MLB Odds, Staff Picks, Predictions: 3 Favorite Bets For Saturday, Including Rays vs. Tigers, Red Sox vs. White Sox, More (Sept. 11)
Jamie Sabau / Getty Images. Pictured: Bobby Dalbec
We have another busy card on Saturday’s Major League Baseball loaded slate, highlighted by several matchups that could mean a lot in the postseason push.
Analysts Collin Whitchurch, Kenny Ducey, and Tanner McGrath have found three wagers they’ve tabbed their respective best bets, including an angle from the potential playoff series between the Red Sox and White Sox.
MLB Picks and Odds
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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Detroit Tigers
Collin Whitchurch: Chris Archer has been slowly ramping up his pitch total since coming off the injured list in late August, and while he got knocked around for four runs in five innings last time out, he has a good matchup today against a Tigers team that is among the most whiff-happy teams in baseball.
In fact, our Action Labs prop tool grades Archer’s strikeout prop — over 4.5 punch outs — as a perfect 10/10 grade, suggesting our model thinks he’s in for a nice day against the surprisingly competent Tigers’ offense.
The prop is intriguing, but there’s some juice on it (-126 on FanDuel) so I’m going to pivot to the pitching matchup as a whole, and I think runs are going to be tough to come by early. Archer obviously has his faults, but he can miss bats. He has 13 strikeouts in 11 innings since returning from the injured list, and that includes a performance where he generated 12 swinging strikes in just 59 pitches against the Orioles two starts ago.
The Tigers have been careful with Casey Mize’s workload in the second half of the season. He hasn’t thrown more than 88 pitches since June 26, and last time out he left after just three innings despite not allowing a baserunner. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in three of his last four starts, and he can be counted on to turn the Rays’ lineup over a time or two with minimal damage.
Fireworks may come in this game, but it’ll be after the two starters leave the game, which is why I love the under here through five innings, significantly at plus juice. I’ll play under 4.5 for the first five innings here at +116 and would do so to +105.
Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox
Kenny Ducey: Connor Seabold will make his major-league debut when he gets the start for the Red Sox on Saturday, and while his 3.67 ERA in Triple-A would lead you to believe he’ll have a puncher’s chance in this one, the underlying numbers are a bit concerning.
Seabold’s xFIP in those eight Triple-A starts stands at a gaudy 4.93, his walk rate at a below-average 7.5%, and the righty also gave up over a home run per nine innings.
The White Sox have been a bit complacent at the dish lately with an 11-game lead in the AL Central, but they’ve still proven capable of breaking out for some big nights over the last two weeks or so.
They possess the power bats to get to Seabold here and make it hurt with multiple longballs, and the fact that Boston’s bullpen has posted a 5.20 ERA over the last two weeks doesn’t help matters.
Luckily for the Red Sox, their lineup is red-hot. They rank fifth in baseball with a 117 wRC+ over that two-week span and sit atop the league in barrel rate. Dylan Cease has been very up and down this year, but the one constant has been his barrel rate, which sits in the bottom 18% of the league. This total is high, but I think it’s deserved. We should see a slugfest in Chicago.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Seattle Mariners
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Tanner McGrath: Humberto Castellanos had a pretty good first two MLB starts, but the big-league bats got to him in his last outing.
On September 4th against these Mariners, Castellanos allowed five earned runs on seven hits over just 3 2/3 innings. Considering he posted a 4.99 ERA and 5.31 xFIP in his 12 Triple-A starts this season, we really shouldn’t be surprised.
While Castellanos has yet to break out at the MLB level, Flexen has proven himself as an MLB commodity. Specifically, he’s been great at home, where he’s posted a 2.73 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP over 14 starts in the Pacific Northwest.
Tonight, Flexen will battle an Arizona team that has posted an 89 wRC+ on the road over the past month and has posted a 17-53 road record this season. I don’t expect him to struggle in this situation.
Meanwhile, Seattle continues to battle tooth-and-nail for that second Wildcard spot, and it’s become MLB’s most profitable team in the process (77-64 ML record for +30.63 units of profit). I’m expecting the Mariners to battle just as hard in this game.
The Mariners are big favorites at -180, and I think your money is better placed in the first five innings. Flexen has been a cash cow for Seattle in the first half of games: