Home | News | Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – September 25th, 2023

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – September 25th, 2023

By Hank Blaine

The Atlanta Braves will be the NL’s top seed in the playoffs but their rotation is looking a bit thin all of a sudden as veteran right-hander Charlie Morton was placed on the 15-day injured list with a sprained right index finger Sunday. Morton, a proven playoff performer in his career, won’t be eligible for activation until after the NLDS roster is set. The Braves anticipate he won’t be ready to pitch before the NLCS begins on Oct. 16 and that’s obviously if they even get there. Here are two big early-week games with playoff ramifications.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (September 25th, 2023)

Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners

  • When: Monday, September 25, 2023, 9:40 PM ET
  • Where: T-Mobile Park, St. Louis, MO
  • Radio: 790AM KBME (Astros) // KIRO 710 ESPN Seattle (Mariners)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Astros (+103) // Mariners (-120)

Both these teams can still win the AL West, both can earn a wild card spot and one could miss the postseason entirely. That’s how wild it is entering the final week. The Astros are trying to secure an AL West title for their sixth straight full season (2017-19, 2021-22).

Houston outfielder Michael Brantley was out of the lineup for Sunday’s game against the Royals. Brantley hasn’t been in the starting lineup since Sept. 17 due to shoulder soreness and he’s day-to-day. Star second baseman Jose Altuve is one double shy of reaching 400 for his career, a mark that only two other players in club history have reached, both Hall of Famers, Craig Biggio (668) and Jeff Bagwell (488). It’s been a milestone season for Altuve, who’s reached all of the following numbers this season: 1,000 runs scored, 2,000 hits, 200 homers and 700 RBI.

Outfielders Kyle Tucker (28 HR, 29 SB) and Chas McCormick (22 HR, 19 SB) would become teammates with 20/20 seasons should McCormick record one additional stolen base in 2023. Only twice in club history have two teammates posted 20/20 seasons in the same year, in 1997 (Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio) and in 1999 (Bagwell, Carl Everett).

The Mariners pitching staff ranks 1st in MLB in ERA (3.72), 1st in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.52), T-1st in walks-per-9 innings (2.57), 3rd in WHIP (1.19), 2nd in FIP (3.84) and 2nd in fWAR (20.3) this season. Seattle’s 16 shutouts thrown this season are a franchise record. The Mariners are the only team in the Majors to have 3 pitchers with 17+ quality starts.

It’s ace right-hander Luis Castillo (14-7) on the mound for the Mariners. Castillo allowed two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out eight over seven innings to earn the win last Tuesday over the Athletics. Castillo earned his fifth quality start in his last six outings. He now has a 3.06 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 207:50 K:BB through 188.1 innings across 31 starts this season and might finish second for AL Cy Young. Castillo has gone 5.0+ innings in all 31 of his outings and has gone 6.0+ innings in 22 of them, recording 18 quality starts. He is the 8th Mariners pitcher (and 3rd right-hander) to tally 200+ strikeouts in a season in franchise history.

Castillo is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts this year vs. Houston and 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA career against the Astros.

It’s Astros ace Justin Verlander. He did not factor into the decision last Monday, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings against the Orioles. He struck out five. Verlander has now gone six or more innings in each of his last four starts, though he’s pitched to a 5.19 ERA in that span. Overall, the veteran right-hander is 11-8 with a 3.44 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 131:41 K:BB through 25 starts (149.1 innings) this season between the Astros and the Mets. Verlander hasn’t faced the Mariners in 2023.

MLB Betting Pick: Mariners

Texas Rangers vs. LA Angels

  • When: Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 9:38 PM ET
  • Where: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, CA
  • Radio: 105.3 The Fan (Rangers) // KLAA Angels Radio AM 830 (Angels)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

The final week of the MLB regular season is upon us and Angels star Mike Trout will not be a part of it. The three-time AL MVP has played in just one game since sustaining a left hamate fracture on a swing against the Padres on July 3 and was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Sunday. He played against the Reds on Aug. 22 but suffered a setback in that game. He tried to ramp it up in an attempt to return but ran out of time.

“He had some setbacks and was still feeling some issues in there,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “I think the biggest thing is he’s starting to swing and he’s feeling a lot better and more comfortable so he can go into the offseason knowing he’s fine for next year.”

It ends another frustrating season for Trout, who was limited to 82 games and hasn’t played in at least 140 games since 2018. He batted .263/.367/.490 with 18 homers, 14 doubles, a triple, two stolen bases and 44 RBIs. It’s the third straight season he’s been plagued by injuries. There has been some talk the Angels might try to trade him this winter but who would take that contract? And of course Shohei Ohtani is a free agent.

Texas enters the week leading the AL West but also could finish as a wild card team or miss the playoffs entirely. The Rangers haven’t been to the postseason since 2016. Texas has 12 shutout wins this year, the teams most since 17 in 2014. Texas is 29-19-2 overall in series in 2023: 16-8-2 at home; 13-11-0 on the road.

It’s Jon Gray on the mound for Texas. Gray did not factor into the decision last Wednesday, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk over 2.1 innings against the Red Sox. He struck out one. Gray found himself in an early 3-0 hole after surrendering a first-inning homer to Adam Duvall before Bobby Dalbec tacked on a fourth run with a solo blast in the second. Gray has failed to make it through four innings in any of his last three starts, allowing eight runs in that span (8.2 innings). Overall, the 31-year-old Gray is 8-8 with a 4.22 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 135:54 K:BB through 28 starts (151.1 innings) this season.

,p>The Angels counter with Reid Detmers (3-10, 4.64). He allowed an unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out seven batters over four innings in a no-decision against Tampa Bay last Wednesday. Detmers is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA this year in three starts vs Texas, but the Angels as a team have quit at this point.

MLB Betting Pick: Rangers

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.