The MLB schedule is a long journey lasting more than half of the year. While that makes it a grind, it also makes it a tremendous betting opportunity. It gives our MLB picks ample time to build a sample and hopefully overcome variance, and it provides the biggest menu of bets (and potential value) when compared to almost any other sport.
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MLB Picks For Wednesday, Aug. 31
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Houston Astros At Texas Rangers
The Astros have done a bit of yo-yoing of Cristian Javier, as he appeared in long relief last time out. He’s already surpassed last season’s innings total, so I’m a bit leery of how long his leash will be going forward. That being said, Texas has not hit right-handed pitching well at all and ranks 22nd against the slider, Javier’s most potent weapon. That number comes as a bit of a surprise considering the lefties they bring to bear, but the numbers say what they say.
Obviously, Martin Perez has been solid, but given the massive offensive edge Houston has, as well as a better bullpen by far, I had them as a value play up to -140.
Current best price: Astros
Philadelphia Phillies At Arizona Diamondbacks
The Phillies were dominating the bad teams on this stretch of their schedule until running into a Diamondbacks buzzsaw the past two days. Still, I like them here to bounce back in a battle of young lefties. Bailey Falter has actually been pretty solid and sports an impressive 30.9% called strike+whiff rate. Home runs have been the fly in the ointment for him, but Arizona isn’t a huge power team and I’m more interested in betting him on the road, where his extreme fly ball tendency should play better for the most part. The Diamondbacks’ home park (95 home run factor last year) certainly qualifies.
Tommy Henry, on the other hand, looks replacement-level pretty much across the board outside of ERA. He had poor MiLB numbers the past two years and should get hammered by a Philly offense that has hit lefties hard to the tune of a 117 wRC+.
Current best price: Phillies
What to know about using MLB Picks
Generally, when looking over these MLB lines and breakdowns, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it’s a long season. There will be hot and cold streaks. Swings of 20+ units will happen. While I’ve had multiple winning seasons, there’s no guarantee I’ll come out ahead this year or any other. Always bet responsibly, and always line shop using our MLB page to find the best lines available at legal sportsbooks in your state. That will give you the best chance of turning a profit.
- MLB futures bets from TheLines writers Eli Hershkovich and Mo Nuwwarah
Furthermore, note that because of the process I’ll be using (attacking overnight markets), lines may shift significantly by the time you read this if you’re checking it out on game day. Hopefully the lines have moved in my favor, and if that’s the case – use your best judgment as to whether you still think the bet is as good as the current line.
I’ll base my plays heavily on starting pitchers, like most any MLB bettor. If you want to learn more about baseball so you can do your own handicapping, start with these resources breaking down a variety of useful metrics:
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