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Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (September 5th, 2022)

By Hank Blaine

The first days of September are upon us, as we get another weel closer to the postseason. We take a look at the top betting picks for this week, along with MLB odds and expert previews.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (September 5th, 2022)

Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros

  • When: Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 8:10 PM ET
  • Where: Globe Life Field, Arlington, TX
  • TV: ATT SportsNet-SW, Bally Sports Southwest
  • Radio: KFLC 1270 (Rangers) // KBME 790 AM (Astros)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

Why isn’t Houston Astros lefty Framber Valdez getting more love for the American League Cy Young Award? He’s not going to win it as a +7500 long shot with teammate Justin Verlander the -150 favorite but Verlander is currently on the injured list. Valdez takes a pretty incredible streak into his start Tuesday against visiting Texas.

Last Tuesday against those Rangers, Valdez set a Major League record for a southpaw by throwing his 22nd consecutive quality start — defined as pitching at least six innings while allowing three earned runs or fewer — to lead the Astros to a 4-2 win over the Rangers at Globe Life Field. Valdez (14-4) allowed seven hits and two runs while striking out eight batters in eight innings. He went 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in five August starts and has won six consecutive decisions dating back to July 24. He didn’t walk a batter for the first time since June 17.

“I feel very proud of a lot of the hard work I’ve been putting in,” Valdez said. “Those are goals a lot of pitchers have, and being able to reach that goal and break that goal, I’m going to continue setting more goals and hopefully continue to break those, as well. I feel very proud.”

The first-time All-Star is only the fourth pitcher in history to record 22 consecutive quality starts in a season, joining Jacob deGrom (24 straight in 2018), Bob Gibson (22 in ‘68), and Chris Carpenter (22 in ‘05). Valdez’s 14 wins are second in the American League to Verlander’s 16.

Astros starters have tossed 5.0-plus innings in a Major League-leading 116 games this season. The club has received 5.0-plus inning starts in 47 of their last 48 games, which included a streak of 41 straight from July 14-Aug. 27.

Verlander threw again on Monday from flat ground. The right-hander isn’t expected to return from the injured list when first eligible in a few weeks, but he’s making incremental progress, throwing from flat ground twice over the last few days. The 39-year-old workhorse, who is dealing with a right calf injury, will likely progress to a bullpen session sometime later this week. There isn’t an official timeline for his return to the Astros’ starting rotation yet.

MLB Betting Pick: Astros ML on Tuesday

Atlanta Braves vs. Oakland A’s

  • When: Wednesday, September 7, 2022, 3:37 PM ET
  • Where: Citi Field, New York City, NY
  • TV: Bally Sports South, NBCSCA
  • Radio: 93.7 FM The Fan (Braves) // Bloomberg 960 AM (A’s)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

What will Braves rookie right-hander Spencer Strider do for an encore on Wednesday afternoon in Oakland? Strider may have locked up the NL Rookie of the Year Award last time out when he set a franchise record with 16 strikeouts against Colorado. It was the most by any Braves pitcher in a nine-inning game since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893.

John Smoltz held the previous Atlanta record with 15 strikeouts in a nine-inning game against the New York Mets on April 10, 2005, and against Montreal on May 24, 1992. Warren Spahn had 15 strikeouts in a nine-inning game in 1960, when the franchise was in Milwaukee. Spahn also had 18 strikeouts in a game in 1952, but that came in extra innings.

Making his 17th career Major League start, Strider allowed two hits and did not walk a batter, needing 106 pitches to paint his masterpiece. He did not throw anything but fastballs and sliders, and landed 79 of those 106 pitches for strikes.

Strider’s 16 Ks were the most by a Major League rookie since Colorado’s Jon Gray had 16 on Sept. 17, 2016. Only five rookies have had more in a game, led by Kerry Wood’s 20 in 1998. Strider joined Wood as the only rookies with at least 16 strikeouts and two or fewer baserunners allowed.

“I lost track after five,” Strider said. “I came out of the game and Kyle [Wright] was telling me something about John Smoltz or whatever, and I had no idea what he was talking about. It didn’t make any sense. And then somebody else said something and I just kind of looked cross-eyed at them and they were like, ‘You know what just happened?’ It was neat. It was very cool for them to tell me that.” Strider posted his fifth career game with at least 10 strikeouts. He has won his past three decisions and has shown no signs of fading late in the season. He began the year in Atlanta’s bullpen.

MLB Betting Pick: Braves ML

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

READ MORE: Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (September 12th, 2022)