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MLB Picks, Predictions and Betting Preview: Sunday, 10/3

MLB Picks, Predictions and Betting Preview: Sunday, 10/3

It’s the last day of the MLB regular season and it looks like a dramatic finish is in store. Six teams will have their playoff fates decided today. Some will be playing for seeding, while others will be fighting for their very postseason lives. 

Will this high drama translate to betting value? Let’s look across the league and see. I’ve shared today’s picks and best bets below.

As always, today’s odds are provided by our friends at PointsBet. Join the site using PointsBet promo code 2FREEBETS and score yourself two risk-free bets, worth up to $2,000 in value.

Padres at Giants

  • 1 unit: Giants 5-inning moneyline (-145)
  • 1 unit: Giants -1.5 (-110)

With a win, the Giants clinch the NL West and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.

Giants starter Logan Webb has been one of many players having a career-best season for this upstart San Francisco squad. His 2.93 ERA (2.72 FIP, 2.82 xFIP) is powered by a worm-killing sinker (61.7% GB%) that he throws almost 40% of the time.

The Padres have opted to not start Yu Darvish and instead will run what essentially amounts to a bullpen game opened by Reiss Knehr. The 24-year-old hasn’t quite looked major-league ready through his first 26 IPs (4.85 ERA, 5.09 FIP, 0% K-BB%) and has a slim margin for error today against the Giants. Despite Oracle Park grading out as a pitcher-friendly park, the hosts have a top-10 offense against RHPs at home.

There’s no value on the Giants to win at -236, but I think there’s value on the 5-inning line and runline. This team has delivered in every spot this season and today’s all-hands-on-deck endeavor should be no different.

Rays at Yankees 

  • 1 unit: 5-inning total over 5 (-115)
  • 1 unit: Yankees (-131)

The Yankees need to win to secure a Wild Card spot. A loss will drop them into a tie-breaking scenario that’s still TBD, but guaranteed to be a wild one given the logjam at the top of the AL Standings.

The Bronk Bombers are starting Jameson Taillon (4.40 ERA, 4.46 FIP) over Gerrit Cole on short rest. This isn’t surprising, since the Yankees will live to play another day even in the event of a loss today. Taillon isn’t stretched out, though – he threw only 38 pitches against the Blue Jays in his return from the IL last week – so New York’s bullpen will be asked to throw 4-6 innings today. 

Tampa is starting boom-or-bust RHP Michael Wacha, so both teams project to give up a few runs early. Looking at the median projection for both starters, I see the 5-inning total clearing – and perhaps cleared comfortably, depending on how these two potent offenses settle down after the first time through the order.

This should be a wild one. There will be runs aplenty, so back that. It’s hard to say how motivated the Rays will be, but they’ve blown out the Yankees the past two games nonetheless. I give the slight edge to the hosts for their desperation alone, but see the most value on the totals.

Red Sox at Nationals

  • 1.5 units: Red Sox -1.5 (-131)

Chris Sale against a LHB-heavy lineup in a must-win game.

That’s it. That’s the analysis.

Orioles at Blue Jays

  • 1.5 units: Orioles 7-inning team total over 2.5 (-105)
  • 0.5 units: TOR -1.5 (-171)

Toronto needs a win and a loss from either New York or Baltimore to setup a one-game playoff for the final AL Wild Card spot.

I think Toronto gets that win. I think they get the win comfortably, too. Orioles starter Bruce Zimmermann (4.66 ERA, 5.22 FIP, 1.84 HR/9)  is one of many gas cans on this brutal Baltimore squad. There’s no help behind him, either. The Orioles have the worst bullpen ERA in baseball.

The Blue Jays find themselves in this spot because they’ve failed to capitalize on multiple opportunities to control their own destiny the past 2+ weeks. The Orioles have been pesky as of late, too. They have a top-10 offense against LHPs this season and have generated gobs of betting value in matchups like today’s, when southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu is set to take the ball for Toronto. In fact, Ryu hasn’t found much success against this very squad this season. In 5 starts against the division rivals, Ryu has allowed 26 H and 16 ER in just 26.2 IPs.

Sure, throw the Blue Jays moneyline into your parlay at -351. I don’t see any value in that line, though. I think Toronto wins, but Baltimore’s bats project to make them work for it. Take the Orioles 7-inning over.

Angels at Mariners

  • 0.5 units: Mariners 5-inning moneyline (-110)
  • 1 unit: Mariners 7-inning moneyline (-131)

If you haven’t already, be sure to watch the recap of Seattle’s epic rally last night. I don’t know how they keep doing it, but, well, they keep doing it. 

Today the reliable Tyler Anderson (4.41 ERA, 4.26 FIP) takes on Reid Detmers (7.11 ERA, 6.53 FIP) in a must-win game for the hosts. The Angels are just bad, plain and simple, and have had a below average offense against LHPs all season. I think Seattle gets bounced in the one-game playoff, but I think this team of destiny gets there with a win today. 

Brewers at Dodgers

  • 1.5 units: Dodgers 7-inning total over 4 (-105)
  • 0.5 units: Dodgers -1.5 (-131)

This bet is made possible 100% by Major League Baseball starting every game at the same time on the last day of the season. We should see some truly dramatic moments – and one of them might involve the Dodgers, who need a win and a Giants loss to force a one-game playoff for the NL West crown.

The Brewers have nothing to play for and pulled Cy Young-favorite Corbin Burnes after just 2 innings last night. Today they’ll start LHP Brett Anderson, who’s the weak link in the Milwaukee rotation. The NL Central champs have nothing to play for, and they’re playing like it. That should continue today against Walker Buehler and the Dodgers.

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