MLB Betting Picks (August 4): Our Staff’s Best Bets for Tuesday
Pictured: Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman. Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
- Looking for betting picks for Tuesday's MLB slate? You've come to the right place.
- Our staff is hitting the moneylines in Blue Jays vs. Braves and White Sox vs. Brewers, and over/under in Giants vs. Rockies and A's vs. Rangers
- Below you'll get a complete breakdown of all our Tuesday MLB picks.
How much baseball gets played tonight is still to be determined by Mother Nature, but if all goes as planned, 13 games remain on tap for Tuesday afternoon and evening.
With that, our experts are zoning in on four games in particular, backing both a pair of favorites and a pair of unders. Here are our favorite MLB bets for August 4.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
Collin Wilson: Braves Moneyline (-177) vs. Blue Jays
With such a pricey moneyline it may be best to take a run line at a cheaper price, but the play is to back southpaw Max Fried. The Braves lefty gave up just one earned run on three hits in his last start against Tampa. Fried has a plus curveball which should give the homeless Blue Jays team plenty of issues.
Toronto is 28th in wOBA and wRC+ against left-handed pitching. The Blue Jays also sport the third-highest strikeout percentage against southpaws in all of baseball. This will be their first game since last Thursday, which may translate to hitting rust with players out of rhythm.
Danny Donahue: Brewers Moneyline (-135) vs. White Sox
I couldn’t help but do a double take as I scrolled past this one on my odds page this morning. And honestly, I can’t really even attempt to make sense of why Giolito and the White Sox aren’t closer to a pick’em, or even favored, in this game. I’ll save that kind of analysis for the three much more knowledgeable baseball bettors above and below this blurb.
What I can tell you, though, is what tends to happen in games where the line doesn’t make a whole lot of sense — specifically, when it moves toward an unpopular favorite, like the Brewers.
Our Bet Labs database dates back to 2005 and has recorded 240 instances of a moneyline moving at least 10 cents in the direction of a favorite (greater than -130) getting less than 40% of bets. In such games, that unpopular favorite has gone 163-77 (which is to be expected given that favorites win more often than not), but more importantly has won 34.9 units for a 14.5% return on investment.
The White Sox may feel like a no-brainer tonight, but I’m sure at the time those other 240 popular underdogs did as well …
BJ Cunningham: Giants vs. Rockies Under 12 (-109)
Gausman primarily uses only two pitches: his fastball and split-finger. His fastball has been steadily declining over the past few years, as he posted his worst wOBA against of his career in 2019. That won’t bode well against a Rockies lineup that has been feasting on fastballs to begin the season.
His split-finger, though, has been very effective over his career. In 2019, it produced a 40.8% whiff rate and only a .256 wOBA against.
Despite not having any threats in their lineup, the Giants have been halfway decent offensively to begin the season. They rank 15th in baseball with a .320 wOBA and 108 wRC+. However, the Giants ranked in the bottom five against fastballs and sliders a year ago and it just so happens those are Marquez’s two main pitches. I think they’ll struggle against Marquez on Tuesday night.
Marquez has been awesome to start the season, allowing only two earned on six hits in 11.2 innings of work. He’s also struck out 14 batters in the process, which has led to a 2.73 xFIP in his first two starts.
He has above-average velocity on his fastball (features both a four-seam and a two-seam, both of which have pretty average movement). His four-seam is probably his more effective pitch, garnering a 13.3% whiff rate.
His curveball is predominantly his best pitch, with only a .149 wBA against in 2019. The Giants were one of the worst teams against fastballs and sliders a year ago, so look for Marquez to feature those two pitches Tuesday night.
Coors Field is always a precarious place to take an under, but I think with two good starting pitchers on the mound, they can keep the game relatively low scoring. I have 10.41 runs projected for this game, so I am going to back Under 12 runs at -109 (DraftKings) and would bet it all the way up to -118.
Stuckey: A’s vs. Rangers Under 7.5 (-120)
Fairy simply logic here: A’s facing a righty and Rangers facing a lefty, which is the under equation for both teams, especially in Oakland at night where the ball doesn’t carry as much.
I’ve gushed endlessly about Luzardo, whom I love. He’s also looked strong coming out of the gate.
And similar to Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn simply needed to get out of New York and away from pitching coach Larry Rothschild. He’s been great since arriving in Oakland. He’s also looked spectacular to start the year, having not allowed a run in two starts (12 innings).
The A’s did hit Lynn hard last year, but I trust him enough to play this under. Bats also still seem to be behind starters to start this odd year.