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MLB Odds, Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets From Pirates vs. Reds and Astros vs. Tigers (September 12)

MLB Odds, Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets From Pirates vs. Reds and Astros vs. Tigers (September 12) article feature image
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Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez (59).

For most, Monday night is all about the football game. But for those who can’t get enough baseball down the stretch, the nine evening games on the slate are the main course.

Our MLB analysts have their eyes on two matchups — Astros vs. Tigers and Pirates vs. Reds — and have three picks in those games.

Here are our three best bets from Monday’s Major League Baseball slate.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers
6:40 pm ET
Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers
6:40 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds
6:40 p.m. ET

Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers

Pick
Astros RL -1.5 (-120)
Book
BetMGM
Pitchers
Framber Valdez vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
First Pitch
6:40 pm ET

Jules Posner: Framber Valdez enters Monday night’s start with a 2.24 road ERA. Although his 3.53 FIP and 3.45 xFIP on the road indicate he’s been outperforming his road peripherals, he’ll be taking on a Tigers’ offense that ranks 25th in team wRC+ at home against LHP over the past month.

On the other side, Eduardo Rodriguez may actually be slightly overvalued in this match up. While his 3.99 home ERA does not inspire much optimism, that number is magnified by his 4.72 FIP and 5.23 xFIP at home.

The Astros have the seventh best wRC+ against LHP on the road over the past month, so this could be a regression game for Rodriguez. Additionally, the Tigers’ bullpen, which had been solid for most of the season, has slipped considerably over the past few weeks.

While both starters may be due for some regression, the Astros have such a considerable edge all around in this match up that their runline is not in the -2.5 territory. Therefore, -1.5 at -120 is a really good value. Play the Astros’ runline as long as it’s -1.5.


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Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers

Pick
Eduardo Rodriguez Over 3.5 Strikeouts
Book
BetMGM

Tanner McGrath: Alongside Javier Baez, Eduardo Rodriguez was the big-name, splashy signing the Tigers made last offseason. Both have flopped, and the Tigers are in last place in the AL Central.

E-Rod has made just 12 starts this season. He didn’t communicate with the club between mid-May and mid-August.

But when he is pitching, he records strikeouts. He’s hit at least four Ks in eight of those 12 starts and in 36 of 46 starts dating back to the beginning of 2021 (78%).

Houston is a tough ball club, and the Astros make more contact than anyone in the league and strike out at a league-low rate against southpaws (18.1%). However, Rodriguez has had no trouble with the Astros, fanning at least four in four consecutive starts.

Rodriguez struck out eight the one time he faced Houston this season, allowing just one run over 6 2/3 innings of work.

The Action Labs Player Props Tool projects E-Rod for 4.9 strikeouts today. Yet we can bet over 3.5 Ks at plus-money.


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Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Cincinnati Reds

Pick
Reds ML (-138)
Book
BetMGM
Pitchers
Bryse Wilson vs. Mike Minor
First Pitch
6:40 p.m. ET

Tony Sartori: The main reason we are backing Cincinnati in this game is because of Pittsburgh’s projected starting pitcher: right-hander Bryse Wilson. Through 20 pitching appearances this season, Wilson is 2-8 with a 6.11 ERA and 1.49 WHIP.

While those stats are horrible, his metrics are just as bad. This year, Wilson possesses a .365 xwOBA, .303 xBA, and .492 xSLG, so positive regression should not be a concern.

Entering this game in poor form, we should continue to fade Wilson. Over his last five starts, he is 0-2 with a 6.85 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.

Following Wilson is one of the weaker bullpens in baseball. Since Aug. 1, the Pirates’ relief pitching ranks just 26th in the league in ERA, 26th in WHIP, 19th in BA, 18th in wOBA, and 20th in FIP.

Losing 16 of their last 20 games (80%), we should expect Pittsburgh’s poor season to continue in this matchup.


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