MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Phillies vs. Giants, White Sox vs. Twins (Saturday, September 3)
Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images. Pictured: Starting pitcher Dylan Cease #84 of the Chicago White Sox
- There's a full slate of Saturday baseball on the schedule and we've found betting value.
- D.J. James is eyeing a pair of games and has identified both a side and a total.
- Continue reading for the picks and analysis.
There's no shortage of baseball on the docket Saturday and we've identified a pair of best bets. DJ James has analyzed the slate and has his eyes on the Phillies-Giants and White Sox-Twins games.
In those games, he's targeted a side and a total and also suggests looking into a team total. So, without further ado, let's take a look at Saturday's best bets.
MLB Odds & Picks
Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Francisco Giants
DJ James: Both Jakob Junis and Noah Syndergaard had a rough August. Junis comes into Saturday having posted a 7.13 ERA through 24 August innings. Meanwhile, Syndergaard had a 4.40 ERA over 30 2/3 innings.
Junis has been in and out of the San Francisco Giants’ rotation this season and Syndergaard has been underwhelming with a 3.98 ERA and 4.45 xERA, though the difference between these teams does not come down to either starter.
The Phillies are a far better hitting team, particularly over the past month. The Phillies have seven bats with a xwOBA over .310 xwOBA against righties in the past month. Four of those hitters — Rhys Hoskins, Nick Castellanos, Brandon Marsh and J.T. Realmuto — are over .330. In addition, the Phillies have six hitters averaging exit velocities of least 89 mph. Essentially every Philadelphia hitter can hit the ball hard, which plays into Junis’ greatest weakness of late.
Syndergaard ranks in the top-20% of the league in hard-hit rate and average exit velocity. He also limits walks (5.8%). He will be facing a lineup with a team 84 wRC+ against right-handed pitching in the last month.
The Phillies are the better team in this game, considering the pitching they will face and the lineup they put forth. San Francisco has slumped lately against right-handed pitching and Syndergaard can at least give a quality start in this game.
Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Twins
DJ James: The Chicago White Sox remain an arm’s length away from both the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Guardians in the American League Central race.
Much of this has to do with the Cy Young performances of Dylan Cease, who will face Minnesota on Saturday. Tyler Mahle will go for the Twins in his return from the Injured List.
Over the past month, the White Sox and the Twins each have a 104 wRC+ off of right-handed pitching, but this has not come against the caliber of starter each team will face Saturday. Cease might be the Cy Young leader in the AL with Justin Verlander and Shane McClanahan landing on the IL.
He has a 2.27 ERA and 2.69 xERA with a 31.7% strikeout rate. He also limits hard contact, ranks in the top-18% of MLB in Average Exit Velocity and is in the top-12% in Hard Hit Rate. This is quite an accomplishment for a pitcher who can also average 97 mph with his heater.
Now, Mahle is also a great arm and there is a reason Minnesota acquired him from the Reds at the deadline. His peripherals all align in the top half of the league. He has a 4.17 ERA, but his xERA is 3.35, so he has been fairly unlucky.
The White Sox bullpen has its lumps, but it has a strong back end, which is all they usually need in a Cease start. Minnesota’s bullpen has been at the top of the heap lately with a 3.11 xFIP over the past month.