Free MLB Picks Wednesday 9/23/2020 and Opening Line Report
The MLB postseason is approaching, and teams on the brink of the postseason are aware. There are many games where teams are playing in “must win” situations in order to make the playoffs. However, after watching the Phillies and Mets, just to name a couple teams, it wouldn’t be smart to just bet on teams that “need” a win. That’s just not how this game works. Please be careful in those spots. Here are the leans for September 23.
Astros vs Mariners 9/23/20 (+160, 8.5)
The Astros will send out Zack Greinke to the mound against the Mariners, who will send out Nick Margevicius.
Greinke is 3-2 in 11 games with a 3.90 ERA but an FIP of 2.89. Greinke has been a bit unlucky this season as he has had solid strikeout numbers, low walks, and has also limited home runs.
On the other hand, Margevicius has an ERA of 5.35 and an FIP of 4.53 and is struggling to get ground balls this year. His strikeouts are high enough and his walks are low but he’s allowing 1.53 home runs per nine innings on the season.
Both offenses scare me in this one, but I’ll back the veteran in Greinke.
Key trends: Astros are 4-1 in their last 5 during game 3 of a series.
Early lean: Astros, Under
Tigers vs Twins 9/23/20 (-294, 8)
The Tigers have struggled offensively all season long and will now have to face off against Kenta Maeda, who is a huge favorite in this game for the Twins.
Maeda has an ERA of 2.52 and an FIP of 3.06 on the season. He’s been able to limit damage when runners are on base and is averaging 10.53 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s also limiting walks and home runs on the season, and his BABIP is extremely low.
He’ll take on the rookie in Casey Mize, who has six starts on the season with a 6.08 ERA and a 5.98 FIP. Mize has solid strikeout numbers but is walking 4.18 batters per nine innings this season. His ground ball average is below average, and he’s struggling when runners are on base.
Usually, it’s hard to take a favorite at home on the run line. But I’ll do that in this one.
Key trends: Twins are 21-6 in their last 27 home games.
Early Lean: Twins -1.5, Under
Orioles vs Red Sox 9/23/20 (-145, 9)
The Orioles and Red Sox aren’t fighting for first place. Instead, they’re fighting for last place in the AL East.
The Red Sox are sending out Nathan Eovaldi in this one. Eovaldi has a 3-2 record in eight starts with a 4.25 ERA and a 4.28 FIP. His BABIP is high, but his walks aren’t at 1.28 per nine innings. He is however, allowing 1.7 home runs per nine innings and a BABIP of .316.
Dean Kremer will make his fourth start for the Orioles. In the first three games, he has a 1.69 ERA and a 2.38 FIP. He’s struggling to get ground balls, but his strikeout numbers are extremely high. However, his walk numbers are also high at 5.06 per nine innings.
Kremer has looked solid this season. And while the Orioles struggle to hit on the road, they’re a live underdog here.
Key trends: Under is 6-1 in Orioles last 7 games as an underdog.
Early Lean: Orioles, Under
Athletics vs Dodgers 9/23/20 (-165, 8.5)
The Athletics and Dodgers are both going to be in the playoffs. So, while the game matters, it also kind of doesn’t matter.
Either way, the Dodgers will send out Julio Urias, who is 3-0 in 10 starts this season. He’s limited walks to under three and has been able to leave nearly 77 runners on base this season, which is above the average. Uriias has an ERA of 3.49 and an FIP of 3.87, but his ground ball rate is extremely low. He could get burned by a solid Athletics offense.
Meanwhile, Sean Manaea will take the hill for the Athletics. He started off his season very poorly but has turned it around late and looks to carry that momentum into this game and beyond. Manaea has limited walks well and allows less than a home run per nine innings. However, his BABIP is high, and he’s leaving just 57.7 percent of runners on base.
When the Dodgers have runners on base, I expect runs. I’ll take the Dodgers 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
Cardinals vs Royals 9/23/20 (+105, 9.5)
The Royals and Cardinals have had some solid match-ups this season. Low scoring games that have had some very exciting intrigue.
Here’s another one.
Carlos Martinez will take the mound for the Cardinals with an 0-2 record in four starts with an ERA of 8.4 and an FIP of 6.39. Martinez has a BABIP of .358 and is struggling when runners are on base. He’s also walking 4.8 batters per nine innings and allowing 2.4 home runs per nine innings. Therefore, runners should surely be on base.
The Royals will send out lefty Danny Duffy, who has a 5.01 ERA and a 5.08 FIP on the season in 10 games. Duffy is striking out 9.3 batters per nine innings, but his walks are also high at 3.75 per nine innings along with home runs at 1.79 per nine innings. Duffy doesn’t get a high volume of ground balls, which means the Cardinals will connect and put balls in play in the air.
It’s hard to back either pitcher in this one. Martinez has really struggled and is getting hit hard this season to a point where he can’t even have his fielders make plays. Duffy hasn’t looked sharp in some games, but in others he’s looked solid. Therefore, I’ll roll with Duffy and the healthy lineup for the Royals.
Key trends: Royals are 4-0 in their last 4 interleague home games.
Early lean: Royals, Over
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