MLB Expert Predictions for Saturday Night: Our Staff’s 3 Favorite Bets, Including Athletics-Angels
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien (10) celebrates with third baseman Matt Chapman (26).
- There are 6 evening MLB games on tap for Saturday.
- Our experts detail their favorite bets of the night including Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies (8:15 p.m. ET), Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros (8:10 p.m. ET), Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels (10:07 p.m. ET).
Collin Wilson: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies
Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 3.07 ERA) vs. Jon Gray (8-5, 3.92 ERA)
- Dodgers Moneyline: -152
- Rockies Moneyline: +141
- Over/Under: 12.5
- First pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET
Implementing a fade-Kershaw strategy is not generally a method of cashing tickets. On Saturday night, the Dodgers Cy Young ace visits one of his biggest equalizers in Coors Field.
Clayton Kershaw has a lifetime 4.57 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. Adding to Kershaw’s night is Chris Guccione calling balls and strikes. The Umpire is 217-224 to the Under lifetime, a clip of 49.2% for -19.57 units. Plenty of runs are expected in Coors tonight.
The Total of 12.5 may be a bit steep, but the advanced splits suggest Colorado will do their part. Since the beginning of May, the Rockies are 1st in the league in wOBA against left handers. An ISO, BABIP and wRC+ in the top 10 against southpaws qualify the home team as an excellent opportunity to fade Kershaw.
The PICK: Rockies +1.5 -110
Danny Donahue: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros
Yusei Kikuchi (4-5, 5.11 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (10-3, 2.67 ERA)
- Mariners Moneyline: -335
- Astros Moneyline: +292
- Over/Under: 9.5
- First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
In the second half of the season, it becomes profitable to start fading the best teams in the league — especially when the public loads up on them.
From Game 82 on, underdogs in divisional matchups with opponents at .600 or higher have gone 400-510 since 2005. That’s no winning record, of course, but it has resulted in 103.6 units for an 11.4% return on investment.
When the team is also getting less than 35% of bets on the game (the Mariners are getting just 19%), that record improves to 284-338 (120.2 units, 19.8% ROI).
At +292, this is certainly not a bet I expect to win. If history is any indication, though, there should be value on Seattle tonight.
The PICK: Mariners +292
Sean Zerillo: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Brett Anderson (7-5, 4.26 ERA) vs. Tyler Skags (7-6, 4.30 ERA)
- A’s Moneyline: +134
- Angels Moneyline: -144
- Over/Under: 9.5
- First pitch: 10:07 p.m. ET
I was initially prepared to give out the under in this matchup, but I don’t like the following trend here for umpire Jeff Nelson:
For his career, Nelson has a strong lean to the under in non-divisional games (125-92-15, 57.6%, +$2,601, 11.2% ROI). However, quite the opposite has been true regarding the under in his divisional matchups (95-112-15, 46%, -$2,333, -10.5% ROI).
Though it is still uncertain if Khris Davis will play tonight (which is why I have waited to lock in a price on this game), Oakland typically crushes left-handed pitching with their ability to build a lineup consisting of eight or nine right-handed or switch-hitting bats.
Oakland ranks third in MLB with a 126 wRC+ against southpaws, compared to 15th with a 96 wRC+ against righties.
Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Oakland has also been the most profitable team in baseball when facing a left-handed starter: 46-32, +1,318, 16.9% ROI.
Over that span, they’re 25-13 as a favorite and 21-19 as a dog, but have produced a higher return on investment as a dog (20%) than as a favorite (13.7%) despite a far lower win percentage.
They’re 14-7 (+$506, 24.1% ROI) against lefties in 2019 alone.
The PICK: Oakland Athletics (+134) Game Moneyline