MLB Expert Picks and Odds: 3 Best Bets for Thursday, Including Padres vs. Dodgers & Tigers vs. Twins(September 30)
Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images. Pictured: Cody Bellinger celebrates his home run.
- Tigers vs. Twins and Padres vs. Dodgers highlight our late-slate picks on Thursday.
- Our analysts have eyes on an underdog and a team total from those two games.
- Continue reading for our best bets for tonight's Major League Baseball slate.
With several games with serious postseason implications on the schedule, our analysts have eyes on three games, including two in the evening.
Here are our best bet for Thursday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|10:10 p.m. ET|
Brewers vs. Cardinals
DJ James: The St. Louis Cardinals have propelled themselves into the National League Wild Card Game and locked up a playoff slot thanks to an unprecedented and historic run.
The Milwaukee Brewers have had a tough September, even after locking up the National League Central title. They lost Devin Williams to injury after he punched a wall and broke his hand after the clinching celebration. This is not a joke.
Brett Anderson will go for the Brewers today against J.A. Happ.
The Cardinals are on fire and in September hold a 185 wRC+ against southpaws. They have four regulars over 200 wRC+ and four hitters over a .450 OBP with those same parameters in place.
Meanwhile, the Brewers are 13-11 this month. Their team wRC+ against left-handers is 88, so they have essentially had the opposite results batting against southpaws.
Even with Happ on the hill for the Birds, he and Anderson are a virtual wash with 5.68 xERA versus a 5.76 xERA, respectively, on the season. Neither pitcher has had a strong run, but given the short-handedness of the Brewers’ bullpen now, the game is far more even.
Tigers vs. Twins
Tanner McGrath: Tarik Skubal is going to be on an innings restriction, as every Tigers pitcher is, but the Tigers have won his last three starts. He went three, three and four innings in those starts, allowing just two runs in the process.
Considering how pitiful the Twins’ offense is against southpaws, I’m expecting Skubal to have another shutdown four innings today. Over the past month and vs. LHPs, Minnesota has posted just a 94 wRC+ while striking out at the 10th-highest rate (23.2%). Skubal’s striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings, so the Twins lineup will play right into his hands.
Just like how they did in the series opener, where lefty Tyler Alexander tossed six one-run innings with six strikeouts. The Tigers lost the game, but I like their chances more today.
Because while Minnesota’s Joe Ryan has started his MLB career with four incredible starts (22 IP, 2.45 ERA, 0.59 WHIP), those starts consisted of two against the Indians and two against the Cubs. I think the Tigers’ lineup will be a bit friskier today.
Padres vs. Dodgers
|10:10 p.m. ET|
Collin Whitchurch: Something happened to the Dodgers on their way to what was looking like a demoralizing loss on Wednesday night. They realized they were good again.
After blowing an early 5-0 lead and looking like they were going to be staring down a two-game deficit with four to play, Los Angeles obliterated the San Diego bullpen in the eighth inning with four home runs off Emilio Pagan and Nabil Crismatt, claiming an 11-9 victory and staying within shouting distance of the Giants and avoiding the NL Wild Card Game.
The Padres are a dumpster fire right now, and manager Jayce Tingler sure doesn’t seem too keen on winning any more games or keeping his job once this season wraps up. On Thursday, he throws Vince Velasquez, the shell of a once-promising young Phillies hurler who has been thrown to the wolves three times in a San Diego uniform and is as battered and bruised as the rest of his compatriots.
There’s a number of ways you could attack this game, even with the Dodgers’ moneyline juiced like Sunny Delight. The play I’m most interested in is the full-game team total, though, which varies quite a bit by book. Over 5 at -122 (DraftKings) is appealing, but I have more confidence in the Dodgers than that, and am eyeing the over 5.5 offered at BetMGM at +105. I would play over 5 to -125 and over 5.5 to +100.