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Today's MLB Betting Picks - Odds, Expert Predictions, and Best Bets (09/15/23)

Marcus Semien - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, DFS and Betting Picks

We have a jam-packed 15-game on this Friday, Sept. 15 MLB schedule with all of the action taking place in the evening. Let's comb through the loaded slate and come out with some value as we look to head into the weekend on the right note!

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Feel free to give me a follow on Twitter @BKemp17 with any questions or comments or plain ol' baseball talk! Now, let's dive into Thursday's free MLB betting picks and see if we can pad those bankrolls!

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Today's MLB Betting Picks - Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles

O/U: 8.5 | Moneyline: TB (-122)
TB: Zach Eflin | BAL: Jack Flaherty

It's a battle of the top two teams in the junior circuit tonight in Baltimore as the Tampa Bay Rays pay another visit to the Orioles on the heels of a tight 4-3 Rays victory in Thursday's series opener.

The road side will give the ball to right-hander Zach Eflin, who the club targeted in free agency this past winter. When an organization like the Rays hands out a three-year deal worth a total of $40 million, you know they see something they like and it's been a nice marriage in the first year of that contract.

Eflin enters this one sporting a 3.53 ERA across 28 outings on the season while he's also worked to a 3.08 FIP, 3.40 SIERA, and a stellar 22.1% K-BB% on the back of an elite 3.6% BB% that ranks second in baseball among qualified hurlers. He has allowed three earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts and two earned runs or fewer in five of his last eight.

For the Orioles, they will send out a trade-deadline acquisition in the form of former Cardinal Jack Flaherty. Once a young ace in St. Louis, injuries and underperformance have been the only constants for Flaherty in recent years as he owns a 4.98 ERA, 4.64 SIERA, and an 11.9% K-BB% on the season, the latter of which is roughly half of what he was producing in his peak early-career years.

Additionally, the right-hander has been rocked since coming to Baltimore as he sports a 7.16 ERA across his first six starts in an Orioles uniform while allowing a hefty 11.4 hits per nine innings in that time.

As is the case with the starting pitching matchup, the offensive advantage goes to the Rays as well. Tampa Bay sits fourth with a .336 wOBA on the season versus right-handed pitching while the Orioles sit in a share of 15th with a .320 wOBA off of righties.

One area where the O's have been sensational this season is in the bullpen where they sit second in baseball with a 3.50 ERA. However, the Rays are no slouch as they are tied with the Astros for eighth with a 3.71 ERA from their relievers on the season.

The starting pitching matchup is a clear mismatch, the Rays rake righties, and they have a stable bullpen. Yet, we're getting wildly reasonable odds on a moneyline win here. Sign me up.

Pick: Rays moneyline (-122, DraftKings sportsbook)

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Today's MLB Betting Picks - Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Guardians

O/U: 8 | Moneyline: TEX (-120)
TEX: Jon Gray | CLE: Lucas Giolito

The Texas Rangers are coming into a three-game set in Cleveland white-hot following a key four-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays this week in Toronto while the Cleveland Guardians return home after dropping two of three to the Giants in San Francisco.

Getting the ball for Texas is veteran right-hander Jon Gray who is coming off a tough outing his last time out. Gray lasted just 2 2/3 innings while yielding four runs (three earned) on four hits and a pair of walks. That outing raised his ERA to a solid 3.96 on the season while he sports a 4.26 FIP, 4.49 SIERA, and a middling 13.3% K-BB% across his 26 starts on the campaign.

However, for whatever reason, Gray has been much better on the road. The former Rockies ace owns a 3.41 ERA across 68 2/3 frames away from Arlington on the season versus a 4.46 mark at home. He's also yielded just 0.79 HR/9 on the road against a 1.41 HR/9 clip at home while his 3.59 FIP outside of Globe Life Field backs up his rock-solid road ERA.

It has certainly been a whirlwind of a season for right-hander Lucas Giolito between three teams and mixed results. Overall, Giolito sports a 4.89 ERA across 29 starts, although his 4.19 SIERA suggests he's been better than that. Nonetheless, he's been bashed for 13 earned runs in 10 innings across two starts with Cleveland.

More concerning is his vulnerability to the long ball. He has allowed a whopping six homers, three in each start, in those 10 frames with the Guardians, elevating him to a ghastly 1.98 HR/9 on the season, good for the third-highest home-run rate among qualified pitchers.

That is a problem against this Rangers offense. They just trounced a very good Blue Jays pitching staff for 35 runs in four games, scoring at least six runs in each contest and a minimum of nine runs in three of the four games. They rank sixth with 208 homers on the season, fourth with 160 homers off of righties, and third with a .340 wOBA off of right-handers.

Meanwhile, the Guardians rank 22nd with a .305 wOBA off of righties while their .130 isolated power off of right-handers is dead last in all of baseball.

Winners of six in a row and in the middle of a heated Wild Card race, the Rangers should slug their way to another victory over a struggling pitcher tonight in Cleveland.

Pick: Rangers moneyline (-120, DraftKings sportsbook)

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