Best MLB Bets Today – Free (Saturday 10/1)


Welcome to the FTN’s free MLB Picks of the Day, featuring our favorite or best MLB bets today. FTN will be posting a play or two from the MLB card — for free!

Today, MLBdream provides his picks. 


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Best MLB Bets and Picks Today

Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees

Nestor Cortes Over 5.5 K’s -125 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Orioles +185 @ Yankees -215 Total 6.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

To the surprise of everyone, it took until Sept. 30 for the Orioles to be eliminated from playoff contention in 2022. The O’s have guaranteed themselves at least a .500 season for the first time since 2016, as they sit at 81-76 with five games to play. Nestor Cortes is on the mound for the Yankees Saturday, facing his former club. I’ve identified an edge with Cortes’ strikeout prop, we should be good as long as Aaron Boone doesn’t pull Nasty Nestor early. 

Cortes has posted a few career bests this season, including his 10.7% swinging-strike percentage. The southpaw has also gotten batters to swing at a career high rate overall, and outside the strike zone; with a 50.5% swing percentage and a 34.7% O-swing percentage. The 27-year-old lefty has posted a 25.5% K% this season, which ranks 16th best in all of baseball. Cortes’ swinging-strike percentage might not blow you away, but he does rank 12th in the AL in called strikes plus whiffs. Nestor’s best strikeout pitch has been his fastball this season, with a 30.4% K% with the four-seamer. It’s the pitch he throws the most (43.5%) and his second-best whiff pitch with a 13.4% SwStr%. This is a good matchup for the lefty, as the Birds have the eighth most strikeouts in baseball against four-seamers this season. Cortes has gone over this total in both his starts against Baltimore this season, with a total of 19 punchies. 


The O’s have the fourth-highest K% vs lefties this season at 24.8%, and that number has dipped slightly since Sept. 1 to 24.5% (15th in MLB). Overall, the Orioles have the fifth-highest SwStr% at 11.9%. The O’s are about average on making contact on pitches outside the zone but they have the fourth-highest O-Swing%. The projected Orioles lineup shows six batters with at least a 23% strikeout percentage. 

I’m projecting Cortes to pitch more than six innings (as long as the rain or Boone don’t interfere), while punching out seven or even eight O’s batters Saturday in New York. Alex Blickle’s Strikeout Model at FTN projects Cortes for over six strikeouts. As always, be sure to check out FTN’s Prop Shop to grab the best number on the market. 

Bet: Nestor Cortes Over 5.5 K’s -125

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