In our MLB Betting Weekend Picks for September 24, we cover the biggest series plus some other great bets over the penultimate weekend of the 2021 MLB Regular Season.
|To Win the Series||To Win the Seriies|
|New York (NYY)||TBD||TBD||Boston|
|Seattle||TBD||TBD||Los Angeles (LAA)|
New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox
No series this weekend is more important than the massive AL East showdown between Boston and New York. The two historic rivals – along with the Toronto Blue Jays – are locked in a battle for the two AL Wild Card spots. There is no margin for error with only nine games left for both these clubs.
The Red Sox took the first seven games against the Yankees this season. However, the Yankees have turned it around winning six of the last nine against the Red Sox. The Yankees are also expected to start Gerrit Cole on Friday against the Red Sox. The Yankees are usually favourites when they start Cole. The problem – he has struggled at Fenway Park this season.
Cole is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in Boston this season and has never won there in his career (five starts). That is not promising for the Yankees’ prospects of winning the series. Boston is also on a roll again. After falling below .500 after the All-Star Break, Boston has reeled off six straight (going into Wednesday night). They have scored at least seven in five of those six wins.
The Yankees bats should win them a game this series. Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton have 18 home runs combined over the Yankees’ last ten games. However, the Yankees’ pitching will cost them the series.
Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics
This is another series with playoff implications. The Houston Astros are trying to catch the Tampa Bay Rays – for top-seed in the American League, while the Oakland Athletics are still alive in the AL Wild Card race (as of September 22).
— Houston Astros (@astros) September 22, 2021
The Houston Astros are arguably the best in the American League this season – and our most recent pick to win the AL Pennant. They have consistently beat the best teams in the American League – including Oakland. Houston is 9-4 against the Athletics this season, outscoring them 81 to 46.
Oakland’s expected rotation for the weekend series is Frankie Montas, Sean Manaea, and Paul Blackburn. Montas is a promising starter against the Astros. He is 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 21 strikeouts against the Astros this season. The others are a different story.
Manaea is 0-2 with a 4.63 ERA against Houston this season. Blackburn in two career games against the Astros has given up 13 earned runs in 6.1 innings (18.47 ERA). Those are some rough numbers against the league’s top batting team (.270 team batting average). The Houston starters are not yet announced. Collectively, though, Houston has the best team ERA in the American League.
Seattle Mariners vs. Los Angeles Angels
Seattle – like Oakland – is fighting to stay alive in the American League Wild Card race. How Seattle is still alive is a bit of a shock. The Mariners have a -57 run differential. The worst run differential of a playoff team (in a non-shortened season) was the 2005 San Diego Padres (-42).
However, the Mariners have an MLB-high 31 wins in one-run games. That explains why they are 8-5 against the Los Angeles Angels (yet outscored 63-64). The problem for the Mariners is they are overly lucky this season. Like they were in 2018 – when they also led the MLB with 36 one-run wins.
That team finished with 89 wins, yet lost their final three games decided by one run. Does this stat mean anything for their series against the Angels? It does point to a team’s luck eventually running out. Even against an inferior team. Angels to win the series.
Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit Tigers
This is the only series winner we cover with no implications on the MLB Playoffs. So, why are we covering it? The Detroit Tigers could be a team in the mix for the postseason in 2022. Early in the season, the Detroit Tigers were one of the worst teams in the league – owning the worst expected win-loss record in the American League and sitting 13 games below .500 (on June 19).
Tigers are 70-76, their most wins since 2016 – and I think it’s realistic they could win 77+.
Preseason win predictions:
Sports Illustrated 64
Baseball Prospectus 67
5/5 CBS writers chose them to finish last in division
— Austin Drake (@austin_drake) September 16, 2021
Since then they are 45-36 (as of September 22 and beating good teams). It points towards Detroit improving in 2021. They should beat up on the Royals – who are out of the playoffs and one of the worst defensive teams in the MLB this season.
Quick Hit: Texas Rangers vs. Baltimore Orioles
In this showdown, we have two bad teams but the chance for plenty of scoring. Baltimore has allowed the most home runs in the league (237) and has a league-worst 5.58 ERA. The Rangers are also suckers for giving up the long ball, allowing 221 this season.
The Rangers are over/under on the road this season is 40-33-3. The Orioles over/under at home this season is 41-31-2. You get four games between the two (starting Thursday) in Baltimore. Bet the over on each one.
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