Baseball Plays of the Day for September 20: Free MLB Betting Picks

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Ranger Suaréz #55 of the Philadelphia Phillies. Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images/AFP

Today we preview a very entertaining interleague clash between the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies, study the MLB odds and share our MLB picks.

Baltimore Orioles vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Monday, September 20, 2021 – 07:05 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park

The Orioles have nothing to play for but pride while the Phillies are 4-1 in their last five games and they can still win the National League East. Philadelphia is just two games behind Atlanta in the race for the division title and 3.5 games behind St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot in the National League. This game is clearly more important for the Phillies than for the Orioles but I don't think that's the only reason Philadelphia might pose value tonight. Over the past 30 days, the Phillies have posted the 5th-best OPS (.790), the 5th-best wOBA (.337), and the 8th-best wRC+ (109) in MLB. They're mashing the ball (.198 ISO, 7th in MLB; 41 home runs, 7th in MLB) and they’ve been very disciplined (18.6 K%, second-lowest in MLB; 9.6 BB%, 7th-highest in MLB).

The Baltimore Orioles are 2-8 in their last 10 games and they rank 9th with a .328 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) and 11th in Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) at 106 in the last 30 days. Cedric Mullins has been their best player, leading Baltimore in batting average, On-Base Percentage (OBP) and hits this season. Mullins is second in home runs and RBIs. Ryan Mountcastle has a team-best 30 home runs and 83 RBIs.

The Orioles are going with John Means (4.59 FIP), while the Phillies respond with Ranger Suarez (2.98 FIP). On paper, this matchup favors the Phillies, who are 5-4 in Suarez's nine starts, losing 0.4 units. The Orioles are down 8.8 units on a 7-16 record in Means' 23 starts and they've lost his last eight outings. John Means (5-7, 3.41 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) is winless since July 31st but he's pitched relatively well as of late, going 0-1 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in his last three starts. Means gave up two earned runs on four hits (one home run) with four strikeouts and two walks over 5 2/3 innings to get a no-decision in a 4-3 loss against the Yankees on Wednesday. Didi Gregorius is 2-for-4 with one double against him.

Ranger Suarez (6-4, 1.50 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) will make his 10th start this season. Suarez gave up two earned runs on six hits (one home run) with eight strikeouts and one walk over six innings to get a no-decision in a 6-5 win against the Cubs on Wednesday. The left-hander has a 1.59 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in his last three starts.

Prediction

The Phillies opened at -186 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review), but over at FiveThirtyEight, they already have them at -163 based on our calculations (they suggest the Phillies will win this game 62 percent of the time). The Orioles rank No. 28 in hitting value (8.5 WAR) according to FanGraphs while the Phillies are 12th in the majors at 18.3 WAR and the Orioles are No. 23 in Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) at .307 this season while the Phillies are 13th in baseball with a .316 Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA).

Baltimore's projected lineup has seven batters with a strikeout rate above 21 percent, just two batters with a Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) above .340 and three batters with Isolated Power (ISO) above .185 while the Philadelphia lineup has five batters with a Weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) above .340 and four batters with Isolated Power (ISO). The Baltimore pitchers have major league-worsts with a 6.50 ERA and a 5.76 FIP in the last 30 days while Philadelphia has the fifth-lowest FIP at 3.80 and a 4.62 ERA (20th-lowest in the majors) in the last 30 days. I'm taking the Phillies on Monday. Keep that bet size small.

Projected score: Orioles 3, Phillies 5

MLB Pick: Phillies -1 (-137) (ML -184, RL -1.5 (+107) ) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

** -1 created with a run line calculator

Phillies -1 (-137)
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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.