Free MLB Picks Saturday 9/12/2020 and Opening Line Report
The Diamondbacks are the first team to officially go under on their projected win total this season. It’s been a disappointing season for the Diamondbacks. What’s even more disappointing is that this team wasted plenty of amazing performances from their ace, Zac Gallen. With Gallen slated to make the start on Saturday, will the D-Backs waste another fantastic outing? Here are the leans for Saturday’s baseball action.
Pirates vs Royals 9/12/20 (-135, 9)
The Pirates and Royals will continue their series in Kansas City. Maybe the team will perform better now that the Chiefs won the first game of the NFL season.
The Royals will pitch reliever Carlos Hernandez, who has two games played and has thrown 6.1 innings this season. Hernandez has a 1.42 ERA and a 3.34 FIP. His strikeout numbers aren't high but his walk rate is low enough. Even if the Royals bullpen had to pitch for a couple innings, it still might be better than what the Pirates are throwing out there.
The Pirates will pitch Trevor Williams who is 1-6 in eight games started with a 5.80 ERA and a 5.93 FIP. Williams has a BABIP of .316 and has allowed 2.23 home runs per nine innings this season. I’ll side with the Royals bats and hope the bullpen will be fine against the Pirates.
Key trends: Royals are 28-13 in their last 41 interleague games vs. a team with a losing record.
Early Lean: Royals, Over
Cubs vs Brewers 9/12/20 (+105, 9)
The Cubs and Brewers will also continue their series in Milwaukee. The Brewers will send Brett Anderson to the mound to compete against Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs.
Brett Anderson has a 2-3 record in seven starts this season. He’s not getting many strikeouts but limiting walks and getting over 61 percent of ground balls on the season. Anderson has a 4.64 ERA and a 4.79 FIP while having a BABIP of .318.
On the flip side, the Cubs are sending out Hendricks, who pounds the zone and rarely strikes batters out. He usually allows soft contact and has a 3.41 ERA and a 3.59 FIP on the season.
Hendricks has the better numbers and the offense for the Cubs should be able to do enough damage against Anderson here.
Key trends: Cubs are 5-2 in their last 7 games as a favorite.
Early Lean: Cubs, Under
Astros vs Dodgers 9/12/20 (-161, 9)
Here’s an interesting match-up between Framber Valdez of the Astros and Julio Urias of the Dodgers. We’ve got two solid pitchers on the mound but only one solid offense.
Valdez is 3-3 in seven starts and eight games. He’s got a 3.61 ERA and a 3.05 FIP while getting ground balls over 60 percent of the time. Valdez has limited walks and home runs but when runners on base, he has struggled to get outs at times.
For the Dodgers, Urias will give it a go. He’s 3-0 in eight starts this season with an above average strikeout rate and low walk rate as well. On the season, he has a 3.86 ERA and a 4.01 FIIP. He’s been unable to get ground balls consistently but has done better holding runners on base.
These two pitchers should match up well against each other and keep this scoring low.
Key trends: Dodgers are 10-2 in their last 12 interleague games as a favorite.
Early lean: Dodgers, Under
Indians vs Twins 9/12/20 (+100, 8.5)
After both of these teams face tough competition on Friday, you can expect some excitement for these teams on Saturday. However, the Indians pitching never gives any team a day off. The Indians have one of the best pitching staffs in the MLB. They just don’t hit consistently.
The Indians will pitch Zach Plesac, who is 3-1 in five starts this season with a 1.32 ERA and a 2.89 FIP. He’s limited walks and home runs on the season and has a BABIP of .221, which is fantastic. He’s not giving up hard contact in the gaps.
Meanwhile, Rich Hill will start for the Twins. He’s 1-1 in five starts with a 3.86 ERA but a 4.56 FIP. Hill has a very low strikeout rate and a high walk rate. Hill does well with runners on base but I’m not sure that will last much longer throughout the remainder of the season.
Key trends: Indians are 5-0 in their last 5 Saturday games.
Early lean: Indians, Under
Mariners vs Diamondbacks 9/12/20 (-169, 8)
The Diamondbacks have officially underperformed the most in this MLB season. The Mariners were supposed to be bad but are still fighting for a playoff spot in the AL. Here’s a solid pitching match-up to watch for Saturday. Justus Sheffield of the Mariners will take on Zac Gallen of the Diamondbacks.
Sheffield is 2-3 in seven starts and while he has a 4.34 ERA, he has a 3.13 FIP. Sheffield’s strikeout numbers are average and his walks can get high, but he’s limited home runs and walks as of late.
However, Gallen has been the Diamondbacks ace this season with a 2.29 ERA and a 3.45 FIP on the season. His strikeouts are getting high while his wall rate is low. He also has a .238 BABIP, meaning he’s been lucky but also allowing low hard contact.
Gallen, under pressure, performs well. When there’s runners on base, he’s leaving them on base 88 percent of the time. I’ll ride with Gallen even though the offense has been suspect at times.
Key trends: Diamondbacks are 8-1 in their last 9 interleague games as a favorite.
Early lean: Diamondbacks, Under
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