MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: 4 Bets Bets for Brewers vs. Giants, Astros vs. Mariners & More (Monday, Aug. 30)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Seager.
- This week in MLB brings us plenty of key matchups as we enter the final week of the regular season.
- Our staff has targeted two games out west, both of which have serious postseason implications.
- Check out their picks and detailed breakdowns below.
It’s another busy day in Major League Baseball with 11 games, including an afternoon tilt and a plethora of West Coast baseball.
Our analysts have found angles on three games from the evening slate, including Red Sox vs. Rays, Brewers vs. Giants, and Astros vs. Mariners
Here are our staff’s best bets from Monday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|10:10 p.m. ET|
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Brad Cunningham: Nick Pivetta has actually been pitching just fine this season, posting an xERA below four and a K/9 above 10. The problem for Pivetta tonight is that this is just about the worst matchup you could ask for.
The Rays have been one of the hottest offenses in baseball over August, putting up a .342 wOBA and 122 wRC+. They also have a +29.1 run value over that time span against fastballs and sliders, which are Pivetta’s main two pitches.
Luis Patino hasn’t been that effective this season, posting a xFIP of 5.02. His main problem is that his BB/9 rate is dangerously approaching 4, and his HR/9 rate is over 1.5.
Much like Pivetta, this is a terrible matchup for him because the Red Sox offense has been just as hot as the Rays offense, putting up a .347 wOBA and hitting 50 home runs over the past 30 days.
I have 9.79 runs projected for this game, so I think you’re getting decent value on Over 9 runs at +100.
Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
DJ James: Two of the hottest hitting lineups in August come to a front in a battle of the American League East. The Boston Red Sox currently hold the second Wild Card, while the Tampa Bay Rays sit atop the East.
In August, Tampa has a combined wRC+ of 114 against right-handers while the Boston has the highest wRC+ at 129. Five consistent lineup members for the Red Sox maintain an OPS over .850 this month. Four Rays players have done the same. Basically, with Nick Pivetta and Luis Patiño on the hill starting this game, both teams should have a field day.
Patiño is only 21 years old and has promise, but he still allows some hard contact. His average exit velocity against is 89.5 MPH while Pivetta’s is 89.6. Sure, both starts have above average fastballs, but that means nothing when they also struggle to locate the strike zone.
Both of these pitchers also rank in the bottom half of the league in walk percentage. Tampa Bay has a walk percentage of 9.5% as a team, while Boston has one of the lowest strikeout percentages in the league. These both should play into the favor of the offense in a matchup with these starters.
Not to mention, the Boston bullpen has had its issues this season, so if the total is in question, the Rays could tack a few more runs on the board late. Take the over in this one at 8.5 (-117) and play to 9 (-120).
Editor’s note: Johnny Cueto was placed on the COVID list on Monday afternoon and will not start tonight for the Giants. Left-hander Jose Alvarez will start in his place. (7:30 p.m. ET)
Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Francisco Giants
Matt Trebby: The Brewers have gone over this total when Corbin Burnes has been on the mound in eight of the National League Cy Young Award contender’s 13 starts since the beginning of July. Most of that is due to the Milwaukee lineup, though, which has scored five or more runs in nine of those games.
In their series opener in San Francisco on Monday night, Milwaukee faces Johnny Cueto, who is a familiar foe for the Brewers of the past. He faced Milwaukee on Aug. 8 and allowed four runs (three earned) over 5 1/3 innings before landing on the disabled list. He threw 4 2/3 innings and allowed just one unearned run in his return last Wednesday.
Cueto’s ERA for the season is 3.73 because he’s at 2.64 over his last six starts. His 4.10 xFIP indicates he’s been as solid as he could be for San Francisco this season.
Over the last 30 days, the Giants have a 3.04 bullpen ERA, which is third best in the majors. Cueto only threw 71 pitches in his return last week, and it wouldn’t be a shock for him to not go over 90 this time. The San Francisco bullpen can be trusted in relief.
Milwaukee ranks eighth over that span in bullpen ERA, and it has a legit ace on the mound. It’s a low total, but I’m comfortable taking the under in a potential NL postseason matchup on Monday night.
Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners
|10:10 p.m. ET|
Mike Ianniello: Happy Chris Flexen Day! In five starts for Seattle this month, Chris Flexen is 2-0 with a 2.59 ERA, to lower his season ERA to 3.54 with an 11-5 record. That is even more impressive because four of those five starts came on the road. At home this year, Flexen has been much better, pitching to a 6-4 record with a 2.70 ERA.
While Seattle’s offensive numbers are not going to blow anybody away, it gets it done when it matters. The Mariners have been the most clutch team in baseball, and they are excellent at situational hitting. In High Leverage situations this year, Seattle has a .362 wOBA and 136 wRC+, both the best in the league by a decent margin.
Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger have already set career-bests with 31 and 29 home runs this year, respectively. Ty France is batting .340 over the last month, and highly-touted rookie Jarred Kelenic is starting to settle in at the plate.
The Astros are obviously one of the best teams in the league, but this number is too high for the Mariners at home with Flexen on the mound. Seattle is 14-8-2 over the First Five innings with Flexen starting this season and 8-4-1 at home. I’ll play Seattle F5 at +120 or better.