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Eight Major League Baseball teams have their final off day of the regular season today as we look forward to an exciting weekend, and we have you covered with our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Thursday based on the top MLB odds from our best sports betting apps.

Of the 11 games on today's MLB slate, the two that are series openers come with massive playoff implications in the American League. The Baltimore Orioles begin a series with the Boston Red Sox with a magic number of two to clinch their first AL East title since 2014. Elsewhere, the Texas Rangers also hold a magic number of two to clinch the AL West entering a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

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

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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: Bo Bichette Over 0.5 RBIs vs. Yankees (+175 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette is a glorified New York Yankees killer. Bichette has slashed .315/.355/.532 in 62 career games against the Yankees.

Entering Wednesday, his .315 average was the second-highest career average against New York among active players (minimum 200 plate appearances), and his 40 RBIs against them since 2019 are the third-most. Bichette's numbers against the Yankees at the Rogers Centre prior to Tuesday's series opener were even more inflated, with a .394/.440/.684 slash line in 127 career at-bats, according to BlueJays Muse.

This is a three-star play, as Bichette faces Yankees righty Luke Weaver, who has allowed a .317 OBA, 1.62 WHIP, and he's induced a GO/AO ratio of 0.62 against right-handed batters during 2023. The +175 odds found at bet365 are a steal compared to the +151 and +165 offered at Caesars and DraftKings, respectively.

Player prop: Sonny Gray Under 6.5 strikeouts vs. Athletics (-145 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Minnesota Twins are technically still alive for the AL's No. 2 seed while four games behind the Texas Rangers with four to play, and the club holds the head-to-head tiebreaker. But we believe they'll instead get their starting pitching lined up for next week's inevitable wild-card playoff series. Thus, we don't expect them to push Gray much in this start, and he'll get about five innings of work.

There isn't much for Gray to prove after leading the league with a 2.85 FIP, a 0.4 HR/9 rate, and posting his best ERA+ 156 since 2019. Therefore, while the A's rank in the bottom 10 of the league in strikeout rate (24.3%) against right-handed pitching in road games during 2023, this play is more about the coaching staff planning a short outing from one of its most reliable pitchers.

FanDuel is offering the next-lowest price (-154) to back the Under, making bet365 our go-to shop.

Player prop: Austin Hays Under hits vs. Red Sox (+160 via bet365) ⭐⭐⭐

Boston Red Sox lefty Chris Sale has returned to vintage form over his last two starts while allowing just five hits and striking out 17 batters across his previous 11 innings. Sale has been tougher on right-handed hitters than lefties all season, with an OBA 31 points lower in that split, and his xBA, chase percentage, and strikeout rate all rank in the 85th percentile or better.

We're therefore making this a three-star play for Sale (and Boston's bullpen) to hold Hays hitless, especially as the outfielder entered Wednesday with one hit in his previous 16 at-bats and seven strikeouts. That cold stretch is enough to ignore Hays's career success against Sale, which includes slashing .333/.333/.833 in 18 at-bats.

We are getting slightly better value for Hays to go hitless at bet365 compared to DraftKings, which offers a price tag of +150.

Thursday’s MLB game picks

Upset: Tigers ML vs. Royals (-110 via Caesars, DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sawyer Gipson-Long has made an excellent case to be a fixture in the Detroit Tigers' rotation in 2023, as he's pitched to a 2.40 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across his first three starts. 

Gipson-Long's strikeout potential is most appealing. He's whiffed 20 batters across 15 innings, and neither lefties nor righties are hitting better than .200 against him. 

The organization's No. 19 prospect boasts an even better xERA (2.22) and allowed hard-hit rate (23.5%), with the latter well below the MLB average of 36.3%. Sawyer-Long has been generating whiffs on more than 30% of his three primary pitches. His xBA and xSLG on his slider and changeup, which he throws a combined 59% of the time, are significantly lower than his actual OBA and slugging percentages allowed.

Detroit has won eight of its 11 meetings with the Kansas City Royals in 2023 (and is on its way to winning another while leading 4-0 in a suspended game to be completed Thursday). The team is a great value play at -110 odds, even when opposing Cole Ragans, who has led the Royals to wins in consecutive starts against the Houston Astros.

Caesars and DraftKings are alone among our best sportsbooks while offering the Tigers at -110. They are at least -115 favorites everywhere else.

MLB best bets made 9/28/2023 at 6:19 a.m. ET.

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