• Rick

Rick's MLB Plays 9/19

Seattle Mariners @ Los Angeles Angels (4:07 ET)


Favorite: Mariners -130

Total: 8

Pitchers: Logan Gilbert (3.19 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) vs. Jose Suarez (3.84 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)


The Los Angeles Angels' hopes of making the playoffs are long gone by now, but they're playing some of the best ball of their season. They've won the first 3 games in this series and are looking to close out the sweep against Logan Gilbert. Over the last two weeks they're batting 10th in the league in OPS. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are back to their best and they're picking up some production from elsewhere in the lineup. Taking the mound for the Angels is Jose Suarez, who hasn't allowed more than 3 runs 8 games, allowing just 11 runs and 37 hits in that span. Pretty damn good!


I called out Logan Gilbert at the end of August as it finally looked like he was regressing back to where the advanced stats think he will. Well, since then he has a 0.53 ERA over his last 3 starts, allowing just 1 run over 17.1 innings. His offense hasn't been as good lately, but by no means have they been bad. 12th in OPS over the last 2 weeks and while their batting average in that span is only .210, their slugging and walk rate have been exceptional. Given the playoff implications for the Mariners and trends on teams on the final game of a sweep, I think we'll see the Mariners get a win. The books are pricing this shorter than normal due to the Angels' success over the first 3 games, and I'll take full advantage of that.


Pick: Mariners ML -130 (2u)

Lindsey Wasson - USA TODAY Sports


Houston Astros @ Tampa Bay Rays (6:40 ET)


Favorite: Rays -115

Total: 7

Pitchers: Luis Garcia (4.04 ERA, 1.17 WHIP) vs. Drew Rasmussen (2.77 ERA, 1.07 WHIP)


The Astros have all but clinched the #1 overall seed in the American League with a 96-51 record and are on fire as of late behind an 8-2 record and OPS of .767, good for 6th in September. The Rays have sputtered lately but are still in control of their destiny. Only 6 games behind the Yankees for the divisional lead at 82-64 and a 5.5 game buffer on the Orioles for the last Wildcard spot, they'll look to hit their stride here with a few weeks to go. Their offense is only 17th in OPS this month and their record over the last 10 is only 4-6 thanks to two bad series against the Yankees and Blue Jays. Two straight wins against the Rangers has them back on track and they'll look to continue that with Rasmussen on the mound.


Rasmussen is coming off of his worst start since June, allowing 4 runs in 4 innings against the Blue Jays. He's otherwise been one of the best pitchers in the major leagues since his return from injury back in July. He's allowed more than 1 run just 4 times over his last 13 starts, and the most was that aforementioned 4 run performance. The Astros are hot, but Luis Garcia has been poor. He's been consistent - consistently poor. Garcia has allowed 3+ runs in 7 of his last 8 starts and there's no reason to think that trend won't continue. Give me Rasmussen to get back to his best and the more motivated team to lead after five innings.


Pick: Rays F5 ML -129 (1u)

Kim Klement - USA TODAY Sports


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