MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Mariners vs Astros, Mets vs Cardinals, More (Sunday, August 20)

MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Mariners vs Astros, Mets vs Cardinals, More (Sunday, August 20) article feature image

Pictured: Pete Alonso after hitting a home run. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

There are 12 games and numerous MLB betting opportunities on Sunday, August 20.

Action Network's MLB betting experts have looked over the slate and identified the best MLB bets of the day. Our experts are eyeing a total, as well as a pair of F5 moneylines, and have found value in Mariners vs. Astros, Blue Jays vs. Reds and Mets vs. Cardinals.

Continue reading as the MLB best bets for Sunday, August 20 are below.

Sunday's 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 on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

GameStart Time (ET)Pick
1:05 p.m. ET
1:40 p.m. ET
2:15 p.m. ET
Specific betting 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.

Mariners vs. Astros

Sunday, August 20
1:05 p.m. ET ET
Astros First 5 Innings Moneyline (-164)

By Brad Cunningham

Emerson Hancock will take the mound for his third career start after being called up from Double-A. However, he never was that good in Double-A. In more than 40 starts, he had an xFIP above 4.40 and then got exposed against Kansas City as he gave up five runs on nine hits in his most recent start.

Hancock doesn't project well in the majors as most projection models having him as a 4.70 ERA type of pitcher. Even more concerning is that his Stuff+ is just 84 through two starts.

He relies primarily on weak contact and has a below-average fastball that sits around 93 mph. However, his Location+ rating in those two starts was 103 and he's really only successful if has command.

Hunter Brown will be on the mound for the Astros, and he's been solid this season with a 4.40 xERA and a 3.30 xFIP. His stuff+ rating sits at 106, and his Location+ rating is 100.

He's primarily a fastball, slider, curveball pitcher and all three have whiff rates over 20%.

The Mariners lineup has come alive lately, but they can really only hit fastballs. They have a -32.1 run value against sliders and curveballs, so if Brown can get his off-speed pitches working, Seattle is going to be in trouble.

I have Brown and the Astros projected as a -216 favorite for the first five innings, so I like the value on them at -164.
Pick: Astros First 5 Innings Moneyline

Blue Jays vs. Reds

Sunday, August 20
1:40 p.m. ET ET
Over 9.5 (-115)

By Collin Whitchurch

Hunter Greene makes his much-anticipated return from the Injured List for a Reds team that desperately needs starting pitching help as it makes a push for the postseason.

The young flamethrower, who has been out since mid-June with a hip issue, isn't expected to have any restrictions placed upon him after throwing 80 pitches in his final rehab outing.

Prior to the injury, he showed signs of taking a step forward from an up-and-down rookie season. He will miss bats with the best of them, but still walks too many hitters, and his fly-ball nature is occasionally bad news in his homer-friendly home park.

The walks shouldn't hurt him too bad against the Blue Jays, but they also strike out infrequently enough (11th in K rate against RHP) that I expect any rust to be taken advantage of by a top-flight offense that is also expected to see Bo Bichette return to the lineup.

Hyun-Jin Ryu has made just three starts after a lengthy layoff following Tommy John surgery, and while he has a nice 2.57 ERA in the small sample size, he doesn't miss bats anymore and has run into quite a bit of luck in the process.

The Reds are slightly below-average against left-handed pitching, but Ryu doesn't pose much of a threat to their swing-happy nature. And in Great American Ball Park, with weather a non-factor, I think these two high-profile offenses will tee off on a fade-able pitcher, and another looking to shake off the rust.

I like the over 9.5 at -115 or better, but would probably avoid — or at least lower my risk amount — if it reaches 10.

Mets vs. Cardinals

Sunday, August 20
2:15 p.m. ET ET
Mets First 5 Innings Moneyline (-+116)

By Kevin Rogers

The Mets are putting it together lately and have won six of their past seven, including four in a row.

New York has outscored St. Louis 24-5 in this series and is seeking a sweep at Busch Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Cardinals’ offense has been atrocious in this series, especially in the first five innings. St. Louis has scored just one total run in the first five innings of the first three games.

Carlos Carrasco may not have great overall numbers this season, but the Mets’ right-hander is 8-4-2 over the first five innings in his past 14 starts.

Of course, it is worth noting that Carrasco was knocked around by the Cardinals when he faced them at Citi Field in mid-June.

Dakota Hudson has been solid for St. Louis this season. The Cardinals’ right-hander is 4-0 and has received at least six runs of support in all four starts.

The Mets aren't headed to the playoffs, but they are playing well at the moment and it’s tough to pass on them at this price, especially against a struggling St. Louis offense.

Let’s back the Mets in the first five innings at +116 at FanDuel and play it down to +110.
Pick: Mets First 5 Innings Moneyline | Play to +110

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