Top Baseball Plays for Friday, September 22nd: Giants-Dodgers and Cubs-Brewers

Mark Lathrop

Friday, September 22, 2017 12:13 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 22, 2017 12:13 PM UTC

Even though our handicapper split his picks yesterday a pick on the heaviest underdog on the board had him plus units fo the day. On Friday night he is backing yet another underdog - and an Under in an important divisional matchup.

SF Giants vs. LA Dodgers

The Dodgers have lost 6 run line decisions in a row coming into Friday night’s matchup with the Giants, the first game back from a seven-game road trip. Our handicapper likes the spot for their string of close games to continue.

The Dodgers will likely play their Friday night game with a shorthanded lineup, as Justin Turner has hurt himself and Corey Seager has a bum ankle. It’s terrible timing for the Dodgers, and you can bet that they will be resting these offensive stars for the playoffs. I also like fading teams on the first game returning from a long road trip, especially if they don’t have any days off in between. A long flight back home and then dealing with domestics doesn’t exactly keep you focused on baseball.

Starting against the Dodgers is Jeff Samardzija of the Giants, who is carrying a 3.64 FIP over the second half of the season. He has also put up a 22/3 K/BB rate over his last three starts. Samardzija faced the Dodgers once this season and twirled an 8-inning shutout with 11 strikeouts and zero walks. He should be able to handle the Dodger lineup here and keep this game close, which at even money on the run line is one of my Friday MLB Picks of the Day.

Free MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants RLBest Line Offered: at Heritage

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Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers

A very important series in the NL Central starts on Friday night between the Cubs and Brewers. Mark Lathrop looks for the offenses to play tight against two pitchers at the top of their game.

John Lackey of the Cubs has pitched well against the Brewers in this two starts since July, giving up 2 earned runs in both games with both going under the listed total. Lackey has a career 3.39 ERA against the Brewers with a 1.151 WHIP. His struggles this year have been against lefties, as he has a very good .228 BAA against right-handers on the year. Lackey will have to navigate Travis Shaw and Eric Thames to be successful in this game, but being that those are the only real threats to his split he could pitch around them.

Pitching against Lackey is Brandon Woodruff, who has had success this year in the MLB by keeping the ball in the ballpark. He’s carrying a 8.6% HR/FB rate and a 3.69 FIP. Woodruff’s split against lefties signifies the bad results are because of luck. He has a .339 BAA against southpaws over 15.0 innings pitched, but also has a .412 BABIP and excellent 2.69 FIP against them as well. With the lefty-heavy lineup of the Cubs coming into town Woodruff should regress to the mean here. With a total set at 9, I will take the Under here, believing that both pitchers will do well and managers will play matchups late in this important division game.

Free MLB Pick: Under 9 RunsBest Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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2017 MLB Record, 205-183-10, +8.30 units

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