Sunday MLB Picks of the Day Feature RL and Total Gems

mlb picks of the day

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, September 24, 2017 12:25 PM GMT

Sunday, Sep. 24, 2017 12:25 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, comes off of yet another sweep on Saturday. Here he finds a few games to wager while most concentrate on Week 3 of the NFL.

When you find a system that is working you should ride it. Especially at the end of the season, where trends are at their most legitimate.

Seattle vs. Cleveland

Seattle does not do well against pitchers who are tough on right-handers, just as they are a bet-on team when they face a pitcher who can’t get righties out. Turns out Corey Kluber is just about the toughest pitcher on the planet against right handers this year at a .176 BAA. For good measure, Kluber also give up hits to lefties at just a .200 BAA as well. Kluber is 17-4 this year and has already put up 6.9 WAR with a 2.49 FIP. He’s an ace on the top of his game.

Going up against Kluber is Mike Leake, who will need to be perfect to beat him. Leake has liked his new digs in Seattle so far and has given up 2 runs or less in his first 4 starts with his new team. He hasn’t faced the Indians since 2015 though, and Cleveland rested their normal starters yesterday so he will see them at full strength on Sunday. Not that resting starters mattered to Cleveland as they spanked the M’s 11-4 on Saturday. I’m riding the Indians again today and taking them on the run line as one of my Sunday MLB selections.

MLB Pick: Cleveland Indians RL -1 1/2 Best Line Offered at Heritage (-120)

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A prospect received in the Jaime Garcia trade makes his first start of the year for the Cardinals on Sunday, while a pitcher struggling in the 2nd half of the season starts for the Pirates. Runs will ensue.
 

St. Louis vs. Pittsburgh

Jameson Taillon has been completely crushed in games multiple times in the second half of the season, giving up 4 or more earned runs in half of those starts. That has contributed to a 6.86 ERA, yet just a 3.56 FIP over that same timeframe. The FIP mark is depressed by a .401 BABIP, but I’m seeing signs that his BABIP increase can’t be completely dismissed as luck. This is especially the case when looking at Taillon’s batted ball profile, where he has an elevated 26.4% line drive rate in the second half of the season. Line drives lead to runs and are hard for the defense to handle.

Starting for the Cardinals is Joh Gant, who has pitched 5 games in relief and will get his first start of the season in this game. Gant appears to have solved his control issues in AAA this year, riding a 2.18 BB/9 rate to a September call-up. In extended action with the Braves last year, Gant had an issue with getting out righties who hit him at a .301 clip. Gant’s velocity is all over the place in his starts, and it his joining the rotation after some max-effort relief appearances won’t help. I’ll wager that he will struggle, along with Taillon, and take the Over of 9 runs in this game at Heritage as one of my Sunday MLB Picks of the Day.

MLB Pick: Over 9 Runs (+102)Best Line Offered at Matchbook

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2017 MLB Record, 207-184-11, +9.04 units

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