MORE or LESS: MLB Pick ‘Em Preview

Week 17 of the MLB season is the final opportunity to see which teams are primed to make a postseason run. Tonight’s 10 games will showcase a variety of teams looking to gain momentum heading into October. Here are my picks from Monday’s Pick ‘Em slate, including Xander BogaertsDean KremerDaulton VarshoBrandon Bielak.

Xander Bogaerts San Diego Padres
Pittsburgh Pirates @ San Diego Padres (9:40 ET)
Quinn Priester (0-1, 11.81) vs. Yu Darvish (7-6, 4.36)
Xander Bogaerts averages San Diego

Sitting six games out of a Wild Card spot, time’s starting to run out for this star-studded Padres club. San Diego needs to start meeting their expectations now and facing a rookie pitcher tonight is a great place to start. Xander Bogaerts has averaged over a base per game this month, hitting especially well against right-handed pitching (.276 season avg). The first-year Padre has reached base in 9 of his last 10 games. He should be favored to continue that streak verse an okay prospect who was roughed up for seven runs in his debut. 


Dean Kremer Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles @ Philadelphia Phillies (6:40 ET)
Dean Kremer (10-4, 4.80) vs. Cristopher Sanchez (0-3, 3.06)

The public is all over this Dean Kremer prop tonight, which has me suspicious. The Orioles are red hot, but they’ve relied more on their hitting to keep this streak alive. Kremer has never been known as a strikeout pitcher (Career 4.36/game) and is near the bottom in xBA this season. If Philadelphia stays disciplined at the plate, I believe Kremer will be out of the game before he can reach his 5th K. 


Daulton Varsho Blue Jay
Toronto Blue Jays @ Los Angeles Dodgers (10:10 ET)
Jose Berrios (8-7, 3.39) vs. Michael Grove (2-2, 6.40)
Daulton Varsho Daily 15-game Rolling wOBA

Daulton Varsho has to be one of the most faded players of the two last months. The first-year Blue Jay ranks near dead last in major batting categories and is simply unable to buy a hit (.213 BA, .633 OPS). Averaging .4 hits/game in his last 10, I don’t see this slump ending tonight.


Brandon Bielak Houston Astros
Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros (8:10 ET)
Jon Gray (6-5, 3.31) vs. Brandon Bielak (5-5, 3.46)
Brandon Bielak Daily 15-Game Rolling Average
Batting Average Against + Hard Hit Rate

Brandon Bielak was dominant early in the season, but his success feels like an overachievement. We’ll know for sure tonight as he faces a Rangers’ offensive wagon which has had major success verse right-handed pitching. With an extremely poor hard-hit rate of 48.5%, Bielak feels prone to getting hammered by this talented Rangers lineup. 


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