MLB

MLB Betting Guide: Friday 10/9/20

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 to make at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees

Rays Moneyline (+132): 2-Star Rating out 5

In the words of the All-American Rejects -- it ends tonight.

The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees meet up in a deciding Game 5 in their American League Division Series, and the pitching matchup pits Yankees ace Gerrit Cole against Rays stud Tyler Glasnow. It's expected to be an all-hands-on-deck type of approach for Tampa -- with Glasnow possibly opening for Blake Snell -- while New York may go the more traditional route and let their big horse throw for as long as he's dealing. As we've seen across baseball this postseason, not many pitchers get a long leash in these crucial games, but Cole may have a little longer leash than most.

It should be a dandy of a game between two division rivals -- both of whom are among the best teams in baseball. Oddsmakers like the Yankees to win, putting the Bronx Bombers at -152 to prevail, but we think the Rays edge it.

Our numbers have the Rays as the slightly better team, with the Yanks one spot behind Tampa Bay in our nERD-based power rankings. Based on what we saw in the shortened 2020 regular season, it's hard to argue. Tampa Bay finished seven games in front of New York in the AL East, and the Rays' run differential of +60 was 15 runs better than the Yanks' mark.

The leveler tonight, of course, is Cole, the same guy who -- as a member of the Houston Astros -- ended the Rays' 2019 season in a Game 5 matchup last year, a matchup Glasnow also started.

While Cole has silly numbers through 13 playoff innings this year, including a 39.6% strikeout rate and 3.8% walk rate, Tampa Bay has been good against him in 2020. In two regular-season meetings that spanned 9 2/3 innings, Tampa tagged Cole for seven earned runs and three homers, though Cole did amass 17 punchouts. Game 1 of this series followed that script as Cole surrendered three earned runs and two dingers in six innings in what ended up being a win for the Pinstripes.

So the Rays have been able to square up Cole, and it's not like Glasnow, Snell and the Rays' bullpen are chump change. Tampa Bay's relievers paced all bullpens in Fangraphs WAR in 2020, and Snell and Glasnow both have elite stuff.

Our model projects Tampa Bay to win 3.29-3.17. We have the Rays coming out on top 53.5% of the time, and their +132 line implies win odds of only 43.1%. The value lies with the Rays in tonight's series decider. If you want to take a different route, we see the Rays covering 1.5 runs 65.3% of the time and also rank that as a two-star bet.