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MLB Best Bets for October 11

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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We’re on to the tail-end of the Division Series, and there are three fantastic matchups to behold on Monday. With some supremely talented offenses getting going, the action should be electric across the two games. I’ve picked out my favorite ways to get in on the action.

Tampa Bay Rays (-105) vs. Boston Red Sox (-115) Total: 9.5

The Red Sox couldn’t have ever imagined being a game away from the ALCS when they slipped out of the wild-card standings a month ago, but that’s the reality we (and the Rays) are dealing with. Boston has been tremendous at the plate in the ALDS, putting together three straight nights with a hard-hit rate over 53% to begint he postseason and then a near-40% showing against good pitching on Sunday.

Boston ended the regular season with the fifth-best wRC+ in September and October, and I think their heater at the plate is to be believed. That’s pretty terrifying when you consider Collin McHugh will start this game in front of a gassed bullpen that just used eight arms in Game 3. That might force Michael Wacha into action as one of the few fresh arms, and the two names I just mentioned combined to give up nine earned runs in Game 2.

Now, it might be that McHugh’s performance was a fluke, or that the 64 innings he threw in the regular season have caught up to the grizzled veteran. Regardless, it doesn’t seem likely the Rays are going to dominate this game from a pitching perspective.

While Eduardo Rodriguez wasn’t very good in Game 1, I still believe in him considering the Rays’ struggles with lefties for most of the year and their near-26% strikeout rate in that split. Rodriguez has ratcheted up the strikeouts this season and should be in a favorable spot.

Edge: Red Sox (-121)

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San Francisco Giants (+170) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (-216) Total: 7.5

Alex Wood had two decent starts against his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and one tough one in 2021. Still, a 4.76 ERA against an offense this good isn’t the worst thing in the world, and there is reason to believe that number could improve considering the Dodgers’ awful numbers against lefties this year.

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The Dodgers did score nine runs in Game 2 to dispel some of the fears that this offense might not be as good without Max Muncy, but the bulk of that production came against some of San Francisco’s lower-leverage arms. This bullpen was the best in baseball in the second half, and behind a decent outing from Wood, this should be a low-scoring affair.

While you might be worried about Wood, I’d argue you should be equally as worried about Max Scherzer after he walked three hitters in 4 1/3 innings in the wild-card game. That was unlike him, and he seemed to be very off his game. He wasn’t great in the 2019 postseason, struggled down the stretch in his last few starts and then backed that up with a tough start in the wild-card game.

With the margins so small, I really think that +170 on an offense as good as the Giants’ is pretty unfair here, when you consider the Dodgers have to face a lefty — something they hate.

Edge: Giants +170

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