Bettors have extra time to prepare for the MLB season’s final scheduled day. All 15 games begin from 3:05 to 3:20 p.m ET, promising a special afternoon in the sports world.
Most of the drama resides in the AL Wild Card race. The Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Mariners are all competing for two spots, leaving a strong possibility of extra tiebreaking action. Meanwhile, the Giants and Dodgers will close an epic battle for the NL West crown. While the winner earns home-field advantage throughout the postseason, the runner-up hosts the red-hot Cardinals in a winner-take-all game.
Of course, we don’t have to only wager on games with playoff implications. Just be mindful of how you handle everything else, particularly for teams locked into the postseason. This isn’t the day to support the Cardinals, White Sox, Astros, or Atlanta as heavy favorites. Don’t risk them giving regulars the day off or pulling their starter after three or four innings.
Hopefully, you had some fun and made some money this season. Let’s try to end strong with one more batch of MLB bets.
Logan Webb to Record a Win
With a victory Sunday, the Giants will cement MLB’s best record and their most wins in franchise history. If they lose, a Dodgers win would force a Game 163 to determine the NL West champion.
The Giants are in a great position to take care of business. As winners of eight of their last 10 games, they’ll host a Padres squad that’s lost 17 of their last 21. Expected to be in San Francisco’s position as an NL powerhouse, San Diego instead collapsed down the finish line. (Apologies to those who took my advice and bet on them avoiding a sweep at St. Louis two weeks ago.)
Before the season began, the Padres built a supposed super-rotation by acquiring Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Joe Musgrove alongside Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet. They’ll end it with Reiss Knehr making the final start. The 24-year-old has as many walks as strikeouts (18) over 24 uninspiring innings. Mostly working out of the bullpen, the righty relinquished three runs in four innings during his last start against Atlanta.
Meanwhile, San Francisco has watched an organizational depth arm blossom into an ace. Logan Webb enters his final start of the season wielding a spectacular 2.93 ERA and 2.78 FIP. While he faltered in his last turn at San Diego (4 IP, 4 ER), that was the only time he’s failed to pitch five innings in his last 14 starts. San Francisco is 12-2 in those games, with the two losses both in extra innings. Although Webb has only notched six wins during this stretch, he’s allowed two or fewer runs a dozen times.
Look for Webb to deliver five or six more strong innings with enough early run support. If you can’t stomach wagering on a pitcher win, hammer to over on 5.5 strikeouts (+110 on DraftKings) instead. Webb has cleared that mark in nine of his last 11 starts and is averaging 6.1 strikeouts per outing since the All-Star break.
Pick: Yes (+165 on DraftKings)
Baltimore Orioles: O/U 3.5 Runs
The Orioles are best positioned to play spoiler. That may not seem like the case at first glance, as the Blue Jays are -350 home favorites on DraftKings. Everyone would trust the Hyun Jin Ryu from last year, or even this May, to get the job done. However, it’s no longer a lock. The usually reliable 34-year-old has yielded a 5.65 ERA after the All-Star break. He’s surrendered seven runs in three separate starts this summer, most recently in only 2.1 innings at Camden Yards. During that treacherous outing, he served up eight hard hits (two barrels) on 11 batted balls.
Perhaps it was one bad day, but don’t dismiss Baltimore’s offense. The Orioles rank 11th, one spot ahead of the Dodgers, with a .321 wOBA against lefties. Austin Hays (.380 wOBA), Trey Mancini (.376), and Ryan Mountcastle are especially potent with the platoon advantage, and Cedric Mullins has more than held his own against fellow lefties (.339 wOBA) during his 30/30 breakout campaign.
Baltimore may not pull off an upset behind Bruce Zimmermann, but expect its lineup to make this a stressful day for Blue Jays fans. The Orioles are averaging 4.1 runs per game, so this run line feels awfully generous against a struggling lefty at a hitter’s park.
Pick: Over (-105 on FanDuel, -110 on DraftKings)
Angels vs. Mariners: O/U 7.5 Runs
Reid Detmers has a 7.11 ERA in four career MLB starts. Tyler Anderson allowed nine runs to the Angels on September 25. Yet for some reason, this game has the day’s lowest run line.
Let’s try to understand why. That was Anderson’s one big blemish since joining Seattle in late July. While that blowup has ballooned his ERA to 4.50 in a dozen starts for the Mariners, he only allowed more than three runs once more at Houston. Detmers hasn’t made a big-league start since August 21, but the oddsmakers are probably leaning on Seattle’s fifth-worst wOBA against lefties. The Angels rank 19th.
Still, the math makes it easy to bring this game to eight runs. Neither team boasts an offensive juggernaut, but the Angels and Mariners have scored 4.4 and 4.1 runs per game this season, respectively. Though occasionally effective when limited to going two times through the order, Anderson is an average placeholder with a career 4.59 ERA. Detmers is still unproven and unpolished, and the Angels back him up with a mediocre bullpen (4.61 ERA).
Pick: Over (-105 on DraftKings, -110 on FanDuel)
Andrew Gould Overall Record: 38-41 (One Push)
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): $19.27
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)