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Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (September 26th, 2022)

By Hank Blaine

In not much of a surprise, the Miami Marlins and manager Don Mattingly will part ways after the 2022 regular season. Mattingly will leave the Marlins as the clear leader in managerial victories for the franchise, though he is set to leave with a lower winning percentage than any of the three managers behind him. Mattingly was the NL Manager of the Year in 2020 after getting Miami to the playoffs, but other than that, the franchise has been in a mode of constant rebuilding. Here’s a look at two important MLB games this week.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (September 26th, 2022)

New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays

  • When: Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 7:07 PM ET
  • Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
  • Radio: WFAN 660 (Yankees) // SN590 (Blue Jays)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

The Yankees have really very little to play for down the stretch as they are going to win the AL East Division and be the No. 2 seed in the AL playoffs, meaning a bye to the division series. The Blue Jays meanwhile, are in the pole position for the top AL Wild-Card spot, meaning they would host a Wild-Card series.

Of course, all eyes regarding the Yankees are on Aaron Judge as he attempts to set the AL record with a 62nd homer and win the Triple Crown – he’s a lock for MVP. Judge is just the sixth player in Major League history (ninth time) to hit at least 60 home runs in a single season. According to FanGraphs, his 10.7 WAR is the highest among all Major League players. Judge is only the second MLB player and first Yankee to hit at least 60 homers and record at least 16 steals in a single season.

Fellow outfielder Andrew Benintendi will have the stitches in his right wrist taken out in a few days. There hasn’t been a ton of light shed on a potential timeline for Benintendi to return this season, but the Yankees have expressed optimism that he could be ready sometime in the postseason. There should be some official clarity on his status once he’s cleared to resume baseball activities in the near future. The 28-year-old outfielder has been out since undergoing surgery in early September to repair the broken hook of the hamate bone in his right wrist.

Infielder DJ LeMahieu has resumed on-field baseball activities. LeMahieu has progressed to taking ground balls and batting practice, but has continued to experience discomfort in his right toe, which has prevented him from returning from the injured list. There’s a risk that an uptick in activity could trigger a setback, so the team is proceeding with caution.

Jameson Taillon (13-5, 3.90 ERA) will start on the mound Tuesday. Taillon matched a season-high with eight strikeouts over six shutout innings on Thursday in a no-decision against the Red Sox. Taillon authored one of his strongest performances of the season, scattering four hits and one walk over six flawless frames. He generated 17 swinging strikes and finished with a strong 35 percent CSW (called strikes plus whiffs), needing just 101 pitches (67 strikes) to complete six frames.

It’s Jose Berrios (11-6) for Toronto. Berrios was ripped for six runs over two innings on Thursday in a loss to the Rays. He’ll carry a bloated 5.27 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 137/40 K/BB ratio across 160 2/3 innings (30 starts) into this outing.

MLB Betting Pick: Blue Jays

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Cleveland Guardians

  • When: Wednesday, September 28, 2022, 6:45 PM ET
  • Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Great Lakes
  • Radio: WGES 680 (Rays) // WTAM 1100 (Guardians)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

This could be a Wild-Card series preview as the Rays are going to earn a WC spot and the Guardians will be the lone AL division winner to play in that series after winning the Central. Assuming the Guardians remain the youngest team in the majors at the end of the season, they would be the first team to make the playoffs as the youngest team in the league since the 1986 Mets.

“This team’s good. We’re not just young. We’re pretty good,” said starter Cal Quantrill, the club leader with 14 wins. “I don’t think anybody’s excited to face us right now. We’re playing our best baseball. We’re playing baseball the right way.”

This is Cleveland’s 11th Central title since the division’s inception in 1994 and its fourth in 10 years under manager Terry Francona, who battled health problems the past two seasons but has enjoyed this ride with a team that may have surprised early on but is now being viewed as a legitimate World Series threat.

Rays manager Kevin Cash said Monday that he isn’t concerned about Wander Franco’s left hand injury moving forward. Franco was spotted shaking his left hand and was examined by the Rays’ training staff during Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays following a fifth-inning fly out. He was eventually lifted from the contest in the eighth inning. Cash added that Franco “got jammed a little bit” and was merely removed for precautionary reasons. Franco should be good to go here.

It’s Tyler Glasnow’s season debut on the mound Wednesday for Tampa. The Rays’ Opening Day starter last year hasn’t pitched this season after having Tommy John surgery Aug. 4, 2021. The 6-foot-8 right-hander went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 14 starts last year and is a key addition as the Rays near a Wild-Card spot. Glasnow allowed one run, one hit and four walks and had 14 strikeouts over seven innings in four starts with Triple-A Durham. Cash said Glasnow will throw around 45 pitches in his initial outing, which should allow him to go two or three innings.

“Two innings of Glasnow is still a huge plus for our team,” Cash said. “Like to get three innings. If we do, great. If we don’t, that’s fine too.”

MLB Betting Pick: Rays

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