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Best MLB Bets Today | MLB Picks, September 20

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published September 20, 2023
13 min read
Best MLB Bets Today September 20

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook. See different MLB betting sites for more betting opportunities!

My Pick: Cubs ML

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The Cubs have endured a tough stretch lately, doing so at the worst possible time. However, they snapped a five-game losing streak with a 14-1 win over the Pirates on Tuesday. That should be able to get them going at the start of a six-game homestand. Even better, they have Justin Steele starting on Wednesday, which is a great way to keep up their momentum. Even with the Pirates sending Mitch Keller to the mound, the Cubs should be able to win again on Wednesday.

Steele is in the midst of the Cy Young race, as he has the second-most wins in baseball with 16 and a 2.73 ERA, which is the second-best among starters. The caveat is that the Cubs have lost his last two starts with Steele giving up six runs over six innings in his last start. To be fair, that poor performance could be due to facing Arizona in consecutive starts. Prior to that, the Cubs had won nine consecutive games that Steele started with the southpaw racking up seven wins of his own during that stretch. Also, before that disastrous game against the D’Backs, Steele had allowed just one run on 14 hits across 21 innings over his previous three starts. He should be able to bounce back and lead Chicago to win.

It’s worth noting the Pittsburgh lineup that Steele will be facing has been held to two runs or less in five of its last 11 games. The Pirates can be vulnerable against quality pitchers, which means Keller may not receive much run support. To his credit, Keller has had an outstanding season, going 12-9 with a 4.04 ERA. He also threw eight scoreless innings in his last start and did the same against the Cubs in late August. However, his efforts aren’t always enough, as the Pirates are still 7-11 in Keller’s starts since the beginning of June. The Cubs are also motivated and confident after Tuesday’s 14-1 win, which is why they are a good bet against the lame-duck Pirates.

Milwaukee Brewers vs St. Louis Cardinals

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

My Pick: Brewers ML

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The Brewers are closing in on a division title and won’t want to take their foot off the gas. They took Tuesday’s game in St. Louis 7-3 and will want to stay hot with eight wins in their last 12 games. Also, with Wade Miley starting for Milwaukee and Zack Thompson starting for St. Louis, both teams are sending a lefty to the mound. The Brewers have been a little better against left-handed starters this year while Miley is the better starter, giving Milwaukee enough of a lift in a game that has relatively even odds.

Miley is rocking a 3.38 ERA on the season, although he’s been solid but unspectacular coming down the stretch. He owns a modest 4.60 ERA over his three September starts. Nevertheless, the Brewers have won four of his last five starts, making him Milwaukee’s good-luck charm. The Cardinals have also been held to just one run four times in their last nine games. In other words, the St. Louis offense has been erratic lately, which is a sign that a crafty veteran like Miley can have success against them.

On the other side, Thompson has only spent a little over a month in the St. Louis rotation after pitching out of the bullpen early in the year. The initial transition went well, although Thompson has started to struggle lately despite the Cards winning four of his last five starts. The lefty has allowed at least three runs and five hits in each of his three starts, giving him a 5.29 ERA in September. His last start was his worst of the season, as he lasted five innings, yielding four runs on five hits against the Phillies. In other words, things are not trending in the right direction for Thompson. With some of Milwaukee’s right-handed hitters like William Contreras, Willy Adames, Mark Canha, and Tyrone Taylor getting hot over the last two weeks, the Brewers should be able to do some damage against Thompson and help Miley notch another win.

Detroit Tigers vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

My Pick: Dodgers -1.5

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The Dodgers are usually a safe bet against second-division teams like the Tigers that are just playing out the season. In the back of their minds, the Dodgers think they have a chance to catch the struggling Braves for the best record in the National League, so Los Angeles is still motivated to win despite already wrapping up the NL West. They are also 9-3 in their last 12 games with eight of those nine wins coming by multiple runs, so there is nothing wrong with backing Los Angeles to cover the spread on Wednesday. 

Young righty Bobby Miller gets the start for the Dodgers on Wednesday. Since the start of August, Los Angeles is 6-2 in Miller’s starts, so he’s pitched well enough to lead the Dodgers to wins lately. On the season, Miller is 10-3 with a 4.02 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Even with some uneven starts lately, he should be able to handle the Tigers, who have managed a meager five runs over their first two games of this series in Los Angeles. That makes this a matchup that should favor Miller, especially with the Los Angeles lineup backing him up.

Reese Olson will get the assignment of facing a Los Angeles lineup that has scored at least six runs 10 times in the team’s last 12 games. Even with just three runs in Tuesday’s win, the Dodgers are clicking offensively. It starts with Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman but Chris Taylor, J.D. Martinez, and Jason Heyward have also been hot over the last two weeks. To be fair, Olson has a 1.37 ERA in September, although he’s had two starts against the White Sox and one against the Reds. He’s taken his lumps this season when facing some of the better teams in baseball. Olson will face one of the best lineups in the big leagues on Wednesday and may not be able to give the Tigers much of a chance.

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Bryan Zarpentine

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Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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