Major League Baseball Odds, Picks, Projections: How To Bet Rays vs. Red Sox, Astros vs. White Sox (Oct. 10)
Will Newton/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dylan Cease.
- We have two huge MLB postseason games on deck Sunday, with the ALDS showdowns taking center stage.
- Analyst Sean Zerillo breaks down the confrontations, featuring Rays vs. Red Sox and Astros vs. White Sox
- Check out below his detailed insight, along with his two best bets, for the matchups.
Throughout the Major League Baseball playoffs, I will provide a daily breakdown summarizing my thoughts on both futures and individual games for that day.
I will also address betting these playoff series, whether on the series moneyline or a game-by-game basis, while using my daily MLB Model projections.
Let’s talk series prices before digging into Sunday’s two-game ALDS slate.
Series Moneyline Corner
Here are my updated series ML projections for the divisional round:
To reiterate my points from Saturday’s post on the ALDS matchups:
- Consider adding a share of Boston’s series price at +123 or better, whether you jumped in before Game 1 (+165) or Game 2 (+300)
- You need at least +733 to bet the White Sox series price
Boston’s series price might be a better route than laying juice on its Game 3 moneyline. However, I doubt that you’ll find a White Sox price at or above my desired price target.
In the National League, the Braves and Dodgers forced a split Saturday, and both return home with a chance to close out their divisional series matchups in four games. Those clubs gained 19% and 20% in series win probability, respectively, following their Game 2 victories.
I would bet the Brewers’ series price up to -111 and already bet their Game 3 moneyline (to -102) as well.
The early market for Dodgers vs. Giants looks fair. I would set those price targets at -150 and +182, respectively. However, I doubt that you’ll see either number come into range.
Rays vs. Red Sox, Game 3 (4:07 p.m. ET)
Boston has a real chance to wrestle control over this series with a Game 3 win.
A hobbled J.D. Martinez, who missed Game 1, turned in a stunning offensive performance in Game 2, as the Red Sox outslugged the Rays in a 14-6 victory.
And with ace Nathan Eovaldi (3.37 xERA, 3.48 xFIP, 3.60 SIERA) back on the mound at home on full rest following after a stellar effort in the wild-card game (5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K), Boston will surely be feeling confident.
Eovaldi faced the Rays four times this season, turning in three quality starts where he went at least seven innings and allowed one run or less. His presence makes the Red Sox a decent home favorite in this pivotal game.
Drew Rasmussen (3.65 xERA, 3.67 xFIP, 3.92 SIERA) is a lesser-known commodity. He has terrific metrics and stuff (95th percentile in fastball velocity; 90th percentile in fastball spin), but the righty has mostly worked out of the bullpen and hasn’t pitched more than five innings in two MLB seasons.
Offensively, Boston hits righties (109 wRC+) better than it does lefties (102), particularly in the second half when they led all of MLB with a 123 wRC+ vs. right-handed pitching. The Red Sox also have strong splits against all pitch types, but in particular, they crushed sliders, which is Rasmussen’s go-to offering (30.2% usage) behind his fastball.
Drew Rasmussen, Dirty 86mph Slider. 😨 pic.twitter.com/Z6gnbaUqEg
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 21, 2021
Eovaldi was electric in the wild-card game, generating an excellent 37% called strike plus whiff rate (CSW%) and at least one whiff with all five of his pitches.
Despite his incredible velocity (96.9 mph that’s fifth among starting pitchers), Eovaldi’s arsenal rates closer to average across the board. The curveball is the standout pitch, ranking eighth among qualified starters on a per-pitch basis. Eight of his 13 curveballs against the Yankees generated either a called strike or a whiff.
New York ranked eighth in MLB this season against curveballs; Tampa Bay ranks fifth.
I could see some more offensive fireworks between these clubs. I projected the total at 9 and grabbed plus money early, but would still bet Over 8.5 to -110 odds.
I also show value on the Red Sox moneyline and missed out on early plus money, but would still bet the full game (to -106). I’ll look to bet the First Five Innings (to -118) as well once that market opens more widely.
Lastly, I would consider playing the Red Sox series price (to +123), whether you already have a position on their line. You even might opt to play that bet at superior odds to their Game 3 price.
Astros vs. White Sox, Game 3 (8:07 p.m. ET)
I currently give the White Sox less than a 15% chance of winning three consecutive games to advance to the ALCS.
Still, I like them as small home favorites in Game 3 and could generate possible closing-line value after betting their F5 and full-game moneylines early.
Unfortunately, those lines opened around +100 and -105, respectively, and have moved 15-20 cents since.
I would bet Chicago on the F5 moneyline (to -102) and the full-game moneyline (to -111), but you might need a price dip to justify those plays.
Dylan Cease (3.60 xERA, 3.72 xFIP, 3.57 SIERA) has gone from the butt of all jokes to 2022 Cy Young sleeper within six months on the Action Network Slack. Cease owns both a better xFIP and K-BB% and finished with more WAR than Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito.
The homegrown righty finally harnessed his outrageous stuff (seventh in fastball velocity amongst starting pitchers; 97th percentile in fastball spin; and, 86th percentile in curveball spin) in his age 25 season.
Cease is slider/curveball reliant and uses his fastball more as a set-up pitch for the two breakers. He’s one of five starters (Corbin, DeSclafani, Mahle, Ray) who throw their slider more than 30% of the time.
Dylan Cease’s slider isn’t much easier to hit either pic.twitter.com/ohMHIFKIAK
— Southside Showdown (@SoxShowdown) May 12, 2021
While it took Cease a few years to find his command in the majors, Luis Garcia (3.98 ERA, 3.93 xFIP, 3.91 SIERA) impressed in his rookie year after some light seasoning during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.
Garcia throws five offerings and has yet to optimize his pitch mix. Only the slider and cutter returned positive values, and he throws five pitches at least 9% of the time. He’s also struggled against left-handed bats (.233 wOBA vs. RHH; .352 wOBA vs. LHH).
Switch-hitters Yoan Moncada (career 122 wRC+ vs. RHP; 92 vs. LHP), YasmaniGrandal (121 vs. RHP) and potentially Leury Garcia (101 vs. RHP in 2021) could have early success in this matchup. Lefty hitting Gavin Sheets should draw a start as well. Otherwise, it’s not a terrible matchup for the Astros starter.
Garcia’s fastball/cutter/slider mix is highly effective against righties (98.5% usage), but the changeup and curveball mix against lefties (39.7% usage) hasn’t produced the desired results. If he solves that problem, it will unlock the next stage in his development.
Barring any dramatic line movement, I don’t project any value on the game totals or the series moneyline for this matchup. However, it’s worth noting that strong winds are expected (12-15 mph) to be blowing in from right field.
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- Red Sox (bet to -107)
- Rays/Red Sox — Total Over 8.5 (bet to -110)
- Red Sox — Series ML (bet to +123, 0.25u)
- White Sox (bet to -111)
- White Sox — First Five Innings (bet to +100)
- Red Sox — First Five Innings (bet to -118)
- Brewers — Series ML (value to -111)
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