Friday evening brings us a full slate of baseball, with just one afternoon between the Cubs and Pirates in what could be a high scoring affair in Chicago. With the playoff race heating up and superb games this Friday evening, let’s see what value we can find in the evening.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals
There are two superb pitching matchups tonight that would not look out of place in the later rounds of the playoffs. The first of those is between Max Scherzer and Mike Soroka. Soroka has been rocked a little in September, but the results for the season cannot be argued with, especially on the road. In 87 2/3 innings away from home he has allowed a 1.44 ERA with a .203 batting average and .230 wOBA. Those numbers are actually even better than what Scherzer is bringing to table, with a home ERA of 2.82, with an opposing batting average of .218 and a wOBA of .267. Throw in the projections for the weather to be pitcher friendly and this game has under written all over it.
1u – Under 8 Total Runs @ -110
Los Angeles Dodgers @ New York Mets
You know that second incredible pitching matchup I mentioned? Well here it is as Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard face off in New York. However, the current form of these two pitchers is slightly worse than the form of the two pitching in Washington. Syndergaard has allowed 13 earned runs in his last two home starts, having given up nine against the Cubs and another four last time out against the Phillies. As for Kershaw, he is coming off an August in which he had a3.32 ERA across his 38 innings. This game should be good and the weather is expected to be cool which should suit the pitchers, but there has been enough inconsistency in these two recently to make me take the over here.
1u – Over 7.5 Total Runs @ -113
Minnesota Twins @ Cleveland Indians
To look at this game you might wonder how the total is set at nine for a pitcher with an ERA of 3.60 and another with an ERA of 1.93. However, the weather is expected to be highly favourable for pitchers in this one, with a strong wind blowing out from the plate. The reason this is so significant is because Jake Odorizzi is among the worst in the league when it comes to giving up fly balls. His 44.3 FB% ranks fourth among qualified pitchers in the majors this season. As for Aaron Civale his FB% is below 40%, but he has been extremely lucky with those fly balls, as he has a HR/FB of just 4% despite a hard-hit rate which would rank him in the top-30 among qualified pitchers. This game may look on the surface like an under pick but if the weather is as predicted then it could be a surprisingly high scoring game.
1u – Over 9.5 Total Runs @ -105
Oakland Athletics @ Texas Rangers
I am going to get aggressive on offense down in Texas, with this game being the perfect mix of two offenses facing their biggest strengths. The Athletics rank 5th in ISO, and 6th in both slugging and wRC+ against left-handed pitchers. Meanwhile the Rangers offense is better when facing right-handed pitchers and have scored 48 runs in their last seven games. Chris Bassitt being on the mound does give me a moments pause but I believe this is going to be a high scoring day in Texas.
1u – Over 11 Total Runs @ +100
By Ben Rolfe