SportsGrid MLB Model Picks for Saturday, September 16


Sep 16, 2023

The dog days of summer are upon us, and MLB action is the only sport to keep us going. As such, we’re breaking down Saturday’s action, highlighting several picks from the SportsGrid projections. We use a star rating to gauge each play’s success probability. These are some of our favorite selections from today’s MLB Game Picks.

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San Fransico Giants vs. Colorado Rockies
Rockies Moneyline (+142): 5-Star Rating

The San Francisco Giants’ pursuit of a playoff berth could hit a snag on Saturday. San Fran is sitting 1.0 games back of the final wild card berth, needing to make up ground over the final couple weeks of the season. A trip to Coors Field for a date with the Colorado Rockies could set them back further. 

The Giants are trotting Keaton Winn out to the mound in what could be his ‘Welcome to the MLB’ moment. The 25-year-old has made seven appearances (three starts), but has yet to tackle a venue as challenging as Coors Field. Winn ranks among the worst pitchers in hard-hit rate, a metric that will fail him in Denver. 

Making matter worse, Winn’s last start came against this same Rockies team. That gives them an unneeded advantage of knowing his repertoire and sequencing. Colorado is already one of the top-hitting teams in the bigs at home, ranking eighth in OPS with .440 slugging and .330 on-base percentages.

Fireworks will fly in this one, and the Giants don’t have the firepower to keep pace. There’s a substantial edge in backing the home squad as +142 underdogs. 

Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins
Braves Moneyline (-142): 5-Star Rating

It’s been a minute since the Atlanta Braves have lost two in a row. Still, that’s the position the MLB leaders are in after Friday’s road loss to the Miami Marlins. Thankfully, our model shows an advantage in backing the Braves when the teams return to the field for Saturday’s penultimate contest. 

Atlanta remains the best-hitting team in the MLB. They rank first in OPS, runs, and homers, sitting nearly 50 points ahead of the next closest team in slugging percentage. More importantly, the Braves will have the chance to improve on their metrics against Bryan Hoeing. 

Analytically, Hoeing ranks as a bottom tier pitcher. The former seventh-round pick ranks in the 37th percentile in barrel rate and 13th percentile in hard-hit percentage, contributing to a lackluster 4.68 expected ERA. That benchmark puts him in the 28th percentile in that category, also implying Hoeing is a regression candidate. 

The Marlins’ probable starter’s actual ERA is hovering below expected, suggesting he’s on an inevitable path with correction. Although he will be used sparingly, that gives the Braves an early advantage that we don’t expect them to blunder. Atlanta has short favorites is one the top plays on the board.

Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Guardians
Rangers Moneyline (+108): 5-Star Rating

Lastly, the Texas Rangers have made significant progress in their pursuit of a playoff spot. Earlier this week, the Rangers swept the Toronto Blue Jays, carrying that momentum into their series with the Cleveland Guardians. They didn’t get the win in the opener, but we like their chances to get back on track on Saturday. 

The Rangers bats have come alive at the right time of year. Texas hitters have combined for a steamy .942 OPS this week, tops in the majors. Predictably, that’s resulted in an increase in run production, with the Rangers averaging 7.8 runs per game over that stretch. They’ll need every bit of that against Tanner Bibee. 

However, Texas also gets the most out of Dane Dunning on the road. The righty’s ERA drops 60 points as the visitor, with an increase in his K/9 rate and a decrease in his home run rate. Additionally, he benefits from hurling in one of the most pitcher-friendly environments of Progressive Field. 

There’s a lot on the line for the Rangers, whereas the Guardians are just running out the clock. We’re anticipating a sincere effort from the visitors in this one, helping them get back to their winning ways. Texas moneyline is a five-star play.

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Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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