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MLB Betting Guide: Friday 9/20/19

Can Shane Bieber help the Cleveland Indians get a win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday?

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.

For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our models as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for today.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Philadelphia Phillies at Cleveland Indians

Indians Moneyline (-220): 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Cleveland Indians' 7-0 shutout over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night brought them into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second wild card spot. They've now won four in a row and 8 of their past 10, and they'll be looking to continue their push for the playoffs when they open a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies tonight.

The Phillies won't be an easy out. While they have a steeper climb to get into the playoffs than the Indians, they still have an outside shot as they are 4.0 games back with 11 to play. They'll be putting their best foot forward, and the Indians will try to quiet their bats by sending Shane Bieber to the mound.

Bieber had a bit of a rough go of things in his last outing, allowing three home runs in 5.2 innings, though the Indians were still able to take down the Minnesota Twins in that contest. Outside of that outing, Bieber has been a walking, talking quality start. Before that last mediocre outing, Bieber had posted 10 quality starts in a row.

Since that streak began, Bieber has struck out 89 batters while walking just 11, a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.09. For reference, Max Scherzer's league-leading average for the year is 7.28. Bieber is fifth in the metric on the season, behind only Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Walker Buehler, and Gerrit Cole. The Indians have gone 11-6 in his home starts this year. The Phillies are just 17-27 on the road this season as underdogs.

numberFire's models see Bieber's dominance continuing tonight, helping the Indians get another win in their quest for the playoffs. We give Cleveland a 72.61% chance of winning this evening and putting a thorn in the side of the Phillies' playoff hopes. We mark the bet as a two-star play.

Arizona Diamondbacks at San Diego Padres

Under 8.0 (-108): 2-Star Rating out of 5

Petco Park is not exactly a place batters go to show off their power. The stadium has the fourth-lowest park factor in the league this season. It's hardly a surprise, then, when you look at the Padres' home/away scoring splits, and it's affecting their opponents as well.

The Padres and their opponents are averaging a healthy 9.87 runs on the road this season. In San Diego, that number falls to a paltry 8.47. Few of the Padres' pitchers have exemplified that split more dramatically than Eric Lauer.

Many of the second-year starter's home and road numbers aren't dramatically different, and in some cases Lauer has been worse at home. His strikeout rate, in particular, takes a hit at Petco, where it is 6.8 per nine innings compared to 9.0 on the road. The park's dampening factor has helped him out in terms of the long ball, however. Lauer has allowed 0.99 home runs per nine innings compared to 1.64 on the road.

The big drop in home runs allowed has helped cause his home ERA to plummet compared to road venues. He's posting a 3.08 mark at Petco compared to 6.27 on the road, and the under is 9-4 in his home starts this season. The under is 5-2 this month at Petco, where there have been an average of just 7.00 runs scores per game.

The under is 8-5 in the meetings between the Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, their opponent this evening. The under has hit in five of their past six contests, which have seen an average of just 7.34 runs scored, despite a 14-7 affair on September 2. The under has hit the past four contests the teams have played at Petco; there have been seven or fewer runs scored in those contests.

Runs are even scarcer when the Padres travel to Petco off of a road trip. In their 11 home games after a road game, there have been just 6.64 runs scored and the under has gone 8-2-1. We project that to move to 9-2-1 tonight, giving the under a 52.35% chance of hitting. We mark it as a two-star play.

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