Best MLB prop bets for today, 9/27: Backing the Orioles, Reds, and Braves
Today’s MLB action features a full slate of games with an additional game as part of the doubleheader between the Mets and Marlins. Playoff implications are large in several matchups, and the betting markets are hot this morning with movement across the board. There are 3 best bets that stood out to me as value this morning, let’s dive in!
Baltimore Orioles team total over 3.5 + ML (-135)
Odds available at DraftKings and BetMGM sportsbooks at time of initial post to Twitter. Playable to -145 odds.
Betting on Grayson Rodriguez has been profitable for me this year in his rookie season. Betting against Patrick Corbin has been a profitable endeavor for a few seasons now. Today, I will look to do both things in one move. The Baltimore Orioles are locked into a playoff berth with their 98 wins pacing the American League. With a 2.5-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore’s magic number for the division is rapidly dwindling. Tonight, they will turn to their future ace in Grayson Rodriguez. His recent play has suggested he may be ace caliber currently. The rookie’s last 12 starts since being recalled from the minor leagues has resulted in a sample of games that has the city of Baltimore buzzing. Rodriguez has posted a 2.66 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 24.1% K%, 7.4% BB%, 38.2% hard-hit rate, 4.2%-barrel rate, 53.2% GB%, 37.0% chase rate and 13.2% swinging strike rate. In unison, those numbers are elite, and in his last 11 starts, he has surrendered 3 or fewer earned runs each time. This includes just 6 combined runs in his last 5 starts while also recording 6 or more Ks in each of those outings.
While strikeouts are harder to come by against the Nationals typically, Washington’s high ground ball rate and low walk rate should help play into an efficient outing from Rodriguez. The Nationals in the last 30 days against right-handed pitching have the 11th lowest BB% and 7th highest GB%. In that same span, they rank just 27th in hard-hit rate, 19th in wOBA, and have a wRC+ of 91. Their lack of home run production on the season makes it difficult to find massive scoring innings, and thus they average the 9th fewest runs per game as a team. Behind Grayson is an Orioles bullpen that is one of the better units in the sport. Felix Bautista is still out, but Yennier Cano highlights their late-game arms that still rank in the top half of the league across the last 30 days. Cano is available for tonight’s game despite having thrown 15 pitches yesterday, but thanks to a long outing from Kyle Bradish the Orioles have only used 1 bullpen piece in the last 2 days combined. Their unit is ready to relieve Rodriguez once his day is done, and I don’t foresee a large offensive output from the Nationals tonight.
The Orioles offense was quiet with only 1 run in yesterday’s victory, but they have a fantastic matchup today to attempt and bounce back in. Baltimore has depth that other teams simply don’t and as a result they have the ability to adapt to their opposition better than most groups. This includes stacking right-handed batters against lefties and vice versa. With a .264 AVG and .733 OPS allowed to lefties, Gunnar Henderson will still be in a positive matchup from the left side, but the rest of the Baltimore lineup is projected to be right-handed. This plays into Corbin’s worse split as the southpaw pitcher has allowed RHB to hit .299 with a .843 OPS against him this year. Overall, Corbin ranks just 17th percentile in hard-hit rate, 26th percentile in barrel rate, 7th percentile in K%, and 2nd percentile in xBA. His 5.13 ERA is shadowed by a 5.21 FIP and 4.95 SIERA. In a 72-PA sample against Corbin, active Orioles have a combined .290 AVG and .827 OPS which should remain similar in tonight’s game. The Orioles rank 8th in AVG, 10th in wOBA, and have a 116 wRC+ against lefties in the last 30 days as well. Washington’s bullpen play has been better of late, but their unit has been borderline dreadful all season long and are not a group I trust. Look for the Orioles to score 4 or more runs and win this game.
Check out our expert’s MLB best bet for Wednesday
Shane Bieber (CLE) under 6.5 strikeouts (-120)
Odds available at BetMGM sportsbook at time of initial post to Twitter. Playable to -140 odds.
A 6.5-strikeout line with juice favoring the over is not what I expected to see this morning for Shane Bieber. Sure, he struck out 5 Baltimore Orioles in his return to an MLB mound in his last start, but I wasn’t encouraged by what I saw from the former Cy Young winner. Bieber tossed 81 pitches across 22 batters faced in 5 innings of work in his return to the rotation, allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and 5 runs, 4 of which were tagged to his now 3.91 season-long ERA. While still an overall competent pitcher, Bieber is nowhere near the guy he was several years ago. His velocity has seen a steady decline, and his last start registered an average 4-seam velocity of only 90.6 MPH, down from 92.2 and 92.1 MPH in his 2 starts prior to the IL stint. Bieber generated a measly 7.4% swinging strike rate in his first start back, down from his 10.4% mark this season that is already a career-low mark and 6.7% worse than his peak season.
Bieber has been held under 6.5 strikeouts in 15 of his 20 starts this season and is being treated as though he is both in good form and has a long leash. Neither has been proven to be true, as the right-hander was knocked around in his last outing and with Cleveland knocked out of playoff contention there is no need to overextend his workload. It is a bit surprising that Bieber, Triston McKenzie, and Cal Quantrill, to a lesser extent, were all brought back to rejoin the rotation once the season was already over. Continued rust could plague Bieber in this matchup as he looks to build back up his control and velocity in tandem.
The Cincinnati Reds are admittedly a high strikeout rate team, punching out at the 11th-highest rate against right-handed pitching in the last 30 days. Their willingness to swing-and-miss is the most obvious reason for this inflated line, but I feel as though the line is too inflated to ignore. The Reds are a team I have won unders on in this market this season, as their opponents often receive a higher line than typical. Even talented guys like Bobby Miller have stayed under their strikeout lines in this matchup. Among the last 19 right-handed starters the Reds faced that weren’t either openers or injured early, 13 of them have remained under this 6.5 number. A lot of the strikeouts they record are via a looking 3rd strike, which can be rather frustrating to watch as a bettor. Still, home plate umpire Sean Barber tends to favor hitters with his generally tight zone. The Reds are making a final playoff push and should be locked in for their PA tonight. Their projected lineup has the 4 most K-averse batters at the top of the order, which is crucial if Bieber sees the top of the order for a 3rd time.
Our MLB mega parlay has +638 odds today!
Atlanta Braves first 5 innings team total over 2.5 (-125)
Odds available at DraftKings sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -135 odds.
Jameson Taillon is someone I have bet against extremely often this season, and while his play has improved a bit in the last 2 months, I am still more than willing to bet against him in today’s matchup. The Cubs right-hander will face the Atlanta Braves for the first time this season, and their offense has been the league’s best all season long regardless of location played at or handedness of pitcher faced. Their depth and versatility have proven key in their success, and their season-long wRC+ of 124 paces MLB by a wide margin. Against right-handed pitching in the last 30 days, the Braves rank 2nd in AVG, OPS, and wOBA, while 3rd in hard-hit rate and a league best in strikeout rate. Their high rate of contact made with how hard they swing the bat is a combination other teams are likely envious of.
On the year, Taillon has posted a 5.05 ERA while his FIP sits at 4.46. Opponents have scored 3 or more runs in the first 5 innings against him in in only half of his starts this season, but when on the road his ERA soars to 5.56, and this is his toughest matchup of the season on paper. Taillon ranks just 10th percentile with his 10.7%-barrel rate and his .263 xBA sits 23rd percentile. His combination of low BB% and low whiff rate result in a ton of balls in play, and with how well Atlanta hits the ball that could lead to trouble. While they haven’t seen Taillon this season, active Braves have a .327 AVG and .882 OPS against him across 59 combined PA. Albeit a small sample of head-to-head results, this is the worst season of Taillon’s career so seeing that they have prior success against him is only encouraging, Atlanta averages a league-best 3.58 runs per first 5 innings this season and will be in the comfort of their home park for tonight’s game.
Even in Taillon’s last 7 starts, where he has posted an improved 3.35 ERA, he still has worrisome aspects in his game. During that span, the right-hander has allowed a 40.4%-hard-hit rate, 11.4%-barrel rate, 9 home runs, and a 4.62 FIP. Atlanta leads baseball in home runs hit and they are attempting to track down the 2019 Minnesota Twins for the MLB single-season record. Even if the home run ball isn’t what powers Atlanta tonight, their ability to string together hits and provide plus baserunning is a threat to Taillon’s success. The Cubs are in the midst of a playoff push, so I don’t expect Taillon’s leash to be long, especially if he runs into trouble. I would like to isolate the right-hander, however, and see the most value in this particular angle tonight.
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