MLB picks: Phillies vs. Braves, Rays vs. Astros
Let’s tackle the final Tuesday slate of the MLB regular season!
We’ll start with the series opener between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves, with the NL East crown very much in play in that tilt. Then we’ll preview a matchup between two AL pennant contenders as the Tampa Bay Rays visit the Houston Astros.
Philadelphia Phillies (81-75) at Atlanta Braves (83-72), 7:20 p.m. ET, FS1
Tue, September 28 2021, 11:20 PM
Runs should be a precious commodity at Truist Park on Tuesday night as Zack Wheeler and the Phillies face off with Charlie Morton and the Braves.
Wheeler has been practically untouchable through four starts in September, going 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA. The dark horse NL Cy Young contender has faced Atlanta’s lineup four times in 2021, and has gone 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA and 0.938 WHIP (26 2/3 innings).
Zack Wheeler, Dirty 83mph Curveball. 😨 pic.twitter.com/pmRnAeInC2— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 23, 2021
Morton is a bit unlucky to have a respectable 3.60 ERA through four starts this month, as his WHIP in the same span is 0.960. He’s 2-2 with a 3.06 ERA against the Phillies this year (four starts).
The Braves will likely win the bullpen battle here; they’re third by ERA over the last two weeks (2.16) while Philly is 20th (4.72), but this game still feels like a coin-flip. What’s not in doubt, however, is that it will be low-scoring. Take the Under.
MLB pick: Under
Tampa Bay Rays (97-59) at Houston Astros (91-65), 8:10 p.m. ET
Wed, September 29 2021, 12:10 AM
The Astros are a fairly-priced home favorite this Tuesday against the Rays, so chalk-players shouldn’t hesitate to back them.
Michael Wacha gets the nod for Tampa, and he owns just one quality start from 11 chances since the All-Star break. He’s 1-3 with a 6.12 ERA in the second half, and 1-4 with a 6.56 ERA over 59 innings of work on the road this year. Opponents are batting .309 against Wacha outside Tropicana Field.
HR No. 27 for Kyle Tucker, giving him 86 RBIs. pic.twitter.com/ZQCqDYHq7N— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) September 22, 2021
Kyle Tucker has had a hot hand for Houston in September – batting .351 with six homers and 17 RBI – so look for him to help generate offense in this one.
Jose Urquidy counters for the Astros, boasting a 4-1 record with a 3.15 ERA and 0.875 WHIP over 40 innings at home this season. Urquidy blanked the Rays over seven frames when these teams met on May 1 of this year in Tampa.
MLB pick: Astros -141