Rays vs. Mets MLB Pick – September 22, 2020

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It was another off night with my free MLB picks as I went 2-3 across my five picks, spanning four games.

The first win of the night came between the Rangers and Angels where I had the Angels -1.5 on run line. Two early Rangers runs put the pick in a bad spot, but the Angels exploded on offense, finishing with eight runs in an eventual 8-5 victory.

I also hit a run line pick between the Phillies and Nationals where I had the Nats +1.5. Turns out I didn’t need to buy the 1.5 runs as Washington plated a pair of first-inning runs and never looked back in a 5-1 final.

It was all downhill from there, however.

I dropped both my picks between the White Sox and Indians as I had the Sox on the moneyline and the under 8. A three-run homer from Jose Ramirez early put us in a deep hole on both ends, and while the Sox rallied to tie the game at 4-4 at one point, the final three runs of the game all belonged to Cleveland in a 7-4 Tribe win.

Still, I felt good about locking in a profit with the utmost confidence in the Giants over the Rockies. The Rockies have struggled against right-handers and have struggled to produce offense on the road in general. They were also without their best hitter/player in Nolan Arenado while their bullpen is awful. It was painful to see them score seven times and allow just two in a 7-2 win that pushed us into negative territory on the night.

In sum, we dropped 1.26 units on the night while clinging onto a small profit for the season to this point.

Season Record: 22-19-1

Units: +0.92

Now let’s make sure we get things turned around in this free MLB pick featuring the Rays vs. Mets from Citi Field in Queens, NY!

Rays vs. Mets Betting Odds

  • Rays (-128)
  • Mets (+118)
  • Rays -1.5 (+129)
  • Mets +1.5 (-149)
  • Over 7.5 (-102)
  • Under 7.5 (-118)

Rays vs. Mets MLB Pick Breakdown

Starting Pitching

Rays

The Rays send 2018 AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell to the mound for this one tonight as the southpaw makes his 11th start of the season after some quality work through the first 10.

Snell enters this one sporting a 3.05 ERA on the season and while his FIP rises to 4.11, his xFIP once again comes down to an excellent 3.07 mark.

His 3.57 SIERA is an encouraging number for the lefty as well while Snell continues to rack up the strikeouts at a 10.96 K/9 clip while reigning in the walks again at a career-best 3.05 BB/9 to this point.

It should be noted that Snell hasn’t been getting deep into games this season as he’s failed to reach six innings pitched in all 10 of his starts to this point. That said, he’s allowed just one run over his last two starts spanning 10.2 innings while striking out nine and walking three in that time.

The left-hander has superior numbers at home this season, but has allowed just three earned runs over his last two starts on the road across 10.1 innings of work.

Mets

The Mets will turn to Seth Lugo for this one tonight as he makes his sixth start of the season, but also his 15th appearance after he spent the first chunk of the season in the Mets’ bullpen.

Lugo is going to be looking to get back on track in this one after a disastrous start his last time out against the Phillies. In that one, Lugo surrendered six earned runs and eight hits while allowing a whopping four home runs in just 1.2 innings of work. Add in his three earned in 5.1 innings in his second-to-last start against the Blue Jays and Lugo has yielded nine earned runs in his last six innings of work with 15 hits allowed in that time.

On the season, Lugo now owns a 5.30 ERA/5.33 FIP as a starter, but also an excellent 2.39 xFIP. The xFIP stat is based on the average of home runs allowed per fly ball, so that would be why it’s so much lower than his ERA and FIP.

His fly-ball rate as a starter is just 24% which is good, but he’s also allowing 40% hard contact as a starter, which is not good.

We’re dealing with a small sample, but Lugo has been far more effective as a reliever than a starter this season.

Offense

Rays

The Rays have been fairly productive on the season against right-handed pitching as they sit 14th with a .321 wOBA versus righties, but also 11th with a .182 ISO against them. Their 106 wRC+ – which bakes park factors into the equations – sits 11th as well.

While they can certainly take a walk with a 10.7% walk rate on the season, they’ve also endured strikeout issues as well in the form of a 26% K-rate that is the fourth-highest mark in baseball this season.

This is certainly a group that’s scuffling at the moment, however. The Rays have scored two runs or less in three of their last four games and more than three runs in just one of their last seven games. They are without their leadoff man versus righties in Austin Meadows and that’s a potent bat missing from the top of the order.

That said, they’ve done yeoman’s work on the road this season, sitting in a share of eighth with a .325 wOBA outside of Tropicana Field this season.

Mets

The Mets have feasted against right-handed pitching this season, but this is also a group that’s hit lefties well in the process.

The Mets enter this one tied for eight with a .332 wOBA on the season against left-handed pitching, although they haven’t hit for a ton of power versus lefties in the form of a .164 ISO that is tied with the Blue Jays for 18th league wide.

They’ve been a difficult out in the form of a 20.7% K-rate off of lefties to boot.

That said, like the Rays, this isn’t exactly an offense firing on all cylinders at the moment. They scored seven against the Braves on Saturday, but have scored just one run over their last two games and two runs or fewer in three of their last four. Last night, Rays pitching held them to just one run.

The Mets are baseball’s best road offense, but they have still hit well at home in the form of a 12th-ranked .336 wOBA at Citi Field this season.

Bullpen

Rays

The Rays invented the opener, which means they probably had a good bullpen. Things are no different this season.

The Rays enter this one ranked fourth with a 3.40 ERA on the season, as does their 3.63 FIP. Their 4.19 xFIP checks in at seventh while their 35.4% hard hit rate against ranks 11th.

As noted above, Snell has maxed out at 5.2 innings this season, so the bullpen will certainly be called into notable duty in this one.

Closer Nick Anderson has been nearly untouchable in the form of a 0.60 ERA/1.12 FIP to go along with a 15.00 K/9 against a tiny 1.20 BB/9 on the season. Aaron Loup has been their most-used reliever this season and owns a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings while John Curtiss is another reliever sporting a sub-1.00 ERA in his 18.1 innings of work.

Add it up and it would be wise of the Mets to get to Snell before this bullpen enters the game tonight.

Mets

The bullpen was a disaster for the Mets last season, but it’s a group that’s at least made some strides while working their way into the middle of the pack with a 4.36 ERA that is tied for 14th league wide.

They also hang around the middle of the pack with a 19th-ranked 4.65 FIP as well as an 18th-ranked 4.69 xFIP. Nothing special, but an improvement for sure.

Chief among that turnaround has been the work of closer Edwin Diaz.

After coming over from the Mariners on the heels of a historic 57-save season in which he posted a 1.96 ERA/1.61 FIP, Diaz was torched for a 5.59 ERA in his first season in Queens. This season, he’s found it in the form of a 1.57 ERA/2.32 FIP with a monster 18.39 K/9 that leads all of baseball. Walks have been an issue, however, with a 5.48 BB/9 that is well above his 3.31 career mark.

That said, like the Mets, the Rays should look to have a lead or attempt a comeback off one of the best relievers in baseball in Diaz.

Rays vs. Mets MLB Pick

This is a game that could truly go either way. There’s a case to be made for both clubs as both sport quality offenses and capable bullpens.

That said, I’m going to go with the Snell/Rays bullpen combo in what could also be a low-scoring game.

The under scares me given Lugo’s recent work, so I’m simply going to take the Rays on the moneyline behind their ace and dominant bullpen.

The Bet
RAYS
-128
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Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.