2022 MLB Picks: Betting Angles, Handicapping Thoughts For Aug. 17

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on August 17, 2022
MLB picks

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.

For the 2022 MLB season, bettors interested in following some daily betting angles can find write-ups here.

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MLB Picks For Wednesday, Aug. 17

For ongoing discussion, betting adds, and other discourse around MLB bets, be sure to join our Discord. MLB picks will be posted there as they’re made (so you can potentially get better prices), and many other bettors can help provide various angles.

Chicago Cubs At Washington Nationals

Cory Abbott has been about as bad as it gets for the Nationals ever since the team brought him up amid its teardown. Statcast flatters him with a 3.77 xERA but every other peripheral is atrocious, most notably a 7.43 FIP. He simply can’t get MLB hitters to chase out of the zone (a 20.5 O-Swing% is rock bottom) so he’s dishing out almost 6 BB/9. That follows walk rates around 5 BB/9 each of the past two Triple A campaigns so it will likely continue. And Drew Smyly, who has endured plenty of ups and downs in his career, has been in one of his better grooves this year. His new pitch mix seems to be working, especially in regards to inducing soft contact. He has a stellar 85.6 average exit velocity. A Nationals bunch that puts the ball in play often (third-lowest K%) but also without any authority (third-lowest Hard%) should feed right into his strength.

I grabbed the Cubs close to -140 last night, but the market has moved them to the edge of not having value. There’s still a -155 out at BetMGM at the time of writing and that’s as high as I’d play this one.

Current best price: Cubs

Houston Astros At Chicago White Sox

The Astros bullpen was due for some regression, as I don’t see this as a top-five unit, so I’m not too concerned about the two meltdowns on Monday and Tuesday against these White Sox. I also think the numbers overstate the White Sox’s ability to hit lefties right now, as they’re missing at least Tim Anderson (135 wRC+ vs. LHP) and potentially Luis Robert (189). Crucially, even if Robert plays, a wrist injury seems likely to hamper his power. And while Framber Valdez is a southpaw, which is generally bad against the White Sox, he also induces tons of grounders (67%) against a team that loves burning worms (fourth in grounder rate). Michael Kopech matches up poorly here as well, with a fastball rate over 60% against a team that hammers four-seamers at the second-best efficiency in MLB.

Current best price: Astros

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.

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:

If you prefer your MLB previews in video form, subscribe to the ThLines’ YouTube channel. We’ll go over daily breakdowns there with the Coast 2 Coast crew.

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Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
Written by
Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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