MLB Betting Picks: How Our Staff is Betting Royals vs. Twins, Athletics vs. Astros, More (Saturday, August 8)

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Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Chadwick Tromp

  • Looking for some quick MLB betting picks for Saturday? Our staff's got you covered with four best bets.
  • We're rolling with two dogs on the moneyline, plus a run line underdog at plus-money.
  • Get our best MLB bets for Saturday below.

Saturday offers MLB bettors a 15-game wall-to-wall slate beginning at 2:10 p.m. ET with Indians vs. White Sox and Yankees vs. Rays.

Our experts are targeting four interdivisional matchups, each of which offers a unique betting position: One favorite, one dog, one total, and one run line bet.

Odds as of 11:30 a.m. ET


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.


Stuckey: Athletics Moneyline (-142) vs. Astros

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Back to the A’s today against the Astros.

As I said yesterday, the Astros pen is in rough shape right now. Meanwhile, Oakland features one of the strongest stables of relievers in all of baseball. As a result, the Athletics’ bullpen is in much better shape after last night’s 13-inning marathon.

I also love the heavy right-handed A’s lineup against lefties. They crushed southpaws last year and should do so again this season. Valdez has some nasty stuff, but walks can creep up fast and out of nowhere.

The A’s will counter with the better starter in Frankie Montas, who has looked like the ace of the staff so far in 2020. Through three games of action, Montas has posted a 2.25 ERA, picking back up right where he left off before his PED-related suspension last season (9-2 with a 2.63 ERA with 103 Ks in 96 innings in 2019)

Likely no Springer again for the Astros again as well. Let’s hope Oaktown can make it 8 straight. I would take Oakland on the moneyline up to -145.

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Collin Wilson: Braves vs. Phillies Under 10 (-110)

Jake Arrieta takes the mound after a loss against the Yankees on August 3rd. The 34-year old may have given up two bombs in the Bronx, but his advanced stats still indicated a quality start. Arrieta left with an xFIP of 2.51, which is well below his actual 5.40 ERA the game. Moreover, a BABIP of .357 should regress in the foreseeable future. Atlanta strikes out at a 29.5% rate against right handers, ranking second in all of MLB behind Detroit.

The Braves look to Bryse Wilson for Saturday’s start. Wilson saw action against Philadelphia in a six-inning victory 13 months ago. The Atlanta youngster faces a Phillies squad that strikes out the least against right handed pitching, but the Braves bullpen is currently second in the league at 3.43 in xFIP.

This game total may be inflated due to Wilson’s short MLB experience. Nonetheless, look for both starting pitchers to stifle opposing bats and cover the under 10.

BJ Cunningham: Royals Moneyline (+138) vs. Twins

The Twins have been solid offensively to begin the season with a .319 wOBA and 106 wRC+. But big news broke last night is newly acquired free agent Josh Donaldson has been placed on the 10-day Injured List with a strained calf. Losing Donaldson is a blow, but the Twins lineup is still loaded, so there shouldn’t be that much of a drop off.

Odorizzi primarily uses his fastball, throwing it 57.9% of the time in 2019. He doesn’t have a lot of velocity on it, but he does a fantastic job with location, producing a 30.7% whiff rate and allowing a .209 batting average last season. The Royals have been mashing fastballs during 2020, with 12.1 weighted fastball runs so far, which ranks first in MLB. Odorizzi will have to be on point with his fastball to shut down the Royals lineup.

Danny Duffy has been really good to start 2020. Although he has surrendered seven earned runs, Duffy has also allowed only nine hits and has struck out 16 batters through his first 15.1 innings. However, admittedly, his xFIP is a bit of a concern right now as it’s well above 4.

Duffy is predominantly a fastball/slider pitcher. He used to use his high velocity on his fastball to overpower hitters, but his velocity has gone way down over the years. Now he’s got to be on point with his location, along with utilizing his secondary pitches more often.

My projections are pretty low on Odorizzi. And without Donaldson in the lineup, I think this is a good spot for the Royals. I have the Royals at +104 in this game, so there’s plenty of value on the home underdog.

Danny Donahue: Giants +1.5 Run Line (+135) vs. Dodgers

Nothing like a one-rule betting system to save some Saturday brainpower and make a (hopefully) smart MLB pick.

When a team is listed at -300 or higher, fading said team on the run line has been a profitable move, and probably more a profitable one than you’d think.

Since 2005, teams in the Giants’ spot tonight have gone 118-114 on the run line, and while that’s a losing record, the plus-money payouts have resulted in 24.2 units won and a 9.2% return on investment.

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