MLB Best Bets for September 25: Mariners Set to Sail Past Astros

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Teoscar Hernandez #35 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates with teammate Jarred Kelenic #10 after hitting a solo home run against the Texas Rangers on September 24, 2023. Ron Jenkins/Getty Images/AFP.

MLB Pick: Mariners (-121) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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The final Monday MLB card of the regular season is a limited one with only four games, including one matinee with the Diamondbacks and Yankees making up Saturday’s rainout.

Despite the small card, we are here as usual with our three best bets of the day, as we have one for each of the night games. Remember that these are value bets mostly based on our proprietary model, thus when we make underdog plays, it means we project long-term profit at the odds posted even with a sub-.500 record.

We have just one of those value dogs today, as well as two value favorites at the MLB odds.

Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels

Monday, September 25, 2023 – 09:38 PM EDT at Angel Stadium

The Rangers are fighting for playoff positioning, but with an untrustworthy Jon Gray on the mound, we are backing the Angels as large home underdogs to play spoiler with Patrick Sandoval.

Not the Same Pitcher

We have always felt that Gray was underrated throughout his career as his metrics oftentimes outperformed his ERA, as demonstrated by his career 3.84 xFIP. but now at the age of 31, that has not been the case this season.

Gray comes in at just 8-8 with a 4.22 ERA, and for the first time in a while, his xFIP is now lagging behind at 4.41. His K/BB ratio is not as good as previous seasons at 8.03/3/21 per 9 and he has also been more home run prone, surrendering 1.25 HR/9. Jon has allowed at least three runs in each of his last six starts.

Close Enough at the Price

Now Sandoval has been mediocre himself and comes in at 7-13, but his 4,19 ERA and 4.52 xFIP are basically in line with the 2023 version of Gray, which inherently gives him value at this big price at home.

Pablo has a better-than-average (slightly) hard contact rate allowed of 29.7% and a decent 12.0% swinging strike rate. And at least Sandoval comes off of a good start where he limited a good Toronto lineup to just two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts.

So with Sandoval showing some positive signs and Gray off his usual from all season, bet the Angels as large home underdogs Monday at the best sportsbooks.

Predicted Score: Angels 5 – Rangers 4

The Pick

MLB Pick: Angels (+163) at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners

Monday, September 25, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at T-Mobile Park

This is a huge series with both teams fighting for their playoff lives after getting swept over the weekend, and we are backing the Mariners in the opener with Luis Castillo hosting Justin Verlander and the Astros.

Diminished Skills?

Verlander is now 40 years old and we felt there was an overreaction in Houston’s future bets when he was acquired at the trading deadline as he was already showing diminished skills for the Mets. Sure he is 11-8 with a 3.44 ERA for the two teams combined, but the more telling metric is his bloated 4,63 xFIP.

There was once a time when Justin could reach back for more when needed and throw in triple-digits, but those days are over as his average velocity this season of 94.4 MP is the lowest since 2018.

As a result, his strikeout rate of 7.90 K/9 is way down from 9.51 just last year, and to make matters worse his walk rate 0f 2.47 BB/9 is its highest since 2017. He has allowed eight runs on 13 hits over 13 innings in his last two starts.

Bigger Edge Than Line Indicates

Now, we have bet against Castillo quite a bit this year due to his ERA/xFIP variance, but nonetheless, he comes in at 14-7 with a 3.06 ERA, and while the xFIP does still lag at 3.78, that figure is still much better than Verlander’s.

Luis is striking out more than one batter per inning at 9.89 K/9 and his soft contact allowed is up nearly 4% since last year to a very good 18.3% from 14.5%. Castillo has also maintained his form allowing two runs or less in five of his last six starts,

With Castillo having the much better season, putting aside Verlander’s deceptive ERA, these odds seem deflated due to the Verlander brand and we will take advantage by betting the Mariners at a quite reasonable price here.

Predicted Score: Mariners 4 – Astros 3 

The Pick

MLB Pick: Mariners (-121) at BetOnline

San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

Monday, September 25, 2023 – 09:45 PM EDT at Oracle Park

While this game has no playoff inclinations, there is a post-season award at stake and we will back Cy Young hopeful Blake Snell and the Padres as a small road favorite visiting Logan Webb and the Giants.

Insane Four Months

Snell now leads the Major Leagues in ERA at 2.33 with his strikeout rate of 11.74 K/9 ranking second to only Spencer Strider, and remember that Snell actually had a sub-par start over the first two months of the season.

The lights went on May 25th, and since that date, Snell has a minuscule 1.26 ERA and a strikeout rate of 12.49 K/9 over 22 starts. Even more remarkably, Snell has had four scoreless outings in his last five starts, and he allowed more than two runs just once in those last 22 starts, and he allowed just three runs on that occasion.

Tough Matchup

Now we actually like Webb and have always felt he was underrated for a guy with a career of 3,44 ERA and 3.22 xFIP. And this season has been more of the same despite a 10-13 record, as it comes with a 3.35 ERA and 2.99 xFIP.

But it would probably take a peak performance to beat Snell in his current raging form, and Webb was not particularly sharp despite escaping with three runs allowed last time out as he surrendered nine hits plus two walks in six innings.

Finally, the Padres should be the only team with any motivation here as they try to get Snell the award while the Giants are playing out the string, so back the Pads at a seemingly cheap price on Monday.

Predicted Score: Padres 4 – Giants 2

The Pick

MLB Pick: Padres (-112) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.