Tuesday MLB Playoff Betting Picks: Our Best Bet for Yankees vs. Rays Game 2 (Oct. 6)
Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Randy Arozerna and Ji-Man Choi
- Looking for a betting pick for Tuesday's Yankees vs. Rays ALDS Game 2? You're in the right place.
- Our staff's favorite MLB picks for Tuesday are capped off with a pick from Sean Zerillo on the marquee ALDS matchup.
- Check out how his model is revealing value on the moneyline for both the first five innings and full game.
With both leagues’ Division Series rounds in play, Tuesday’s 4-game MLB Postseason slate is as full as it’s going to get the rest of the way.
And given the four betting options, our staff has been able to find a few spots worth a shot tonight, starting with this afternoons Marlins-Braves Game 1.
Let’s take a look.
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.
BJ Cunningham: Braves -1.5 (+105)
Sandy Alcantara has been very effective with his fastball and sinker, as both pitches have combined to allow only a .208 average to opponents this year. However, he’ll face his biggest test yet, as the Braves have been the best team in baseball against both fastballs and sinkers this year.
Alacantara’s struggles this year have come from his secondary pitches, as they all are allowing a .300 wOBA or above. That could be a problem in Game 1 because he’s facing the best offense in baseball. Atlanta led MLB in wOBA at .355 and maintained that wOBA over the last two weeks of the season at .354. The Braves also have the best 1-2-3 hitters in baseball. Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna have combined 45 home runs, 138 RBIs, and all have a wOBA over .400.
Additionally, the Braves were the best team in baseball against right-handed pitching with a .363 wOBA , so Alcantara is going to have his hands full in Game 1.
Max Fried has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball that nobody is talking about. The lefty put up a 2.25 ERA this year and allowed only a .209 average to opposing hitters. On his main three-pitch arsenal of fastball/curveball/slider, Fried has held opponents to under a .290 wOBA on each pitch. In Game 1 against the Reds, Fried tossed seven shutout innings, allowing six hits and no walks. I think he should be able to repeat that performance against a Marlins lineup that over the last two weeks of the accumulated only a .297 wOBA and 88 wRC+.
The Braves also have a big advantage in the bullpen department, as the Marlins had the 26th-best ERA (5.50) and 29th-best xFIP (5.39) in MLB during the regular season.
I have the Braves margin of victory projected at -2.01, so I think there is plenty of value on their run line of -1.5 at +105.
Mike Vitanza: Astros Moneyline (-105) vs. A’s
This game is likely to be the closest we see in the series. Vegas agrees, as the current moneyline odds give a slight home edge to the Athletics at -115.
At -105, the value is on the Houston Astros. The starting pitching matchup is closer than it appears, despite the name brand in Manaea towing the rubber for Oakland. The hitting matchup favors Houston, which, despite not having the best collective numbers against lefties during the regular season (.303 wOBA), has three key offensive pieces that have hit left-handed pitching incredibly well.
Alex Bregman was especially strong, hitting to a .408 wOBA, .255 ISO and 166 wRC+ against southpaws. George Springer was also very good, hitting to a .339 wOBA and .271 ISO himself. And yesterday’s hero, Carlos Correa, also found success with a .367 wOBA and 136 wRC+ during the regular season.
Finally, where Oakland would typically have the advantage in the bullpen — their .364 FIP was third-best in all of baseball — that’s somewhat negated after a Game 1 that required seven relief pitchers to be used after an abbreviated outing from starter Chris Bassitt.
I like the slight underdog Houston in this one and will be risking 0.5 units at the current odds. I’m comfortable with this all the way up to -115.
Sean Zerillo: Rays F5 (-124), Full Game (-122) Moneyline vs. Yankees
Here’s my model’s projection for this game (you can read my full projections here):
- Yankees probability: 40.5% (+147 fair odds)
- Rays probability: 59.5% (-147)
- Projected total: 7.75
After the Yankees’ Game 1 win, my revised series projection makes them a 64% favorite, implied odds of -178, and there is currently some value on Rays at a series price of +215 (implied 31.8%). However, I need +225 or better in order to make another series play.
Instead, I’ll look to bet the Rays again in Game 2, both on the F5 and full-game moneylines, at respective edges of 5.75% at -120, and 6.5% at -113. I would play the F5 moneyline to -130, for a half unit, and the full game moneyline up to -127.
After a dominant 2019 campaign, Tyler Glasnow continued to improve in 2020, increasing both his strikeout-minus-walk rate and whiff rate by two percent, while lowering his xFIP from 2.94 to 2.75, even though his xERA increased from 2.3 to 3.13 as a result of additional hard contact.
The righty increased his curveball usage from 29.2% to 34.8%, likely on the recommendation of Tampa Bay’s analytical scouting staff.
Tyler Glasnow's curve is so filthy. 🤮
— MLB (@MLB) September 19, 2020
Twenty-one-year-old Deivi Garcia was incredibly impressive for the Yankees in his debut season, walking just six batters over six starts (34.1 innings pitched). He mixes in a changeup (17%), curveball (14%) and slider (9%) behind his fastball (92.3 mph, 60%), but only the fastball and changeup returned a positive pitch value in his debut season.
Garcia beat his projected FIP (4.81) by more than half a run (4.15), and his curveball remains an extremely promising out pitch if he can learn to command it better and throw it for strikes instead of whiffs:
This Deivi Garcia curve: 2,900 rpm
MLB avg. curveball spin: 2,527 rpm
He got 63.6" of vertical break here pic.twitter.com/UuYTXkAADE
— David Adler (@_dadler) August 31, 2020
He’s still a couple of tiers below Glasnow at present, however, and Tampa Bay remains the value side on Tuesday.
- Tampa Bay Rays F5 (0.5u, play to -130)
- Tampa Bay Rays Moneyline (1u, play to -127)