This article is part of our MLB Picks series.
With a little more a week left to the regular season, there are some extremely tight and exciting races taking place for the Wild Card berths. Currently in the National League wild-card race, the Philadelphia Phillies hold the top spot leading the Arizona Diamondbacks by three games, and the Miami Marlins and the Chicago Cubs, are tied for the third and final berth. Adding to the excitement is that the Cincinnati Reds are just a ½-game behind and the Giants are just three games behind in the race. Now lurking and on a never-too-late seven-game win streak are the San Diego Padres, who trail by just four games.
In the AL West, there are four teams competing for the second and third wild card berths, with the Toronto Blue Jays a ½-game ahead of the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners. The exciting factor is that there is a three-team race in the Al West division with the Houston Astros leading the Rangers and Mariners by a ½ game. So, two of those five franchises will not be in the playoffs and that may include the reigning World Champion Astros.
The Best Bet Opportunity for Friday Action
Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers
Rangers -120 | Total: 9.5 runs
The MLB schedule could not have had it better for the fans of these two teams as they start a critical three-game series. The Seattle Mariners will visit Globe Life in Arlington, Texas to take on the Texas Rangers. This is essentially the beginning of their playoffs as the loser of this series more than likely will not make the playoffs. There are so many scenarios that all have high probabilities to occur, so why not just take it one game at a time starting with this one.
An MLB Betting Algorithm
The Rangers have won their last two games with a 15-5 defeat of the Boston Red Sox, who were eliminated from playoff contention. Now, the Rangers will do everything in their power to sweep the Mariners, who have won their last three games in a series sweep of the lowly Oakland Athletics. The following betting algorithm has been highly profitable and supports a bet on the Rangers.
The requirements are to bet on home teams averaging at least 1.25 or more home runs per game and coming off a game in which 20 total runs were scored. That simple-to-understand set of parameters has produced a 94-41 record for 73% winning bets averaging a -123 wager and earning a 30% return on investment (ROI) over the past five seasons.
If this game occurs in the month of September and the playoffs, the record improves to 19-10 for 66% winning bets averaging a -131 wager and earning a 27% ROI in games played over the past five seasons.
Bryce Miller Starts for the Mariners
Bryce Miller will make his 24th start of the season for the Mariners and he has posted an 8-5 record with a 3.88 ERA and a 1.106 WHIP, including 24 walks and 113 strikeouts in 123 innings of work. However, he has not been nearly as effective in road games as in home games. In 10 road starts he is 3-3 with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.189 WHIP, including nine walks and 51 strikeouts spanning 53 innings of work.
The Rangers are an elite hitting team this season and I expect them to score runs early and often off of Miller, who allows an average exit velocity of 91 MPH, 42% hard-hit ball percentage, and a 0.322 expected on-base percentage. Those are not the type of metrics any starter wants to possess heading into Globe Life Stadium.
Six of the starters in the Rangers' lineup average 90 MPH exit velocities and they are Corey Seager (94 MPH), Josh Jung (92.3 MPH), Adolis Garcia (92 MPH), Mitch Garver (91 MPH), Ezequiel Duran (90.1 MPH), Leody Taveras (90.1 MPH) and Nathaniel Lowe (90 MPH). The starting lineups have not been released but at least four of the players will be in the lineup tonight.