Friday MLB Betting Picks: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, Nationals vs. Red Sox, Padres vs. Rockies (Aug. 28)
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Juan Soto
- A full night of baseball is on deck Friday night, and our staff found angles in three games: Orioles vs. Blue Jays, Red Sox vs. Nationals and Padres vs. Rockies.
- The Orioles take on the Blue Jays at 6:37 p.m. ET in the first of these three games, and Danny Donahue likes Baltimore's moneyline at +195.
- Check out more of our staff's best bets for Friday's MLB slate below.
As of the late afternoon Friday, it sure looks as though baseball will be played tonight (with the exception of a doubleheader rainout in Detroit, if not more).
With that, our experts have found some spots worth betting on the now 15-game slate. Check out the picks we’re making for the following matchups:
- Orioles vs. Blue Jays (6:37 p.m. ET)
- Nationals vs. Red Sox (7:30 p.m. ET)
- Padres vs. Rockies (8:40 p.m. ET)
Note: Odds as of 2:45 p.m. ET.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
Danny Donahue: Orioles Moneyline (+195) vs. Blue Jays
If it feels like you’ve already read what you’re about to read, that’s very possible. Prior to last night’s O’s-Rays game being postponed, I was making the same wager on a bad — but unlucky — starter going for a team that hits lefties well. And since John Means is once again Baltimore’s scheduled starter, and the O’s are once again facing a southpaw, I’ll give this another shot.
Means enters this game boasting a fat 10.13 ERA through four starts, but his FIP (7.66) and xFIP (5.53), while still admittedly high, do suggest that he hasn’t been quite that bad.
He’ll be opposed by Hyun-jin Ryu, who’s earned every bit of his 3.19 ERA (his xFIP is 3.05), so outdueling him will be no easy task. But a lefty-vs.-lefty matchup, generally speaking, does favor the Orioles.
Baltimore ranks fourth in the bigs vs. left-handed pitchers (by wOBA), compared to Toronto’s No. 8 ranking, and boasts better offensive numbers pretty much across the board. The Orioles’ BABIP is also significantly lower (.289 vs. .324) than Toronto’s despite an average one notch higher (.274 vs. .273), meaning they’ve benefitted less from luck.
Now, there is no question that the difference between Ryu and Means is bigger than that between these offenses, so I’m not suggesting that Baltimore is likely to win this game. But a near 2-1 underdog? That’s too much to pass up given the underlying metrics.
BJ Cunningham: Nationals Team Total Over 5.5 (+102)
The Nationals have been hitting the ball well over the past two weeks. In their past 13 games, they are hitting .273 with a .341 wOBA and 112 wRC+. Juan Soto and Trea Turner are absolutely crushing the ball, as both have a wOBA above .480 over that span — they’ve also combined for seven home runs and 17 RBIs.
The Nationals have been crushing lefties so far this season, ranking third in MLB with a .373 wOBA and 132 wRC+. They should have no issue with Martin Perez, who has been really fortunate so far this season. He’s posted a 3.45 ERA, but his xFIP is all the way up at 5.55.
He’s had a lot of issues with his control so far in 2020, as he’s accumulated a 4.31 BB/9 rate in his first 31.1 innings. Perez is due for some negative regression, and facing a lineup that is feasting off lefties at the moment makes for a terrible matchup for him and the Red Sox.
I have the Nationals projected at 5.88 against Perez and the Red Sox bullpen, so I think there is good value in taking over 5.5 runs for the Nationals at +102.
Michael Arinze: Rockies Moneyline (-105) vs. Padres
The Colorado Rockies are on a three-game winning streak and now welcome a Padres team off a doubleheader yesterday against the Mariners. Zach Davies gets the ball for the Padres and he’ll be making his third career start at Coors Field, where his teams are 0-2 in his outings for -2.85 units.
Rockies starter, Kyle Freeland, on the other hand, has had success against the Padres, winning his last three starts against them for +3.08 units. Colorado is also 13-5 in their past 18 games at home against San Diego for +6.86 units.
Some pitchers just aren’t cut out to handle the thin air and altitude in Colorado. so I’m backing the team that’s more comfortable in the surroundings. Take the Rockies at the short price of -105.