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September baseball is here, so the pressure will ratchet up for all Major League Baseball teams involved in playoff races. Read on for our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Friday based on the best MLB odds.

The National League wild-card race is white-hot, and we enter September with four teams within three games of the third spot.

The Chicago Cubs have a 1.5-game lead over the third wild-card team, but their playoff outlook will change drastically - for better or worse - as their next 11 games (and 14 of the next 17) are against the three teams directly below them in the standings.

Here are our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Friday (odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our World Series odds.

Friday’s MLB schedule and odds

(Odds via DraftKings)

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Friday’s MLB best bets

  • Player prop: Jake Burger Over 0.5 RBIs (+165 via bet365) vs. Nationals ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Player prop: Justin Verlander Under 4.5 hits allowed (+125 via DraftKings) vs. Yankees ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Player prop: Tyler Glasnow to record a win (+115 via bet365) vs. Guardians ⭐⭐⭐
  • Upset: Brewers (+100 via BetMGM) vs. Phillies ⭐⭐⭐

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Friday’s MLB prop picks

Player prop: Jake Burger Over 0.5 RBIs vs. Nationals (+165 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Miami Marlins have lost five of their last seven games and eight of the previous 11, with a struggling offense being the biggest area to blame. Miami has averaged just 2.1 runs in its last 11 and scored more than two runs twice in that span.

Not much of Miami’s struggles can be pinned on Jake Burger, though, who is batting .316 with a .350 on-base percentage and a team-leading .414 BABIP over the last 10 games. Burger has 12 RBIs in 26 games with the Marlins, which is impressive, considering he went 10 consecutive games without driving in a run before Thursday night’s ninth-inning solo home run.

However, this remains a three-star play, as his above-average hitting metrics suggest he is due to stumble into more RBIs one of these days. In addition, Washington Nationals righty Jake Irvin’s 5.16 xERA compared to his 4.29 actual ERA suggests regression is coming, especially since he ranks in the bottom fifth of the league in xSLG, barrel rate, and whiff percentage.      

The +165 odds offered at bet365 are a steal compared to FanDuel’s +110 odds for Burger to make it two days in a row driving in a run.

Player prop: Justin Verlander Under 4.5 hits allowed vs. Yankees (+125 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐

This is Justin Verlander’s fourth start against the New York Yankees this year, and though he is just 1-1 with a no-decision through the first three, each one has been a quality start. Verlander has pitched to a 1.42 ERA in those three starts and allowed 12 total hits in the 19 innings. New York has also seemingly taken a conservative approach in those at-bats recently while looking to drive Verlander’s pitch count up, as the Yankees have combined for six walks in that span.

This is a confident four-star play, as New York has struggled against right-handed pitching on the road all season, with the AL’s fourth-highest strikeout rate, third-worst batting average, and second-worst BABIP in that split. And now after waiving players like Josh Donaldson and Harrison Bader, the Yankees’ youthful lineup will be overmatched by the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

Among our best sports betting apps, DraftKings and bet365 offer the same +125 odds for this wager, with Caesars slightly lower at +111.

Player prop: Tyler Glasnow to record a win vs. Guardians (+115 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

Tampa Bay Rays righty Tyler Glasnow has the second-lowest ERA among all qualified starting pitchers since the All-Star Break (2.20) and also ranks third in FIP (2.64) and sixth in BABIP (.236) in that span. Glasnow is also one of 12 pitchers with a double-digit K/9 rate in the second half of the season and does a great job of keeping the ball in the ballpark, with a top-12 HR/9 rate (0.60) in that span.

Pitching the required number of innings to earn a victory is not an issue for this innings-eater, as Glasnow has pitched six-plus innings in seven consecutive starts and completed at least seven innings in three straight. In addition, per Eric Cross, Glasnow is one of 11 starting pitchers with a ground ball rate of 45% or better and a swinging-strike rate of 12% or higher (min. 30 IP) since July 1.

This is a three-star play, as Glasnow’s counterpart, Cal Quantrill, is making his first start since July 5 and was tagged for six earned runs (and three home runs) in a rehab start as recently as 11 days ago. Once again, DraftKings and bet365 are tied for the best odds at our best sportsbooks, with Caesars slightly lower at +108.

Friday’s MLB game picks

Upset: Brewers ML vs. Phillies (+100 via BetMGM) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Milwaukee Brewers had a nine-game winning streak thwarted with back-to-back losses to the Chicago Cubs. However, though that resulted in their second series loss in their previous eight, the Brewers lost both of those games by one run while scoring just two total runs in the process.

Milwaukee should get another strong pitching performance from Freddy Peralta, who has pitched to a 1.75 ERA, 1.55 FIP, and a 5.9 K-BB ratio in his last six starts spanning 36 innings. Since Aug. 1, Peralta is the only pitcher with 65-plus strikeouts and a sub-2.50 ERA, and he has the second-lowest OBA (.169) in that span, trailing only Pittsburgh Pirates righty Johan Oviedo (1.68).

The Brewers should not be home underdogs with such a hot pitcher on the mound, even if the opposing pitcher, Zack Wheeler, has a 2.68 ERA and .194 OBA in eight starts post-All-Star Break. Milwaukee is a profitable 33-32 as the underdog this season (9-10 as home ‘dog), while Philadelphia is an exploitable 11-9 after an off-day.

Caesars and BetMGM are the only shops offering plus-money odds to back the Brewers, while the next closest price is -105 at DraftKings.

MLB best bets made 9/1/2023 at 6:24 a.m. ET.

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