Free MLB Picks Wednesday 9/16/2020 and Opening Line Report
Wednesday’s MLB slate has a couple day games, some night games, a potential double-header and plenty of aces taking the mound. What could be better on a Wednesday as we prepare for another week of the NFL and College Football? Here are the leans for September 16 in the MLB.
Blue Jays vs Yankees 9/16/20 (-270, 8.5)
The Blue Jays and Yankees have one of the more lopsided matchups on Wednesday’s slate. Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Yankees, while the Blue Jays will send out Tanner Roark.
Cole is 5-3 in 10 starts this season with a 3.2 ERA and a 4.25 FIP. He’s not the king of New York. But he’s pitching fine and should do well against the Blue Jays. He’s striking out 12.05 batters per nine innings and walking just 2.29 per nine innings. He’ll need to clean up the long balls, but he’s done well in pressure situations.
Meanwhile, Tanner Roark has a 5.60 ERA and a 6.82 FIP on the season. However, he’s still just 2-1 in eight games. The Blue Jays are hitting when Roark is on the mound, but it won’t be so simple against Cole.
Key trends: Yankees are 53-15 in their last 68 home games vs. a right-handed starter.
Early Lean: Yankees -1.5, Over
Braves vs Orioles 9/16/20 (+154, 9.5)
The Braves are depleted at the starting pitcher position. Now they’ll have Cole Hamels make his debut for the Braves. Last year, he went 7-7 in 27 starts with 9.08 strikeouts per nine innings. His walk rate was high at 3.56, but his ERA was low enough at 3.81.
You can’t imagine Hamels going deeper than five innings, but he’s a guy that has always been able to get plenty of grounders.
He’ll go up against Keegan Akin of the Orioles. Akin will get high strikeouts and also pitch many walks per game. He’s got a 4.61 ERA and a 3.79 FIP. Akin is struggling to get outs when runners are on base. He gets rattled. The Braves offense has been one of the best in baseball. That should be enough to rattle Akin.
Key trends: Braves are 5-1 in their last 6 interleague games.
Early Lean: Braves, Over
Indians vs Cubs 9/16/20 (+100, TBD)
The Indians and Cubs will continue their series at Wrigley Field. Jon Lester is scheduled for the start. Things have been weird for Lester this season.
Lester has an ERA of 5.05 and an FIP of 5.1 while getting below average grounders and allowing 1.75 home runs per nine innings. His strikeouts have never really been high, but at least he’s limiting walks.
It’s going to be tough for Lester to hang around against Indians pitcher Aaron Civale. Civale has a 3.88 ERA and a 3.41 FIP. He’s really limited walks and home runs this season. On top of that, Civale is getting over 45 percent of grounders. Here’s the bad part: he’s 3-5 in nine starts with a 3.88 ERA. That means he’s not getting much run support.
Can the Indians do damage against Lester like every team this season? I’d hope.
Key trends: Indians are 6-1 in their last 7 interleague road games.
Early lean: Indians, Under
Diamondbacks vs Angels 9/16/20 (-185, 9)
The Angels get to bring out their ace pitcher, Dylan Bundy, who is looking real good as of late. He’ll go up against Caleb Smith of the Diamondbacks. He has done fine, although his metrics say otherwise.
Bundy is 5-2 on the season with a 2.48 ERA and a 2.67 FIP. He’s striking out 10.4 batters and walking 2.02 batters per nine innings while limiting home runs.
Meanwhile, Caleb Smith, who was traded from the Marlins earlier this season, has an ERA of 3 but an FIP of 9.03 in six innings pitched this season. The Angels should be able to score some runs against Smith to back Bundy.
After all, both offenses have been weak this season.
Key trends: Angels are 4-0 in their last 4 home games.
Early lean: Angels, Under
Giants vs Mariners 9/16/20 (+110, 9)
The Giants have loved what they’ve seen out of Drew Smyly, so they’re giving him the start in this one. Smyly will face the Mariners and go up against Nick Margevicius.
Smyly has pitched in four games and started two. He has a 2.92 ERA and a 2.39 FIP with his strikeout numbers through the roof this season. His strikeout numbers will dip as he starts more games but he’s just looked real good in his first appearances for the Giants this season.
On the flip side, Margevicius is 1-3 for the Mariners with a 5.34 ERA and a 4.22 FIP. He’s been able to limit walks but has been hit with the home run bug a couple times this season. He’s also struggled to leave runners on base and isn’t getting ground balls.
This game might turn into a double-header as Tuesday’s game was cancelled due to air quality. If that’s the case, lines will change, and this game will be a seven-inning game. Stay tuned.
Key trends: Giants are 5-0 in their last 5 games as a favorite.
Early lean: Giants, Over
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