Fantasy picks, predictions, odds for Sept. 29

September 29th, 2021

This is it. The final Wednesday of the MLB regular season. We've had a pretty good run in 2021, going 44-24 on article plays throughout the year. Here are my three favorite bets for tonight’s slate on the DraftKings Sportsbook.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners

First 5 Innings: Athletics (-120)

The madness has to come to an end at some point, right? There are so, so many unstable and unsustainable things about the 2021 Seattle Mariners, but the most jarring is that they’ve somehow now beaten the Athletics in 11 straight games following Tuesday night’s 4-2 victory. Unsurprisingly, Oakland let the contest slip away late, as the team’s bullpen now owns an ugly 6.32 ERA for the month of September -- the second-worst mark in all of baseball. That’s why it’s crucial to make a wager that takes that very flawed group out of the equation.

I’d expect the Athletics to lead early on Wednesday because that’s just how good Frankie Montas has been in recent weeks. In fact, going back to July 29 -- a span of 11 outings and 69.0 innings -- the right-hander has pitched to a 2.09 ERA and a 2.87 FIP, all while striking out a massive 28.8% of his opponents. Meanwhile, Logan Gilbert has been sputtering to finish out his rookie campaign, posting a 6.25 ERA over his past eight starts. Do I trust Oakland to fully take advantage of his struggles? I do not. Hence, the first five bet.

Miami Marlins at New York Mets

Over 7.5 (-105)

Generally speaking, you aren’t leaning on the Mets to hit the over, as they’ve actually gone to the under in 54.4% of their games this season -- the seventh-highest mark in the league. However, for tonight’s pitching matchup, I’ll make an exception. Taking the mound at Citi Field on Wednesday will be Taijuan Walker and Elieser Hernandez, with each having struggled in their own unique way of late.

After making the All-Star team due to his early success in 2021, Walker’s had a rough second half, pitching to a 7.74 ERA and a 7.26 FIP across his past 12 outings.

As for Hernandez, the man simply can not retire a left-handed bat. To wit, over his last six starts, Hernandez has surrendered an eye-popping .845 slugging percentage and a .504 wOBA to opposing LHBs. Unfortunately for him, the Mets are stocked with lefty hitters, coming into this evening’s proceedings with the seventh-most left-handed plate appearances against right-handed pitchers in baseball (2,307). Specific to Wednesday, they’ll likely have five LHBs in the lineup in the form of Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto, Jonathan Villar and Jeff McNeil.

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

Aaron Nola Over 6.5 Strikeouts (+105)

While there’s a case to be made, mostly by ERA estimators, that Aaron Nola has been among the unluckiest pitchers in baseball throughout 2021, his strikeout numbers have not suffered. In fact, they’ve only gotten better as the season’s gone along. Since the beginning of August, Nola has registered 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings and a 33.9% strikeout rate -- with the former representing the highest qualified total in baseball over that span of time. Heck, if you just want to isolate his last three outings, Nola’s recorded 27 strikeouts in only 17.0 innings of work. That’s pretty dang good.

This prop isn’t solely about personal achievement, though. It’s also about the Braves willingness to go down on strikes. Over the past two weeks, Atlanta can lay claim to the league’s fourth-highest strikeout rate (26.5%), its fourth-highest outside the zone swing rate (35.2%) and its lowest BB/K ratio (0.22). Simply put, the Braves can be pretty aggressive at the plate. I’d look for Nola to take advantage of that fact.

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.

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