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MLB Betting Picks, Predictions: Our Bets for Cardinals vs. Cubs, Yankees vs. Blue Jays (Monday, Sept. 7)

MLB Betting Picks, Predictions: Our Bets for Cardinals vs. Cubs, Yankees vs. Blue Jays (Monday, Sept. 7) article feature image

Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Gary Sanchez and Jordan Montgomery

  • The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays will meet on Monday night, while the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Chicago Cubs.
  • With Jordan Montgomery on the mound for the Yankees, expect Toronto's surprising offense to find success. On the Cards-Cubs front, don't look for too many runs.
  • Check out our staff's favorite bets for Monday's MLB slate.

The Labor Day MLB slate isn’t huge, but it does offer 11 games from which bettors can choose. And our staff has done just that.

Below you’ll find our two favorite spots of the day, coming from the following games:

  • Cardinals vs. Cubs (4:10 p.m. ET)
  • Yankees vs. Blue Jays (6:35 p.m. ET)

Note: Odds as of 2 p.m. ET.

Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.

Danny Donahue: Cardinals vs. Cubs Under 8 (-120)

Yes, this is a relatively low total, so taking the under probably doesn’t sound all that appetizing. But there’s plenty of reasons to think that this game could struggle in the runs department.

Wind is expected to be blowing directly in from center at Wrigley this afternoon at 12-13 mph, which is well above the wind-speed threshold that’s historically led to under profit.

Since 2005, games with winds blowing in at just 5 mph or greater have gone 926-759-86 (55.0%) to the under, winning 107.5 units for a 6.1% return on investment. Such games at Wrigley Field specifically have gone 97-64-11 (60.2%), winning 26.7 of those units for a 15.5% ROI.

On top of the wind, though, this game fits another one of our PRO Systems: Contrarian Unders for Winning Teams.

When two teams with winning records meet, and the public loads up on the over (at least 65% of tickets), the under has won at a 55% clip. Tonight’s matchup has landed 70% of the tickets on the over.

BJ Cunningham: Blue Jays Moneyline (-137) vs. Yankees

Jordan Montgomery hasn’t been great so far in 2020, accumulating a 5.76 ERA and 4.07 xFIP. He’s been going to his changeup and sinker more than ever, but neither pitch has been very successful, as they both are allowing a wOBA over .330.

For pitchers like Montgomery, whose main two pitches are designed to drop under the batter’s swing plane, you can usually tell if they are having success by their ground-ball rate. Montgomery’s is 42.5%, which is really low for a ground-ball pitcher. He’ll have a tough time getting through this Blue Jays lineup, as that ranks in the top half of MLB against sinkers and changeups.

The Yankees have been below average vs. left-handed pitching (.300 wOBA & 88 wRC+) this season and have been ice cold over the last two weeks, hitting a measly .210, with a .280 wOBA and 80 wRC+. With Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton still out of the lineup, things don’t look like they are going to be much better offensively for the Bronx Bombers.

Hyun-jin Ryu has been fantastic in his first season with the Blue Jays, posting a 2.51 ERA and 3.10 xFIP through his first eight starts. His changeup has been by far his best pitch, producing a 30.6% whiff rate and allowing a .192 wOBA to opponents. In fact, Ryu has been so effective that he has his highest ground-ball rate of his career (52.3%) and his highest K/9 rate (10.05). He’ll have a fantastic matchup against the Yankees, who struggle versus left-handed pitching.

The Blue Jays offense has been much better than expected this season, ranking 12th in terms of wOBA (.327). Teoscar Hernandez has led the Blue Jays offense and has been one of the best hitters in baseball that nobody is talking about. Hernandez has 14 bombs, 27 RBIs and a .412 wOBA, which all rank in the top 10 of MLB. Toronto is pretty average against lefties, but I don’t think they will have many issues against Montgomery.

I have this line projected at -174 for the Blue Jays, so I think there is some good value on Toronto at -130.

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