Expert Baseball Picks
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The Reds are sputtering at season's end losing five in a row, and they have lost their last six games against the Pirates. Pittsburgh has lost two in a row, and their starter for this game in Kingman was lit up in his previous start. However, he will be facing a Reds team that has really struggled to score runs in their five-game skid. He will bounce back and have a decent outing while the Pirates' lineup will get to DeSclafani early and often. Pittsburgh will take this game sending the Reds to their 6th straight loss and ensuring that they end the season with a winning record.
The Indians already have their playoff matchup set, so this game and series does not mean anything to them in terms of the standings. Because of that, the team may rest some starters. The Royals need one win in this four-game series to avoid the most losses in franchise history, which was 106 losses in 2005. Tomlin is vying to make the Indians post-season roster, but they have lost his last two starts where he has totaled eight innings and given up six earned runs. Sparkman had not given up any earned runs in four innings in his previous two relief appearances before giving up two in his last effort out of the bullpen. The Indians have not seen Sparkman this season, and he will have a good outing while Tomlin will get battered around some. The Royals will take this game, which will be their 5th win in their last six games.
The Brewers are surging at the right time as they look for a series sweep in this game. Chacin is winless in four starts this month, and while he has not allowed more than three earned runs in his four starts in September, he also has not lasted past the 5th inning in any of those outings. That said, he got a win in his last outing facing the Cardinals, opposing Gant, which was his first win against them in 10 career starts. Gant has had significant control issues and St. Louis could use a good start from him going deep in the game, as their bullpen has struggled in this series. Look for Chacin to have a good outing and the Brewers to have a solid night at the dish. Add that up, and you get a Brewers win to complete the series sweep.
Neither team has had a successful season, but San Francisco has closed out the campaign on a dismal run losing 17 of their last 21 games. The two starters in this matchup faced each other in their previous start where Erlin had the better outing, and the Padres got the win. That said, I expect Stratton to rebound in this game. The Giants have struggled to score runs lately, but their bats will wake up in this game and give Stratton some support. Add that to Stratton having a good outing, and you get a Giants' win in this division matchup.
The A's only need one more win, and unfortunately, after dropping their last home game, they'll have to do it on the road. While Mengden has been solid out of the bullpen this month his one poor outing was facing the Mariners. Paxton should get the start in this game, and while he has been battling an illness, I still believe that the chances are far more likely that Paxton has the better start. The A's will have to wait at least one more day to celebrate.
The Red Sox look to wrap up the Majors' best record with a win in this game that features a couple of swing starters. The bullpen will be key in this game with the swing starters, and Boston has the edge in that area. They rank 7th in the bigs in bullpen ERA while the Indians only rank 24th. On top of that, the highest scoring team in baseball in the Red Sox will be going up against Plutko, who has given up nine earned runs in his last two starts. Boston will take this game, and the series set the franchise records for wins, and capture the top seed in the AL playoffs.
Both of these teams have had bad seasons, and each has also played poorly as of late. Something has to give in this game, as the Tigers have lost eight of their last nine home games and the Royals have lost eight of their last 10 road games. Junis did not have the best outing in his previous start, but he was solid in his last three starts, and the Royals are 4-0 in his four starts facing the Tigers this season. Zimmerman has been shaky in his last two starts where he has totaled more earned runs (9) than innings (8 2/3). Like Game 2 of this series, this game will be a close one, but Junis will have the better start, and the Royals will take this game and go for the series win tomorrow.
The Rockies have 10 games left in the season and they do not face the Dodgers again, who they are chasing in the NL West. The Diamondbacks have more work to do than the Rockies to get in the playoffs and while they do face the Dodgers for three more games they only have nine games left in the regular season. Marquez has been solid on the season against the Diamondbacks and he will have another good outing against them in this big game. Greinke has been decent in his last few starts and he will give up some runs in this game. This game will not be a high scoring affair and Marquez will have the better start, which is why the Rockies are the pick in this game. They will get the win, which will be their 2nd in a row and help their playoff chances.
The Marlins have had the Reds’ number at home over the last few seasons, and they have won five of their last seven games against them overall. However, they have a rookie on the hill in Brigham, who has not impressed in his first two Majora League starts. On the other side of the coin, Reed is coming off his best start since joining the Reds' rotation. I expect him to have a good outing in this game in South Beach and the Cincy lineup will rebound getting to Brigham. Bet on the Reds to take the first game of this series and send the Marlins to their 2nd straight loss.
September is not a good time to slump when you are in the playoff race, but that is what the Phillies have done. In losing seven of their last 10 games, they have really hurt their playoff chances, which are now very slim. Things don't look better for them in this game facing Syndergaard. The Phillies did get him for four earned runs in his start before his last one, but they lost that game and in his previous start he shut down a Boston team that is the highest scoring team in the Majors. Eflin had a good last start but had a terrible one in his previous one in a loss to the Mets. Syndergaard will be solid and Eflin will not, which is why the Mets are the pick to take this game and win the series.
Oakland is only four games out of first place in the AL West, and while their next six games are at home facing sub .500 teams, they do not face Houston again in the regular season. The Angels are out of the playoff picture, and they are hoping the Skaggs can return to form before his last two starts before landing on the DL. The A's have been great at home this season and have the 4th best home record in the AL. They have dealt with many injuries to the pitching staff on the season, but keep winning even though they have lost three of their last four games. Look for Hendriks and the rest of the Oakland bullpen to get it done on the hill in this game while the A’s lineup will not have a good welcome back for Skaggs. The A’s will win this game and stay on the heels of the Yankees for the top slot for the AL Wild Card.
The Cardinals are battling it out to make the Wild Card, and they have won their last six games facing the Braves in Atlanta. Mikolas has been the rock of the St. Louis rotation, and they have only lost one of his previous nine starts. Foltynewicz has been lights out as of late, but the bullpen and the lineup have not helped him out much in his last few starts. That will not be the case in this game. He will have another good outing going deep in the game and he will out-duel Mikolas. The Braves will get the win in this game snapping their six-game home losing streak against the Cardinals and sending St. Louis to their 5th loss in their last six games.
The Rangers go for the sweep in this game against the Padres, who have lost four straight at home. Minor leads Texas in wins and strikeouts, he had his best start of the season earlier this year against the Padres, and the Rangers have won six of his last seven starts. He will be opposed by Nix, who has been less than stellar in his previous two outings giving up 11 earned runs. I expect Minor to have another good start shutting down the San Diego lineup that has struggled in the two games in this series. The Rangers have not had a season to remember, but they are playing the better ball and should get the victory on Sunday to complete the three-game sweep.
While the White Sox have not had a good season, to say the least, they won the first game of this series and had won 13 of their last 18 road games. With the Orioles previous loss, they became only the 15th team in the history of baseball to suffer 105 losses in their first 147 games. Lopez has been lights out in his last three starts, and while Ramirez has pitched well out of the bullpen in his last few appearances, he was rocked in his previous start. Lopez will have another good start in this game, and unlike his last one, he will get some run support. He will lead the White Sox to a win in this game, and they will go for the series sweep tomorrow.
Both of these teams are out of the playoff picture, and while the Angels are surging as the regular season draws to a close, the Mariners are sinking. The Seattle lineup has been struggling to score runs in the last few games, but at least they will be facing Despaigne, who did not even register an out in his previous appearance. Leake stopped the bleeding with a solid effort in his last start after giving up a total of 11 earned runs in his previous two outings. He will have a pretty good outing in this game in La La Land, but the reason the Mariners will win will be their lineup. They will snap out of their funk tagging up Despaigne and Seattle will take the first game of this division series.
This is t4he rubber game in this series with the Rockies winning Game 1 and the Diamondbacks winning Game 2. The Rockies can even up their season series against Arizona with a win in this game. However, they have had not had much success against Corbin in the last few seasons. On the other side of the coin, the D-Backs have had success against Gray in his career. However, in this game, he will have the better outing, as he has not faced Arizona since his season debut. In a low scoring pitcher's duel, the Rockies will pull out the win and take the series giving them some breathing room over the Diamondbacks in the NL West.
The Rays have been one of the hottest teams in the 2nd half, and they have won 17 of their last 23 games. While the lineup has been the weakness of the club on the season that lineup has produced 38 runs in their four-game win streak. Glasnow is coming off his worst start of the season, and after giving up one earned run in each of his first three starts for Tampa, he has given up a total of 15 earned runs in his last four outings. The Indians have given up six earned runs in each of their previous two games, which were both losses. Bieber has been steady in his last few starts, but the Indians took a 5-3 loss in his start previous to his last one. Glasnow will forget about his previous start and have a decent one in this game, and decent will be just fine since the Tampa Bay lineup will stay hot at the plate. The Rays will get the win extending their winning streak to five games and sending the Tribe to their 3rd straight loss.
The Yankees have had the Mariners' number this season winning all four games against them. While Lynn has given up at least five earned runs in three of his last four starts the Mariners are 1-7 in Hernandez's last eight starts. King Felix has not been all that bad in his previous two starts, and I forecast that he will have a decent outing in this game. On the other side of the coin, Lynn will get lit up yet again after his worst start for the Yankees in his last outing. The Mariners will win this game, notching their first victory of the season against New York to even the series.