Our free MLB Picks are out for Saturday, September 18th, 2021! There’s nothing better than settling in with our free MLB picks on a Saturday afternoon so make sure you check our MLB picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Cleveland Indians @ New York Yankees – 1.05PM ET
This Saturday afternoon clash between the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees will be the second of a three game series. The first game was played on Friday, and the Yankees managed to keep the Indians scoreless, winning 8-0.
Well, the Yankees definitely made a statement in the opener. They dominated the proceedings and I think they will do it again, although it will be a lot closer. New York starts Luis Gil in this clash and the worry is that he has only pitched in five games in the majors. However, he has very impressive numbers with a 2.88 ERA and 1.28 WHIP. He has only given up eight runs from his 25 innings pitched and now faces a Cleveland offense that is clearly not at its best right now.
The positive for Cleveland is that they are starting one of their better starting pitchers, Aaron Civale. Given Cleveland is below 0.500 this season, for Civale to have a 10-4 record from his 17 starts is very impressive and his 3.76 ERA is serviceable as well. However, he has given up 4+ in three of his last five games, including seven in his last start. Given how well the Yankees are going this week, they should be safe at home.
Tim’s MLB Pick: New York Yankees (-145)
After enduring a massive seven game losing streak earlier in the month, the Yankees have since won five out of their last seven games. The Indians have pretty much been inconsistent all season, and are out of playoff contention. It’s time to look at some of the key stats for this game! The Indians have won six of their previous eight games on the road when playing a right handed starter, and they have won all four of their previous games on the road when Civale starts.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 18, 2021
Over to the Yankees now, they have won just two of their previous eight games at home, and they have won two of their previous 12 games when going up against a right handed starter. The Yankees have been struggling as of late at home, so it was good to finally see them get a win at home. The home team played really well last time out, but with Civale in for the Indians, I think this game might tell a different story. I’ll be on the Indians to cover the spread.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Cleveland Indians +1.5 (-115)
The Yankees sit in the middle of a three horse race for the 2nd spot in the AL East and one of the 2 remaining Wild Card spots. The Yankees are just half a game ahead of the Blue Jays for the final Wild Card spot and are fighting for their playoff hopes. The Yankees will be taking on the Indians to try to maintain their spot as a Wild Card. The Indians have been bad lately with a 3-7 record in the last 10 games and are entirely out of the playoff race thus have little to play for. In the 5 games these 2 teams have played in, the Yankees have won 4, with the last matchup being a definitive 8-0 blowout by the Yankees.
The Yankees have had the Indians’ number all season. They won’t have an easy team being the Indians as the Indians will be starting Aaron Civale who has a 10-4 record, 3.74 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Civale has been good this season and is a formidable foe. The Yankees on the other hand, will be starting Luis Gil who has been very good in very limited playing time. If Gil can continue his level of play, the Yankees should win. If he cannot, the Indians may ruin the Yankees’ playoff hopes. I have to go with the Yankees here as they have so much to lose if they lose this game.
Mike’s MLB Pick: New York Yankees (-145)
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Cincinnati Reds – 2.10PM ET
This Saturday afternoon clash between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds will be the second of a three game series. The first game was played on Friday and the Reds managed to draw first blood, winning 3-1.
I’m quite disappointed in LA’s opening performance but I expect them to bounce back here. Max Scherzer is starting on the mound and he is, arguably and in my opinion, the best starter in the game and should allow the Dodgers to play from the front in this one.
While LA only managed one run last night despite playing a poor starter, their offense should bounce back in this clash. Sonny Gray is a very serviceable pitcher but he has given up 2+ in each of his three starts in September and should give LA a boost.
The Dodgers need this win to keep in striking distance of the Giants on top of the NL West and I really think they’ll get it.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-196)
The way the Dodgers had been playing as of late, the win to the Reds last time out certainly surprised a lot of people. The Dodgers had won six games in a row up until that point, and had only conceded 12 runs in six games! The Reds were desperate for a win, and that’s exactly what they got. They are still well in the hunt for a Wild Card Spot, but they are competing with three other teams for the final Wild Card place. Over to some key stats now!
The Dodgers have won 36 of their previous 53 games against a right handed starter and they have won 13 of their previous 18 games on the road. Looking at the Reds now, they have won just one of their previous seven games when playing a team that has a win percentage of over .600, and they have won only two of their previous eight games against a team with a right handed starter. Scherzer is back on the mound for the Dodgers in this game and he has an incredible 0.88 ERA. After losing the first game, I think the Dodgers will fire up and fight back, to hopefully keep their dreams of claiming top spot in the NL West alive.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-196)
The Dodgers are looking to beat the Reds in the 2nd game of this roadtrip.The Dodgers are still 1.5 games behind the Giants in the NL West and need to reclaim the top spot to go from a Wild Card to a top seed in the National League. Despite a loss in the first game of their road trip to Cincinnati, the Dodgers have been playing well lately with 7 wins in their last 10 games. The Reds haven’t been as good with just 4 wins in their last 10 games.
The Dodgers will be starting Max Scherzer to pull off this crucial win. Scherzer has been a force all season and has one of the best ERAs in the league with a 2.17 ERA. Scherzer also has a 0.82 WHIP and 219 strikeouts in 162 innings. Scherzer and the Dodgers’ league best defense should be able to contain the Reds in this game. If the batting unit for the Dodgers can hit well against the Reds’ starting pitcher Sonny Gray, who has been decent this season, the Dodgers should pull off a win. I think the Dodgers take it a step further and dominate the Reds and bounce back from their loss behind a shutout by Scherzer.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-108)
Minnesota Twins @ Toronto Blue Jays – 3.07PM ET
This Saturday afternoon clash between the Minnesota Twins and the Toronto Blue Jays will be the second of a three game series. The first game was played on Friday and the Twins managed to get the win on the road, 7-3.
Another disappointing performance from a side that needs to win to better their postseason position. Minnesota have played spoiler to some good sides through the second half of the season but Toronto are much better that performance, especially at home. They turn to Steven Matz to kick things off on a positive note for them, who is 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA from his last seven starts.
Given Toronto has one of the best batting lineups in the league, they should be able to support his play and get the Blue Jays off to a good start. Minnesota should come back down to earth in this one, especially when you consider they are 31-43 on the road and 27-45 against teams above 0.500. Everything lines up for a Toronto win here.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays (-166)
The Blue Jays can’t really afford any more losses if they want to stay in the fight for a Wild Card spot in the AL. They are third in line for the Wild Card spot, half a game behind the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Twins are out of playoff contention and are just playing for pride at the moment. The Twins have won three of their previous 11 games against a team in the AL East, and they have won two of their previous five games in total.
Strike Out The Side ✅
Hit 100 MPH ✅
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 18, 2021
Looking at the Blue Jays now, they have won all four of their previous games when Matz is the starter, and they have won six of their previous eight games at home. Matz is playing a lot better at the moment, and the Blue Jays offense has been one of the most consistent in the league. With so much for the Blue Jays to play for, I’m picking the bounce back for the home team.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays (-166)
With the Blue Jays losing to the Twins in their last game, the Blue Jays are now outside of the current playoff standings. However, the Blue Jays are just half a game from a Wild Card spot. To secure a Wild Card spot the Blue Jays need to win most of their upcoming games. Easy losses to teams like the Twins need to be avoided. I don’t think the Blue Jays will make the same mistake and sleep on the Twins again. The Blue Jays have been one of the best teams down the stretch while the Twins sit at the bottom of the AL Central division.
The Blue Jays need a win behind the reliable Steven Matz. Matz has a 3.87 ERA and 1.33 WHIP with a 12-7 record. Matz will be up against the Twins’ bottom half batting unit and should play well. The Twins’ Bailey Ober will be pitching against the Blue Jays’ top 3 batting unit and could face some issues. The rookie Ober has been alright in limited playing time this season with just 83 innings pitched leading to a 4.12 ERA. However, he will be facing the league home run leader and 3rd best batting unit. I think the Blue Jays dominate due to the high stakes they have in this game.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (+112)
San Diego Padres @ St Louis Cardinals – 7.15PM ET
This Saturday evening clash between the San Diego Padres and the St Louis Cardinals will be the second of a three game series. The first game played on Friday evening and the Cardinals managed to draw first blood, winning 8-2.
I like the Cardinals to go on again tonight. Last night was a very impressive performance and they now have a much bigger advantage in starting pitchers. Adam Wainwright is very impressive with a 16-7 record and 2.88 ERA this season and should give the inconsistent Padres hitters a tough go at it.
Especially when you look at his last seven games, where he is 6-1 with an incredible 1.24 ERA. He has only given up seven runs across 50.2 innings in those games and that is good enough for me to take the Cardinals to win this comfortably.
Tim’s MLB Pick: St Louis Cardinals (+176)
The Cardinals are on a massive roll at the moment, and just at the right time as well, they have won eight games in a row. This has meant they are right in contention for the last Wild Card spot in the NL. The Padres are also right in the Wild Card conversation in the NL as well, despite winning just two of their previous eight games in total. Over to some more key stats for this game.
The Padres have won only two of their previous nine games on the road, and have won none of their previous seven road games when Darvish is the starter. Looking at the Cardinals now, they have won all four of their previous games against a right handed starter and have won five of their previous six games at home. When you look at the recent form of both these teams, it is clear that the Cardinals are on the up, whereas the Padres are slumping. I’ll be on the Cardinals for the win at home tonight.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: St Louis Cardinals (-120)
The Padres are coming off a blowout loss to the Cardinals after a good couple of games against the Giants. The Padres are still very much in the running for a Wild Card spot and need to collect as many wins as possible. Despite the importance of this game for their playoff hopes, the Padres may have a tough time winning as they play against the Cardinals’ prolific pitcher, Adam Wainwright. Wainwright has been great this year with a 2.88 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 190 innings, leading to a 16-7 record. However in their last matchup, Wainwright struggled with 6 runs allowed and just 2 strikeouts in 4 innings pitched.
If Wainwright continues this pace going into this game the Padres will utterly destroy the Cardinals. The Padres will be starting Yu Darvish at pitcher who has been below average with a 4.32 ERA and 8-10 record this season. Darvish is a wild card as he has 177 strikeouts but has allowed 27 home runs in 150 innings. The pitching will decide the winner in this matchup, and I think I want to side with Darvish to have a marquee performance to push the Padres into the playoffs.
Mike’s MLB Pick: San Diego Padres (+102)
Atlanta Braves @ San Francisco Giants – 9.05PM ET
This Saturday night clash between the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants will be the second of a three game series. The first game was played on Friday night, and the Giants managed to get the win at home, winning in the 11th innings 6-5.
What a contest that was! San Francisco pulled one out at the 11th hour (pardon the pun) and got over the top of this opening clash. However, I am with Atlanta to turn the tables in this clash. The Braves won two of three games when these sides last met and now have the better starting pitcher in this clash.
Charlie Morton has an 11-5 record and 3.49 ERA this season recently pitched to the Dodgers and kept them to just one run from six innings of work. That form bodes well for a clash with the Giants and I think that is the way to go. Atlanta should bounce back in this incredible contest of two division leaders!
Tim’s MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves (+114)
The Giants have managed to steer the ship after losing two games in a row, not without difficulty though as they were taken to the 11th innings with the Braves. Before the Giants lost those two games to the Padres, they were on a nine game winning streak, which was much needed to keep the Dodgers at bay for the NL West. The Braves are also at the top of the NL East, and they have the Phillies hot on their heels as well, only three games behind.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 18, 2021
The Braves have won 15 of their previous 21 games on the road, but have won just one of their previous five games overall. Looking at the Giants now, they have won 48 of their previous 72 games at home, and they have won eight of their previous 10 games overall. Morton for the Braves has been performing really well, especially when up against other big teams, like the Dodgers. I’m expecting more of the same from him and a victory to the Braves.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves (+114)
After a valiant effort by the Braves in the 9th innings which in the end led to a spectacular game winning run by the Giants. The Giants will be looking to pick up more wins as the Dodgers sit right on their tail for the lead in the NL West division. If the Giants slip then they could risk going from home field advantage throughout the playoffs to fighting for their lives in the Wild Card game. In this game the Giants will be sending in Alex Wood to win them the game.
Wood has been good with a 10-4 record despite his average 4.08 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Wood has been food recently with 30 strikeouts and just 15 allowed runs in his last 26 innings. The Braves will be starting the formidable Charlie Morton who has been great with a 13-5 record, 3.49 ERA and 1.05 WHIP this season. Morton will be a difference maker but faces a tough challenge against the Giants’ strong batting unit. Overall I think the Giants pull a win out here and keep their distance with the Dodgers in the NL West division.
Mike’s MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants (-134)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.