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Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (October 3rd, 2022)

By Hank Blaine

Had there been no lockout in Major League Baseball the regular season would have ended on Sunday but now it will drag until Wednesday. There’s not much to play for in those final two games as we know the six playoff teams on each side. Here’s a look at two important MLB games this week.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (October 3rd, 2022)

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Houston Astros

  • When: Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 8:10 PM ET
  • Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
  • TV: NBCSP, ATT SportsNet-SW, TBS
  • Radio: 94 WIP (Phillies) // KBME 790 AM (Astros)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Phillies (+159) // Astros (-185)

TBS has the national telecast of this possible World Series preview. This marks the Phillies’ first visits to Minute Maid Park since the Astros joined the AL in 2013. The Astros have clinched the top seed in the AL playoffs. Houston is the first club in AL history to reach 100 victories four times in a span of five full seasons (2017-19, 2022). Additionally, Dusty Baker has become just the fourth manager in MLB history to win 100 games in both leagues, joining Sparky Anderson, Whitey Herzog and Tony LaRussa.

Justin Verlander is expected to win his third career Cy Young Award and he takes the mound on Tuesday but may be on an innings limit. Verlander (17-4, 1.80 ERA) enters the final days of the 2022 season leading the AL in multiple key categories, including wins (17), ERA (1.80), Adjusted ERA+ (215), WHIP (0.85) and opponents OPS (.508) while ranking T-2nd in opponents’ average (.190). In 11 starts following an Astros loss this season, Verlander is 8-0 with a 1.19 ERA (9ER/68IP).

Verlander: has faced the Phillies just twice in his distinguished career, earning wins in both starts. His last outing against the Phillies was 8.0 scoreless innings of dominance, in which he allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks with 10 strikeouts on May 24, 2016 in Detroit.

The Phillies will start lefty Ranger Suarez (10-6, 3.37). Suarez surrendered two runs over six innings last Thursday in a loss to the Cubs. Suarez was saddled with a tough-luck loss as the Phillies’ offense was unable to get anything going at Wrigley Field. Suarez has never faced Houston.

Since taking over on June 3, interim manager Rob Thomson has guided the Phillies to a 65-44 record, a 20-10-4 record in series play and an 18-14 record in one-run games. The last Phillies manager to win National League Manager of the Year was Larry Bowa in 2001.

MLB Betting Pick: Astros

Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland A’s

  • When: Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 4:00 PM ET
  • Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA
  • TV: Bally Sports West, NBCSCA
  • Radio: KLAA 830 (Rays) // Bloomberg 960 AM (Guardians)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

Both these teams will miss the playoffs by a mile but ace Shohei Ohtani is on the bump one last team for the Halos. Ohtani needs 1.0 more inning pitched this season to qualify for the league leaders as both a hitter and a pitcher. No player in the World Series era has ever done so. He’s already the only player in Major League history to reach 30+ HR and 10+ wins in the same season.

Ohtani has 15 wins, a 2.35 ERA and 11.9 SO/9. The only pitchers to post better rates in all three categories in a season are Pedro Martinez (1999) and Randy Johnson (1997). The Angels avoided arbitration with Ohtani on Saturday, as they signed the two-way star to a one-year deal worth $30 million for the 2023 season. Ohtani, the reigning AL MVP, remains set to be a free agent after next year. He’ll finish second in the MVP voting this year behind Aaron Judge. At $30 million, the deal sets a record for a player in his third year of arbitration, surpassing the $27 million Mookie Betts received before the 2020 season.

It’s a big jump in salary for Ohtani, who made $5.5 million this year and $3 million last year. The Angels, though, have several large salaries coming off the books, including Justin Upton’s $28 million, Noah Syndergaard’s $21 million and Michael Lorenzen’s $6.5 million.

It’s Ken Waldichuk (1-2) for Oakland. Waldichuk allowed a run on three hits and two walks while striking out eight over five innings in a no-decision versus the Mariners last time out. Waldichuk had some trouble in the first inning, with the lone run against him scoring on a Ty France RBI double. After that, Waldichuk didn’t allow more than one baserunner in any of the next four innings before turning things over to the Athletics’ bullpen. The rookie southpaw’s strong effort lowered his ERA to 6.18 and his WHIP to 1.37 through 27.2 innings across six starts.

MLB Betting Pick: Angels

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READ MORE: 2022 World Series Odds Update (October 7th)