MLB

MLB Betting Guide: Thursday 9/30/21

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a runline 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 three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our model 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.

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

Over 8.5 (-114): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

Justin Steele and Miguel Yajure are getting the ball tonight for the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively.

Steele is showing some signs in his rookie campaign, with a 23.6% strikeout rate and 11.3% swinging-strike rate. But he's also walking 11.6% of hitters and is getting hammered by righties to the tune of a .374 wOBA. He's got a huge homer problem, permitting 2.16 per nine, including 2.50 per nine to right-handers.

Yajure is traveling a similar path -- some good, some bad -- but over a much smaller 2021 MLB sample of 13 innings. In that brief time, he's got a 5.11 SIERA with an 18.9% strikeout rate. In 43 2/3 innings in Triple-A this season, he had a meh 23.0% strikeout rate while giving up 1.24 dingers per nine.

While neither of these offenses is all that imposing, neither pitcher is very good, and we think the bats win out. We project the final score to be 4.81-4.71 in favor of the Pirates. That's 9.52 total runs, and we give the over a 58.5% chance to hit.

Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins

Over 8.0 (-105): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

A pair of promising young hurlers make their final starts of the season tonight as Tarik Skubal and Joe Ryan take the mound.

Ryan has been outstanding in his first 22 MLB innings, spinning a 32.1% strikeout rate and 3.8% walk rate. It's a continuation of the sublime season he had in Triple-A across the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays organizations, which included a 34.9% strikeout rate over 57 innings with Tampa Bay's Triple-A affiliate. Ryan looks like the real deal and could bulldoze a pedestrian Detroit Tigers lineup.

But the positive for the Tigers -- and the over -- is that Ryan hasn't yet thrown more than 89 pitches in any of his four outings. With this being a meaningless game for all parties, Minnesota is unlikely to push Ryan too far, which should lead to the Twins' bullpen getting a good amount of work.

Skubal has had a nice season for the Tigers (3.84 SIERA) and should be a key cog in their rebuild. But he has one glaring weakness that could get exposed by the Twins -- he gives up a lot of long balls to righties. Right-handed hitters have tagged him for 2.35 jacks per nine and a 46.1% fly-ball rate. Jorge Polanco, Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sano can feast on southpaws.

We back the Twins to do the heavy lifting to get us to the over, projecting this to be a 5.30-3.97 victory for Minnesota -- a total of 9.27 runs. The over has a 56.4% chance to cash, according to our numbers.