MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions for Tuesday: 3 Best Bets, Including Royals vs. White Sox & Astros vs. Dodgers (August 3)
Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Mookie Betts rounds third after a home run
- Mariners-Rays. Royals-White Sox. Astros-Dodgers.
- Our analysts have found plenty of value on Tuesday's MLB card.
- Read below for our best bets from the slate.
One of our analysts has picked that game as his best bet of the day, and we also have picks on Mariners-Rays in St. Petersburg, and Royals-White Sox in Chicago.
Here are our three best bets from Tuesday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Mariners vs. Rays
Kenny Ducey: The Tampa Bay Rays may be hard to figure out at the moment, but one area where you’ve been able to fade them with confidence has been against left-handed pitching. The Rays are all the way down in 22nd in wRC+ against southpaws this year, and will face a tricky one in Yusei Kikuchi on Tuesday.
What Kikuchi has lacked in the quality contact department (9.9% barrel rate, 43.7% hard-hit rate) he’s made up for with an above-average number of strikeouts. That’s been something the Rays have fallen victim to this season, but particularly against lefties, where they are striking out 27.1% of the time. While Tampa Bay added Nelson Cruz to help solve this problem, he alone hasn’t made things totally better.
Then, there’s Luis Patiño. He’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting right arms in the game, but he’s yet to find the results that many expected so early in his career. That is, until he struck out eight Yankees over six shutout innings last time out.
It’s true that his strikeout upside is massive, but he’s also walked five batters over his last two outings and has had issues there all year long. The Mariners have walked more than 10% of the time over the last two weeks, and are just as hot as any team out there at the dish. At best, I see this game close to a pick ‘em with runs at a premium, so I see no reason why the Mariners are this disrespected.
Royals vs. White Sox
Tanner McGrath: The White Sox lineup smashes lefties, right?
Wrong — sort of. While the White Sox have been great against that side in 2021, they’ve had trouble producing runs against southpaws recently. Over the past 30 days, the White Sox have produced just a .676 OPS and a .299 wOBA against LHPs, and their 91 wRC+ in this situation is the eighth worst in MLB.
So, while Royals starter Kris Bubic has had a tough year (5.60 xERA, 4.82 xFIP, 1.46 WHIP), he should be slightly less scared than he normally would be.
Getting to the point, I believe the “White Sox vs. LHPs” narrative has inflated this total slightly higher than it should be. While the consensus total is 9, our Action PRO model projects it closer to 8.5, and we’ve tracked sharp money hitting the under.
Plus, the Royals’ lineup hasn’t been good against either side. However, you put them against a righty on the road, and they shrivel into non-existence. Against RHPs on the road this season, the Royals have posted the fourth-worst OPS (.645), wOBA (.282) and wRC+ (78) in MLB. Plus, they’re only batting .203 over the past month in this situation.
Kansas City is going to get shut down by positive regression candidate Dylan Cease (4.14 ERA, 3.88 xERA, 3.96 xFIP) and a reloaded White Sox bullpen.
Astros vs. Dodgers
Brad Cunningham: Lance McCullers has been the Astros’ best starting pitcher this season, posting a 3.19 xERA and a 3.74 xFIP. Where he’s really been dominant is with his secondary pitches, as his curveball, slider, and changeup are all allowing a wOBA under .280 and have a whiff rate over 34%. He will need to utilize them a lot tonight because the Dodgers are one of the best sinker-hitting lineups in baseball.
Walker Buehler has also been pitching well this season with a 3.00 xERA and 3.59 xFIP. He’s been on point with his control as his WHIP is at 0.87 and opponents are only hitting .187 against him. Buehler is a fastball-heavy pitcher, utilizing it more than 46% of the time, and he’s due for a little negative regression on it because opponents have only .280 wOBA against it, but the xwOBA allowed on it is up at .318.
The Astros’ offense has a .338 wOBA and 119 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, which is the second-best mark in MLB. They also hit fastballs as the have a +18.9 run value against them.
The biggest issue for the Astros this season was their bullpen and they addressed those issues at the deadline, adding Kendall Graveman and Yimi Garcia.