MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Cardinals vs Rays, Cubs vs Mets, More (Tuesday, August 8)
Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Jeimer Candelario
Tuesday is chock-full of MLB action. There are 16 games, including a doubleheader between the Phillies and Nationals, and all but Game 1 of that take place under the lights.
Our MLB analysts are all over it, as you might expect, with three picks on Cardinals vs. Rays, Astros vs. Orioles and Cubs vs. Mets.
Here are our best bets and picks for the MLB slate on Tuesday, August 8th.
Tuesday MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Cardinals vs. Rays
By Tony Sartori
Right-hander Zach Eflin takes the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays tonight and should be a good candidate to back in this matchup. Through 21 starts this season, Eflin is 12-6 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.
Not only are those surface-level stats strong, but his underlying metrics also suggest that regression is unlikely. Currently, the right-hander ranks in the 66th percentile or higher in Average Exit Velocity, HardHit%, xERA/xwOBA, xBA and xSLG.
Meanwhile, right-hander Miles Mikolas takes the mound for the St. Louis Cardinals. It has been a tough campaign for the veteran pitcher, who is 6-7 with a 4.29 ERA and 1.29 WHIP through 24 starts.
His underlying metrics suggest that positive regression is unlikely, ranking in the 28th percentile or lower in Average Exit Velocity, xERA/xwOBA, xBA and xSLG.
Not only will the Rays boast the pitching advantage, but they also feature the better lineup. This season, Tampa ranks higher than St. Louis in runs scored per game, BA, SLG, OPS and home runs.
If you do not want to lay the juice on the moneyline, it is not the worst idea to take Tampa -1.5 considering that 12 of its past 13 wins have come by at least a two-run margin.
Pick: Rays ML (-175)
Astros vs. Orioles
By Jim Turvey
Take a quick guess who the top three hitters (min. 1,500 PA) are since the start of the 2019 season, by wRC+.
You likely got Aaron Judge, and if you weren't scared off by the injuries, you may have gotten Mike Trout.
But the third name sneaks up on some people, again in part because of some injuries: Yordan Alvarez. In fact, the three are really in a tier of their own since Alvarez debuted in 2019. Over the past two seasons, it's just Judge and Alvarez, and now that Alvarez is back and healthy (for now), he's back to absolutely demolishing baseballs.
In 67 games this season, he has failed to reach base in only three ([!) games, one of which was an injury-shortened game for him in which he got only one at-bat.
On Tuesday, he gets to face off with Grayson Rodriguez. Rodriguez has electric stuff, but he also has struggled immensely with left-handed batters so far in his young career (.970 OPS allowed to lefties, compared to just .735 for righties). He also goes fastball, changeup, slider, which just happen to be the three pitches that Alvarez has demolished this season, and throughout his career.
There are several great ways to play Alvarez on Tuesday (Dinger Tuesday, anyone?!), but my favorite is his total bases. He's gone over 1.5 total bases in 35 of his 67 games this season (52.2 percent), but bettors can get him to go over this total at +125 at DraftKings right now (44.4 percent implied).
Oriole Park is also a great hitting stadium, and the weather looks suited for offense as well, so all the stars are aligning for Alvarez to have a big day on Tuesday.
Pick: Yordan Alvarez Over 1.5 Total Bases (+125)
Cubs vs. Mets
By D.J. James
Jameson Taillon was absolutely abysmal to start the season with the Chicago Cubs, but he seems to be turning a corner, much like the team is in general.
He has a 5.36 ERA on the season against a 5.11 xERA. However, he ranks in the top 40% of the league in both Average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Rate. His walk rate is also only 7.4%, so he is above average in this regard. In the second half, Taillon has a 2.82 ERA over 22 1/3 innings.
His opponent will be Carlos Carrasco and the New York Mets. Carrasco has been even worse this season with a 6.60 ERA and 6.62 xERA. His Average Exit Velocity ranks in the 7th percentile, and his Hard Hit Rate ranks in the 5th percentile.
He has not gotten better, either. His ERA is 12.33 over 15 1/3 innings in the second half of the season. A DFA could be coming his way soon.
The Cubs have been great this month off of righties, too. This is one of the reasons first place in the National League Central is within reach. Their wRC+ is an MLB-best 149 over the last month with a 10.4% walk rate and .916 OPS.
The Mets stand at 95 wRC+ with a 9.3% walk rate and sub-.700 OPS in that same timeframe off of righties.
In relief, the Cubs have a better xFIP this month, so this is another edge. The Cubs should win this game and be taken to -170.