On the first Saturday after the All-Star break, we have 13 (!) MLB games starting at 6 p.m. ET or later. Only three matches will start during the day, including one at 1:10 p.m. ET.
With a suite of matches tailored to find the perfect bet(s), our experts have narrowed it down to four games and five selections for the purposes of this piece.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
MLB Odds and Choices
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
Jules Posner: After a 28-5 defeat to the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, the Toronto Blue Jays are looking to continue their playoff lead behind Alec Manoah early Saturday night.
Jays have been a mess heading into the All-Star break, but have moved to 6-4 over their last 10 games, looking to continue to distance themselves from the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card race.
Although the Manoah 4.10 FIP and 4.05 xFIP on the road this season may be a red flag, it still manages to hit the 2.47 road ERA. Plus, his opponent tonight, Cotter Crawford, has really struggled at home so far this season.
Even if Manoah suffers some, there’s still a good chance he’ll get enough insult to keep Jays ahead.
While both bulls have had their issues, the Blue Jays’ pen has been solid the past two weeks and has a huge advantage in Saturday night’s game.
The Jays money line is still available at a reasonable price of -140, which is a very good value at the beginning of Manoah. Also, public money seems to favor this line as well.
Run it up to -150.
Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phyllis
DJ James: The Philadelphia Phillies face an important streak, as they need to take care of business in order to stay afloat and possibly make gains in the Pacific Northeast.
That action is the Chicago Cubs, where Zack Wheeler will face Marcus Strowman.
Wheeler has been a rock for Philly’s turn, boasting a 3.00 ERA and xERA. He is right in line with the expected results. It also only allows for an average exit speed of 86.2 mph, which ranks in the 92nd percentile.
He’ll typically run six or seven strong rounds, and that should be more than enough to keep the Cubs lineup in check.
Strowman looked just like him on his last outing. He only allowed one hit and one run in 4 innings 1/3 against his former team, the New York Mets. He may be limiting – in terms of turns – but the Phillies have a below-average level in WRC+ last month against a right-hand throw (98).
The cubs weren’t particularly strong either (95).
This is the corner in this game. Since both bulls should have enough arms to keep the game close, bet below 8.5 (-115) to 7.5 (-110). The only problem may be a matter of lower grades, and additional roles.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Charlie Distorco: The Minnesota Twins are opening the second half of the year with a two-game streak in Detroit, and there’s no greater time than now for the Tigers’ shooter Michael Pineda’s shooting to fade.
Take a look at Pineda Baseball Savant’s page, and aside from walking rate, not a single area the 33-year-old is below average in. His barrel rate is in the double digits and his hard hit rate is 46%.
Competitors have the .308 xBA and .551 xSLG right-handed, both of which are in the top percent of all shooters. And if that wasn’t enough, Pineda’s xERA is higher than the actual ERA at 6.22.
The Guardians faced Pineda eight runs over two rounds last time out, but regardless, Pineda was lucky in 2022.
He matches in this against rookie Joe Ryan, who was a reliable arm above the twins’ spin. The 26-year-old has a 2.99 ERA and 3.48 xERA, and while not hitting many hitters, Ryan limits the hard connection and opponents have rallied only 0.217 xBA against him.
The onslaught of the tigers should also be quiet on Saturday. They’re ranked 29th in both WRC+ and wOBA, and they’re dead last in the isolated powerhouse. They don’t draw a walk and were the worst offensive in baseball, scoring just 3.14 points per game.
All to say I love the twins in the first five streak running tonight at -130. They have a stark advantage – both on the hill and on the board – and I think the balls will fly in Comerica for Byron Buxton and her crew.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Alex Hinton: July hasn’t been a great month for Carlos Correa so far – the Minnesota short race is just 0.180 with two home runs this month. However, he has a great game to open the second half.
Tonight, Korea will face the Detroit Tigers and rookie Michael Pineda. In his last start, Pineda was bombarded by the guards. He gave up eight earned nine-strokes in two rounds of action, and the outing swelled his ERA from 3.58 to 5.22.
Pineda is among the worst shooters in the MLB in terms of strike rate, average exit velocity, xERA, barrel ratio and hard hit ratio.
In their career, Correa has dominated this match. He’s 9 to 23 with three home runs and five against. Pineda.
In addition, Correa hit 10 out of 11 times at home against right-handed bowlers. Of course, if Correa does Homer, he’ll easily wipe out the total bases he needs by four.
Comerica Park isn’t the friendliest park for home joggers, but the gaps in the left–especially the right field–are wide. Double the gap will get the job done for us, too.
In 13 games at Comerica Park, Correa was the .286 hitter with two home runs, 11 hitters and a 0.835 OPS.
Love it to get the best of Pineda back today.
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets
Tony Sartori: We have Game Two of this three-game series, with the New York Mets at NL East hosting the San Diego Padres at NL West. After dropping the first game of the series, the Mets should be able to bounce back and snatch victory.
After losing as the favorite this season, the Mets achieved a 20-1 straight climb (95%). Of those 20 wins, the Mets have covered the race streak 15 times (75%).
I expect these trends to continue, as the Mets are set to head against left-wing Blake Snell. Through 10 starts this season, Snell is 1-5 with a 5.22 ERA and 1.48 WHIP.
Snell gets into this game particularly badly, as he keeps getting hit when he’s on the hill. Over his last five starts, Snell has been 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.
Having lost nearly all of his leadership this season, Snell’s problems will likely not go away in front of the Mets’ strong lineup. Over his last two games against the Mets, Snell was 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA and 2.25 WHIP.
Additionally, Snell may not get much support in this game, as the Padres are set to face right-hander Chris Bassitt. Through 17 starts this season, Bassitt is 7-6 with 3.79 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.
Bassett’s metrics are solid this year, boasting .282 xwOBA, .215 xBA and .359 xSLG. These stronger metrics translated into better beginnings for Bassett.
Over his last five starts, Bassett was 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
I would like to play that streak all the way to +125.
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