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Rick's MLB Plays 9/14

Colorado Rockies @ Chicago White Sox (2:10 ET)

Favorite: White Sox -225

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Kyle Freeland (4.63 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) vs. Dylan Cease (2.06 ERA, 1.06 WHIP)

Dylan Cease had a historic July (0.76 ERA), and while he tapered off a bit in August to a 3.26 he's back to his best in September. Posting a full-game 1-hit shutout to the Twins and following it up with 6 scoreless innings against hte A's, he's back to dominating with his sweeping slider. In fact, that pitch might be the best in the major leagues this year. His slider has a .120 BA against and a run value of -36. Let's put that run value up with the other best pitches in the MLB:

His opponent Kyle Freeland might be much better on the road with a 3.46 ERA, but given how hot the White Sox bats have been as of late I doubt he keeps them as quiet as Cease will to the Rockies offense. The White Sox are 2nd in OPS over the last two weeks batting .291 in that span. 3.5 games back of Cleveland, the White Sox will need a miracle to win the division, and taking care of teams like Colorado is vital to their success. Give me the White Sox to win handedly behind Cease's slider.

Pick: White Sox -1.5 -107 (1.5u)

David Banks - Getty Images

San Diego Padres @ Seattle Mariners (4:10 ET)

Favorite: Mariners -151

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Sean Manaea (5.23 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) vs. Luis Castillo (2.81 ERA, 1.07 WHIP)

I've given up on believing this Padres offense will turn a corner and hit their potential. Since the beginning of August they are only 11th in OPS and over the last two weeks they sit 26th. Even tonight through 5 innings in Seattle they've mustered just 1 run. Josh Bell, Juan Soto, and Brandon Drury are all hitting below .220, and against Luis Castillo I struggle to think that'll improve. Castillo's last outing was a major disappointment by his terms allowing 3 earned runs over 5.2 innings, but that's the anamoly, not the norm. Expect him to get back to his best against San Diego and have run support for days against Manaea.

It wasn't long ago that Sean Manaea was seen as one of the hottest commodities in the A's organization. That glammer has worn off as he's gotten pounded for 6+ runs in 3 of his last 6 starts. Don't worry, he allowed 3 runs in two of those remaining 3 starts as well. He doesn't walk a lot of batters but he does allow consistent solid contact, and Seattle's offense is no slouch. 10th in OPS over the last two weeks slugging the ball well, I'd expect them to get to Manaea early and often. GIve me the Mariners to be leading through five innings.

Pick: Mariners F5 -.5 -109 (1u)

Jennifer Buchanan - The Seattle Times

Philadelphia Phillies @ Miami Marlins (6:40 ET)

Favorite: Phillies -125

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Kyle Gibson (4.57 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) vs. Edward Cabrera (2.63 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)

Kyle Gibson is coming off two of the worst performances of his career. Combining for 11 ER over 6.2 innings pitched, it might come to your surprise that one of those teams was Miami. They were able to pelt him for 9 hits and 4 runs over 5 innings, and while these performances are concerning, I expect him to get back to business. Before these two appearances, he had allowed more than 2 runs just twice over 9 games. He had been a pretty consistent starter and given how historically bad Miami's offense is he should get back to business. They're last in the league in OPS over the past few weeks and haven't shown any signs of truly improving that.

Where Miami is last, the Phillies sit in 1st over the past two weeks. With a difference in OPS of .227, the Phillies' offense has been firing on all cylinders. Batting just south of .300, they'll look to get to Edward Cabrera, who finally looks human. Allowing 10 runs over his last 16.1 innings, Cabrera has struggled since his 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings. I'm not saying the Phillies blow him up, but I do trust their offense to bag a few, and I can't say that for the Marlins. The Marlins should never be this short of an underdog when Sandy isn't pitching, esepcially against the hottest offense in baseball. Give me the Phillies.

Pick: Phillies ML -125 (2u)

Kyle Ross - USA TODAY Sports

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