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Rick's MLB Plays 9/15

Chicago White Sox @ Cleveland Guardians (1:10 ET)

Favorite: White Sox -149

Total: 8

Pitchers: Lance Lynn (4.07 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) vs. Hunter Gaddis (21.60 ERA, 2.70 WHIP)

You bet your ass I'm backing Lance Lynn and the White Sox, especially after a dud performance getting shut out by the Rockies. A bounceback spot and one of the biggest games of the season for both teams, the White Sox put the ball in the big man's hands. After a rocky start to the season, the fastball heavy Lance Lynn has fully hit his groove. He's allowed just 3 ER over his last 31.2 innings, allowing just 18 hits in the process. Walking damn near nobody with a 3.7% rate and dominating with his 4-seamer (.200 xBA) he uses more than any other pitch (44.2%), Lynn will look to capitalize on the Guardians offense that has been hasn't been good.

Coming off back-to-back sweeps, you'd think the Guardians offense is firing on all cylinders. They have scored 30 runs over their last 6 games, a vast improvement on 15 in the 6 prior to those, but given Lynn's presence on the mound and Gaddis pitching for the Guardians this feels like a throwaway game in what is a 1-off makeup game. Give me Lance Lynn to take care of business and keep the White Sox within striking distance of the Guardians.

Pick: White Sox ML -149 (1u)

David Berding - Getty Images

Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays (3:07 ET)

Favorite: Blue Jays -140

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Shane McClanahan (2.20 ERA, 0.86 WHIP) vs. Kevin Gausman (3.31 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)

The AL Cy Young race is between 3 pitchers now: Dylan Cease, Justin Verlander, and Shane McClanahan. At the end of July McClanahan was the odds on favorite, but has since slipped to a clear 3rd. He's not out of the mix, but he'll have to dominate through the last few weeks to ascend to the top. An elite performance against the surging Blue Jays to get his Rays back on track would do just that, and he has a history of performing well against Toronto. In his 4 appearances dating back to last May he's posted a 2.53 ERA striking out 24 batters in 21.1 innings.

McClanahan's offense is always a bit of a concern. The Rays got a bump when Wander Franco came back, but have gone back to their usual average performances. Scoring just 9 runs over the first 4 games against the Blue Jays will never do it considering the talent from top to bottom in Toronto, so they'll need to pick it up against a struggling Kevin Gausman. Allowing 2+ runs in each of his last 4 starts totaling 13 runs, Gausman has gotten pounded to the tune of 29 hits in 23 innings. The Rays offense gives me plenty of pause, but it's rare you get McClanahan at plus money. This isn't the Marlins offense with Sandy, the Rays aren't that bad. Give me the value here behind a potential Cy Young winner.

Pick: Rays +120 (1u)

Nathan Ray Seebeck - USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies @ Miami Marlins (6:40 ET)

Favorite: Phillies -140

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Noah Syndergaard (4.09 ERA, 1.28 WHIP) vs. Pablo Lopez (4.04 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)

My anaylsis for this game will be very similar to the 2-unit play from Wednesday that cashed with flying colors. Unless Sandy Alcantara is on the mound, the Marlins should not be a short underdog to a good offense. The Marlins have been historically bad offensively, ranking last in the MLB in OPS since the beginning of June. The Detroit Tigers get a lot of flack for how bad they've been, but the Marlins have been that much worse. Neither Pablo Lopez nor Noah Syndergaard are pitching their best right now, but I'll trust the offense ranked 5th since June and 1st over the last two weeks in OPS to get it done against the eliminated Marlins.

Pick: Phillies -140 (1u)


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