Rick's Labor Day MLB Plays

Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres (6:40 ET)

Favorite: Padres -210

Total: 8

Pitchers: Ryne Nelson (MLB Debut) vs. Blake Snell (3.87 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)

This game breaks down almost exclusively to the pitching matchup. If you're reading this, you're likely familiar with Blake Snell. An MLB veteran with 7+ years of experience, Snell is throwing his best ball over the past month. With a 2.81 ERA in August that is largely inflated by one bad outing against Cleveland (1.26 ERA otherwise), he has been wheeling and dealing - largely limiting the walks that usually get him into trouble. The Diamondbacks have been hitting better (10th in OPS last 14 days) with the recent call-up of top prospect Corbin Carroll, but Snell should still do his thing and go a solid five innings.

The pitcher you likely don't know is Ryne Nelson. The #5 prospect within the Diamondbacks' organization, Nelson like many other prospects is being thrown to the wolves and trialed throughout the remainder of the season. Unlike many others though, he's struggled in the minors. With a 5.43 ERA and 1.39 WHIP, it's hard to see how he'll improve against masterful hitters like Machado, Bell, Drury, Soto and more. I'd be lying if I told you I've watched tape of him, but what I've read is that he pitches in a hitter friendly ballpark in AAA so those numbers are a tad inflated. His fastball clocks at only about 93mph, but has a ton of spin. He compliments it with a slider and curveball that have potential, but have yet to dominate. He might not get blown up, but I highly doubt he dominates. Give me the Snell and the Padres to be leading after five innings.

Pick: Padres F5 -.5 -144 (1u)

Sean M. Haffey - Getty Images

Cleveland Guardians @ Kansas City Royals (8:10 ET)

Favorite: Guardians -129

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Triston McKenzie (3.18 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) vs. Brady Singer (3.33 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)

I don't know what it is with the Guardians offense and hating their best pitchers, but much like how Shane Bieber has a losing record, Triston McKenzie does as well. No pitcher with a 3.18 ERA deserves to be 9-11 on the season, but that's the reality McKenzie faces. He's fallen a bit from his dominance in July, but McKenzie has still largely been dominant posting a 2.48 ERA over his last 32.2 innings. Facing a Royals lineup that has been surprisingly decent over the last two weeks, he'll need to keep up the good work to lead his struggling offense to victory and keep their divisional hopes alive. McKenzie has been great against the Royals so far this season allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits over 9 innings this season. If he can do just that again he'll give his offense every opportunity to take it home.

Brady Singer, who has marginally worse stats than McKenzie and a far worse offense over the course of the season, is 7-4. If that doesn't show just how useless pitcher's record are when capping a game, I dont know what does. Singer has been phenomenal though with a 2.53 ERA over his last 67.2 innings. He's almost exclusively a sinker/slider pitcher, and that slider is one of the best in the league. With a .217 xBA on it and a 35.3% whiff rate, he uses it as his putaway pitch frequently. He should be able to continue dominating such struggling offense in the Guardians, but I don't think it'll be enough as his bullpen will struggle. Give me the F5 under and Cleveland.

Pick: Guardians ML -129 (1u) & F5 u4 -140 (1u)

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