Betting Angles For All 15 Saturday MLB Games
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports. Pictures: Alex Bregman.
- Cubs pitcher Jon Lester has a 5.34 ERA in six starts against the Pirates over the past two seasons.
- Carlos Rodon will return from injury to make his 2018 White Sox debut. He has absolutely nasty stuff (K/9 rate of 9.87 in 2017).
- This will be Rangers pitcher Mike Minor’s third start of the season vs. the Houston Astros. He went 0-1 in the first two with a 6.52 ERA.
Well, the Stanley Cup and NBA playoffs are officially over, but we’ll still have plenty of betting options on Saturday. In addition to a Triple Crown shot at Belmont, there are 15 MLB games — including 11 during the day.
We will kick things off at 12:05 p.m. ET with the Nats and Giants in Washington D.C., where Stanley Cup champion Alex Ovechkin will throw out the first pitch. Below you will find quick blurbs on each game as you handicap the card. Will the Mets score more than one run? Will the Mariners win by one run again? Let’s dive in.
All odds as of Saturday morning.
San Francisco Giants (+156) at Washington Nationals (-174) | O/U: 8.5
Dereck Rodriguez (1-0, 1.93 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (6-2, 2.27 ERA)
12:05 p.m. ET
Gio Gonzalez owns a top-10 ERA among all qualified starters — thanks to a top-10 ground-ball percentage (51.8%) and a top-five HR/9 rate (0.5). He has really been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball over the past two seasons, but his 2018 numbers should regress. (His 82.5% strand rate is simply not sustainable.) We might just see that correction starting against a red-hot Giants club today.
Milwaukee Brewers (-103) at Philadelphia Phillies (-107) | O/U: 8
Brent Suter (5-4, 4.55 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (5-3, 2.66 ERA)
Both clubs have really struggled against lefties this season, as only the Mets have a lower OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) against southpaws. (The Phillies and Brewers both have a .667 OPS against lefties.) Luckily for the Brewers, they won’t face a lefty on Saturday. Philly can’t say the same, as their struggling offense will have to figure out a way to score against the lefty Suter.
Baltimore Orioles (-101) at Toronto Blue Jays (-109) | O/U: 8.5
Kevin Gausman (3-5, 4.63 ERA) vs. Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 4.48 ERA)
1:07 p.m. ET
Sanchez continues to get killed by free passes. So far in 2018, he has walked 5.16 batters per 9.0 innings, which ranks as the second-highest BB/9 rate in all of baseball. Only Lucas Giolito has handed out walks more frequently. On the other end of the spectrum, Gausman’s 2.19 BB/9 rate ranks in the top 20 among all qualified pitchers.
Los Angeles Angels (-107) at Minnesota Twins (-103) | O/U: 8.5
Tyler Skaggs (4-4, 3.27 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (1-3, 3.54 ERA)
2:10 p.m. ET
Gibson has pitched pretty well so far this season, but he does have a 5.05 ERA in nine career starts against the Angels. Skaggs has also started fast out of the gate, having not allowed more than two earned runs in nine of his 12 starts in 2018.
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Pittsburgh Pirates (+151) at Chicago Cubs (-168) | O/U: 7.5
Nick Kingham (2-2, 4.03 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (6-2, 2.44 ERA)
2:20 p.m. ET
The Pirates limp into this game losers of 15 of their past 20, but seeing Lester might get them back on track. Over the past two seasons, Lester has made six starts against Pittsburgh, including two this year. He has a very poor 5.34 ERA over those 30.1 innings.
Chicago White Sox (+189) at Boston Red Sox (-212) | O/U: 9
Carlos Rodon (–, — ERA) vs. David Price (6-4, 4.08 ERA)
4:05 p.m. ET
Carlos Rodon will return from injury to make his 2018 White Sox debut. The third overall pick in 2014 has absolutely electric stuff — highlighted by a nasty slider that the lefty uses to generate swing and misses. In 2017, Rodon had a K/9 rate of 9.87 — 25th-highest among all starting pitchers with at least 60.0 innings pitched. In four rehab starts in Triple-A Charlotte, Rodon compiled a 1.53 ERA with 28 strikeouts to just five walks.
Kansas City Royals (+185) at Oakland Athletics (-192) | O/U: 8
Danny Duffy (2-6, 5.81 ERA) vs. Chris Bassitt (–, — ERA)
4:10 p.m. ET
Trevor Cahill will not pitch on Saturday, due to soreness in his Achilles. As a result, the Athletics called up Bassitt from Triple-A Nashville to make his first MLB start since 2016. The right-hander hasn’t fared well in the minors this season, going 2-3 with a 6.10 ERA in 10 games (seven starts).
Duffy continues to struggle, partly as a result of the long ball. The southpaw has allowed 2.07 home runs per 9.0 innings — the highest rate among all qualified starters. That’s especially troubling considering he owns the league’s fourth- highest walk rate at 4.39 BB/9.
Cleveland Indians (-159) at Detroit Tigers (+144) | O/U: 9
Mike Clevinger (4-2, 3.36 ERA) vs. Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.33 ERA)
4:10 p.m. ET
Both starters have solid career splits against their opponent on Saturday. Fiers has gone 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA in five career starts against Cleveland, while Clevinger owns a 4-1 record with a 2.28 ERA against Detroit. I’d trust the latter more, as the Tigers really struggle to hit right-handed pitching. They rank 24th in OPS (On Base Plus Slugging) against righties in 2018.
San Diego Padres (-113) at Miami Marlins (+103) | O/U: 7.5
Tyson Ross (5-3, 3.31 ERA) vs. Dan Straily (2-2, 3.50 ERA)
4:10 p.m. ET
Don’t expect too many bombs in Miami, especially with two right-handers on the hill. The Padres and Marlins have each hit only 35 homers against righties this season, tied with the Tigers for the fewest in the league.
Seattle Mariners (+128) at Tampa Bay Rays (-138) | O/U: 7
Felix Hernandez (6-4, 5.33 ERA) vs. Blake Snell (7-3, 2.36 ERA)
4:10 p.m. ET
The Mariners sit at an impressive 40-23 on the season, primarily as a result of how good they’ve played in close games. In fact, half of their wins have come by one single run. Seattle has an MLB-leading 20-9 record in one-run games this season.
These two pitchers just faced off six days ago in a game that Seattle pulled out 2-1 for another one-run victory. Snell pitched brilliantly, twirling 6.0 innings of two-hit shutout ball with 12 Ks and 0 BBs. Over his past 21 starts (dating back to last season), Snell has an 11-4 record with a 2.45 ERA with a stellar 135 strikeouts in 121.0 innings.
St. Louis Cardinals (-105) at Cincinnati Reds (-105) | O/U: 9
Michael Wacha (7-1, 2.41 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (4-6, 5.64 ERA)
4:10 p.m. ET
Coming off his best start of the season, Wacha has been nothing short of spectacular so far in 2018. He already has two wins in two starts (3.09 ERA) against the Reds this season. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his past nine starts. Over that span, he’s gone 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA. While Wacha has been somewhat lucky, his changeup has been nothing short of filthy. And in 18 career games (16 starts) against the Reds, he’s 10-1 with a 2.88 ERA.
New York Yankees (-160) at New York Mets (+144) | O/U: 8.5
Domingo German (0-4, 5.44 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (2-4, 3.42 ERA)
7:15 p.m. ET
Most are aware of the Mets’ bullpen futility, but their offense has been just as bad lately. During their current seven-game losing streak, the Mets have scored a total of eight runs. And in their past 10 games at Citi Field, they’ve totaled 12 runs. Horrendous.
Arizona Diamondbacks (+128) at Colorado Rockies (-138) | O/U: 12.5
Matt Koch (4-3, 3.76 ERA) vs. Chad Bettis (4-1, 4.02 ERA)
7:15 p.m. ET
The Diamondbacks still have the worst team batting average in the majors at .220, but they seem to be coming out of their slump. Part of their recent improvement on offense has to do with Paul Goldschmidt. After he went 0-for-3 on May 22, his 2018 average dropped to .198. But in the 13 games since, the Delaware native has gone 20-for-52 (.385) with five home runs. His average now sits at .241.
Houston Astros (-189) at Texas Rangers (+160) | O/U: 9.5
Charlie Morton (7-1, 2.84 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (4-4, 5.76 ERA)
7:15 p.m. ET
This will be Minor’s third start of the season vs. the Houston Astros. He went 0-1 in the first two with a 6.52 ERA. The Texas lefty has allowed at least four runs in six of his 11 starts in 2018. Not great.
Atlanta Braves (+153) at Los Angeles Dodgers (-170) | O/U: 7.5
Anibal Sanchez (1-0, 2.16 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (1-4, 4.48 ERA)
9:10 p.m. ET
Wood has not pitched well against his former team, going 1-2 in three starts with a 6.75 ERA, 2.18 WHIP and .348 BAA. Ender Inciarte, Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers are a combined 19-for-38 (.500) vs. the Dodgers left-hander.
With that said, Wood loves pitching at Dodger Stadium (14-5 with 2.82 ERA in 33 career games) and the LA offense is currently rolling. The Dodgers have started 6-1 in June, averaging 8.9 runs per game. They’ve scored at least seven runs in six of their seven games this month.