Free MLB Picks Thursday 9/3/2020 and Opening Line Report
It’s a small MLB slate for Thursday, but there’s still some value and exciting match-ups. In Texas, bettors and MLB fans are getting a match-up between Zack Greinke of the Astros and Lance Lynn of the Rangers. The total is sitting extremely low, but it might still be beneficial to look at the under. Here are leans for some of the action on Thursday’s MLB card.
Rangers vs Astros 9/3/20 (-169, 8)
The Rangers traded plenty of assets during the trade deadline. One player who stayed in Texas blue was Lynn.
Lynn will get the ball for the Rangers for his 9th game of the season. He’s striking out 9.82 batters per nine innings and walking 2.98 batters per nine innings. While his ground ball rate is low, his BABIP is also low at .197. He currently has an ERA of 1.93 and an FIP of 3.53.
He’ll go up against Greinke of the Astros, and he has also been great this season. Greinke has a 2.68 ERA and a 2.57 FIP. He’s striking out 7.81 batters per nine innings but walking just 1.34 batters while keeping his home run rate down as well.
The Astros lost the first game of the series. The hope is that they win the second game and then win this rubber match. Both pitchers have excelled this season, so look for an Astros win in the late innings.
Early Lean: Astros, Under
Nationals vs Phillies 9/3/20 (-169, 10.5)
The Nationals are in last place due to poor pitching and not enough hitting. Speaking of poor pitchers, the Nationals will send out Anibal Sanchez, who has a 6.90 ERA and a 6.07 FIP. His BABIP is currently .347, and he’s not getting a high amount of strikeouts. Balls are in play, and they’re hard enough to become hits against Sanchez.
Zach Eflin is the probable starter for the Phillies. Eflin has been much better than Sanchez this season, in five starts with a 4.1 ERA and a 2.72 FIP. His FIP is showing that he’s been a bit unlucky this season. Eflin has a high strikeout rate and a low walk rate while also conceding few home runs on the season with a ground ball rate of nearly 47 percent.
The Phillies are still fighting for a playoff spot, while the Nationals are dead last in the NL East with a pitcher who is near dead last in many pitching categories.
Early lean: Phillies, Over
Blue Jays vs Red Sox 9/3/20 (+100, 10.5)
The Blue Jays will pitch newly acquired pitcher in Taijuan Walker for the second time this season. Walker has been a mixed bag throughout his career. He’s got a low strikeout rate, high walk rate and a low ground ball rate. But he’s been very good at keeping runners on base when in trouble this season.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox will pitch Martin Perez, who is 2-4 in seven games with a 4.58 ERA and a 5.06 FIP. Perez is basically the Red Sox’s best pitcher and he has a 5.06 FIP. However, Perez matches up with Walker very well, and there’s potential with the Red Sox bats against Walker who has a worse history than Perez in their respective careers.
The Red Sox might be a solid sleeper at plus money, at home.
Key trends: Blue Jays are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Boston.
Early lean: Red Sox, Over
Diamondbacks vs Dodgers 9/3/20 (-278, Over 8.5)
Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the Dodgers for his sixth start of the season. Kershaw has been fantastic and will go up against a Diamondbacks offense that has struggled this season. He’s 4-1 in five starts and has struck out 9.9 batters and walked 1.2 batters per nine innings this season.
Kershaw has left every single runner he’s allowed on base on base, and his ground ball rate is 56 percent on the season. His ERA stands at 1.8 and his FIP is a respectable 3.51.
Luke Weaver will get another turn in the rotation. With the way things have gone for Weaver, any start could be his last. He’s 1-5 in seven starts and has an 8.23 ERA along with a 5.66 FIP. He’s allowing 2.63 home runs per nine innings and has a BABIP of .395. Weaver also struggles holding runners on, which is opposite of Kershaw.
I’m expecting the Dodgers bats to explode against Weaver and for Kershaw to be dominant once again.
Key trends: Diamondbacks are 1-5 in the last 6 meetings.
Early lean: Dodgers -1.5, Over
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