MLB Odds, Expert Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Blue Jays vs. Orioles, Nationals vs. Cardinals, More (September 7)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Nelson Cruz #23 of the Washington Nationals.
It’s another busy Wednesday in Major League Baseball. There are a handful of games getting going this afternoon and a busy evening slate, too.
Find our staff's best bets for Wednesday below.
MLB Odds & Picks
Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Jules Posner: This is not an endorsement of Bailey Falter by any means, but he has shown some improvement over his last four starts. Sure he got to face the Pittsburgh Pirates twice, but he also threw well against the New YorkMets and the ArizonaDiamondbacks, two solid offenses.
Falter aside, this pick is more of a wholesale fade of the entire Miami Marlins situation. Although Taylor Rogers looked good in his return to the rotation, the Marlins' offense is last in MLB in wRC+ against LHP on the road over the past month.
Furthermore, the Marlins' bullpen has been unreliable this season, and has been especially bad in the second half.
The Phillies' moneyline is past the point of a good value in my opinion, but if you are comfortable the -180 range, suit yourself. Their runline opened at +130 and quickly moved town to the +115-+120 range.
Considering the Phillies general competence in all facets of the game and the Marlins incompetence, particularly at the plate, play the Phils runline as long as it's in plus money.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles
Sean Zerillo: While Alek Manoah (2.48 ERA, 3.52 xERA, 3.85 xFIP, 3.73 SIERA) has had a tremendous season, the All-Star righty has overachieved to an extent, thanks to a .256 BABIP and an 80.4% strand rate, both of which should regress towards league average (.289 and 72.4%, respectively) in the future.
Amongst a group of 125 pitchers who have tossed 90 innings or more this season, Manoah ranks 43rd in strikeout minus walk rate, or K-BB% (17.2%), and his mark isn't substantially better than Dean Kremer's (13.6%).
Kremer (3.22 ERA, 4.26 xERA, 4.09 xFIP, 4.17 SIERA) has overachieved similarly. Still, the talent gap between Manoah and Kremer may not be as comprehensive as their nominal value or preseason projections (3.58-3.92 FIP range for Manoah vs. 4.34-4.63 for Kremer) may suggest.
And considering the closeness of these offenses (5th for Toronto and 11th for Baltimore vs. righties since July 1) and bullpens (3rd for Baltimore and 7th for Toronto in bullpen xFIP since July 1), this matchup is certainly tighter than the betting line indicates.
I projected the Orioles as 46% underdogs (+117 implied odds) for Tuesday's matchup. I'm happy to bet their moneyline down to +127 (44% implied) or better, at a two percent edge compared to my projection.
Washington Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals
They have a team wRC+ of 92 against southpaws since Aug. 7, which is yes, below average. However, they have a few weapons, like Nelson Cruz, Josh Palacios, and Joey Meneses who have slotted in nicely to knock in some runs. All three have .400+ xwOBA marks, so they will find a way on base.
In addition, the Nats have a few others floating around .300 xwOBA in that same timeframe. This is not necessarily great, but it at least says a few more batters in the Washington lineup can put together a strong plate appearance here and there or at least be a table-setter for the three boppers in the lineup.
The Nats will take on Jordan Montgomery, who will start for the Saint Louis Cardinals. Now, Montgomery is a solid pitcher, who limits hard contact, but he is not Jacob deGrom. He has a 3.15 ERA against a 3.86 xERA on the season, so he has been getting lucky. For example, he had a 4.91 ERA in July. This was only a month ago.
Take the Nationals team total over at 2.5 (-125). Play it to 3.5 (-100).