MLB Best Bets Today | Odds & Picks for Diamondbacks vs. Twins, Rockies vs. Cardinals & More (Saturday, Aug. 5)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Edouard Julien of the Minnesota Twins.
Saturday's MLB slate features 15 games with all 30 teams in action — and it includes both afternoon and evening action.
Our MLB writers have three best bets for today's games, including picks for Braves vs. Cubs, Diamondbacks vs. Twins and Rockies vs. Cardinals.
Read on for all three of our best bets for Saturday's slate below — and be sure to check back tomorrow for even more MLB betting coverage.
Saturday's MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from Saturday's slate of games. Click the team logos for one of 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.|
Braves vs. Cubs
By Nick Martin
Braves starter Bryce Elder finally suffered through some regression in the month of July, as he struggled to a 5.96 ERA across 25.2 innings.
His K% has trended downward over the last six outings and now sits in the 15th-lowest percentile at 16%. Elder's Stuff+ rating comes in at just 76, while his Location+ mark is 100. Batters have hard-hit 40.9% of balls this season, but Elder is sporting an ERA of just 3.18 in spite of that.
The Cubs will start Javier Assad on Saturday as he looks to build on what's been a great stretch of play. He'll possibly be offered a chance to eat a few more innings than usual.
Assad has dominated to an ERA of 0.42 over his last 21.2 innings. He's allowed a WHIP of just 0.87 in those nine appearances.
Even after Friday's offensive shutout, the Cubs still pace the league by a decent margin in terms of run production. In 841 plate appearances since July 14, they've hit to a wRC+ of 142. That's come with some good luck — including a .344 BABIP — but their process has been sound, too.
Chicago's scorching hot offense is not being given much credit here in a pitching matchup that's even, based on many metrics.
Assad should be able to give four or more solid innings at this point and lead into some combination of Hayden Wesneski, Jose Cuas and Michael Fulmer.
Elder is the kind of starter you want to fade considering the Cubs' price of +143 in this matchup. There's a decent possibility the Cubs' strong approach right now gets to him early, and this is certainly a long enough number to take a shot with the underdog Cubs at home.
Anything better than +125 on the Cubs moneyline is a play for me.
Diamondbacks vs. Twins
By Sean Zerillo
Kenta Maeda (3.72 xERA, 22.1% K-BB%, 102 Pitching+) has split the difference between his impressive 2020 campaign (2.75 xERA, 28.2% K-BB%, 106 Pitching+) against a Central divison-only schedule and his injury-riddled 2021 campaign (3.73 xERA, 17.9% K-BB%, 100 Pitching+) before Tommy John surgery.
Maeda's fastball velocity (90.7 mph) remains in line with his 2021 level (90.8 mph) as opposed to his 2020 form (91.8 mph) or career average (91.6 mph). Still, his Stuff+ has increased back toward prior levels.
Additionally, Maeda has been highly unlucky over his past 32 starts since 2021, pitching to a 4.61 ERA and 3.73 xERA, thanks in part to a .320 BABIP and a 69% stand rate (career .283 BABIP, 72.4% stand rate).
Ryne Nelson (5.04 xERA, 7.7% K-BB%) continues to underperform compared to his above-average pitch modeling metrics (102 Stuff+, 103 Location+, 103 Pitching+). Every time I look at Nelson's pitch modeling data, I have to double-check it; there's a massive disconnect between the models — which would call for a mid-threes ERA — and Nelson's on-field performance.
Even in Triple-A last season, Nelson posted a lackluster 13.7% K-BB% and a 5.51 xFIP.
I projected Saturday;'s total at 7.65, with 10 mph winds blowing in from right field. Bet under 8.5 to -122 or under 8 to -104.
Rockies vs. Cardinals
By Doug Ziefel
There may not be a better bet on the board today than this Steven Matz under.
Yes, Colorado is a good team to target for strikeout props as it hold the four-highest team strikeout rate in the majors, but Matz is not the pitcher to capitalize on the matchup.
Matz has gone under this total at a staggering rate of 84.2% over his last 38 appearances. That rate gives us implied odds of -533 that he will go under again tonight.
Additionally, Matz hasn't given us any reason to think he'll turn it around, as his strikeout rate is the second-lowest mark of his career, and his whiff rate sits in the 48th percentile.
Our Action Labs projections also love this under. They have Matz slated for 5.1 strikeouts, which is another A+ edge to go along with the one above.