MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Monday, September 25th

By Adam Burke  ( Managing Editor) 

September 25, 2023 10:11 AM

MLB schedule today has 4 games

Only four MLB games are on the betting board for Monday. It is the calm before the storm, as this is the final week of the regular season and then we will head into the playoffs, barring any division tiebreakers. Remember that the Wild Card tiebreaker is head-to-head record, followed by record against your own division, followed by record outside the division. We won’t have any bonus games if there are ties, but we could if a division is tied by Sunday.

The league bounced back a good bit offensively last week, posting a .247/.324/.419 slash. The previous week saw a SLG under .400 for the first time in a long time, but that appeared to be just a bump in the road for the bats. Offenses picked it up over the last seven days and we’ll see what happens here in the final week.

The last week is definitely a mixed bag. Emotionally, teams are realizing that the season is coming to an end and some friends in the clubhouse will be going into free agency or be on the trade block. Bad teams may be excited to get away from it all, especially if changes are coming. Good teams will have premiums placed on their lines, but not all good teams will be focused on winning games, as some will end up with starters making shorter starters in hopes of being fully prepared for their postseason outings.

I can’t think of a team ready to be ripped apart at the seams with a big fire sale this offseason, so there won’t be any Chicago Cubs or Kansas City Royals type situations, where major facelifts took place in recent seasons. But, the “business of baseball” can still have a big impact on feelings at this time of the year.

For the playoffs, I’ll be doing VSiN Daily Baseball Bets every day, since the episodes will be shorter with fewer games. I’ll also be doing the daily article every day, but also in a shorter format. I will be doing quick series previews in advance of the Wild Card, Division Series, Championship Series, and World Series as well with any wagers that I think are worthwhile or any betting angles I think make sense. So, that’s the plan going forward and hopefully this last week allows me to end what has been a subpar season on a high note.

Latest MLB betting splits | MLB odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

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VSiN Daily Baseball Bets will be out shortly.

Here are some thoughts on the September 25 card (odds from DraftKings):

San Diego Padres (-120, 6.5) at San Francisco Giants

At least all four games mean something today, including this one, as the Padres and Giants square off at Oracle Park. The Padres are five games back with six games to play, so their late-season push won’t be enough, but this game has the potential to be the cherry on top for Blake Snell’s Cy Young season. He’ll be opposed by a strong pitcher in his own right in Logan Webb.

The Giants have dropped eight of 10 as they haven’t hit throughout the entire second half and find themselves five games back after being in a Wild Card spot not that long ago. The Padres never were, but they’ve won nine of 10 to try and finish out what has been one of the most insane seasons I can remember. They are +91 in run differential, which is second to the Cubs among non-division leaders. They are 10 games below where they should be by Pythagorean Win-Loss and should lead the Wild Card race. Instead, because they are 0-12 in extra innings and 7-22 in one-run games, they will not make it.

The Snell run is also something I have never seen. Snell has allowed a total of 18 earned runs over his last 22 starts. He’s got a 1.26 ERA over 129 innings with 179 strikeouts. He has walked 70 batters and many detractors are pointing towards the walk rate and the short starts early in the season, but the reality is that he’s only allowed six home runs in this span and been the best pitcher in the NL this season. Also, he’s gone at least six innings in 16 of the 22 starts, so that’s no longer a viable excuse.

He’s allowed a 29.9% Hard Hit% and a 4.9% Barrel% in that span. I wouldn’t expect anything less than another good start tonight out of him. He’s allowed two earned runs in his last five starts combined.

It has been another good season, if not an under-the-radar one, for Webb. He’s got a 3.35 ERA with a 3.22 FIP in 207 innings of work. He’s got a 187/31 K/BB ratio. The long ball has been a bit of a hindrance with 20 of those and he has some big home/road splits, but this start comes at home, where he has a 2.37 ERA with a 2.93 FIP and has held the opposition to a .259 wOBA.

We’ve got a total of 7 with signs of going to 6.5 (DraftKings did by time of posting) and a lot of money on the Padres here, which makes sense given what Snell has done. Nothing from me on this one, though.

Texas Rangers (-185, 9) at Los Angeles Angels

Jon Gray and the Rangers head to Anaheim to take on the Angels as they look to close in on a playoff spot. Texas had a very successful weekend with a sweep of the Mariners and holds a 2.5-game lead in the division. The Astros were swept by the Royals and the Mariners fell three games back as a result of last weekend’s futility, so the Rangers hit the road in a really good spot.

There could be a bit of a letdown today, but that may have more to do with Gray, who is not throwing the ball well at all right now. Over his last six starts, Gray has allowed 22 runs on 33 hits in 23.2 innings of work. In his last three starts, he has allowed 11 runs in just 8.2 innings. He’s allowed a ton of hard contact and has given up four home runs to Oakland, Cleveland, and Boston. Gray has allowed a 57.6% Hard Hit% and a 15.2% Barrel% in that span.

The Angels rank 29th in wOBA this month at .287, as they’ve more or less given up completely on the season. Without Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the offense is really poor and this is a team that has no actual direction going into future seasons at this point. Trout has played 41 games after the All-Star Break over the last three seasons and Ohtani will be leaving in free agency. The Angels are 6-16 in September and 14-35 over the last two months since they made a big push at the Trade Deadline to go for it.

Patrick Sandoval allowed two runs over five innings against the Rays six days ago, but he had allowed 27 runs over his previous 24.1 innings. The defense has not helped Sandoval out at all. Of the 29 runs he has allowed in his last six starts, only 15 of them are earned. He allowed seven unearned runs on September 12 against the Mariners, three on September 6 against Baltimore, and four on August 19 against the Rays.

Still, that’s not exactly a trustworthy profile to bet into and I don’t think that the Angels, unlike some other teams out there, are all that interested in trying to play spoiler. Nothing from me in this one either.

Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners (-130, 7.5)

Justin Verlander and Luis Castillo come together on Monday night at T-Mobile Park as both teams are licking some serious wounds. As mentioned, the Astros got swept by the lowly Royals and the Mariners were swept by the Rangers, so neither team won over the weekend.

The Astros actually haven’t won consecutive games since September 9-10, as they are 3-9 in their last 12 games. The Mariners are only 5-10 in their last 15, as they swept the A’s early last week, but were swept by the Rangers, Dodgers, and lost four in a row by dropping a four-game series against the Rays and then losing Game 1 of the next series against the Angels.

So, neither team has been playing well of late and it will be interesting to see which one steps up here. Castillo at home has been a profitable bet and bettors know that, so this line has swung a little towards the M’s. Castillo has only allowed four runs on 12 hits over his last 19 innings and most of his starts recently have been good, except for allowing five runs to the Mets on September 2. 

Castillo has allowed four or more runs in seven starts and five have been on the road. He has a 2.52 ERA over 96.1 innings at home with a .178/.235/.333 slash and a .248 wOBA against. Also of note is that righties are batting .174/.222/.317 against him at T-Mobile Park this season. He’s definitely a different, and better, pitcher at home and the market accurately reflects that.

Verlander has a 3.93 ERA with a 4.33 FIP in his 55 innings for the Astros since he was acquired from the Mets at the Trade Deadline. His K% is up slightly and his BB% is down, but Verlander has allowed a .294 BABIP and nine homers, which is the same number he allowed for the Mets in 94.1 innings. 

Recently, it has been a struggle for JV, as he has allowed 16 runs over his last four starts covering 26 innings of work. He’s given up seven homers in that span and has allowed a 49.4% Hard Hit% with a 16.5% Barrel%. He has allowed at least 11 hard-hit balls in three of those four starts and has allowed five barrels in a start twice. The question is whether or not the Mariners can take advantage.

After getting swept this weekend, both bullpens are in decent shape. I don’t think there’s a big edge in this game, though. Castillo’s home numbers are very worthy of respect, but the two teams have both had issues winning games lately and there is a little bit of bias in my mind towards the Astros, who have been in more of these big games. Ultimately, I can’t find a good bet here.

Arizona Diamondbacks (-115, 7) at New York Yankees

The Diamondbacks lost out on an off day on Thursday because Major League Baseball moved their postponed game against the Yankees to Monday, which pushed Monday’s originally scheduled game against the White Sox to Thursday. Whether or not it matters remains to be seen, but Arizona is a half-game up on the Cubs and 1.5 games up on the Marlins for a Wild Card spot. 

Merrill Kelly and Clarke Schmidt are the listed hurlers for the matinee in the Bronx during what could be a really ugly day for baseball. Drizzle and cloud cover will accompany this one throughout, but MLB will force this one to at least go to completion in some capacity. 

Kelly has allowed seven runs twice in his last six starts, but has also allowed one or zero runs in the other four. He allowed one run on three hits to the Giants five days ago after allowing seven runs on six hits to the Mets. Kelly has actually allowed seven runs three times in road starts this season and has allowed a max of four runs three times at home. Otherwise, he’s allowed three or fewer runs in 22 of his 28 starts.

The Yankees are a bottom-five offense this month with a .299 wOBA, but the Snakes aren’t that far ahead with a .309 wOBA that ranks 21st. If we add a filter of right-handed pitchers, the Yankees drop to .295 (27th), but the Diamondbacks also drop to .303 (25th).

Schmidt has a 4.65 ERA with a 4.40 FIP for the season, but as I’ve mentioned countless times, it’s been a tale of two seasons for him. Since May 19, he has a 4.05 ERA with a 4.30 FIP in 111 innings of work. He has allowed at least three runs in each of his last five starts and four in each of the last two starts. Based on the total and the circumstances here, that may be all that Arizona needs to get a win.

The weather will truly be miserable, with a stiff wind blowing in from LF and the rain hanging around all day. This is the type of day where neither team will want to be there, but one at least has something to play for. It is the Yankees who lost a day off for today and their only quest is not to finish with a losing record, as they are 78-77 right now. The Yankees were eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday. It will be the first time outside the playoffs since 2016.

Still, I don’t see a play in this game. Rain could wipe out both starters if it gets heavy. I’m not sure either team will be that invested and this one could very well end 1-0. The conditions for baseball, both literally and figuratively, are not great.

TL;DR Recap

No bets today.

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