Bales' Best MLB Bet (9/9/20)
Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best MLB Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for September 9, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our MLB Premium Package.
Trevor Bauer has struggled a bit recently but has still only allowed 13 runs (10 earned runs) over 44 innings in 7 starts this season. He boasts a 3.33 xFIP with a 3.08 SIERA. Bauer boasts elite strikeout stuff to get out of tough situations, as he owns 35.9% strikeout and 12.8% swinging-strike rates in 2020. His biggest issue this season has been his 46.2% fly ball rate, although that isn’t a major concern with the wind tonight.
Bauer owns a 3.50 xFIP on the road this season, even though he’s found more success on paper away from home. He’s also held right-handed batters to a 2.90 xFIP, although lefties have tagged him for a 3.73 xFIP thus far. He’s a pitcher that has the ability to throw deep into the game, leaving only a few innings for his bullpen.
Bauer gets a plus matchup against the Chicago Cubs, who rank 23rd in the MLB in team batting average, 12th in slugging percentage, and 19th in wOBA over the last 10 days. The Cubs are averaging 4.5 runs per game over that span.
Chicago has struggled at home this season, where they are only hitting for a .215 average with a .388 slugging percentage and a .704 OPS. The Cubs have been at their best against right-handed pitching this season, although this isn’t an offense that is likely to get to one of the best arms in baseball.
Yu Darvish has thrown at an elite level in 2020, allowing only 8 earned runs over 50 innings in 8 starts. He owns a 2.61 xFIP and a 2.93 SIERA in 2020. Darvish has recorded a 40.5% ground ball rate to go along with 33% strikeout and 15.5% swinging-strike rates.
He’s been dominant at home, where he owns a 2.19 xFIP this season. He’s also held right-handed batters to a 1.69 xFIP in 2020. Darvish is another pitcher that has the ability to throw deep into a game at a high level, as he has thrown 100+ pitches in each of his last 3 starts.
He gets a great matchup against the Cincinnati Reds tonight. They rank 29th in the MLB in team batting average and 26th in slugging percentage and wOBA over the last 10 days. They’re averaging only 3.0 runs per game over that span, as well.
The Reds feature an offense that has struggled mightily outside of Cincinnati. On the road, they’re hitting for only a .194 average with a .355 slugging percentage and a .652 OPS. They are a similar offense against either handedness but aren’t likely to find much success against an elite pitcher like Darvish.
The bullpens are more of a worry but both have been throwing well recently. Over the last 15 days, the Cubs and Reds rank fourth and 11th in the MLB in bullpen xFIP, respectively.
The key to this play is the wind, though. It’s blowing in from left-center field at roughly 10-15 mph. This is expected to continue through the game. The wind was blowing in last night, resulting in a 3-0 game with two significantly worse pitchers on the mound. Combine the weather with Bauer and Darvish throwing at an elite level against two below-average offenses, and we can attack the low total.
Bet 1.1 units on Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs under 6.5 runs (-110) to win 1 unit
2020 MLB Season Record - 25-39 (-12.84 units)