MLB Expert Predictions for Friday: Where’s the Value in Phillies vs. Mets?
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Stephen Matz
- Our MLB staffs detail their favorite bets for Friday, September 6 including Rangers vs. Orioles and Phillies vs. Mets.
Danny Donahue: Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles
Brock Burke (0-1, 1.50 ERA) vs. Dylan Bundy (6-13, 4.96 ERA)
- Rangers Moneyline: +123
- Orioles Moneyline: -133
- Over/Under: 8.5
- First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
The Orioles haven’t closed higher than -130 this year. They’re now 46-94 and listed at -133 against the Rangers … what gives?
To be honest, I don’t exactly know. Sure, Texas is starting a guy looking for his first career win, but still, this is the Orioles we’re talking about. What I do know, however, is that oddsmakers aren’t stupid. There’s good reason that this line is where it is, especially considering that it opened at a pick’em and only 26% of bettors have taken the Birds.
Favorites of -130 or higher with reverse line movement have made for very profitable spots, especially against opponents with better win percentages.
Such teams have gone 51-17 since 2005, winning 18.8 units for a 27.6% ROI. I’m going to trust the oddsmakers to be right again tonight.
The PICK: Orioles -133
Sean Zerillo: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.33 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (9-8, 4.04 ERA)
- Away Moneyline: 140
- Home Moneyline: -150
- Over/Under: 8
- First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
I try to take notice when a pitcher starts changing their approach, and such is the case with Zach Eflin, who also faced the Mets in his most recent outing on September 1.
The 25-year-old, 6’6” righty has thrown his slider more than 30% of the time this season, but he has cut its usage in half in recent starts — opting for additional changeups and curveballs.
It’s a bit of a curious change, as Eflin’s slider has been his most effective pitch on a per pitch basis (FanGraphs classifies it as a cutter), while the curveball has been hit pretty hard.
The righty likes to bury his curveball below the zone with two strikes, and the recent change to his pitch mix suggests that he might be getting more comfortable with his full array of secondary stuff.
In terms of FIP, there isn’t much between Eflin (4.72) and Steven Matz (4.50), and I more or less have this game set as a coin-flip after you account for home-field advantage, viewing the Phillies’ fair odds closer to +115 than +150.
The PICK: Phillies +140