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 Tuesday, Aug. 30
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Seattle Mariners At Detroit Tigers
This game pits a couple of former top prospects against each other, but George Kirby has been the much better MLB arm thus far. His peripherals basically validate his 3.32 ERA. He should have a stellar day against a Detroit team that has the worst offense in baseball on the season and a comically low 72 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. They also may be missing Javier Baez although given his offensive output, it’s an open question whether that’s a bad thing. Matt Manning has the more uncertain profile. Statcast (3.38) and FIP (3.23) love his work so far. But, given his poor MLB track record, mediocre projections and 4.12 SIERA, I remain skeptical. Perhaps he has figured it out and this line is fair, but I’m still sticking with the projections and thinking Mariners should be more like -185.
Current best price: Mariners
Boston Red Sox At Minnesota Twins
Kutter Crawford has actually been decent for Boston despite a 5.3 ERA. Based on his 3.99 SIERA and league average peripherals across the board, I’m thinking he’s a step or two above Chris Archer. The sliderific one has a 4.7 SIERA and a mere K-BB% of 9. Boston has been solid against the slider, and with the eight-best xWOBA against righty sliders specifically, I’m guessing they’ve been a bit unlucky. Minnesota’s offense will also miss Byron Buxton and probably Jorge Polanco. I had this one as wrong team favored, so plenty of room to bet Boston here.
Current best price: Red Sox
Kansas City Royals At Chicago White Sox
Brady Singer continues to put together a fantastic season. He just continues to make it work with mostly a simple two-pitch mix of sinkers and sliders. A right-handed heavy White Sox lineup should be easy pickings for him, especially with their injury situation. Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada and Yasmani Grandal may all sit, leaving Jose Abreu doing the empty room meme. I’ve been a Lucas Giolito believer for awhile now, but something seems off this year. His swinging strike rate has tumbled to below league average so I’m thinking his ~3.7 projections may overstate his current talent level. He also has a rather stark home/road split, allowing a .377 wOBA in the friendly confines this year (H/T to the Discord channel).
Current best price: Royals
New York Yankees At LA Angels
This is basically a pure fade of Mike Mayers. I was flabbergasted when I saw they actually had him throw like a starter and not merely an opener last time out. He performed well with five shutout innings but I definitely don’t expect such success to continue. He wasn’t even a particularly good reliever with a career 4.87 ERA although his 4.37 FIP is more palatable. But even if his SIERA (3.87) indicates he’s actually OK, that will jump closer to replacement-level when he moves into a starter role. The Yankees offense should tee off here. I have them north of -200 so I’m surprised to see them such mild favorites here.
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:
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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