five or more runs in those three wins.
The Nationals are 5-4 in their last nine games in the first five innings against right-handed starters, which isn’t great. However, Washington has faced the likes of Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff, Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller, and Miami’s Sandy Alcantara during this stretch.
Let’s take the Nationals in the first five innings and play it to -105 this evening.
Pick: Nationals F5 ML (+102)
Brewers vs. Cardinals
I am showing value on the Brewers and over in tonight's game, so instead of backing Freddy Peralta at a big number, why not just fade Adam Wainwright?
Wainwright is ready for retirement because the numbers he’s putting up are downright embarrassing. In 20 starts, he has a 7.95 ERA, 7.75 xERA and 5.95 xFIP.
He only can average 87 mph on his sinker right now and is dead-last among qualifies starting pitchers (he’s somehow started 20 games this season) in xwOBA allowed, xBA allowed, K/9 rate and whiff rate.
To be fair to Wainwright he does have the best Stuff+ of any Cardinals starting pitcher this season at 104 because his curveball still has some good movement.
However, without any velocity on his sinker and cutter he’s getting crushed, especially lately. Since the beginning of August, Wainwright has an xFIP over six and has given up 52 hits in 31.1 innings pitched.
The Brewers have been mashing the ball lately as over the past 30 days they are ninth in baseball in wOBA. They are going to see a lot of curveballs from Wainwright, which isn’t a bad thing for their lineup because they have a +4.6 run value against right-handed curveballs this season.
I have 5.87 runs projected for the Brewers tonight, so I like the value on their team total Over 4.5 runs.
Pick: Brewers Team Total Over 4.5 (-120)
By D.J. James
The Milwaukee Brewers have not exactly crushed right-handed pitching this season, but they have the opportunity to face one of the league’s worst in Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Waino has a pitching run value in the first percentile. His barrel rate is 11.7%, his average exit velocity allowed is 89.1 mph and his hard-hit rate is 39%. Coming in with a 7.95 ERA and 7.75 xERA show that his horrid results this season have matched his expected results. He is walking more batters at 8.5% and only holds a strikeout rate of 11.3%.
The Brewers are better against righties lately, too. They have a September wRC+ of 105 off of righties with an OPS of .755. Their walk rate is 10%, and their strikeout rate is 26%. Strikeouts should be few and far between, while Waino is still pitching, but this Brew Crew lineup will produce the walks.
In that same timeframe off of righties, the Brewers have six bats above a .300 xwOBA. Although this is not necessarily impressive, the opponent’s starter should be taken into account massively. Wainwright just does not have it anymore, and the Brewers finally have the chance to face him this year.
Additionally, the Cardinals' bullpen has a 4.54 xFIP in September with a 21.9% strikeout rate and 11.6% walk rate. The Brewers will still be able to reach base via the free pass when Wainwright exits the game.
Take the Brewers’ team total over up to 5 and -140.