MLB Betting Guide: Friday 9/17/21

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a runline or moneyline.

For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet. For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets to make at MLB odds.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals

Nationals Moneyline (+108): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Nationals +1.5 (-172): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

The Washington Nationals are home underdogs to the Colorado Rockies on Friday, but our model likes the Nats to win.

Washington is facing German Marquez. The righty is a quality hurler, spinning a 3.96 SIERA and 24.2% strikeout rate this year. He hasn't been quite as potent in the second half, though, with his strikeout rate at 22.7% in the split. He's also allowing a 36.7% hard-hit rate since the break, which is up from his first-half mark of 31.4%.

And this is a tough matchup for Marquez. On paper, Washington's offense doesn't look that good, but they've got a .340 wOBA over the last 30 days, the fourth-best clip.

Josiah Gray is getting the ball for the Nats. Gray is a top-shelf prospect who has struggled at times over his first 48 MLB innings. With that said, he's shown some promise, too, with a 24.4% strikeout rate and 14.4% swinging-strike rate. The stuff is there. The Rox aren't a scary matchup. Colorado sits 17th in wOBA across the last month, and they're dead last in road wOBA (.270) for the campaign.

Washington is +108 on the moneyline, and we project them to win outright 56.9% of the time. There's obvious value there. As for the runline, the Nats are priced at -172 to cover as 1.5-run 'dogs, which implies odds of 63.2%. We think they cover 68.6% of the time. Both bets are rated as two-star plays, per our numbers.

Cleveland Indians at New York Yankees

Indians +1.5 (-120): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Indians Moneyline (+160): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

The New York Yankees' offense disappointed once again last night, losing 3-2 at the Baltimore Orioles in a game where the O's bullpen pieced together 5 1/3 scoreless frames. The Yanks have now scored four or fewer runs in 7 of their last 11 games.

Despite their offensive woes and a struggling Corey Kluber taking the bump, the Yankees are fairly comfortable home favorites today versus the Cleveland Indians, and our model sees value on Cleveland.

Kluber has made three starts since coming off the injured list. It's not going well. He's amassed just 11 2/3 innings in those outings and has permitted 11 runs. And those were dates with the Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles -- not exactly a murderer's row.

Countering Kluber will be Zach Plesac. Plesac's 4.70 SIERA and 16.8% strikeout rate are scary numbers to bring into Yankee Stadium. But his 11.1% swinging-strike rate tells us his strikeout rate should be a bit higher, and he's limited hard contact well all year, boasting a 32.1% hard-hit rate.

Plus, as I said at the jump, the Yankees' offense is in a funk. Over the last 14 days, New York is 23rd in wOBA (.297) with the 10th-highest strikeout rate (24.2%).

Our algorithm projects this as a tight one, forecasting the Yanks to win 4.59-4.51. Cleveland is +160 on the moneyline, which implies win odds of 38.5%. We give them a 46.8% chance to win. At -120 on the runline, Cleveland's implied odds to cover are 54.5%, while we think they cover 64.4% of the time. Per our model, taking Cleveland on the runline is a three-star wager and the top bet of the night.