MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Yankees vs Tigers, Marlins vs Nationals (Thursday, August 31)

MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Yankees vs Tigers, Marlins vs Nationals (Thursday, August 31) article feature image

Pictured: Lane Thomas (Lance McMillan/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

The slate is slim, but there's still betting value to be found.

No, your eyes aren't deceiving you — there are just four MLB games scheduled for Thursday, August 31. However, our betting experts aren't taking the day off and have found today's best MLB bets, including Yankees vs. Tigers and Nationals vs. Marlins.

After looking over the odds, we've made our MLB betting picks and predictions, so continue reading as the best MLB bets for Thursday, August 31 are below.

Thursday'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.

GameTime (ET)Pick
1:10 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.

Yankees vs. Tigers

Thursday, August 31
1:10 p.m. ET ET
MLB Network
Yankees Over 4.5 Runs (+105)

By D.J. James

The Yankees have an 81 wRC+ and a 27.3% strikeout rate off of righties this month. However, they haven't been as bad as the numbers indicate.

New York has an 11.4% walk rate, the best in baseball off righties in August. They also have active seven bats with an xwOBA over .315 in August off of righties, meaning most of the lineup can put together strong plate appearances against Matt Manning.

Manning’s season has been a farce. He has a sub-4.00 ERA, but his peripherals are abysmal. Even though the Yankees haven't hit as well as they can, they should take it to Manning. The Tigers right-hander owns a 5.51 xERA with a 90.7 mph Average Exit Velocity, an 11.2% Barrel Rate and a 42.6% Hard-Hit Rate. His xwOBA is over .350.

The Yankees rank third in Hard-Hit Rate this season and sixth in Average Exit Velocity. Manning doesn't walk many hitters, but New York is a terrible matchup for him because he also only strikes out 15.4% of batters.

Additionally, Detroit's bullpen carries a 4.71 xFIP, meaning the Yankees will likely be able to score in the later innings.

The Yankees may be slumping, but Manning is due for regression against one of the hardest hitting teams in the league. The play in this game is on the Yankees scoring early and often against Manning and a weak Detroit bullpen. Take New York from 4.5, and play it to 5.
Pick: Yankees Over 4.5 Runs | Play to 5

Marlins vs. Nationals

Thursday, August 31
7:05 p.m. ET ET
Nationals Over 3.5 Runs (-125)

By D.J. James

Regression is finally hitting Braxton Garrett. He had a 3.70 ERA in the first half and has a 4.54 ERA in the second. On the season, he has a 90.9 mph Average Exit Velocity with a Barrel Rate over 8% and a 47.7% Hard-Hit Rate. His ERA is 3.97 and his xERA is 4.67, so the negatives can keep coming.

His opponent will be Joan Adon and the Washington Nationals. Adon has a 5.25 ERA against a 4.33 xERA. His Barrel Rate is over 8% and his Average Exit Velocity is over 90 mph with a Hard-Hit Rate around 45%.

That said, this bet will be on the Nationals’ offense. This month, they have a 105 wRC+ off of lefties with a 16.5% strikeout rate and a .754 OPS. They have six active bats with an xwOBA over .325, which should be enough against Garrett. Missing Stone Garrett hurts the Nationals offense, and Jacob Young doesn't have a large enough sample size to draw any conclusions, but he can be serviceable.

Miami's bullpen has a 4.25 xFIP this month, so even if Garrett gets knocked around early, the Nationals will have opportunities to score later in the game.

Bet Washington's team total over 3.5 (-125) and play it to 4 (-133).
Pick: Nationals Over 3.5 Runs | Play to 4

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