We’ve nearly made it. The final day of the regular season is Wednesday, Oct. 5, so we have roughly 10 days before the start of the playoffs. That includes a small, four-game slate on Monday.
The Pick: Orioles ML (+105)
These two teams have had wildly different seasons. The Red Sox were expected to contend for the division title, but they’re currently in last place in the AL East at 72-80. Meanwhile, the Orioles have been much better than expected, and they’re currently 4.0 games behind the Mariners for the final Wild Card spot. It’s unlikely they make up that difference, but they gave their fans a glimpse of the future with guys like Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson leading the way.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the Red Sox are kind of limping toward the finish line. They’ll hand the ball to Connor Seabold on Monday, who is making just his fifth start of the year. He hasn’t been particularly impressive in his first three outings, pitching to a dismal 10.47 ERA. He’s clearly had some bad luck – opposing batters have posted a .473 batting average on balls in play – but his 5.87 FIP doesn’t inspire much confidence moving forward.
Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles will make the start for the Orioles. He hasn’t had a very good season, but he’s coming off one of his best performances in his last outing. He limited a potent Astros lineup to just one run over nine innings, and he’s now allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his past five outings. The other two performances in that span have been clunkers – including allowing eight earned runs to the Red Sox – but I’ll take my chances with him and the Orioles against Seabold.
The Pick: Over 7.5 runs (-115)
The Reds and Pirates are two of the worst offenses in baseball, with both ranking in the bottom nine in terms of runs per game. They’ll also take the field in Pittsburgh on Monday, which is one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball.
So why am I on the over? It might be because I’m crazy, but it also has to do with the pitchers in this matchup. The Pirates will send Roansy Contreras to the bump, and while he’s had some moments this year, he still owns a 4.45 xERA. The Reds will opt for Chase Anderson, who has pitched to a 5.21 ERA and a 5.33 FIP across 19 innings. He’s also done that despite a minuscule .167 batting average on balls in play, which is pretty mindboggling.
When the starters depart, don’t expect much help from the relievers. The Pirates own the worst ERA in baseball, while the Reds own the fourth-worst mark.
These offenses may not be very good, but I’ll take subpar hitting to beat subpar pitching every day of the week.
The Pick: Luis Severino Over 4.5 strikeouts (-115)
One of my favorite angles recently has been targeting the under on Yankees pitching props. They’re basically locked into the No. 2 spot in the American League, so it makes sense for them to exercise some caution with their starting pitchers. That’s especially true for someone with an extensive injury history like Severino.
Still, this line seems way too low given his strikeout upside. Sevy has racked up 9.99 strikeouts per nine innings this season, and he’s been particularly effective against the Blue Jays. He has 23 strikeouts in three previous outings vs. the Blue Jays, and he’s done it in just 14 2/3 innings. Overall, he has at least six strikeouts in all three starts, and he’s yet to pitch more than five innings against them.
Even if Severino does exit this game early, he still seems like a good bet to get through five innings on Monday. He should be able to cruise past 4.5 strikeouts in five innings, and he can probably get the job done in less.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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