Best MLB prop bet for today, 9/23: Orioles score off Quantrill and company
With 2 games already postponed due to inclement weather, today’s group of games has been trimmed to what is now a 13-game slate. Still, with intense battles for playoff positioning, and individual statistical goals at hand, there is still plenty of value to be had in the betting markets. Let’s dive in!
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Baltimore Orioles team total over 4 runs (-133)
Odds available at Caesars Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -140 odds or over 4.5 at -110 or better.
I was on the Orioles team total in yesterday’s contest, and they cashed early with 5 runs through the first 3 innings. Their scoring continued in the later stages of the game as well, finishing with 8 runs. Today they draw another advantageous matchup against a starting pitcher they have had success against already this season. Cal Quantrill has made 4 starts since returning from the IL, and despite very good results on paper, his underlying metrics suggest he has been rather fortunate. His 23.2 innings of work since the return have produced a 1.90 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, but he is due to regress soon. During that span his 4.40 FIP, 5.69 xFIP, 5.62 SIERA, 40.0% hard-hit rate, 10.0%-barrel rate, 7.7% swinging strike rate and 5.4% K-BB% are all undesirable marks. The hard contact made has found the gloves of his defenders, and he has been able to dance around his lack of command and strikeout upside. With a tougher matchup today, however, I expect him to struggle in this matchup.
Quantrill allowed 8 hits, 2 walks and 8 earned runs in only 4.1 innings of work against Baltimore in their first matchup this summer. His struggles in that start make sense given the makeup of Baltimore’s lineup. The Orioles have extreme depth on the offensive side of things, with an ability to stack up to 7 left-handed batters against opposing right-handed pitchers. This gives them an advantage that not many other teams have, and when their opposing pitcher struggles against left-handed batters as much as Quantrill does, their advantage is further amplified. This season Quantrill has allowed lefties to hit .268 with a .830 OPS, 14.3% BB% and .368 wOBA. Baltimore’s projected lineup has each of the top 6 batters in the order as lefties tonight with Adley Rutschman and Anthony Santander being switch-hitters. Quantrill has also struggled in his home starts, allowing a 6.06 ERA with 3 or more earned runs surrendered in 5 of his 7 starts.
As the road team, Baltimore has the luxury of batting in all 9 innings regardless of the score. This is always an added bonus when betting on a team total. Their runscoring opportunities should arise throughout the game as well, as the Cleveland bullpen has been both heavily used and shaky with performance in their recent stretch of play. In the last 30 days of action, they rank 15th in FIP and 21st in ERA. They also had to use 4 arms in relief of Shane Bieber last night, with 3 of those arms seeing 20 or more pitches. Closer Emmanuel Clase made his 2nd straight appearance, making him unlikely to pitch tonight, and the same can be said for Reynaldo Lopez. James Karinchak made his third appearance in the last 4 nights in that game, leaving his availability unlikely as well. This would be Enyel De Los Santos’ third appearance in 4 nights, and while he is likely available, being that taxed is not ideal for his expected performance. The Orioles rank 4th in MLB this season with an average of 5.54 runs per game when playing on the road. I am looking for their offense to keep rolling today.