September is upon us, and most people think that it is now football season. Those people are wrong. The tension and excitement surrounding division and wild card races are reaching their apex and it makes for the best baseball of the season. So kick back and enjoy a Labor Day full of baseball:
Mets @ Nationals Total Runs O/U 9
It may be too little too late for the New York Metropolitans, but the much-maligned offense is starting to figure out how to put runs up on the board. The Mets have put up 33 runs in the first four games of this series with the Nationals, including double-digit efforts in two of the last three. Arguably the Mets best hitter this season, Jonathan Villar has continued his strong season of late (ML-best 259 wRC+ over last two weeks) and the Javier Baez is finally starting to pay some form of dividends. Patrick Corbin has allowed 6 ER in three of his last four starts and simply isn’t the top of the rotation he was when he first arrived in Washington.
The Washington offense has also hit the ball fairly well of late (.325 wOBA over last two weeks), and as long as Juan Soto is in the lineup, this is a team that can put up a crooked number. Trevor Williams has pitched surprisingly well in a bit of a spot starter/long reliever role for New York, but the fact of the matter is that he is a pitcher who can have a crooked number put up on him at anytime. All of these factors point to a high-scoring game that should top the 9 runs that the sportsbooks are posting.
Pick: OVER 9 Runs (-120 DK)
Tigers @ Pirates Total Runs After 3 Innings O/U 2.5
One of the weirdly intriguing pitching matchups on Labor Day features Tarik Skubal and the Tigers taking on Pittsburgh’s Bryse Wilson. Before getting tagged a bit in his last start against Oakland, Skubal had gone four consecutive starts allowing fewer than two ER, and on Monday, he gets a Pirates team that is the 2nd worst in baseball against LHP (.290 wOBA, 81 wRC+). Wilson has largely been impressive in his starts for the Pirates and only tends to run into trouble later in his starts. Knowing this, and the horrific state of the Pirates bullpen, I like the under for the first three innings, as I think these promising young pitchers showcase their talent as they build their resume for next season.
Pick: UNDER 2.5 Runs (-115 DK, -122 FD)
Twins @ Indians Run Line
While nobody watching baseball this September is particularly concerned with how the Twins are doing, they should be taking note of the way Bailey Ober has been pitching for Minnesota. The 26-year old RHP has now gone eight consecutive starts with 3 ER or fewer, and the Twins have been victorious in five of his last six starts. While Michael Pineda is supposed to piggy-back on Ober’s start to manage each of their inning counts, I think this will only enhance their effectiveness.
Opposing him on the mound is LHP Logan Allen and his 6.62 ERA. While he has actually impressed in his last two starts, this is the same pitcher who gave up 6 ER in 1.1 IP back in April against these Twins. Now that Minnesota is a little healthier, they feature a righty-heavy middle of the order with Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco and Josh Donaldson posing big problems for Allen. There is a reason the Twins are favored in this game, and I think there is a good chance they win easily tonight.
Pick: Twins -1.5 (+120 DK, +128 FD)
Kyle Stanzel’s Overall Record: 46-54-3
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): –$32.82
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)