MLB Best Bets: 5 Picks For Monday, Including Cardinals vs. Mets, Red Sox vs. Mariners & More (September 13)
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Verdugo robs a home run.
- Our MLB analysts have five bets to satiate your betting needs on Monday night.
- We have one early evening game and three others taking place no the West Coast.
- Continue reading for our best bets from Monday in Major League Baseball.
Our analysts have found angles on four of those seven games: Cardinals vs. Mets, Padres vs. Giants, Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers and two picks on Red sox vs. Mariners.
Here are our five best bets from Monday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|10:10 p.m. ET|
Cardinals vs. Mets
Tanner McGrath: The Cardinals are on a tear. They’re 17-13 in their last 30 days, and they’ve snuck within one game of the NL’s second wild-card spot.
There are two big reasons for the Cardinals success over the past month.
First, Adam Wainwright. Uncle Charlie celebrated his 40th birthday two weeks ago, and he’s celebrated in style. Wainwright’s 1.84 ERA and 0.85 WHIP since August 1 have kept the Cardinals afloat, as St. Louis is 7-1 in those games with Wainwright earning every decision.
I like him to keep his hot streak alive today. In his old age, Waino has become a curveball-heavy pitcher, and it’s become a crafty and effective pitch. The Mets rank 26th in MLB in weighted curveball runs created (-11.4) this season, so they shouldn’t be too excited for this matchup.
Second, the Cardinals have been mashing left-handed pitching. Over the past 30 days, St. Louis paces MLB in OPS (.952), wOBA (.398), and wRC+ (152) against that side.
Today, the red-hot Cardinals will face Rich Hill. Hill has been good in his own right, but the Mets are 2-5 in his last seven starts, and he hasn’t faced an offense as hot as the Cardinals in that stretch.
In a battle between two of the oldest starting pitchers in MLB, I’m siding with the Midwesterner. You can still get the Cardinals ML as short as -106 on FanDuel, but I’m happy to play it up to -120.
Padres vs. Giants
DJ James: Yu Darvish’s second-half struggles have been a big factor in the Padres struggling to hang on to a playoff spot. Dominic Leone starts for the Giants, but he will play the role of the opener, since his longest appearance has been two innings.
Darvish has a 6.15 ERA in the second half in 41 innings. His most-used pitch is the cutter, even if he features about six pitches in total. The Giants hold a .343 xwOBA on that pitch since August 1, so expect those woes to continue. His only two strong outings in that same timeframe he had were facing the Diamondbacks (the first time around) and the Angels. Neither lineup jumps off of the page. The Giants are a different story. They have six bats since the beginning of August over the 100 wRC+ mark.
The Giants have the second-highest fWAR as a bullpen since the deadline. Sure, some of these numbers will regress, but they have a fully healthy relief corps and plenty of arms with sub-3.00 ERAs. This negates any weakness while facing Darvish.
The Padres’ bullpen has been another story. They are 23rd in fWAR in that time. They do not have the depth.
Take the Giants at -109 and play to -125.
Red Sox vs. Mariners
Anthony Dabbundo: Any time two pitchers are facing off that are both running way below their expected pitching numbers, I look to play an under in the first five innings. And in this matchup, it’s an excellent spot. Boston is in a big travel spot with no off day after flying from Chicago to Seattle for the game, and lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez has been underrated all season.
Rodriguez’s xERA is only 3.67 despite his 5.15 actual ERA, he has career high strikeout numbers and career low walk numbers. He’s been really unlucky with both his BABIP allowed and strand rate on the bases, both of which tend to be noisy in the short term and not predictive going forward.
On the other side, Seattle starter Logan Gilbert is one of the Mariners’ top prospects. He ranks highly in fastball velocity, above average in whiff rate and is excellent in walk rate in the top 10th percentile. Like Rodriguez, his xERA is a full run lower than his actual at 4.05. His FIP is even lower than that at 3.70. With two underrated pitchers and Boston traveling quite a bit on no rest while dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, runs should be hard to come by early on.
Red Sox vs. Mariners
Kenny Ducey: The Red Sox have finally gotten some key bats back in their lineup, which is a scary sight considering they did a phenomenal job getting back in the wild-card race despite their absence. Now comes a somewhat easy task, which is taking on the Mariners in Seattle.
The Mariners have started to fall apart with four losses in six games, including a series loss at home to the lowly Diamondbacks. It really would have been a sweep if not for some late heroics on Friday.
The common denominator here seems to be left-handed pitching, which the Mariners have still struggled mightily against. They’re 25th in wRC+ vs. southpaws this year, and even the likes of Madison Bumgarner have kept them quiet of late.
Eduardo Rodriguez has also been rounding into form in the second half, with the exception of a hiccup last time out against the Tampa Bay Rays. The lefty has struck out hitters at a higher rate than ever before this year, and he’s done a decent job limiting hard contact at 34.5%. All of his ERA indicators would suggest he’s in store for some better luck.
Seattle has looked so poor at the plate that he should see the success he deserves, and it helps that he’s brought his walk rate down to a career-low considering the only thing Seattle has been good at lately is walking. The Red Sox possess good numbers over the last two weeks to deal with the volatile Logan Gilbert, and Rodriguez is in a very favorable spot. I’ll take them to -130.
Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers
|10:10 p.m. ET|
Brad Cunningham: Zac Gallen is one of the better young pitchers in the NL West and has shown it again this season, posting a 3.67 expected ERA and a 10.47 K/9 rate. Gallen is a fastball-heavy pitcher and normally backing a guy who throws his fastball over 50% against the Dodger is almost a death sentence because the Dodgers are the best fastball hitting team in baseball, but, Gallen is incredibly effective with his fastball, holding opposing hitters to a .214 expected batting average and .289 expected wOBA.
Clayton Kershaw is making his return from the 60-day IL and if he looks anything like he did before the injury, the Diamondbacks’ offense is going to look anemic once again. In a little more than 100 innings, Kershaw has a 2.92 xFIP, 10.75 K/9 rate and 1.61 BB/9 rate, which are just vintage Kershaw numbers.
Also, for the first time in his career, Kershaw is throwing his slider more often than his fastball, and the Diamondbacks are the 28th-ranked offense against sliders.
So, I think we have a pitchers duel on our hands tonight, so I love Under 4 runs for the first five innings at +100.