Free MLB Picks Tuesday 9/22/2020 and Opening Line Report
As the regular season winds down, finding leans and making picks will get harder in the MLB. Some teams that have clinched the playoffs won’t mind sitting their stars, while teams who are out of the playoff mix will look at potentially playing younger players to get a feel on each player deserving a roster spot for next year. Pick and choose wisely this week. Here are the MLB leans for September 22.
Rays vs Mets 9/22/20 (+115, 7.5)
The Rays and Mets will play their second game of the series in New York. The match-up is good on paper, but both of these pitchers have struggled a bit this season.
Blake Snell will take the hill for the Rays. Snell has a 3.05 ERA and a 4.12 FIP with 10.96 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.05 walks per nine innings. Snell has limited runs with guys on base, and his ground ball rate is solid.
Seth Lugo will get the call for the Mets after a brutal outing in his last start vs the Phillies. It was a home run derby for Lugo. But he’s still got high strikeouts and low walks and a solid ground ball rate. His numbers are inflated by one game. He’s been very good this season and should bounce back.
Key trends: Mets are 5-1 in their last 6 interleague home games vs. a team with a winning record.
Early lean: Mets, Under
Marlins vs Braves 9/22/20 (-200, 9)
The Marlins are fighting for a playoff spot in late September. 2020 is crazy. With that said, Cole Hamels will look to shut down the Marlins after returning to the diamond last week.
Hamels allowed plenty of runs in his first start, but metrics say that he wasn’t nearly as bad as the outcome of his first loss of the season.
Meanwhile, Jose Urena is 0-2 in three starts this season and will take the hill for the Marlins with a 6.00 ERA and a 5.79 FIP. He’s had trouble finding the strike zone in his three starts this season and has always been known for his wild pitching.
I’ll go with the veteran.
Key trends: Braves are 5-0 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
Early Lean: Braves, Over
Astros vs Mariners 9/22/20 (+160, 8.5)
The Astros bats have struggled, but their pitcher, Framber Valdez, has actually had a solid season this year and will take the mound against the youngster Ljay Newsome of the Mariners.
Valdez is 4-3 in ten games with a 3.82 ERA and a 3.02 FIP. His strikeouts are high and his walks are low. What’s even better is his ground ball rate that’s just under 60 percent. That’s been helpful.
Newsome has entered the league and has shown no jitters. He’s now walking under one batter per nine innings but still has an ERA of 6.35 and 6.64. So while the walks are down, the hits are up and that’s not a good sign.
Key trends: Astros are 53-20 in their last 73 vs. a team with a losing record.
Early Lean: Astros, Under
Rangers vs Diamondbacks 9/22/20 (-135, 9)
The Rangers and Diamondbacks have both had some inconsistent play this season. You won’t find either team in the playoffs. Instead you’ll find young players trying to make an impact in these final games for a roster spot next season.
Jordan Lyles has been terrible this season with a 7.07 ERA and a 5.97 FIP. He’s 1-5 in seven starts and three relief outings where he piggybacked a pitcher. His strikeouts are low and his walks are high and although he’s coming off his best start of the season, there’s no reason to believe he’s back.
The Diamondbacks will pitch Caleb Smith, who has started three games and has a 4.5 ERA and an 8.94 FIP. He’s having trouble with command this season and the exit velocity on hits against Smith this season is an average of 93 miles per hour.
This game has everything for an over game.
Key trends: Over is 7-1 in Rangers last 8 interleague games vs. a left-handed starter.
Early lean: Rangers, Over
Athletics vs Dodgers 9/22/20 (-180, 9)
We’ve got a battle between two teams who have already locked their spot in the MLB Playoffs in 2020.
Dustin May will take the mound for his 11th game of the season and 10th start. His strikeouts are lower than expected this season, but his walks have also been low. He’s getting a very high amount of ground balls and leaving 88 percent of runners on base. He doesn’t panic with runners on base and instead gets out of jams making it look easy.
The Athletics named Frankie Montas the starter for this one. He’s had his struggles this year with a 5.86 ERA and a 4.73 FP on the season. His ground ball rate is low and he’s below average when runners are on base despite his high strikeout rate.
The Dodgers are the better look at home.
Key trends: Dodgers are 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
Early lean: Dodgers, Over
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