Saturday’s MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: 3 Best Bets, Including Braves vs. Reds & Athletics vs. Giants (June 26)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Wood
- There's MLB action through the day on Saturday, and our analysts have picks from the afternoon as well as late at night.
- From Blue Jays-Orioles and Braves-Reds this afternoon to A's-Giants tonight, we have plenty of bets to recommend.
- Here are our staff's three best bets from Saturday's MLB slate.
Saturdays are for baseball, and there’s a full slate of games spread out throughout the day to satiate your betting appetite.
Our analysts have found value on three matchups in particular, with afternoon plays on Orioles-Blue Jays and Braves-Reds and a late-night play on Athletics-Giants. Here are our three best bets from Saturday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Sean Zerillo: I have kept a close eye on Hyun Jin Ryu since he sustained a glute strain in April. The Blue Jays don’t have a lot of pitching depth, and they need Ryu to contribute a substantial number of innings if they want to stay in the AL playoff hunt.
As a result, I would expect the Korean lefty to take the mound even if he’s less than 100% — and I’m not convinced that he’s been fully healthy over the past couple of months.
Since returning from his IL stint in early May, Ryu has posted a 13.1% strikeout minus walk rate, down more than 7% compared to last season, alongside a 4.47 FIP, 4.07 xFIP, and 4.25 SIERA — all of which are more than a half-run higher than the levels he has established over the past few seasons.
Ryu’s fastball lost a tick from 2019 to 2020, and it’s down another 0.7 mph this season, a possible indication of declining stuff in his mid-30s. He’s still a competent pitcher, but I wouldn’t expect Ryu to carry an ERA south of 3.50 for the remainder of the season.
Keegan Akin (4.66 xERA, 4.59 xFIP, 4.47 SIERA) has been sneakily effective for the Orioles for the past two seasons, and the line on this game has gotten too wide.
I projected the Orioles as a 34% underdog for the first five innings (F5) and a 34.5% underdog for the whole game on Saturday. I would place either bet to about +225, and I’m adding some F5 spread (+0.5 runs) on the Orioles too, down to +160.
Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds
Tanner McGrath: Fading Luis Castillo has been my bread-and-butter this season, making up for a decent amount of my 2021 MLB profits.
The Reds are just 3-12 in Castillo starts this season. Moreover, the Reds are 10-4-1 to the over when he takes the mound, and 5-2 to the over when he takes the mound at the Great American Ballpark. Combined with Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker, Castillo’s poor performance is a big reason why the Reds are one of the biggest over teams in MLB this season (48-28-3 overall, 21-12-1 at home).
Castillo’s posted a 5.61 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP through 15 starts this season, plus he’s on pace to post the lowest strikeout rate of his career (21.4%) while posting a fairly high walk rate (9.5%). He’s definitely due for some positive regression, but he’s been getting lit up nonetheless.
Ian Anderson has been great, maybe even the brightest star on the Braves’ pitching staff. However, despite his solid track record, the over has hit in six of Anderson’s last nine starts.
That’s because of the tragedy that is the Braves’ bullpen. Braves relievers have been a bottom-10 group all season, and they’ve posted a 4.65 FIP and a 1.78 WHIP over the past seven days.
Between Castillo and the Braves’ relievers, there should be plenty of opportunity for these two star-studded lineups to take advantage. We’ve already tracked sharp money coming in on the over and our Action PRO model is predicting the total at 10.09, meaning there’s tons of value on the over 9 number.
Follow the smart money, fade Castillo, and bet the over 9 at anything better than -120.
Oakland Athletics vs. San Francisco Giants
Collin Whitchurch: After a surprisingly strong start to the season, Alex Wood has kind of turned into a pumpkin.
While the Giants remain one of the strongest teams in the league as we near the halfway point, it hasn’t been thanks to their 30-year-old lefty lately. In his last five starts, Wood has allowed at least four earned runs four times, and the one sterling outing came against the terrible Diamondbacks who were, at the time, in the midst of a historically awful stretch.
On Saturday, Wood faces an Oakland team that is among the best offenses in baseball against lefties. The Athletics have a collective 111 wRC+ against southpaws, fourth-best in the league behind the Astros, White Sox and Orioles(?!).
Frankie Montas isn’t the sharpest arm in Oakland’s toolshed, but he’s cut down his walks considerably and has pitched well enough to keep the A’s in ballgames more often than not. His not allowing free passes will be key tonight, as the Giants have the seventh-best BB% in the majors against righties and are likewise the third-best hitting team against righties by wRC+.
Backing Montas against this Giants offense is a risky proposition, but Wood’s recent form and Oakland’s success against southpaws makes it a solid play at plus money. I like Oakland’s full-game moneyline at +110 and would bet it anywhere you can find plus money.
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