The Labor Day holiday brings with it an abundance of baseball spread out throughout the day as teams continue to jockey for playoff position.
Our analysts are on two games from today’s slate: Guardians vs. Royals and Giants vs. Dodgers. We have one total play and one moneyline underdog to recommend.
Here are our two best bets from Monday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Guardians vs. Royals
Tony Sartori: This contest is the 11th meeting between these two clubs this season, with seven or more total runs crossing the plate in six of those first 10 matchups.
We should expect this trend to continue in tonight’s game. Through 25 pitching appearances this season, Triston McKenzie is 9-11 with a 3.18 ERA and 0.97 WHIP. While those are some great surface-level numbers, McKenzie’s metrics suggest that regression is looming as he possesses a .303 xwOBA and .410 xSLG.
This regression could be realized against the Royals. Across 79 career plate appearances against McKenzie, this current Kansas City roster possesses a .255 xBA, .376 xSLG and .314 xwOBA.
On the other side, Brady Singer is 7-4 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.15 WHIP.
Like McKenzie, Singer’s metrics do not align with his strong surface-level stats. This year, he possesses a .304 xwOBA and .391 xSLG.
Across his two appearances against Cleveland this season, Singer possesses a troubling 6.30 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Following Singer is one of the worst bullpens in baseball.
Since August 1, the Royals’ relief pitching ranks just 29th in the league in ERA, 28th in WHIP, 29th in BA, 25th in SLG, 28th in wOBA and 27th in FIP. I would rather lay more juice at seven than taking this number at 7.5.
I would play this line up to (-135).
Giants vs. Dodgers
DJ James: Logan Webb has a 2.89 ERA and 3.60 xERA, so he has been a bit lucky but is still solid. Meanwhile, Andrew Heaney has a 2.12 ERA and 3.04 xERA. Similarly, he has been lucky but a nice addition to the Los Angeles rotation, particularly in August.
Webb’s main issue this season has been allowing a little hard contact, ranking in the bottom half of the league in both average exit velocity and hard hit rate. He still, however, ranks well in barrel percentage and had a 2.83 ERA in August.
Heaney has struck out 35.4% of hitters this season, so this is an uptick of nearly 10% from last season. He might have a slight advantage over Webb, since he has better stuff, but he ranks in the 10th percentile in average exit velocity and 13th percentile in hard hit rate.
The Giants have a team 116 wRC+ off of left-handers in the last month. The Dodgers have a 130 wRC+ off of right-handers during that same timeframe. Again, the Dodgers are a little better, but not by much.
Lastly, both teams have a sub-4.00 xFIP out of the bullpen in the last month, so with similar starters, play the Giants to +165.
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