MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Yankees vs Rays, Cardinals vs. Phillies, More (Friday, August 25)

MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Yankees vs Rays, Cardinals vs. Phillies, More (Friday, August 25) article feature image

Pictured: Anthony Santander celebrates with Adley Rutschman. (Photo by Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There's a full 15-game MLB slate on the agenda today, and there's plenty of betting value on the board.

Our MLB betting experts have looked over the schedule and identified today's best baseball bets. They've honed in on a trio of total plays, and they are split on a first-five innings moneyline.

The bets include Nationals vs. Marlins, Yankees vs. Rays, Cardinals vs. Phillies, and Rockies vs. Orioles, so continue reading as the MLB best bets for Friday, August 25 are listed below.

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.

GameTime (ET)Pick
6:40 p.m. ET
6:40 p.m. ET
7:05 p.m. ET
7:05 p.m. ET
7:05 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.

Nationals vs. Marlins

Friday, August 25
6:40 p.m. ET ET
Nationals Over 3.5 (+100)

By D.J. James

The Washington Nationals can still hit left-handers, and this has been a trend for a while this season, now. They get to face Braxton Garrett and the Miami Marlins on Friday with Joan Adon on the mound for the Nats. Betting on Adon this season seems like a bad idea with a 7.00 ERA against a 5.09 xERA.

However, Braxton Garrett has not been too impressive this second half either. He owns a 4.54 ERA since the All-Star Break. Overall, he does have a 3.94 ERA, but his xERA is 4.66. His Average Exit Velocity is 91 MPH with a Barrel Rate of 8.4% and a Hard Hit Rate of 47.4%.

This month, the Nats carry a 109 wRC+ off of southpaws with a 16.3% strikeout rate and .779 OPS. Garrett has an above average strikeout rate, so Washington can cut into his effectiveness on the hill. In addition, the Nats barely walk anyways, so Garrett’s usual edge of a 4% walk rate will not matter as much in this matchup.

The Nationals also have eight batters eclipsing a .320 xwOBA off of southpaws in August. This is impressive and furthers the point that they can mash off of a pitcher with weak peripherals, like Garrett.

Miami’s bullpen xFIP is 4.18 this month, so they do have some spots the Nats can hit, especially if Garrett allows hard contact early.

Take the Nationals team total to 4.5 (-133).

Pick: Nationals Over 3.5 Runs (+100)

Yankees vs. Rays

Friday, August 25
6:40 p.m. ET ET
Under 7.5 (-120)

By Tony Sartori

An excellent pitching matchup should be in store as these AL East teams begin a three-game set on Friday evening.

Right-hander Gerrit Cole takes the mound for New York, and he should be a good candidate to back. The front-runner for the AL Cy Young award, Cole is 10-4 with a 3.03 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.

Over his past seven starts against Tampa Bay, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.06 WHIP.

Meanwhile, right-hander Zach Eflin takes the mound for the Rays and also profiles as a solid option to back in this game. A constant force in Tampa Bay's rotation this season, Eflin is 13-7 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

His underlying metrics suggest that regression is unlikely as the right-hander ranks in the 76th percentile or higher in average exit velocity, HardHit%, xERA/xwOBA and xBA. Like Cole, Eflin's track record against tonight's opponent is terrific.

Through four career starts against the Yankees, Eflin is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Considering how awful New York has been at the dish this season, another strong outing for the right-hander could be on deck.

You may have to lay some extra juice on this line as most of the market has the total at 7, but I would rather lay more juice at 7.5 than take the Under at seven. PointsBet has the most favorable number at -120.

Cardinals vs. Phillies

Friday, August 25
7:05 p.m. ET ET
MLB Network
Cardinals F5 Moneyline (+116)

By Kevin Rogers

The Cardinals avoided a sweep on Thursday against the Pirates as St. Louis makes the short trip across the Keystone State to Philadelphia tonight.

Although St. Louis is out of playoff contention, the Cardinals should be motivated headed into tonight after getting bounced by the Phillies in the 2022 postseason.

Miles Mikolas heads to the mound for the Cardinals, who are 5-2-1 in their last eight road series openers in the first five innings. Mikolas is unbeaten in his last four away starts in the first five, while not trailing after five innings in three starts against the Phillies last season.

Christopher Sanchez has been the least reliable Phillies’ starter from a first five innings perspective this season. Sanchez is 2-5-5 in his 12 starts this season in the first five innings.

The Phillies are in the midst of a 1-6 slump in the last seven games in the first five innings against right-handed starting pitchers, while coming off a loss to the Giants in extra innings on Wednesday.

Mikolas has pitched better on the road this season than at home and looks to rebound after getting knocked around by the Mets in his last outing when he allowed seven runs in four innings.

Let’s back the Cardinals here in the first five innings at +116 at FanDuel and play it to +110.

Pick: Cardinals F5 Moneyline (+116)

Cardinals vs. Phillies

Friday, August 25
7:05 p.m. ET ET
MLB Network
Phillies F5 Moneyline (-140)

By Doug Ziefel

The Fightin' Phils are back home to host a weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals, and they are in line to get the bats going early tonight.

The Phillies will get to face Miles Mikolas tonight, who has been a prime candidate to fade in the second half.
In eight starts since the All-Star break, Mikolas holds a 5.45 ERA as the sinkerballer has been unable to generate ground balls.

Mikolas' ground ball rate is seven percent lower than his career average, and his sinker has been pounded as it has a BAA of .342 on the season, with many of them being left up in the zone.

In addition, the Phillies have been raking of late as they come into this matchup with leading the majors in slugging percentage over the last two weeks, and that power surge has led to them ranking third in wRC+ over the same span.

As for the other side of this matchup, Philly will be throwing a sinkerballer of their own in Cristopher Sanchez. Unlike his counterpart, Sanchez has been able to rack up grounders at an elite rate.His ground ball rate of 58.5 percent is nearly 14 percent higher than the league average, and his style will work well against the Cardinals lineup.

St. Louis' struggles this season have been one of the biggest surprises, and while their lineup has been making hard contact, far too many balls have been on the ground. The Cardinals have the 11th-highest ground ball rate in the majors. So even if they square up Sanchez, it's doubtful they'll get many in the air tonight.

Back the Phillies to be up halfway through this one. (Play to -155)

Pick: Phillies F5 Moneyline (-140)

Rockies vs. Orioles

Friday, August 25
7:05 p.m. ET  ET
MLB Network
Over 9 Runs (-110)

By Brad Cunningham

Kyle Freeland has been quite bad this season and has been even worse lately. Last six starts he’s allowed 38 hits and 20 earned runs. Overall for the season he has a 5.40 xERA, 5.14 xFIP, and his main problem is he is getting virtually no swings and misses.

He only has a 5.79 K/9 rate and is in the second percentile among qualified starting pitchers in whiff rate. That has translated to a career high xwOBA allowed and hard hit rate allowed. The reason why he isn’t getting any swings and misses is because his stuff sucks. His fastball is only averaging just 88.7 mph with very little movement and overall his Stuff+ is just 68, that is by far the worst mark among qualified starting pitchers.

The Orioles are are a top 10 team in terms of wOBA and wRC+ against left handed pitching. The Rockies also have a bottom five bullpen, so they have a great matchup here.

Cole Irivn is a negative regression candidate because in 58 innings he has a 4.66 ERA, but his expected ERA is 6.03. When he is getting hit, he’s getting hit hard. He’s allowing a 10.5% barrel rate allowed and is below the 10th percentile in expected batting average allowed, xwOBA allowed, and xSLG allowed.

I have 10.2 runs projected for this game, so I love the value on Over 9 runs with these two starting pitchers on the mound.

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