Friday’s MLB Odds, Expert Picks & Predictions: Bets Bets for Cardinals vs. Pirates, Nationals vs. Mets (Aug. 27)
John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Espino #30 of the Washington Nationals.
- Looking for best bets for Friday's baseball slate? We've got you covered.
- Our MLB analysts are looking at the Nationals to challenge the Mets at home and the Pirates to have the upper hand at home.
- Check out how they are playing tonight's matchups below.
Today's Major League Baseball slate is chock-full of action, but our favorite bets are centered on the Pirates having the upside at home and the Nationals challenging the Mets in New York.
Here are our staff’s best bets from Friday's MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|7:10 p.m. ET
Cardinals vs. Pirates
Brad Cunningham: Dillon Peters and J.A. Happ actually squared off last Saturday with the Pirates walking away with a 5-4 win in St. Louis.
It was only Peter’s second start of the season, but he pitched pretty well giving up only three hits and one run in five innings of work. Peters is a soft-tossing lefty with a low strikeout rate who mainly relies on a fastball-changeup combination. The reason he was so effective against the Cardinals last Saturday is because St. Louis is very average against left-handed pitching (.316 wOBA, 100 wRC+) and struggles to hit fastballs well (-29.8 run value).
Happ went six innings in that same game on Saturday, giving up six hits and two runs. However, he’s been an unmitigated disaster this season, posting a 5.58 xERA and a 5.16 xFIP. His main issue is he’s giving up way too much hard contact, as his hard hit percentage allowed is at 42.3%, which is one of the worst marks in baseball this season for a starting pitcher.
Also, the Cardinals bullpen as a whole is a big-time negative regression candidate, as they have the second-worst xFIP in baseball at 4.81 and the worst BB/9 rate at 4.84.
Nationals vs. Mets
|7:10 p.m. ET
Kenny Ducey: This is yet another fantastic spot to fade the Mets. Sure, the Nats are out of the race and traded away two of their best players a month or so ago, but their performance lately against left-handers has been undeniable.
Washington now has the second-best wRC+ against lefties at 115, a number that’s soared in recent weeks. Now, the Nats get to face Rich Hill, a pitcher this team lit up for four runs on eight hits and three homers when it saw him back in June. While Kyle Schwarber did go deep in that game, so did Juan Soto, and there were plenty of hits to be found up and down the lineup.
Hill has been dreadful this year with a 4.57 xERA, and the magic that he’s had in years past simply isn’t there. He’s been unable to produce the strikeout numbers we saw even just two years ago, and he hasn’t been able to induce soft contact like he did back then, either. This a pitcher who’s finally nearing retirement, and the Mets are a team that has continued to slip out of the playoff race.
New York has the second-worst wRC+ in baseball over the last two weeks at just 72 and has looked lethargic at the plate. Aside from Pete Alonso, the guys who drove this offense over the last two years — Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis — just aren’t hitting.