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 Friday, Aug. 12
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.
Miami Marlins At Atlanta Braves
Since starting the season on fire, Pablo Lopez has not had the best results lately. In fact, he has allowed less than 4 ER just once in his past four starts. Still, over that time frame Lopez has a 3.58 FIP and a 3.18 xFIP to go with his 7.32 ERA. Given he has maintained his velocity — improved it in fact, sitting 94+ for his past three — I’m inclined to chalk this up as just a stretch of bad luck. That may be offering us a buy-low opportunity and it doesn’t hurt the Fish get Garrett Cooper back as he’s been one of their better hitters this year with a 121 wRC+.
Even acknowledging Jake Odorizzi is a peripherals overperformer, he’s a couple of tiers below Lopez. His 23.6% called strike+whiff rate is quite poor, and even xERA, which gives him credit for his pop-ups, has him just shy of a 4 ERA.
Given Lopez’s edge over Odorizzi, I had the Braves as mild -125 favorites here. The market moved heavily with me and I don’t see any more value at the current price, so Discord members got the goods with me last night.
Current best price: Marlins
Minnesota Twins At LA Angels
Since July 1 — roughly coinciding with Mike Trout’s injury that took him out of the lineup — the Angels have the worst offense in baseball, tied with the Marlins. So while these pitchers have pretty similar talent levels, the Twins have a very large edge with the bats as currently constructed. Furthermore, even though they’ve been about league-average against lefties, I can’t help but think there’s better performance coming from a team chock-full of right-handed sluggers.
Tyler Mahle looks like a pretty tough matchup for this Angels bunch, too, given he’s pretty fastball-heavy and the Angels have been the worst offense in baseball against the heater in that time (second-worst on the season). His career road numbers (.296 wOBA allowed) also give me hope that we’ll see better performance away from his old bandbox home park in Cincy.
The market has come with me here as well. But, the -130s and -135s out there Friday morning still have enough value to play.
Current best price: Twins
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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