Free MLB Picks Wednesday 9/30/2020 and Opening Line Report
On September 29, we saw four games in the American League playoffs. On September 30, we’ll get baseball all day from 12 p.m. EST to 1 a.m. EST. Playoff baseball feels like March Madness but in late September. We’ll take it. Here are the leans for some of the MLB playoff games for September 29 with confirmed starting pitchers at the time of writing this article.
Reds vs Braves 9/30/20 (-135, 7.5)
The Reds and Braves will play their NL Wild Card Series in Atlanta. The pitching match-up is spectacular and must-watch early TV.
Max Fried will take the mound for the Braves after going 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 3.10 FIP on the season. Fried has a solid strikeout rate and walks 3.05 batters per nine innings but really limits the long ball. He also has gotten ground balls at 53 percent on the season.
Meanwhile, the Reds will send their ace out in Trevor Bauer. Bauer is 5-4 in 11 games but has a 1.73 ERA and a 2.88 FIP. He’s got very high strikeout numbers and limits walks very well. He’s also pitched fantastically when runners on base, stranding over 90 percent of runners.
It’s going to be a tight game. We saw Bieber and Cole have an over/under of 6 on September 29. At 7.5, the under is the play.
Key trends: Under is 4-0-1 in Reds last 5 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
Early lean: Braves, Under
White Sox vs Athletics 9/30/20 (TBD, TBD)
The Athletics lost their first game to the White Sox after nearly allowing Lucas Giolito to pitch a perfect game. Where’s the offense? I doubt it will come against Dallas Keuchel, who will get game two of the series for the White Sox.
Keuchel is 6-2 on the season with low strikeout numbers along with low walks and low home runs. He’s getting ground balls at 52.8 percent and leaving runners on base 81.6 percent of the time with a 1.99 ERA and a 3.08 FIP.
Chris Bassitt, fresh off his AL Pitcher of the Month award, will get the start against the White Sox for the second game. The Athletics will need to win this game to clinch the third game of the series.
Bassitt is 5-2 in 11 starts with a 2.29 ERA and a 3.59 FIP. He’s average with strikeouts but also limits walks and home runs.
Both pitchers should fare well in their match-ups. Bassitt has looked really good this season, more so than Keuchel, so I’d look at the Athletics in this spot.
Key trends: Bassitt is 2-1 when starting against the White Sox with an ERA of 3.04.
Early Lean: Athletics, Under
Blue Jays vs Rays 9/30/20 (TBD, TBD)
The Blue Jays and Rays will start their second game of the series. The Rays elected to start their ace pitcher in Hyun-Jin Ryu in the second game of the series.
Ryu is 5-2 in 12 starts this season with a 2.69 ERA and a 3.01 FIP. He’s got solid strikeout numbers and low walks but also allows limited home runs. Ryu will get over 50 percent of ground balls and has been solid under pressure this season, standing 80.5 percent of batters.
On the other hand, Tyler Glasnow will get the call for the Rays with a 5-1 record and a 4.08 ERA. Glasnow has a very high strikeout rate but tends to walk a solid amount of batters and allow plenty of home runs. Glasnow will allow some hard contact. It's just hard to hit him. Can the Blue Jays make contact against Glasnow is the question.
The reality is, I’d much rather back Ryu than Glasnow in this spot.
Key trends: Glasnow is 0-2 when starting against Toronto with an ERA of 6.17 and a WHIP of 1.457.
Early Lean: Blue Jays, Over
Yankees vs Indians 9/30/20(-110, 6.5)
The Yankees and Indians will meet for the second of a potential three-game series. The Yankees will send out Masahiro Tanaka, while the Indians will pitch Carlos Carrasco. Both of these pitchers have looked very good in postseason play in the past.
Tanaka went 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA of the season. He was average in the strikeout department but limited walks well. Tanaka allowed 1.69 home runs per nine innings and was average when it came to stranding runners on base this season.
Carrasco went 3-4 with an ERA of 2.91 and an FIP of 3.59 on the season. This shows you how inept the Indians offense was with Carrasco on the mound, or just in general. The Indians had poor offense all season long. Carrasco has high strikeout numbers and high walks on the season.
I’d back the Yankees bats in this spot.
Key trends: Tanaka is 3-2 when starting against the Indians with an ERA of 3.35 and a WHIP of 1.209.
Early lean: Yankees, Over
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