MLB Odds, Picks: Our Best Bets for Angels vs. Athletics, Cubs vs. Diamondbacks, More (May 14)
Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images. Pictured: Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Angles vs. Athletics, Orioles vs. Tigers and Cubs vs. Diamondbacks have all caught the eyes of our MLB experts.
- We have picks on those three games among the 16 on today's schedule.
- Continue reading for full analysis and betting picks from Saturday’s MLB slate.
Saturday brings us a loaded slate of MLB games with 16 matchups in total.
Our MLB betting analysts are focused on three of those games — Angles vs. Athletics, Orioles vs. Tigers and Cubs vs. Diamondbacks — and see value in a total, a pitching prop and a moneyline bet.
Here are our three best bets from Saturday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Los Angeles Angels vs. Oakland Athletics
Jules Posner: The Los Angeles Angels’ offense is excellent, but they are not excellent on the road against RHP. Over the past three weeks, they’ve posted a 96 team wRC+ on the road against RHP and they’ll be facing a tough pitcher in Paul Blackburn.
Although Blackburn has a higher ERA at home than on the road at 3.86 over 9 1/3 innings, his FIP is 2.92 at home. Those are respectable numbers considering he was able to put up a good fight against a hot Tampa Bay Rays team in his last home start until things got away from his bullpen.
On the other side Jhonathan Diaz will make his second start of the season. He pitched well at home against the Nationals, who are a surprisingly good offensive road team, and he’ll be pitching against a team that struggles hitting at home.
The A’s offense has performed better over the past few weeks against LHP at home, but they are still well below average. The return of Ramon Laureano might give them a boost, but considering their overall lack of home offense this season, it may not be that big of a boost.
Some books still have the total at 7.5, but even taking the under at 8 and leaving room for a push is a good bet. If you can get the under at 7.5 and in plus money, roll with that.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers
Doug Ziefel: Bruce Zimmerman is off to a surprisingly great start to the season. He enters Saturday’s outing with a 2.67 ERA while recording 30 strikeouts in just over 30 innings of work.
His numbers are drastically better than his two previous seasons, and it is primarily due to the increased movement on his breaking pitches. His slider has three more inches of vertical drop than it did last year, and his curveball has four more inches of drop.
His slider has become a deadly weapon and boasts a 53.8% whiff rate this year. It just so happens that the Tigers have struggled mightily with sliders this season: 12 of 15 qualified hitters have a whiff rate over 30% on sliders this season.
Zimmerman has hovered around this total in each of his starts, but he hasn’t faced a free-swinging lineup like Detroit. The Tigers are 12th in MLB in strikeout rate (23%), but that rate increases to 24.1% against left-handed pitching.
He has the potential to rack up the punchouts today as his arsenal is made to miss the Tigers’ bats.
Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
William Boor: The D-backs have been on fire lately and I’m backing them to stay hot against the Cubs. After winning the first game of this series on Friday, Arizona has now won eight of its past 10 games.
Meanwhile, the Cubs have lost seven of 10 and are 7-9 on the road this season. Not only does Arizona have momentum and home-field advantage on Saturday, but it will also have a significant edge on the mound.
Zac Gallen gets the ball for the D-backs and he’s been lights out this season, pitching to a 0.95 ERA through 28 1/3 innings. Gallen, who has held opponents scoreless in three of his five starts, has an xERA of 1.81, so there may be some regression coming.
However, he’s still the better pitcher in this matchup. Kyle Hendricks is coming off his best start of the season as he fired 8 2/3 scoreless innings in San Diego. That being said, he’s pitched to a 4.38 ERA (4.65 xERA) this season and, albeit in a small sample size, has fared much worse on the road than at The Friendly Confines.
While neither offense ranks among the league leaders over the course of the season, Arizona has been swinging the bat better of late. The D-backs are averaging 4.17 runs a game over the past seven days and have posted a .731 OPS during that span.
In that same timeframe, the Cubs are scoring 3.29 runs per game and their .595 OPS is last in the National League. All signs point toward the D-backs in this one, take them down to -180.