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MLB picks: Braves vs. Mets, Rays vs. Orioles (Sept. 18)

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

September 18th, 2020

A pair of divisional games contain the best bets in baseball for Friday evening. First, the Atlanta Braves take on the New York Mets, then the Tampa Bay Rays visit the Baltimore Orioles.  

Atlanta Braves (29-21) at New York Mets (23-27), 7:10 p.m. ET

Fri, September 18 2020, 11:10 PM

NY Mets[S. Matz]

Run Line

+1.5

Moneyline

+140

Total

O 8.5

ATL Braves[M. Fried]

Run Line

-1.5

Moneyline

-170

Total

U 8.5

Braves starter Max Fried (6-0, 1.98 ERA) will put his undefeated record on the line against Steven Matz (0-4, 8.63 ERA) and the Mets at Citi Field on Friday night. A Braves moneyline play looks solid at first glance, but with the way both offenses are playing, the Over looks far more appealing.

Fried has not been a shutdown starter against the Mets dating back to last season, producing a 3.86 ERA (30 2/3 innings). He’ll have to pitch carefully to this New York lineup, which has plated 6.73 runs per game in September. Jeff McNeil has been particularly lethal at the dish in this span, batting .436 with four homers and 12 RBI.

Meanwhile, it’s been a lost season for Matz, between trips to the IL and a demotion to the bullpen before being plugged back in the rotation here. He has the unenviable task of facing Atlanta’s top-ranked offense by runs per game (5.72). Matz will have to be especially careful with first baseman Freddie Freeman, who has a 1.311 OPS over the last seven days.

MLB pick: Over


Tampa Bay Rays (33-18) at Baltimore Orioles (22-29), 7:35 p.m. ET

Fri, September 18 2020, 11:35 PM

BAL Orioles[A. Cobb]

Run Line

+1.5

Moneyline

+175

Total

O 8.5

TB Rays[T. Glasnow]

Run Line

-1.5

Moneyline

-215

Total

U 8.5

Rays starter Tyler Glasnow (3-1, 4.47 ERA) should continue the fine run he’s been on as he faces Alex Cobb (1-4, 5.03 ERA) and the Orioles at Camden Yards on Friday night, paving the way for a convincing Tampa victory.

Glasnow is 3-0 over his last four starts with a 3.20 ERA. He’s faced Baltimore four times dating back to 2019, and his ERA in those outings is just 2.10. Once Glasnow is removed, the Rays’ excellent bullpen (seventh in ERA over the last seven days at 2.78) is more than capable of sealing the deal late against an Orioles offense that’s been held to one run or fewer in six of their last nine tilts.

Meanwhile, Tampa’s bats (ninth in runs per game at 5.02) should have a field day against Cobb, who has a 7.32 ERA over his last four starts. Once Cobb is chased, the Orioles’ seventh-worst bullpen by ERA over the last seven days (5.64) will take over. First baseman Nate Lowe has been the man of the hour for the Rays, batting .409 with three home runs over his last seven games, so look for him to build on that here.

MLB pick: Rays run line

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