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Best MLB Bets Today | MLB Picks, October 20

Written by: Tanner Kern
Published October 20, 2023
11 min read
Best MLB Bets Today

The Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are tied in their series 2-2. The Diamondbacks won their first game on Thursday and have cut the series deficit in half. We’re here to break down both games on Friday. For all picks articles throughout the playoffs, make sure to check WSN daily.

Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook. See other MLB Sportsbook for more betting opportunities!

My Pick: Astros ML (-148)

The Houston Astros know how to win in the postseason; experience means a lot in October. The Rangers entered the ALCS as one of the hottest teams in baseball and beat the Astros in Houston twice.

Many marked the Astros dead in the Championship Series, but their experience shined when the series transitioned to Arlington. Houston has dominated the past two games, and they haven’t shown any signs of slowing down through the 18 innings they’ve played at Globe Life Field.

The team has outscored their opponent 18-8 in the past two days. Houston’s offense was stagnant at home, but they have seemed to figure out the Rangers’ bullpen. We’re going to lean toward Houston with the plus money, and a major reason for this is their pitcher, Justin Verlander.

Verlander will take the ball on Friday and is one of the most experienced players on this roster. Verlander has pitched with the season on the line, and Friday will be a massive game for the pitcher. Houston can take a series lead and head home for the final two games, which would swing the momentum in favor of the Astros.

Verlander threw 6.2 innings against the Rangers on Sunday and held Texas to two runs. He was efficient, but Texas wore him down as the game developed. However, with the state of the Astros offense, an outing like this should result in a win on Friday.

Jordan Montgomery will throw for Texas and has gotten lucky throughout the postseason. We don’t expect his 1.27 WHIP to hold up against Houston in this spot. Lean toward the Astros to take a 3-2 lead back to Houston and win the series in seven games.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

My Pick: Phillies ML (-134)

The Philadelphia Phillies gave away a game on Thursday. The team lost 2-1 in a game where they couldn’t get the final out. Craig Kimbrel didn’t look strong in the last inning and struggled to hold runners on base. 

Philadelphia seemed content to lose this contest, as they let a struggling Kimbrel stay on the mound in the ninth inning. The Phillies relievers have been questionable throughout the year, and this was on full display. 

Despite this, the offense didn’t lead the team, and this has been the theme throughout the postseason. They won 10-0 in Game 2, and the offense followed this epic performance up with just two hits on the road. 

The Phillies are as close to unbeatable at home in the playoffs as possible, but this will be a close series if they can’t win on the road. We will back Philadelphia in a bounce-back spot, as they’re the much better team. 

Christopher Sanchez will make his first playoff appearance, but the 26-year-old was promising in the regular season. He was 3-5 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in 99.1 innings. 

Joe Mantiply will throw for Arizona and was rocked in three playoff innings thus far. This should quickly become a bullpen game for Arizona, and we know the Phillies can thrive off these wings. 

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Tanner Kern

406 Articles

Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.

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