MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions for Thursday: 3 Best Bets, Including Brewers vs. Pirates & Athletics vs. Angels (July 29)
Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images. Pictured: The Angels’ Jose Iglesias and Shohei Ohtani
- Our MLB analysts have their eyes on three games tonight.
- From Brewers-Pirates to Orioles-Tigers and Athletics-Angels, we've got you covered.
- Here are our three best bets from Thursday night's MLB slate.
Our analysts have found angles on three games from the night slate, including Brewers-Pirates, Orioles-Tigers and Athletics-Angels.
Here are our three best bets from Thursday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Brewers vs. Pirates
Collin Whitchurch: Two things are true:
- Freddy Peralta is one of the best pitchers in baseball.
- Freddy Peralta is the third-best pitcher on the Brewers.
It’s easy to forget just how good Peralta is when he sits behind Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes in the Brewers’ rotation, but he’s been electric all season long, with a 2.29 ERA, 2.46 xERA, 3.19 FIP and a miniscule .176 BABIP allowed.
Chad Kuhl isn’t as good as his 4.38 ERA. He walks five batters per nine and has a 5.38 FIP and 5.13 xFIP. The first inning has been a struggle for him as he’s walked 12 and allowed three home runs in the opening frame, but Kuhl is otherwise solid in the early stages of the game. Most of the damage done against him comes it Pittsburgh leaves him out there too long.
It’s for that reason that I like the under in the first five innings on Thursday night in Pittsburgh. I don’t see the Pirates’ hitters having a chance against Peralta, and Kuhl should be able to subdue the Milwaukee bats enough before the games are turned over to the bullpens.
Orioles vs. Tigers
Brad Cunningham: Alex Wells is getting only his second start in the big leagues after getting called up from Triple-A, but going off his numbers in the minors, he’s likely going to have a rough go of it. In 43 innings in Triple-A this season he posted an ERA over four and an xFIP of 4.82.
He is a left-handed pitcher who mainly throws a fastball/slider combination, but he does not throw hard, as his fastball doesn’t even average 90 mph. If Wednesdday against J.A. Happ was any indication, the Tigers are starting to figure out left-handed pitching.
Casey Mize is a big time negative regression candidate because his ERA is currently 3.63, but his xERA is all the way up at 4.86. He’s mainly been struggling with his fastball and sinker, as both are allowing a xwOBA over .325. Baltimore has been hitting the ball better over the past month, with a .318 wOBA and 101 wRC+, so some negative regression may come Mize’s way tonight.
Athletics vs. Angels
Kenny Ducey: The Angels may not be out of the running for the AL West crown just yet, and a run of five wins in seven games will give them plenty of confidence heading into this one against Frankie Montas and the Oakland Athletics.
You haven’t really needed to be feeling your best to hit off of Montas this year, so the prospects of backing a surging offense here are absolutely fantastic. The Angels have ranked eighth in baseball with a 78.1% contact rate over the last two weeks, though many of those balls have been softly hit.
Enter Montas, who’s allowing a hard-hit ball 45.4% of the time. That’s a simply preposterous number for a sinker-baller, and one which should excite Angels fans. I always enjoy backing contact-happy teams against pitchers with quality contact issues, because they generally see plenty of upward mobility.
There’s one problem here, though, and that’s Dylan Bundy. The former Orioles top prospect has taken a massive step back this season and simply isn’t missing as many bats. That will really bite him against an Oakland team which is really only vulnerable via the strikeout. The A’s have plenty of exit velocity machines in that order and should tee off against Bundy, making the conditions here ripe for an over.