MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: Best Bets for Shohei Ohtani vs. Oakland & Phillies vs. Mets (Sunday, September 19)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Rich Hill
Sunday’s Major League Baseball slate includes presumptive AL MVP favorite Shohei Ohtani taking on the wild-card contending Athletics, as well as a Sunday Night Baseball showdown between teams on the outside looking in at the NL postseason chase via the Phillies vs. the Mets.
MLB editor Collin Whitchurch has his eyes on those games, with picks on the totals for both contests.
Here are his two best bets from Sunday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
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Athletics vs. Angels
Collin Whitchurch: The Angels are being understandably cautious with Ohtani down the stretch, and it’s entirely possible this is the last time he takes the mound all season.
Ohtani is going to win AL MVP, and he’s a very good pitcher, but he hasn’t been outstanding on the mound for most of the second half, including his last time out when he allowed six earned runs in just 3 1/3 innings against the Astros.
Frankie Montas has rebounded nicely from a terrible start to the season, and now has an ERA/FIP split that matches up nicely (3.72/3.39). He’s still susceptible to the long ball, though, and got roughed up against the Royals in his last start.
The Angels’ offense has been pretty bad in the second half of the season, but are significantly better against right-handed pitching. Oakland is desperately trying to stay in the AL wild-card hunt and has a good matchup against Ohtani and, assuming he doesn’t last long, a very bad Los Angeles bullpen.
I think Oakland gets the win here, but instead of paying the juice I’m focusing on the total, as it’s a solid matchup for the A’s, and Los Angeles should get enough against Montas & Co. to get us over the number.
Phillies vs. Mets
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Collin Whitchurch: One of my favorite random pitcher betting trends entering the season was playing overs on games in which Rich Hill was one of the starting pitchers.
Coming into the season, if you had bet the over on every start Hill made from 2018 through 202, you’d have a 31-16 record. This season started out similarly, as in his 19 starts with the Rays, the over went 12-7.
Since joining the Mets, however, things have turned on their head. In nine starts, your record when betting the over would be just 1-7-1, including five straight losses.
So we’re fading our favorite bet today and running with the current trend. The Phillies’ offense has been incredibly up-and-down throughout the season, and while they are still above-average overall against lefties, they have just a 97 wRC+ since the start of August.
The Mets’ offense is the epitome of average no matter how you slice it, and I think runs are going to be hard to come by tonight, even if Kyle Gibson has struggled his last few times out.