It’s been awhile since I have actually had a MLB bet in play. I didn’t have a play on Sunday or Monday to focus my attention on NFL, and then my play on the Washington Nationals for Saturday night got rained out. I have an extremely successful MLB handicapping season, hitting around 65% with all my plays, and totals have been even more successful cashing in with 70% of my bets. It may not feel like it, but October is just a week away, and with October comes the playoffs. Betting on baseball this time of the year can always be a tricky proposition, but I don’t plan on slowing down now. While the playoffs are approaching soon, I’m turning to a game with no playoff implications, perhaps the best bet for late September.
Free MLB Pick
Kansas City Royals -130 at Seattle Mariners +110 (Total: 7)
Bruce Chen (8-3, 2.74 ERA) vs. James Paxton (2-0, 2.12)
Like I said, this game has zero playoff implications and probably zero fan interest from either Royal and Mariner fans. There are probably 5 or 10 fans that care, and the rest of it is from people with money on the game. I do have a vested interest in this game regardless of how important it is, though. I’m in the business of making money, so let’s hit this game and come out on top.
Bruce Chen used to be one of my favorite pitchers to go to hit an over bet with. He has been around for a long time and has generally been an average pitcher. Chen has turned in an excellent 2013 season though, posting a 3.13 ERA on the year, his best as a pro. All of his numbers have been consistently good, with a good 1.15 WHIP and .288 WHIP to compliment his solid ERA. He recently had a start against the Mariners on September 3rd, where he easily took care of business there holding them to only 2 runs. The only teams he has gotten nailed against in his last ten starts were against the Nationals and Tigers, two very capable offenses. When he’s pitching against less than average offenses, he is usually potent with his arm. The Mariners also have difficulty hitting lefties at .226.
On the other side is a pitcher just getting acclimated at the major league level. James Paxton has a long way to go to hit the longevity that Chen has, with only three major league starts on his resume in 2013. In the little time he has pitched, Paxton has done just fine, though. His ERA of 2.12 against the Tigers, Cardinals, and Rays is quite impressive. His lone start at home was against the Rays in his first start, allowing only 1 run in 5 innings pitched. New pitchers like this, a pitcher that opposing hitters have never seen before, can sometimes be difficult to hit.
I’m expecting this to be a quick game on the west coast. Plenty of 1-2-3 innings will give way to a low scoring contest that should fall under the number. A late season matchup like this, in a pitcher friendly park, with two capable pitchers usually adds up to a low scoring game. I also think there is some value on the Mariners in this spot, so play on the under, lean to the Mariners.
Free Pick: UNDER 7