There are now less than two weeks remaining in the 2023 MLB regular season. Four teams have locked up playoff spots (Tampa Bay and Baltimore in the AL; Atlanta and Los Angeles in the NL), but four postseason berths are still up for grabs in both leagues. That is what everyone is keeping an eye on at this point of the season, and it has a sizeable effect on MLB betting odds. Bettors are flocking towards betting on teams that are still in contention when they play teams that have been eliminated from the postseason, and that creates some nice opportunities for big paydays on underdogs.
Washington Nationals vs. Chicago White Sox
Josiah Gray vs. Jesse Scholtens
The Washington Nationals have been one of the most profitable teams to bet in baseball this season. Washington was expected to be awful and lose over 100 games, but the Nats have been somewhat feisty even though they are guaranteed to finish with a losing record. They have some decent bats and a few promising young pitchers like Josiah Gray.
Gray was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the deal that blew up the 2019 World Series champions. Washington traded away Max Scherzer and Trea Turner for several prospects, and Gray was considered one of the centerpieces of the trade for the Nats alongside catcher Keibert Ruiz. He was an All-Star earlier this year, but his current numbers don’t look great after a disastrous August where he posted an 8.84 ERA in five starts.
We haven’t seen Gray secure a win in almost two months, but he looked very good in his last outing. Although he surrendered two home runs and was charged with his 12th loss of the season, Gray struck out 10 batters in 6.1 innings and threw just 88 pitches.
Meanwhile, Chicago will be bringing Jesse Scholtens to the mound. Scholtens started the season in the bullpen, but he moved into the rotation in early August. He had a couple promising start, yet the grind of starting every five games seems to have worn on the 29-year-old rookie. In three starts in September, Scholtens has surrendered 24 hits and six walks in just 12.2 innings. He has a 9.24 ERA in three losses (two of them blowouts), and they all came against subpar lineups in the AL Central
This is a game where Washington can tee off at the plate. Scholtens looks like a Quad A starter at best, so I am more than happy to roll with the Nats here and think they will put up six or more runs.
MLB SAME GAME PARLAY: WASHINGTON MONEYLINE AND NATIONALS OVER TEAM RUN TOTAL
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Detroit Tigers
Bobby Miller vs. Reese Olson
The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the NL West for the 10th time in 11 years a couple nights ago. They are once again one of the favorites to win the World Series per the MLB futures odds, and they are a virtual lock to earn a bye into the NLDS alongside Atlanta. That is likely going to lead to them taking their foot off the gas pedal a bit, and they will be more vulnerable than usual over the last couple weeks.
Detroit has been a profitable team to back all season long. The Tigers’ MLB season win total over/under at the start of the year was 70 games, and they are currently sitting at 70-80 thanks to some pretty good pitching even though Matt Manning, Matthew Boyd, and Tarik Skubal all missed significant chunks of the season due to injury.
Rookie Reese Olson is one of the players that has stepped up for the Tigers this season. Olson is just 4-7 in his 16 starts, but he has a 1.14 WHIP and does a very good job of limiting opponents at the plate. The 24-year-old is allowing hitters to average just a .664 OPS against him, and he has been excellent in each of his last four starts. His ERA has dropped by a full run over that stretch, so that makes him an underdog to back on Wednesday night.
MLB SAME GAME PARLAY: DETROIT TIGERS MONEYLINE AND UNDER THE TOTAL