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 Monday, Aug. 8
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Pittsburgh Pirates At Arizona Diamondbacks
Betting against Zac Gallen has not been good to me this year, so take this one in with a skeptical eye. But I just have a really hard time getting the Diamondbacks to this big of favorites when we see merely an above-average starter here facing a bullpen game from the Pirates. I say above average because I don’t think Gallen’s 3.31 ERA is validated by his peripherals at all. In fact, his 26.4% called strike+whiff rate represents a career low. Without any changes to his pitch mix, movement, or velocity, I’m not seeing how he’s suddenly elite.
And the bullpen game means there’s only so bad the opposing pitching can be. Bullpens are so good nowadays that even Pittsburgh’s bottom-five unit has produced around a 4.4 ERA level. Given these offenses are not that far apart — Arizona has a 92 wRC+ to Pittsburgh’s 84 — I think the Diamondbacks should be more like -180 favorites rather than around -250.
Current best price: Pirates
New York Yankees At Seattle Mariners
I also feel like backing the Yankees has produced a poor ROI for me, and I’m fading an overnight market move here. Enough steam came in on Seattle to push the Yankees into playable range for me at -105, though I think -110 is also worth some consideration.
This wager just comes down to handicapping the two offenses, as the starting pitching and bullpens should be a wash here. The Yankees have the best offense in baseball this year. Granted, they’re missing Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton, but they have the corner/DH type bats to replace those sluggers. I’m less certain of the Mariners without Julio Rodriguez, with a lineup that still features Adam Frazier and potentially Jared Kelenic. Logan Gilbert also should match up poorly with the Yankees given he’s so fastball/slider heavy (79% of his pitches), with the Yanks ranking top three against both offerings.
Current best price: Yankees
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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