MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: 2 Best Bets for Thursday, Including Indians vs. Blue Jays & Royals vs. White Sox (August 5)
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel.
We have an intriguing slate of Major League Baseball games on another busy card Thursday, with two of them striking the interest of our betting experts.
Tanner McGrath and Collin Whitchurch have unveiled their top selections, both of which feature game totals.
Let’s take a look and see where they’re going with matchups pitting Cleveland against Toronto and Kansas City taking on Chicago in American League encounters.
MLB Odds & Picks
Indians vs. Blue Jays
Tanner McGrath: With Triston McKenzie and Ross Stripling on the mounds, combined with the Toronto offense taking the field at Rogers Centre, an under play seems like the stupidest thing you could do.
However, the total for this game has been set at 9 at every legal sportsbook except one and that’s DraftKings, where it’s currently at 9.5 at -120 odds.
Given we’ve tracked sharp money on the under and our PRO model has set the total at 8.9, it’s clear there’s value on the under 9.5 number and it’s worth making a play (before it moves to 9 runs).
So, instead of dogging my own pick, I’ll mention a few reasons why the under could hit.
First: the Cleveland offense. There’s no reason to put a whole lot of faith in this depleted lineup. They’ve posted just a 94 wRC+ over the past 30 days, and an 87 wRC+ on the road during that stretch. They should struggle to put up runs again.
Second: The Toronto bullpen. Over the past seven days, Toronto’s relievers have pitched the eighth fewest innings (20 2/3), while posting the lowest xFIP (2.43) in MLB. This bullpen is rested, revamped and pitching very well.
Third: Betting trends. The under is 16-8 in the last 24 meetings between the Indians and Blue Jays in Toronto. I’m willing to bet that trend.
Get over to DraftKings as soon as possible, hold your nose and bet the under 9.5 runs before it moves another inch.
Royals vs. White Sox
Collin Whitchurch: The string of unders between the White Sox and Royals ended at eight on Wednesday in Kansas City’s 9-1 win, and this latest pitching matchup makes it likely we’ll now get two consecutive overs.
Dallas Keuchel continues to slowly descend into mediocrity, as his ERA is creeping back toward his expected stats. His 4.51 ERA is still much better than his 5.94 xERA or 5.21 FIP, but the numbers are diverging at an alarming rate.
Since the start of July, Keuchel has made five appearances and allowed 19 runs in 27 1/3 innings.
Royals pitcher Daniel Lynch has had a rough go of it in his five major-league starts thus far, but has been better lately with eight shutout innings against the Tigers that were followed up by a quality start against the Blue Jays.
The Whole Sox hammered Lynch in his second career start, and while they’ve faltered somewhat from their lefty-mashing days, this is still a bad matchup for the 24-year-old hurler.
Between Keuchel and Lynch, there should be ample opportunities for the offenses. I like over 9.5 at +102 on FanDuel and would play it to -115 odds.