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Thursday's nine-game Major League Baseball schedule is a mix of six series finales and three openers. Read on for our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Thursday based on the top MLB odds from our best sports betting apps.

Of the new series beginning today, there's none bigger than the AL East showdown between the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles hold a two-game lead over the Rays in the division, and this is the last four-game series the two teams will play against one another. It's likely Tampa Bay’s last chance to make a run for the AL East crown.

Here are our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Thursday (odds via bet365, DraftKings, and FanDuel; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Check out our World Series odds.

Thursday’s MLB schedule and odds

(odds via DraftKings)

Thursday’s MLB best bets

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Thursday’s MLB prop picks

Player prop: Ji-Hwan Bae to score a run vs. Nationals (-120 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

Pittsburgh Pirates leadoff man Ji-Hwan Bae enters this series finale against the Washington Nationals amid an eight-game hitting streak, and he's hit safely in 13 of his previous 14 games. Bae has scored at least one run in seven games during that span, and his on-base percentage has risen for three straight months. That has us believing he'll rebound from a low .289 on-base percentage through 44 at-bats in September.

Bae is one of two Pirates batters with a hit off of Nationals righty Josiah Gray, while the other is Bryan Reynolds (3-for-5, .667 wOBA off Gray) is the other, and he hits directly behind Bae in the lineup.

Gray is seven innings away from exceeding his previous career high in innings pitched, and we expect regression down the stretch. His 4.8 BB/9 rate is already higher than in 2022 when he issued an NL-worst 66 walks to go along with an MLB-high 38 home runs.

DraftKings is the next-closest among our best sportsbooks in terms of value for this wager at -125 odds, and every other shop is at -130 or higher.

Player prop: Kodai Senga Over 6.5 strikeouts vs. Diamondbacks (-130 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The New York Mets lost the spotlight when they traded their top pitchers, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Nonetheless, Kodai Senga's recent performance has been outstanding, making him a promising cornerstone for the team's future pitching prospects, and a player the team can now focus on building around.

Senga has allowed three or fewer earned runs in 13 consecutive outings, and he's made six straight quality starts while pitching to a 2.86 ERA during that span. He's recorded double-digit strikeouts in two of his last three outings and five-plus strikeouts in eight straight starts. Senga now faces a Diamondbacks team that's the fourth-lowest in strikeout rate (20.9%) against right-handed pitchers on the road in 2023. However, the club has dropped to the middle of the pack (14th) in that split since Aug. 1, with its strikeout rate increasing to 22.3%. This is a four-star play, as Senga has recorded 18-plus outs in six straight starts, increasing his ceiling for punchouts.

Caesars and FanDuel have -142 odds or higher for this wager, making the -130 odds at bet365 seem like a steal.

Player prop: Kyle Bradish Under 1.5 earned runs vs. Rays (+125 via DraftKings, bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Many are still skeptical about Baltimore’s postseason chances despite the team being on track to win 100 games. However, Kyle Bradish is pitching like a true ace despite not being a household name. He's giving his team a chance to win every outing.

Bradish has posted a 2.59 ERA across 55 2/3 innings since the All-Star break, with a 3.22 FIP, 9.2 K/9 rate, 0.7 HR/9 rate, and a 1.3 fWAR. The Orioles were wise not to give up on Bradish in 2022 when he pitched to a 7.38 ERA during the first half of the season, as he improved tremendously with a 3.28 ERA in the second half. That improvement is a big reason why he's posted a 2.93 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over his last 27 starts.

This is a four-star play, as Bradish has allowed two earned runs apiece in two starts against the Rays in 2023 over 11 innings. And with the Orioles being 7-0 over his previous seven starts, we feel good about him leading the team to another victory during the franchise’s most significant regular-season series in quite some time.

Under backers get their choice between DraftKings or bet365 for the best value, as Caesars offers lower +110 odds.

Thursday’s MLB game picks

Total: Rangers-Blue Jays Over 8 (-106 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Rangers and Blue Jays have combined for nine-plus runs in four of their six meetings during 2023, and we expect another high-scoring affair in this series finale.

Neither starting pitcher has been enjoying great success against the opposition, as Nathan Eovaldi has allowed a .309/.363/.494 slash line in 94 at-bats against current Blue Jays hitters, while Kevin Gausman has been roughed up for a .291/.356/.508 slash line in 79 at-bats against current Blue Jays.

Texas’ starting pitchers ranked in the top 11 with a 3.95 ERA through July 18, but since then they've pitched to a 4.44 ERA while throwing the 24th-fewest innings in the majors. That's put a lot of stress on the Rangers' bullpen, which ranks dead-last in FIP (5.67) and in the bottom 10 in WHIP (1.39) during that span.

FanDuel is the only shop where you can find the total not juiced to the Over, and for lower than the standard -110 price.

MLB best bets made 9/14/2023 at 6:31 a.m. ET.

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