Friday MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: 3 Favorite Bets, Including Total Fade of Jake Arrieta (Sept. 3)
Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Arrieta (left) and Jose Altuve.
- With Jake Arrieta on the mound, there is plenty of value for bettors to find on Friday.
- Our best bets are focused on him, but they start in Cincinnati with the Tigers vs. Reds.
- Check out all of our picks below for the slate of MLB games.
We have bettors covered from coast to coast entering the holiday weekend, with a best bet on the East Coast and out in California.
The Reds are fighting for a wild-card spot, while the Tigers have been surprisingly decent over the past couple months. In San Diego, the Astros potentially get to feast against a struggling Jake Arrieta, who is surprisingly still making big-league starts in 2021.
Our team of three MLB betting analysts break down those matchups below, as well as where they see value for bettors.
MLB Odds & Picks
|10:10 p.m. ET|
Tigers vs. Reds
Brad Cunningham: Tyler Alexander actually hasn’t been that bad for the Tigers this season. His 4.82 xERA and 4.84 xFIP are only slightly above the MLB average.
What Alexander does do a good job of is mixing his pitches because he throws four different pitches over 16% of the time. His main pitch is a cutter, which he utilizes over 36% of the time, that has by far been his best pitch, allowing only a .226 expected batting average and .281 xwOBA.
The Reds do not hit left-handed pitching that well, ranking 26th with only a .303 wOBA, so Alexander should have a good matchup tonight.
Vladimir Gutierrez has had a difficult time ever since making the jump to the big leagues, putting up a 5.05 xFIP. He’s a fastball-heavy pitcher, but he has not been effective with it because it’s giving up a .301 batting average and .380 wOBA on it this season.
The Tigers haven’t been hitting the ball great over the past month, but Guiterrez as a -180 favorite with a bullpen that is bottom 10 in ERA, xFIP, BB/9 rate and HR/9 rate is too much.
I only have the Tigers projected as +122 underdogs, so I think there is some value on them at +160 and would play it down to +140.
Astros vs. Padres
Matt Trebby: This is pretty simple.
Jake Arrieta has a 10.20 ERA over his last 12 starts, only one of which has been with the Padres. I don’t think the fresh air in Southern California is going to fix his lack of stuff, though.
In those 12 starts, the team facing Arrieta has scored five or more runs nine times. On Friday night, he faces a more-than-capable Astros lineup that is one of the best in MLB, even without the designated hitter.
Houston has a .783 OPS in its last 13 games. The one negative for this matchup is that Yordan Alvarez, who has six home runs in his last 13 games, is unlikely to start given his lack of defensive versatility.
Fear not, though. There’s plenty of depth in this Astros lineup.
I’ll take Houston’s team over at 4.5, and a moneyline of -135 also looks tasty with Jose Urquidy back on the mound after a pair of fantastic rehab starts.
Tanner McGrath: Ladies and Gentlemen: Wake your bookies and gather your best men: Operation “The Corpse of Jake Arrieta” is a go.
I don’t mean to insult Arrieta personally, as he’s had an incredible career and is a titan of the game.
However, fading him is simply good business, as Arrieta should no longer be starting games at the major-league level. He ranks among the bottom 13% of pitchers in the following categories:
- Average Exit Velocity (90.6 mph)
- Hard-Hit Percentage (44.1%)
- xERA (6.10)
- xBA (.282)
- xSLG (.495)
- xwOBA (.369)
- Strikeout Rate (18.1%)
- Whiff Rate
- Chase Rate
Additionally, Arrieta has made five starts between the Cubs and Padres since July 1, and he’s allowed an impossible 26 earned runs and 40 hits over just 17 innings pitched.
Tonight, Arrieta gets to pitch against the best lineup in baseball, and I’m predicting a combination of fireworks and a bloodbath.
As such, today’s operation will consist of four stages:
- Stage 1: Astros First Five Innings ML (-155 on BetMGM)
- Stage 2: Astros First Five Innings -0.5 (-110 on BetMGM)
- Stage 3: Astros First Five Innings Team Total over 2.5 (+100 on DraftKings)
- Stage 4: Astros/Padres First Five Innings over 5 (-105 on DraftKings)
If you haven’t watched Arrieta pitch this season, I’m begging you to tune in for the first few innings of this West Coast game. You’ll very soon be messaging me on Twitter to become a part of our team.
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