MLB Odds, Expert Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Rays vs. Red Sox & Braves vs. Cardinals (Saturday, August 27)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Brendan Donovan and Matt Olson.
- Saturday's MLB slate is once again loaded with high-profile matchups.
- Our analysts have found value on two games: Rays vs. Red Sox and Braves vs. Cardinals.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of our best bets from today in Major League Baseball.
College football might take center stage this Saturday, but let's not forget about baseball, which has another solid, 15-game slate with games spread throughout the day.
Here are our three best bets from Saturday's Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Rays vs. Red Sox
Tony Sartori: Through 25 pitching appearances this season, Jeffrey Springs is 6-3 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.08 WHIP. Not only has he been great all year, but the left-hander enters this contest in particularly great form.
Over his last four starts, Springs is 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. The under has hit in all four of those outings.
Since entering the league in 2019, Springs has fared well against Boston as he has produced a 3.09 ERA through nine appearances, though the majority of those were back when he was a relief pitcher. Regression should not be an issue for Springs as he boasts a .290 xwOBA, .238 xBA, and .377 xSLG this year.
Starting opposite of Springs in this game is fellow left-hander Rich Hill. Through 18 starts this season, the 17-year veteran is 5-5 with a 4.68 ERA and 1.31 WHIP.
While those numbers are certainly not great, Hill has been in better form recently. If you look at his recent outings, his only two poor performances were against Atlanta and Houston, two of the best lineups in baseball.
Outside of those two games, Hill has surrendered three or fewer earned runs in each of his last seven starts. He should be able to have another good performance against a team he has already shut down once this season.
In his lone start against the Rays, Hill threw four scoreless innings. We are getting a good number in this game because both lineups are decent against left-handed pitching, but based on how these guys have been throwing lately, I believe we get a low-scoring afternoon.
Rays vs. Red Sox
Brad Cunningham: This line is far too low for how big a mismatch this is on the mound.
Jeffrey Springs has been incredible for the Rays this year, posting a 3.45 xERA, 3.17 xFIP and allowing a .290 xwOBA to opposing hitters.
He mainly has a three-pitch arsenal of fastball, slider and changeup, with his changeup being by far his best, allowing only a .244 xwOBA and producing over a 37% whiff rate, per Baseball Savant.
Against the right-handed version of the those thee pitches, the Red Sox have struggled because they have a combined -5.1 run value.
Rich HIll has been a below average starting pitcher this season. His xERA is at 4.57, opposing hitters have a .253 xBA against him, and he's also allowing a .440 xSLG, all of which are in the bottom 30% among MLB starting pitchers. Hill has been really bad as of late too because he's given up three of more earned runs in four of his last six starts.
Not to mention the Rays have the advantage in the bullpen, considering they have a better xFIP, K/BB ratio, and LOB% than the Red Sox.
Braves vs. Cardinals
DJ James: The Atlanta Braves and the Saint Louis Cardinals have had two of the best offenses in MLB in August. Atlanta sports a 123 wRC+ off of lefties this month and faces Jordan Montgomery Saturday, while the Cardinals have a 156 wRC+ off of righties in August and face Charlie Morton.
Montgomery has an outlandish 0.35 ERA in a St. Louis uniform. On the season, he has a 3.08 ERA against a 3.90 xERA. This means he has been extremely fortunate year-round. He also ranks in the 57th percentile in average exit velocity, which is above average, but for someone throwing in the low-90s, it is not amazing.
On the other side, Morton has comparable numbers with a 3.99 ERA and 3.92 xERA. He just does not have the luck on his side that Montgomery has. Morton, however, ranks in the bottom half of the league in average exit velocity. He is a serviceable 38-year-old, but he will give up runs. He has also had a great August with a 2.49 ERA over 25 1/3 innings. This does not seem like it will hold up.
Basically, both of these offenses are going to take advantage of two slightly above average starting pitchers. Montgomery and Morton are not nearly as strong as they have looked this month, so take the over at 7.5 (+100), and play it to 8.5 (-120).