MLB Picks Today: Wild Card Best Bets for Saturday, October 8

MLB Picks Today: Wild Card Best Bets for Saturday, October 8

This article is part of our MLB Picks series.

MLB Picks Today: Expert Wild Card Bets for Saturday, October 8

Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays

The Mariners jumped to a 3-0 lead in Friday's Game 1 before the Blue Jays even got the chance to bat and wound up 4-0 victors, thanks in large part to Luis Castillo's 7.1 shutout innings. Seattle only used one reliever (Andres Munoz) to lock up the win, while Toronto used five, which could affect how long the two starters, Robbie Ray and Kevin Gausman, are asked to go in Game 2. In particular, I don't think Ray will be asked to go very deep in this one, so I like his under 14.5 outs recorded prop (+115 at DraftKings). There are two paths to this one hitting. The Jays' dominant offense, which ranked second in team wRC+ during the regular season, could wake up, sending Ray to the showers early. Alternatively, the Mariners could pull Ray for any of their large number of strong bullpen options whenever things are looking even slightly dicey.

Given that the oddsmakers are pegging Toronto as clear favorites, the under prop on Ray's outs serves as a nice proxy for a bet on a Toronto victory. If I'm betting on the moneyline, though, I can't help but lean Seattle's way. Toronto does have the stronger lineup, but the Mariners ranked eighth by team wRC+ and have plenty of strong bats themselves. I'd prefer Gausman to Ray in isolation, but Gausman's 4.55 ERA over his final five starts and the finger laceration that ended his last start prematurely close that gap. I'd still likely take the Blue Jays at even money, but I'm a fan of the plus money almost whenever I can get it in the postseason, and that's as true as ever here.

MLB Best Bets for Mariners at Blue Jays

  • Robbie Ray under 14.5 outs, +115 (DraftKings)
  • Mariners +152 (FanDuel)

San Diego Padres at New York Mets

The Padres pulled off the biggest shock on Friday's slate, not only upsetting the heavily-favored Mets but doing so in emphatic fashion, scoring seven runs and homering four times against the great Max Scherzer. The combination of Scherzer and Jacob deGrom was supposed to make the Mets clear favorites in the series, but Friday's game served as a valuable reminder that anything can happen in a given game, especially when the opposing starter (Yu Darvish in Friday's case) isn't all that much worse than the likes of Scherzer.

A similar story could well play out in Game 2. Yes, the Mets are correctly favored, and there's no one I'd rather have on the mound in an elimination game than deGrom when he's at his best. But while I'd take the Mets at even money, I don't have enough faith in them to take them at -170, and the big payout on the Padres looks appealing. Part of that comes from the fact that deGrom isn't exactly at his best. I can't be too down on a guy who had a 39:4 K:BB over his final four starts, but he also allowed at least three runs in all four outings, leading to a 6.00 ERA. More of my interest in San Diego comes from the recent performance of Blake Snell, who cruised to a 2.19 ERA in the second half. Toss in the fact that the Mets' lineup was surprisingly mediocre against lefties, ranking 12th by team wRC+, and there looks to be a real shot at the Padres completing the sweep. 

MLB Best Bets for Padres at Mets

  • Padres +150 (FanDuel)

Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals

The Phillies scored all six of their runs in the ninth inning of Game 1, leading to a 6-3 victory. In a particularly worrying development for the Cardinals, relief ace Ryan Helsley lost the zone and then exited with a finger injury, seemingly aggravating an issue he dealt with late in the regular season. He also threw 33 pitches, so it seems unlikely he'd be available Saturday regardless of his health. That leaves one more inning to cover for either Miles Mikolas, whose 3.99 SIERA is a sub-par mark for a playoff starter, or the rest of a St. Louis bullpen that ranked a merely above-average 10th in ERA- during the regular season.

Helsley's absence should tilt things even further for a Phillies team that would already be favored with Aaron Nola on the mound. Nola had an excellent regular season, striking out 29.1 percent of opposing batters while walking a career-low 3.6 percent en route to a 3.25 ERA. That elite control should help Nola pitch deep into the game if the Phillies want him to, and they'll likely want him to. Philadelphia's bullpen took meaningful steps forward this season, but it started from such a nadir over the previous few years that those big leaps only got the unit up to 22nd in ERA-. Phillies relievers allowed all three runs in Game 1, and manager Rob Thomson won't want to give them many chances to blow it in this one. I think the Phillies are a fine deal on the moneyline, but if they do indeed win, it will be because Nola got the job done, offering us the chance at a bigger payout by going with his win prop.

MLB Best Bets for Phillies at Cardinals 

MLB Best Bets Today Recap

  • Robbie Ray under 14.5 outs, +115 (DraftKings)
  • Mariners +152 (FanDuel)
  • Padres +150 (FanDuel)
  • Aaron Nola to record a win, +130 (DraftKings)

Visit RotoWire all season long for exclusive sports betting picks from our group of handicappers with their expert MLB picks each day of the campaign. Remember that betting apps vary in terms of odds and available MLB player props, so we have an easy-to-use MLB odds page that allows you to shop for the best lines at DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and PointsBet.

Before you place your bets, be sure to use all of RotoWire's MLB resources, like our MLB Lineups pageMLB Weather page, and the best batter vs. pitcher stats.

RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Halterman
Erik Halterman is the Features Editor for RotoWire. He also co-hosts RotoWire Fantasy Baseball on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio.
Collette Calls: 2023 NL Central Bold Predictions
Collette Calls: 2023 NL Central Bold Predictions
Sleeper Archetypes: 25 Hitters to Target Late in Drafts
Sleeper Archetypes: 25 Hitters to Target Late in Drafts
Boston Red Sox Win Total And Other Futures To Bet In 2023
Boston Red Sox Win Total And Other Futures To Bet In 2023
The Z Files: Adventures in Playing Time
The Z Files: Adventures in Playing Time
MLB Best Ball: Evaluating Hitters on Underdog
MLB Best Ball: Evaluating Hitters on Underdog
Closer Encounters: 2023 Closer Rankings
Closer Encounters: 2023 Closer Rankings