Expert MLB best bets, picks and predictions today, 9/20: Nationals rip Michael Kopech
We’re nearing the end of the MLB regular season, so it’s a perfect time to pick on the non-contending teams. That’s the plan today as I’m fading the White Sox, who have struggled since Opening Day. Let’s get into my MLB best bet for Wednesday, and be sure to also visit our MLB predictions for today.
Washington Nationals ML (-130) over Chicago White Sox
Available at FanDuel Sportsbook at time of publishing.
Just two weeks remain of the regular season, but neither of these teams has any meaningful baseball left. Chicago’s season has been a dumpster fire as they’ve traded away players, had countless injuries and had their clubhouse drama exposed by a former player. At this point, they must be looking forward to the several-month break from showing up at the ballpark. One guy who is definitely looking forward to the offseason is Michael Kopech, who has taken a huge step backwards this season. The right-hander has a 5.47 ERA paired with a 5.82 xERA in 128.1 innings, but he had a 7.49 ERA in his first 13 starts after the All-Star break.
Those numbers were good enough for the White Sox to wave the white flag on his season and move him to the bullpen to work on his mechanics. But he’s back on the bump today, and it shouldn’t be pretty. Kopech has severe control problems since he ranks in the 1st percentile in walk rate, and when he’s not walking batters, he throws his fastball down the middle. That has also caused him to rank in the 1st percentile in barrel rate. All the Nationals need to do is wait Kopech out and take the walks, and then all that’s required is a few good situational hits.
The Nationals have been very cautious with Josiah Gray in recent weeks since he’s approaching the most innings he’s ever thrown in his professional career. He’s made only 2 starts this month and will make today’s start on 5 days of rest. Gray will face a White Sox lineup that is limping to the finish line and has been a below-average unit this month. In September, the White Sox rank 26th in wRC+ and 29th in on-base percentage against right-handed pitchers, so I’m not expecting a hit parade against Gray’s slider and fastball combination. It has been a disappointing season for the White Sox, and it should only get worse this afternoon.
Looking for a way to secure some bonus bets? Click this link to sign up for PointsBet, where you can get up to $1,000 worth of second-chance bets!