MLB Picks Tonight: Our Staff’s 3 Best Bets From Reds vs. Pirates and Yankees vs. Blue Jays (Sept. 26)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Gausman #34 of the Toronto Blue Jays.
- There are just four games on Monday night's Major League Baseball schedule.
- That isn't deterring our baseball analysts from making picks in two games: Reds vs. Pirates & Yankees vs. Blue Jays.
- Check out the player prop, moneyline and total bets they are targeting tonight.
Our experts have three bets in those two matchups and they break down their top picks for Monday’s slate below.
MLB Odds & Picks
Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Jules Posner: Chase Anderson will take the hill for the Reds and in his two road starts this season he’s posted a 3.00 ERA, but a 4.78 FIP and a 4.65 xFIP. He could be due for regression on Monday, especially considering the Pirates’ offense has posted the 12th best team wRC+ against RHP at home over the past two weeks.
Additionally, the Pirates have an insanely low .118 BABIP over that stretch meaning that they have been producing offense with poor luck and very few hits. This is pretty uncanny and they should be due to bust out in a big way.
While the Pirates’ starter Roansy Contreras’ numbers over the past two months are scary, the Reds offense on the road against RHP is not. They are 25th in team wRC+ on the road against RHP over the past couple of weeks and the peripherals indicate that they are a bottom tier offense.
The Pirates also hold a slight edge in the bullpen match up as well. They come in as considerable favorites at -140, and that’s a fair value if their moneyline stays there. However, they should be the play at -150 or better.
New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Nicholas Martin: You’re rarely going to see Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at +140 to manage two bases, but due to the quality of Luis Severino, that is the price in this spot.
However Toronto has crushed Severino in each of its past two matchups, and have gotten to him for an ERA of 5.02 this season altogether.
The Blue Jays will now see Sevy for a fourth time, and while I might not count on that kind of dominance to continue, I do think this is a strong spot for Guerrero to continue hitting him effectively.
Vladdy is 3-for-8 against Severino this season, with three balls hit at exit-velocities of 102.4 or greater.
Vlad Jr. has handled right-handed pitching very well yet again this season, with a .499 slug-rate altogether, and an even more exceptional slug-rate of .544 at home versus righties.
He has hit 10 home runs on pitches with velo over 95 MPH this season, tied for the third-most in MLB, and Severino’s ability to throw the fastball at an average velo of 96.7 is surely a part of what makes his secondary stuff so strong.
At a well beyond average price of +140 for Guerrero to record over 1.5 total bases I believe we have a strong play, as Severino does not seem to be as tough a matchup for Guerrero as for the vast majority of batters, and therefore the number is too long.
New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Kenny Ducey: The under has cashed in nine of the 16 games between the Yankees and Blue Jays, and in each of their last three. I’m seeing some value in making a wager on that trend to continue.
The Yankees are the hottest team in baseball right now, but interestingly enough I’m not totally sure this is a fantastic matchup for these bats. New York owns a 46.3% ground ball rate over the past two weeks, the eighth-highest rate in the league during that time, and it just so happens that this is something Kevin Gausman has struggled to find.
The right-hander has seen his ground ball rate plummet to 40.2% this season — a career-low — and along with that has come a career-worst 8.2% barrel rate and some expected stats, which would seem to show he’s moving backwards after peaking last season.
All that would change if Gausman would induce more grounders, and given what we’re seeing out of the Yankees, that should be on the table. It also doesn’t hurt that New York is striking out at a very high 24.5% clip and while it continues to lead the way in the walk department, Gausman has one of the best walk rates around at 3.9%.
I think that’s reason enough to trust Gausman, and on the other side the Blue Jays actually have the highest ground ball rate in the league over those 14 days which should only hurt their chances more against a strikeout machine in Luis Severino. I think this should be a low-scoring battle.