Best Baseball Bets To Make On September 25

Andrew Gould breaks down Friday's top betting picks.

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With only three games remaining in the regular season, bettors must consider each team’s situation. There’s added risk to wagering on any teams already planning fights to California or Texas for the playoffs. Then again, the same can be said for squads ready to go home for the offseason. A handful of the teams discussed below are merely angling for seeding. One club, however, hits the sweet spot of vying for a postseason ticket.


Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox: Moneyline 


Nobody is going to feel too confident wagering on the Cubs after dropping three straight to the Pirates. Then again, the White Sox enter this inner-state showdown on a five-game losing streak. While both squads may be looking ahead to the postseason, Yu Darvish will try to make a strong closing statement for his NL Cy Young Award candidacy. He had fired nine straight quality starts — only once allowing three runs — before coughing up four runs in his last turn against the Twins. Darvish still carries a 2.22 ERA and 2.23 FIP, and the Cubs are 8-3 when he takes the mound.

Dylan Cease, on the other hand, might be on the cusp of a major collapse. The difference between his 5.92 FIP and 3.52 ERA (2.40) is the largest in baseball, and the only one bigger than Darvish’s ERA or FIP. He’s issued 12 walks in his past two starts spanning just 7.2 innings and has yet to accrue more than five strikeouts in a start all season. Regression could finally strike Cease in his last 2020 start. Fade The Noise’s MLB Optimizer projects the Cubs to win by over a full run, but the moneyline doesn’t properly reflect the major discrepancy in starting pitchers. Consider pairing the Cubs in a parlay with another favorite such as the Astros or Braves.

Pick: Cubs (-155 DraftKings, -144 FanDuel)


Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves (-1.5)


Betting the spread against Boston didn’t work last Friday, as the Red Sox lost by one run to the Yankees in extra innings. Why go back to the well? Because their pitching is still terrible. One of MLB’s worst staffs is about to encounter MLB’s best lineup. They’ll do so at a time where Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, Ozzie Albies, and Travis d’Arnaud are all swinging red-hot bats.

The Braves haven’t had much of a stomach for close calls lately, obtaining their last 15 wins by a combined margin of 91 runs. While Boston’s lineup went on a mini-tear, scoring 27 runs in three games, they fell hard to earth with a 9-1 loss to the Orioles on Thursday night. Only the Rangers have a worse run differential in the AL, so it’s easy to envision a blowout. The main obstacle is trusting Kyle Wright. Despite stifling the Mets to one hit over 6.1 scoreless innings Sunday, the rookie has still recorded an ugly 5.74 ERA and 3.5% K-BB rate. Although this matchup possesses the evening’s highest run line (10 on DraftKings, 10.5 on FanDuel), it could easily hit the over. Atlanta will likely contribute a hefty portion of that final tally.

Pick: Braves (+114 DraftKings)


Cincinnati Reds vs. Minnesota Twins: Moneyline


After winning eight of their last 10 games, the Reds are firmly in the heart of a heated NL playoff race. Led by aces Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, and Sonny Gray, they hold the honorary title of “Team No Division Winner Wants to Face in the First Round.” Behind that star-studded trio, they also have a less-heralded hurler in Tyler Mahle. Soon to be everyone’s favorite 2021 fantasy breakout pick, the 25-year-old righty has registered a 3.57 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 56 strikeouts in 45.1 innings. Having already tossed gems against the Cubs and White Sox this month, he hasn’t cowered away from top competition. He’ll take the mound Friday in a pivotal matchup at Minnesota.

Although the Twins are still fighting for the AL Central crown, that holds little to no significance at a neutral site and without the usual wild card games. This means Nelson Cruz, who’s currently dealing with a hamstring issue, will likely remain in his robe rather than raking on the diamond. Per Judd Zulgad of SKOR North, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he’s more concerned about having his players ready to go for the postseason.

“One thing we’re going to do — I think we made it very clear — we’re not going to put one game ahead of the ability of our guys to take the field going forward,” Baldelli said. “One thing that we do know for sure is we need our guys next week to be at 100 percent. Whatever we have to do to make sure that they are 100 percent for the first playoff game, that’s going to come first.”

That could also mean he won’t over-extend José Berríos, who is typically a safe bet to work five or six frames. The streaking Reds need this win way more, so take the hungry and more-than-capable underdogs.

Pick: Reds (+138 DraftKings, +140 FanDuel)


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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Andrew Gould

Andrew is Pitcher List's DFS Manager who also covers MLB and NFL for FantasyPros and Bleacher Report. He placed second in FantasyPros' MLB accuracy ratings in 2016 and fifth in 2018.

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