MLB Betting Guide: Friday 10/7/22
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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.
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Over 6.0 (-110): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
It's pretty customary to see low-scoring games early in the playoffs as teams deploy their best pitchers, but our model thinks this total is too low.
We definitely have a good pitching matchup in this one. Shane McClanahan, one of the season's breakout stars, is going for the Tampa Bay Rays while the Cleveland Guardians will turn to Shane Bieber, their ace. There are reasons to back the offenses, though.
While McClanahan's season-long numbers are outstanding (2.82 SIERA and 30.3% strikeout rate), he got worse as the year progressed. In the second half, McClanahan recorded a 3.81 xFIP, 20.5% strikeout rate and 8.3% walk rate. Those numbers pale in comparison to his first-half clips of a 1.99 xFIP, 35.7% strikeout rate and 4.6% walk rate.
McClanahan stumbled home down the stretch, giving up a combined 11 earned runs with just seven strikeouts over his last three starts (14 innings). Although, he had to face the Houston Astros (twice) and Toronto Blue Jays in that span.
Bieber turned in another quality season. He finished with a 3.21 SIERA for the second straight year, and there is plenty to like about his numbers. But he didn't miss nearly as many bats as he has in previous campaigns, putting up a good-not-great 25.0% strikeout rate. Bieber had posted strikeout rates of 33.1% and 41.1% in the last two seasons.
In his penultimate start of the regular season, Bieber saw these Rays and was touched up for four earned runs in six innings.
Our model projects the final score to be 3.46-3.31 -- a total of 6.77 runs. We give the over a 54.6% chance to cash and mark it as a two-star bet (two-unit recommendation).
Seattle Moneyline (+126): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
The Seattle Mariners are back in the playoffs, snapping a lengthy drought, and despite being a +126 road 'dog, Seattle has some things going for them in this one.
With Luis Castillo and Alek Manoah pitching, you can make the argument Seattle has the better starter. Sure, the Mariners' offense isn't as stout as the Toronto Blue Jays' lineup, but I've got a lot of interest in any underdog who has the edge in starting pitching.
Castillo pieced together the best season of his career in 2022, pitching to a career-best 3.35 SIERA. He's always been able to generate strikeouts, and he did that again with a 27.3% strikeout rate. This year, though, he cut down on walks, finishing with a 7.3% walk rate, his best mark since 2018. Castillo upped his game after his deadline deal to Seattle, registering a 3.08 SIERA, 28.9% strikeout rate, and 6.4% walk rate with the M's.
Manoah took some small steps back this year in his second full season. He struck out just 22.9% of hitters and had an 11.2% swinging-strike rate. Those numbers were at 27.7% and 12.6%, respectively, a year ago. He still gives up a lot of fly-balls, too, with hitters amassing a 41.9% fly-ball rate. Manoah has found success in spite of those things, wrapping up the regular season with a 3.85 SIERA, but he looks like the lesser of the two starters.
And we shouldn't sleep on this Seattle offense. As I said, it's not at the level of Toronto's, but the Mariners can swing it. Over the last 30 days, Seattle sits sixth in wOBA (.324) -- just a few spots behind the Jays (.346), who rank second.
All in all, we give Seattle a better chance Friday than oddsmakers do. The Mariners' +126 moneyline price implies win odds of 44.2%. We hand the M's win odds of 48.1%. Taking Seattle to win is a one-star wager by our numbers.