MLB Playoff Odds Picks, Best Bets for Mariners vs Blue Jays Game 2 10/8/22
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images. Pictured: Eugenio Suarez and Cal Raleigh celebrate Raleigh’s home run.
- Two games are set for Saturday afternoon with teams desperate to keep their seasons alive.
- The Rays take on the Guardians with Cleveland looking to advance, while Seattle will look to pull off another upset of Toronto to go to the ALDS.
- Continue reading for our best bets from these two games on this afternoon's MLB playoff slate.
After Friday's tightly contested Game 1s in the Wild Card Round, Saturday brings with it four teams that have a chance to advance to the Division Series.
Cleveland will look to advance behind Triston McKenzie, while Seattle will look to pull off an upset with Robbie Ray on the mound.
We have three bets to recommend for these two games, including two totals and one player prop.
Here are our three best bets from Saturday afternoon's MLB postseason slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Rays vs. Guardians
Jim Turvey: A couple of factors pointing in the direction of the under on this one. For one, this is going to be all hands on deck for the Rays. We've all seen how quick the trigger can be from Kevin Cash and co. in October, and that trigger only gets quicker when the Rays are in elimination games. The bullpen is nearly entirely rested, and Jeffrey Springs is a perfect piggyback candidate given the Guardians struggles with lefties.
Glasnow also only made two MLB starts in all of 2022 after spending most of the season rehabbing from Tommy John. The furthest he got into a game in those outings: 3.2 IP.
Of course, in that outing, he struck out seven, but even if he is given something in the range of 4-5 innings (which has to just about be his best case scenario), the Guardians are remarkably hard to strike out.
Against right-handed pitchers this season, the Guardians struck out just 17.3 percent of the time, which was not just lowest in baseball, but it was lowest by a 2.3 percent margin that equaled the gap between second and 11th lowest K rate. Cleveland's overall strikeout rate was the lowest from any team since 2017!
This line has already been on the move, so jump on it if you can. Anything in plus money is good.
Sean Zerillo: Tyler Glasnow returned this September after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August of 2021. He's only tossed 13 2/3 innings across six minor league and major league appearances and thrown 235 pitches this season.
The early signs are encouraging (6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 10 K) — including a three-inning stint against the Guardians — and his velocity has seemingly returned to previous levels:
Still, the sample is limited, and it's equally likely that a pitcher just one year removed from Tommy John suffers a setback as it is that he continues to progress in his recovery.
Moreover, Glasnow is not fully stretched out. He progressed from 50 pitches against the Guardians on September 28 to 65 pitches against the Red Sox on October 3. And he'll likely get capped at 75-80 pitches for Saturday's start.
Against some teams, that could be enough to get through five innings. But Glasnow relies on the strikeout (30.1% career), and as I previously mentioned, Cleveland had the lowest strikeout rate (17.3%) against right-handed pitching this season; with far superior offensive splits against righties (11th) as opposed to lefties (27th).
The Guardians will look to spit at his breaking balls, foul off his fastballs in the zone, rack up his pitch count and get into the Rays' bullpen as quickly as possible.
Jalen Beeks (3.70 xERA, 3.26 xFIP, 3.16 SIERA) or Jeffrey Springs (3.27 xERA, 3.29 xFIP, 3.32 SIERA) should be the first man up behind Glasnow; to force Cleveland back into its lesser split. Beeks hasn't pitched since mid-September, while Springs — who spent most of the season in the rotation — would make his first appearance on fewer than four days' rest since April.
I'd expect the Rays to save Drew Rasmussen (3.46 xERA, 3.56 xFIP, 3.74 SIERA) for a potential Game 3. While I trust Kevin Cash and the Rays' organization as much as any team to figure out how to optimize their pitchers, they're also going to need to find a way to scratch runs across against a surging Triston McKenzie.
McKenzie looks like a sleeper AL Cy Young candidate for 2023. He has made considerable strides in the second half of the season (2.34 ERA, 3.30 xFIP, 22.2% K-BB%) relative to the first half (3.20 ERA, 4.14 xFIP, 17.4% K-BB%).
All of his underlying metrics are trending in the right direction. McKenzie is getting strike one more consistently and inducing chases and whiffs outside the strike zone with greater frequency.
And he's gotten a bit lucky, too — with a low BABIP (.237) and a high strand rate (80.3%). Still, McKenzie is undoubtedly amid a breakout; and I want to buy stock in the 25-year-old coming off a 190-inning campaign:
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) August 20, 2022
Friday's starters left these bullpens well-rested for Saturday. And with Tampa expected to play matchups behind Glasnow, we should be in line for another tightly contested and low-scoring affair.
I don't project value on either side of the moneyline, I would play Cleveland at -104 (50.9% implied) or better, at a two percent edge compared to my number.
I bet the Under 6.5 shortly after Game 1 ended, but I wouldn't go below 6 (-102) on the total compared to my number (5.7). And I'm not interested in betting an F5 Under 3 with my projection at 2.97.
Mariners vs. Blue Jays
|4:07 p.m. ET|
Anthony Dabbundo: The market opened this total at a flat seven and the over has taken money. Some of the market is headed toward 7.5 but there is still a 7 (Over -115) available at multiple books as of writing.
Toronto and Seattle were both top-six offenses after the trade deadline. Toronto was actually the No. 1 offense and did muster plenty of hits against Luis Castillo in Game 1, they just weren't able to string to them or manage extra base hits.
There's a clear drop-off in stuff and location from Castillo to Robbie Ray. Throw in the split advantage for the Jays' right-handed bats against Ray's southpaw delivery and that's a recipe for offensive success for Toronto in game two.
The Blue Jays' bullpen still has some cracks and will concede some baserunners too. Toronto was 15th in xFIP and 13th in K-BB% in the bullpen this season. Seattle should post a few runs to help this get over the 7 runs.
Seven is a key number and I wouldn't play the over past it. I don't have a strong opinion on the side at the current odds, but would bet Toronto at -140 or better on the moneyline.