MLB Expert Predictions for Saturday: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets, Including Dodgers vs. Red Sox
Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chris Sale
Collin Wilson: New York Mets at Miami Marlins
Noah Syndergaard (6-4, 4.68 ERA) vs. Zac Gallen (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
- Away Moneyline: -135
- Home Moneyline: +125
- Over/Under: 8
- First pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET
One of the top pitchers in the Marlins organization, Zac Gallen has punched out 16 hitters in just 12 innings this season. The Marlins rookie, acquired in trade for Marcell Ozuna, had an impressive strikeout rate through his time in Triple-A for the Cardinals and Marlins.
Per ESPN Park Factors, Marlins Park is 28th in home runs, which should help keep the ball in the park for both pitchers. The Mets offense had their best month in June, ranking 5th in HR/FB ratio against right handers.
Noah Syndergaard goes for the Mets, but the last three performances have been subpar for star righty. With rumors of a trade swirling, Syndergaard has put up a major league career worst in homer runs, strikeouts and walks per 9 innings.
While the Marlins offense has some of the lowest splits for the entire season, the month of June saw a resurgence. Specifically the line drive and hard hit percentage are in the top half of all MLB teams over the past six weeks.
The PICK: Marlins +125
Evan Abrams: Red Sox vs. Dodgers
Ross Stripling (3-3, 3.79 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (3-8, 4.04 ERA)
- Dodgers Moneyline: +160
- Red Sox Moneyline: -170
- Over/Under: 9
- First pitch: 7:15 p.m. ET
I was on the Red Sox yesterday at a short home price with Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound for Boston, but tonight I am playing the other side. Chris Sale is a pretty big favorite at home against Ross Stripling and the Dodgers and I think there is value in L.A.
Stripling has pitched both in the rotation and the bullpen this season, posting a 3.72 ERA in nine starts, where the Dodgers are 6-3 and Stripling has allowed just three earned runs in his last three road starts against the Diamondbacks, Cubs and Brewers. My hope is that Stripling keeps the Dodgers in the game long enough to get to Sale.
This season, Sale owns a 4.27 ERA at home and opponents have a .295 on-base percetage against him at Fenway, his highest OBP allowed at home since 2011. Sale has only faced one batter in the Dodgers lineup, David Freese, so there is no real experience on either side. In terms of the big story for Sale, which is his velocity, it has improved over his last few starts (~2 MPH increase), but still pales in comparison to last year (down ~2 MPH on his fastball).
Even though Sale has shown positive signs, I think a wager on the Dodgers after scoring one run in their previous game is a good bet. The Dodgers are 20-12 after a loss this season and 9-4 after scoring one run or less in their previous game, outscoring their opponents by 2.4 runs per game in that span.
The PICK: Dodgers +160