Our free MLB Picks are out for Thursday, September 9th, 2021! 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!
Los Angeles Dodgers @ St Louis Cardinals – 1.15PM ET
The St Louis Cardinals got one back last night, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4. They now have an opportunity to finish the series with a tie if they win this afternoon and will be hunting the win, as they sit just 3.5 games back from a Wild Card slot. Meanwhile, the loss puts the Dodgers two games back from the Giants on top of the NL West, a place that they want and feel they deserve.
I’m siding with the Dodgers to bounce back after a disappointing, narrow loss last night. St Louis is starting Jake Woodford in this clash and while he has featured in 21 games this year, he has started in just three and given up 11 runs in those games. Looking at his recent form, Woodford is just 1-3 with a 4.91 ERA in his last seven games and now has to pitch to a top-10 offense, the Dodgers. Meanwhile St Louis is a bottom-10 batting unit this season and has a top-three bullpen pitching to them, which has Tony Gonsolin starting on the mound. Gonsolin has just 10 games and nine starts to his name this season but has a very handy 2.78 ERA and has given up just six runs in his last five games. While the Cardinals are at home, they are only just above 0.500 in Busch Stadium this season and are 25-39 against teams above 0.500.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (TBA)
The 40-year-old Cy Young candidate! pic.twitter.com/uTSHnaubDh
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 9, 2021
The Cardinals picked up the third game of this series, and could potentially tie the series 2-2 if they win this game on Thursday afternoon. The Dodgers have been a little bit inconsistent so far this month, winning four out of the seven games they have played so far in September. The Cardinals really needed that win under their belt, as it helped them snap a four game losing streak. The Dodgers have won 44 of their previous 64 games overall and have won 35 of their previous 54 when playing a team in the NL Central. On the flip side, the Cardinals have won just one of their previous eight when it comes to the fourth game of a series, and they have won 36 of their previous 68 games at home this season. It was a narrow loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday, and I think the Dodgers are too good of a team to not bounce back, especially when they are still well and truly in the hunt for top spot in the NL West.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (TBA)
After a tight loss last night, the Dodgers should bounce back with a win in the final game against the Cardinals for the season. LA started off slow last night and were surprised by the Cardinals who scored 3 runs in the first. Despite a valiant final inning where they scored 2 runs to close the gap to 1 run, the Dodgers didn’t do enough to overcome the slow start. Don’t expect the Dodgers to make the same mistake as they have now fallen two games behind the division leader Giants with very few games left in the season. The Dodgers will be starting Tony Gonsolin to pitch for their elite defense. Gonsolin has been great in limited time, with a 2.78 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 35 innings. He will be opposed by Jake Woodford who has played a similar 44 innings this season for a 4.47 ERA. Despite the loss, the Dodgers are still one of the best teams in the MLB and their last loss was an anomaly that won’t repeat.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (TBA)
Chicago White Sox @ Oakland Athletics – 3.37PM ET
The Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox are tied at 1-1 following the A’s 5-1 win last night. They now face off in the rubber this afternoon in a game that means so much more to the home team, that is three games back from a Wild Card, compared to the road team, that is 11 games clear on top of their division.
I like Oakland to pick up the win at home this afternoon. They bounced back into some form last night, after losing four straight including the opener to Chicago, and I think they can continue on with that. Sean Manaea is starting for the A’s and while his ERA actually gets a touch worse when pitching at home, his recent form has me thinking that he will put Oakland in a good position to win. Going up against the Blue Jays, in Toronto, who rank first for OPS, third for hits and fifth for runs this season, Manaea pitched seven innings with nine strikeouts and allowed just two runs off five hits. That holds him in good stead for a matchup with the White Sox, who have a very formidable offense of their own. Where I think the difference will come is Chicago’s starter, Reynaldo Lopez, who has allowed three runs in each of his last two starts and lasted just four innings. Oakland’s lineup, at home, should be able to get a hold of Lopez and get a good lead on the board that should be too hard to catch.
This is the final game in the series between the White Sox and the Athletics, and things are leveled up one game a piece, after the Athletics managed to get a victory last time out. The Athletics really needed that win as it helped them snap a four game losing streak. The White Sox have also been a little bit inconsistent so far this month, winning three of the six games played so far in September. The White Sox have won nine of their previous 13 games played on a Thursday, and have won just two of their previous seven when it comes to the third game of the series. Looking at the Athletics now, they have won just two of their previous nine games at home, and have won six of their previous seven games on a Thursday. The Athletics have won 53 of their previous 78 clashes with the White Sox in Oakland. This is a pretty quick turnaround in games, and with the Athletics getting that winning feeling back, finally, I like them to make it two from two!
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Oakland Athletics (-152)
The Oakland A’s try to create a repeat of their 5-1 win over the 80-win White Sox in order to keep their season alive. Although their chances are slim, there is still a 7.4% possibility. The White Sox on the other hand are a lock for playoffs and have an 11 game lead over the Indians in the AL Central division, meaning they have very little to play for. In this matchup, the Athletics will be starting Sean Manaea at pitcher. Manaea has struggled to win games this season with an 8-9 record despite a respectable 3.91 ERA. For the White Sox, they are going with Reynaldo Lopez who has been insanely good in limited time. Lopez has a 2.08 ERA and 0.72 WHIP in 39 innings. The question within this matchup is whether Lopez can continue his form, or will Manaea’s experience and consistency win it for the Athletics. I think that the White Sox led by Lopez will continue to surprise and win this match in a close one.
Mike’s MLB Pick:Chicago White Sox (+124)
Colorado Rockies @ Philadelphia Phillies – 7.05PM ET
The Colorado Rockies come off a series where they were swept at home by the Giants and now get on the road to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. While that isn’t great form, the Phillies come in off the back of two losses to the Brewers and will be wanting to turn things around as they compete for the top spot in the NL East.
I’m all over the Phillies here. As I highlighted in our MLB Power Rankings at the beginning of the week, Colorado are almost unbackable on the road. They are just 18-50 when travelling this season and have Antonio Senzatela starting for them, who is the perfect example of this trend. Senzatela has a terrible 4-9 record and 4.16 ERA this season but when pitching on the road, it gets worse, with a 1-6 record and 4.56 ERA. This should allow the Phillies and Bryce Harper, who has the second best OPS in the league, to put runs on the board early. Backing them up on the defensive side is Ranger Suarez, who has seen 34 games, starting in seven of those, but has a 6-4 record and a very impressive 1.38 ERA. In his seven starts, Suarez has allowed just six runs from 31.2 innings of work. This means that the Phillies will be in the box seat early on in the game and should capitalize with a big win.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 (+100)
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 8, 2021
The Rockies and Phillies kick things off on Thursday night, in a four game series. The Rockies are currently on a four game losing streak and are coming off a 0-3 series loss to the Giants. The Phillies are currently on a two game losing streak and are coming off a 1-2 series loss to the Brewers. The Rockies have won just one of their previous five when it comes to the first game of a series, and they have won 23 of their previous 84 games on the road when playing a team that has a winning record. Turning our attention to the Phillies now, they have won seven of their previous nine games at home after returning from a road trip that lasted a week plus, and they have won seven of their previous nine when playing a team that has a losing record. Both starting pitchers have been playing reasonably well, so runs may be hard to come by in this clash, but the Phillies are the better team, they should win this one.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies (-210)
The Phillies’ chances have fallen after back to back losses to the Brewers. They face significantly worse competition in this matchup with the Rockies, who have lost 4 in a row. Philadelphia sits just 2.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East and still have a good chance at closing the gap and making the playoffs. In the past, the Rockies have played poorly in Philadelphia losing their last 4 games in Philly. To make matters worse, the Phillies will be bringing out Ranger Suarez. Suarez has been a freak of nature in his limited playing time with a 1.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. In his 72 innings’ pitched, Suarez has only allowed a staggering 15 runs with 72 strikeouts. The Rockies have played poorly against good pitchers, losing the 5 of their last 6 games against pitchers with a 1.15 WHIP or below. Things don’t look good for this Rockies team. Watch the Phillies blow out the Rockies in this matchup.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 (+100)
Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees – 7.05PM ET
It wasn’t a case of ‘third time’s the charm’ for the New York Yankees last night as they lost their third straight game to the Toronto Blue Jays and fifth straight overall. Meanwhile the Blue Jays enjoyed their seventh straight win and will look to continue their late push for a Wild Card slot in the American League.
Can I back the Yankees for a third straight game, given how the first two times have gone? I am scared of flipping to the Blue Jays and watching the Yankees finally cash in but I just can’t trust New York right now. While they have improved from 0 to 1 to 3 runs throughout this series, they have still allowed eight, five and six respectively. I don’t think Nestor Cortes Jr. is the answer to this, given he has started in just nine of his 17 appearances this season and given up at least two runs in four of his last six. That includes a performance where he allowed five runs off seven hits in 5.2 innings of work against a batting lineup that ranks much worse than Toronto in every batting statistic. Toronto is on a roll right now and I don’t see how the Yankees can slow them down.
The Yankees have lost again to the Blue Jays! At home! What is going on? The Yankees have now lost five games in a row, all at home, and two of those losses were to the Orioles! There aren’t enough exclamation marks in the world to express in writing how I feel about this. The Blue Jays have won every single game so far in September, putting them on a seven game winning streak. The Blue Jays have won 37 out of their previous 70 games on the road (which is almost better than their home record this season) and have won all six of their previous games when playing a team with a winning record. Meanwhile, the Yankees have won none of their previous five against a team in the AL East, and none of their previous four when it comes to the fourth game of a series. Things seem to just have clicked with the Blue Jays team, at the exact moment everything started to fall apart with the Yankees. Despite everything that has happened lately, the Yankees are still favorites to win the game. No thank you! I’ll be on the value with the Blue Jays to get the win.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays (+102)
The Blue Jays are in good form lately with 7 wins in a row. They are playing a Yankees team that has done a 180 from their form last month. The Yankees have lost 5 in a row and have only won 2 games over their last 10 matches. With the Blue Jays just 1.5 games behind the Yankees in the standings, they are very much a chance to steal a playoff spot from the Red Sox or Yankees. In this matchup, the Blue Jays will start Jose Berrios who has been good this season with a 3.55 ERA and a 10-7 record. He also has 169 strikeouts in 159 innings. The Yankees will start Nestor Cortes Jr at pitcher. Cortes Jr. has been even better, with a 2.67 ERA but has only pitched 67 innings this year. Therefore, due to the lack of proper playing time and the Blue Jays’ elite batting unit that is headlined by Vladimir Guerrero Jr, I think the Blue Jays have the advantage. In fact in their last 3 matches, the Blue Jays have beaten the Yankees by 3 runs or more. The Blue Jays should take this one with ease.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Toronto Blue Jays -1.5 (+164)
Washington Nationals @ Atlanta Braves – 7.20PM ET
The Washington Nationals, who sit on the bottom of the NL East, just levelled the series with the Atlanta Braves, who are on top of the NL East, with a 4-2 win last night. The divisional rivals now face off in the rubber tonight, in what is the last time they will see each other for the season.
While the Nationals had their moment in the sun last night, I think Atlanta will quickly nip it in the bud. I did mention in Tuesday’s game preview that Atlanta wasn’t a good team at home this season but I didn’t expect an upset like we saw yesterday. However, I expect the status quo to return with this clash and the Braves should pick up a comfortable win in this one. Washington is starting Erick Fedde and his record of 6-9 and 5.27 ERA is completely uninspiring. Last time out, Fedde gave up a massive seven runs on nine hits in just three innings of work and has given up at least five runs in each of the three games he has pitched to Atlanta this season. It is hard to believe how bad those figures are and I can’t see how the Braves don’t score enough runs to ensure a victory. The worry is they are starting Huascar Ynoa, who gave up four runs on five hits in 5.2 innings last time out, but that is nowhere near as bad as Fedde’s figures and the Braves should take advantage of that.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves -1.5 / Over 9.5 (+210)
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) September 9, 2021
The Braves and the Nationals wrap things up on Thursday night with the series tied at one game a piece. The Nationals have only one three games so far this month, and it is the same case with the Braves, who really need to keep winning if they want to hold onto top spot in the NL East, with the Phillies only two and a half games behind them. The Nationals have won just six of their previous 26 games on a Thursday and only six of their previous 27 games on the road. Looking at the Braves now, they have won 21 of their previous 31 games overall and have won five of their previous six games on a Thursday. The Braves have also one four of their previous five clashes with the Nationals in Atlanta. I’ll be on the Braves for a convincing win here.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves -1.5 (-122)
The Braves sit atop the NL East division with a slim 2.5 game lead over the Phillies. However, they have been trending downward with only 4 wins in their last 10 games. They will once again play the Nationals in this inter-division matchup which will have big implications to their playoff chances. With such important stakes, the Braves are starting Huascar Ynoa who has a 3.19 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Despite the impressive statistics, Ynao has a 4-5 record when starting. However, in comparison to the Nationals pitcher, Ericke Fedde, Ynoa seems a lot better. Fedde has a 5.27 ERA and 6-9 record when starting. Fedde will need to play well beyond his capabilities in order to beat the Braves’ 8th ranked batting unit. Overall, the Braves are just the better team, excelling at most team statistics in comparison to the Nationals. When also considering the pitching situation, I have to go with the Braves to win by at least 2 runs.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves -1.5 (-122)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.