MLB Expert Picks, Odds, Prediction: 3 Best Bets for Monday, Including Orioles vs. Yankees, Pirates vs. Brewers & More (August 2)

MLB Expert Picks, Odds, Prediction: 3 Best Bets for Monday, Including Orioles vs. Yankees, Pirates vs. Brewers & More (August 2) article feature image
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Justin Berl/Getty Images. Pictured: Jacob Stallings and John Nogowski

  • There's plenty of value on Monday night's small MLB slate.
  • Our analysts have picks on Orioles-Yankees, Mariners-Rays and Pirates-Brewers.
  • Continue reading for our best bets from Monday's slate.

Our Monday slate is a small one, with just eight games on the docket, including an afternoon affair between Cleveland and Toronto.

That doesn’t meant there’s still not value to be found, however. Our analysts have made picks for three of our evening games, including Orioles vs. Yankees, Mariners vs. Rays and Pirates vs. Brewers.

Here are our three best bets from Monday’s Major League Baseball slate.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Orioles vs. Yankees
7:05 p.m. ET
Mariners vs. Rays
7:10 p.m. ET
Pirates vs. Brewers
8:10 p.m. ET

Orioles vs. Yankees

Pick
Orioles Team Total Over 3.5 (-125)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Jorge López vs. Andrew Heaney
First Pitch
7:05 p.m. ET

Kenny Ducey: Let’s lay out what we know about this game: The Yankees’ offense has come to life thanks to the acquisition of Anthony Rizzo, and the concept of fading them as they head home to play a team they’ve traditionally owned doesn’t sound all that fun. We also know that the Orioles feast on left-handed pitching, and Andrew Heaney is a pretty mediocre one.

The Orioles are probably undervalued here, but there’s that mystical element of the Yankees returning home with renewed excitement that makes hitting the “Place Bet” button with the Orioles ticket on your slip so difficult. Instead, I’m backing Baltimore to score runs so I don’t have to worry about Jorge López imploding or the Yankees hitting six home runs.

This line is far too low. The Orioles rank seventh in baseball in wRC+ against left-handed pitching and have scored roughly 4.5 runs per game since the All-Star break. Heaney also hasn’t been the model of consistency, slipping lately in the walk department to go along with a 9.4% barrel rate and a 4.22 xERA. It’s not as if Heaney has been objectionable this season, but he’s been hittable and profiles as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter.

I’m going to back the Orioles’ bats here to stay relatively hot and mash against a lefty, which they’ve done all year long.


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Mariners vs. Rays

Pick
Mariners First Five ML (+175) and RL (+1, -110)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Chris Flexen vs. Michael Wacha
First Pitch
7:10 p.m. ET

Tanner McGrath: The Rays always find pitching. The front office in Tampa Bay fills innings with the most unusual of arms, and they finds themselves atop the AL East by doing so.

However, I still do not believe in Michael Wacha. Wacha has made 18 appearances and 13 starts this season while posting some of the worst expected statistics in the league:

  • 5.67 xERA; 11th percentile among qualified pitchers
  • .282 xBA; seventh percentile among qualified pitchers
  • .497 xSLG; seventh percentile among qualified pitchers
  • .359 xwOBA; 11th percentile among qualified pitchers

And while he’s had quality starts this season (five by my count), the red flags are too much to ignore. He allows too much hard contact and is too inconsistent to trust.

Meanwhile, I’m still on the Chris Flexen train. While he allowed seven runs to the Astros in his last outing, he posted a 1.60 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in the seven starts before that. And the Mariners went 5-2 in those games.

Tampa Bay is coming off a three-game sweep of its top divisional rival in Boston, and the Rays’ stock has never been higher. Which is why they are a baffling -200 on the first five innings moneyline tonight — a number that is simply too high.

For the Rays, this seems like a letdown spot against a scrappy Mariners team hungry to break a losing streak. Meanwhile, the Mariners can beat up on a vulnerable pitcher with one of their better arms on the mound.

There’s loads of value on Seattle in this spot. I don’t want to mess with the bullpens, where the Rays have a clear advantage, but I will be betting the Mariners F5 ML at +175 on DraftKings. Plus, you can bet the Mariners F5 +1 at -110, another line that’s absolutely worth a play.

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Pirates vs. Brewers

Pick
Pirates First Five ML (+175)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Bryse Wilson vs. Eric Lauer
First Pitch
8:10 p.m. ET

Brad Cunningham: Bryse Wilson came over from the Braves in the Richard Rodríguez trade at the deadline and his time in the majors has not gone well. His career xERA and xFIP are over five and he’s very home run prone with a HR/9 rate at 1.87 this season. But tonight, he is facing a Brewers lineup that, quite frankly, doesn’t hit right-handed pitching that well, as they only have a .226 batting average .307 wOBA, and 90 wRC+, all of which are below average by MLB standards.

Eric Lauer is pitching a little above his weight right now with an xERA at 3.99, when for his career he’s around 4.50. The Pirates, despite their terrible record, have been hitting the ball well over the past month: .327 wOBA, 105 wRC+, which is the 12th-best mark in baseball. Over that same time span, they’ve been hitting both fastballs and cutters really well with a combined +13.5 run value against those two pitches, which happen to be Lauer’s main two pitches.

I have the Pirates projected at +138 for the first five innings, so I think there is some value on the Pirates at +175 and would play it down to +155.


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