Thursday MLB Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Red Sox vs Yankees, Diamondbacks vs Dodgers, More (September 22)
Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Pictured: Zac Gallen
- There are 13 games on Thursday's Major League Baseball slate, and we've found betting value in three of them.
- Our experts have targeted a variety of angles and we have multiple plays to back, including a pair of plus-money options.
- Continue reading for the bets and analysis.
The Major League Baseball season is winding down, but there are still plenty of betting opportunities as teams fight for the postseason. There are 13 games on Thursday’s slate and our experts have found betting value in three of them — including a pair of plus-money plays.
Our analysts have targeted a trio of games, two of which are involving World Series contenders in the Yankees and Dodgers. We have a variety of bets for you as we have a play on a runline, a team total and a first five innings moneyline.
Here are our best bets from tonight’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Los Angeles Angels vs. Texas Rangers
Jules Posner: Martin Perez continues to put together an incredibly consistent 2022 campaign. Although he has not been as good as he was in the first half, he’s still been very good.
He gets to face a Los Angeles Angels lineup that has been struggling on the road against southpaws over the past month. On the other side, Michael Lorenzen has struggled on the road this season. He has a 6.63 ERA with a 5.56 FIP over 38 road innings and he’ll be taking on a Rangers’ squad that has been mashing right handers at home over the past couple of weeks.
While the Rangers aren’t walking at all, they are slugging and are facing a pitcher who is averaging over 4 BB/9 and almost 1.5 home runs per 9 on the road this season. Additionally, Texas will get to face the Angels’ league-worst bullpen.
There are many considerable edges at play in favor of the Rangers on Thursday and their runline is in the +140 range. The moneyline is a reasonable -145, but why not go big and take a risk on the Rangers to cover? Play the Rangers’ runline as long as it’s in plus money.
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
DJ James: The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have been two of the best teams at hitting off of right-handers lately. They will play in New York on Thursday with Jameson Taillon and Michael Wacha taking the mound.
Taillon does not walk many hitters, but he has a below average Average Exit Velocity. Now, the Red Sox have a 119 wRC+ off of righties in the past month and a .786 team OPS. That is phenomenal. They have eight batters with a .320+ xwOBA in that timeframe and the majority of the team is averaging at least 89 mph off the bat.
This does not bode well for Taillon and the Yankees. The Yankees have also been slightly above average out of the bullpen with a 3.72 xFIP. However, they have their weak spots, so the Red Sox should be able to tack on some offense late in the game.
The Red Sox bullpen is too weak to back, so going Boston’s team total over is the right call in this game. Take the Red Sox over at 3.5 (-115) and play it to 4.5 (-110). Boston should hit well with Taillon on the hill.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
William Boor: Backing Zac Gallen at +180 odds is certainly tempting, but the Diamondbacks’ bullpen has struggled all year and it’s very, very easy to envision a scenario in which Gallen spins a gem and the Dodgers win late.
So, since we want to back Gallen, let’s target the first five innings. The 27-year-old right hander has pitched to a 2.52 ERA with a 3.31 xERA this season. However, if we are looking at just the first five innings, Gallen’s ERA sits at 2.20.
Arizona’s ace has also been lights out in the second half. Since the All-Star break, Gallen has made 11 starts and is 8-1 with a 1.15 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP. Simply put, Gallen is one of the best pitchers in baseball and whenever I get a chance to back him at plus money, I’m going to take it.
Gallen has faced the Dodgers just once this season and although we can’t make much of a single start from late April, he did strike out five over six scoreless innings. Julio Urias opposed Gallen in that outing — his lone start against Arizona — and fired six innings of one-run ball.
Urias will be starting opposite Gallen once again and has been dominant of late. The 26-year-old lefty is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in September, but has been a bit better on the road this season (2.07 road ERA compared to a 2.54 home ERA). While Urias’ home/road differentials are minimal, even the slightest of edges will help us here as we back the underdog.
Of course, the Diamondbacks don’t have one of the best offenses in baseball, but Arizona has been striking early of late and has led through five in three straight games.