MLB picks: Braves vs. Orioles, Twins vs. White Sox (Sept. 14)
The Atlanta Braves seek to build on their 3 1/2-game lead in the NL East when they host the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night, while a closely-fought battle in the AL Central between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox continues. Here are our best bets for the evening.
Atlanta Braves (28-19) at Baltimore Orioles (20-26), 7:35 p.m. ET
Mon, September 14 2020, 11:35 PM
BAL Orioles[J. Lopez]
ATL Braves[T. Toussaint]
The surging Braves commence a three-game series with the sliding Orioles at Truist Park on Monday night. Expect an easy victory for Atlanta here.
Braves starter Touki Toussaint’s 2020 stats certainly don’t inspire (0-1, 7.89 ERA), but he faces a Baltimore lineup that mustered just three runs on 16 hits as they suffered a four-game sweep to the Yankees over the weekend. Atlanta will take what they can get from Toussaint before they turn things over to their highly-reliable bullpen, which is fifth in ERA over the last seven days (1.91).
Meanwhile, Orioles starter Jorge Lopez (1-0, 6.38 ERA) will have his work cut out for him against baseball’s most potent offense by runs per game (5.94). That number is skewed slightly by Atlanta’s 29-run outburst against the Marlins last week, but even when that game is excluded, the Braves have still plated 6.64 runs per game over their last 14 contests.
Outfielder Marcell Ozuna and first baseman Freddie Freeman are both batting .400 in September, and outfielder Adam Duvall has nine home runs. Baltimore’s bullpen has not been in good form over the last week, producing a 5.40 ERA (21st).
Minnesota Twins (30-18) at Chicago White Sox (30-16), 8:10 p.m. ET
The solid pitching staffs of the Twins and White Sox should carry Under bettors to victory in this one.
Jose Berrios seems to be getting better with each successive start in 2020. Over his last four outings, his ERA is 2.91. That includes his quality start against this Chicago club on Sept. 2 in which he held Jose Abreu and company to one run over six frames. Once Berrios departs, Minnesota’s solid relief corps (eighth in ERA over the last seven days at 2.55) will take over.
Countering for the White Sox is Dylan Cease, whose respectable 3.33 ERA plummets to 1.72 when pitching at home this season. He sees a similar falloff in opponent batting average as well – from .235 overall to .163 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Once Cease cedes the mound, the South Siders’ third-ranked bullpen by ERA over the last week (1.45) will take over.