Thursday MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: 2 Favorite Bets, Including Twins vs. Yankees & Marlins vs. Reds (August 19)

Thursday MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: 2 Favorite Bets, Including Twins vs. Yankees & Marlins vs. Reds (August 19) article feature image
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  • There are 10 games on Thursday's Major League Baseball slate.
  • Our analysts have found angles on two that they think have betting value.
  • Here are our two best bets for Thursday in Major League Baseball.

Editor’s Note: The Marlins announced late Thursday that Nick Neidert would start tonight’s game against the Reds.

It’s Getaway Day in Major League Baseball which means a host of day games and only a few under the lights.

With 10 games total to pick from, our analysts have found angles on a pair of evening affairs, including Twins vs. Yankees and Marlins vs. Reds.

Here are our staff’s two best bets from Thursday’s MLB slate.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Twins vs. Yankees
7:05 p.m. ET
Marlins vs. Reds
7:10 p.m. ET

Twins vs. Yankees

Pick
Yankees First Five Inning -225
Book
BetMGM
Pitchers
John Gant vs. Jameson Taillon
First Pitch
7:05 p.m. ET

Sean Zerillo: Typically, I give out big underdogs in this space, but we’re making an exception today with the opportunity to fade John Gant on a day where the Twins need length from their starting pitcher.

Gant is in the midst of one of the single luckiest pitching seasons in MLB history, carrying a 3.49 ERA against a 5.52 xERA, 5.23 xFIP, and 5.68 SIERA. His strand rate (77.5%) is about five percent higher than the league average, and his BABIP (.269) is due to regress by nearly 20 points toward .290, but Gant has thrived mainly by limiting the long ball (seven HRs allowed in 100 IP since the start of last season).

The former St. Louis Cardinal has seen his velocity fall by nearly two mph year over year, and his K-BB% has dropped down to 2.9%, with 69 strikeouts against 58 walks in 85 innings pitched.

I think Gant is currently the worst pitcher in baseball — worse even than the corpse of Jake Arrieta (6.08 xERA, 4.80 xFIP, 4.94 SIERA), who started for the freefalling Padres on Wednesday afternoon.

Minnesota‘s Wednesday starter, Lewis Thorpe, left the game early with an injury, and the Twins had to pitch a bullpen game a day before today’s planned bullpen game.

As a result, they’ll need length tonight out of Gant, and I would expect to see a long leash even if he is struggling.

The full game odds for this contest look about right to me, but I projected the Yankees closer to 72% for the first five innings (F5), and I would bet their F5 moneyline up to -230.


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Marlins vs. Reds

Editor’s Note: The Marlins announced late Thursday that Nick Neidert would start tonight’s game against the Reds.

Pick
Reds Team Total Over 4.5 (-120)
Book
BetMGM
Pitchers
Zach Thompson vs. Luis Castillo
First Pitch
7:10 p.m. ET

Author’s Note: Despite the late pitching change, I would still recommend over 4.5 up to -135, which you can still get at BetMGM and various other books.

Collin Whitchurch: Zach Thompson has had a surprising year. The career minor leaguer got his first shot at starting on a regular basis at the age of 27 and has posted a 2.91 ERA through 11 starts coming into today despite an xERA of 3.90 and an xFIP of 4.46.

His strikeout and walk numbers are both OK, but the reason Thompson has found so much success — and why the advanced numbers think he’s been so lucky — is his avoidance of home runs. He’s allowed just four in 52 2/3 innings, and not more than one in any single start.

He has a tough matchup today at the Great American Ballpark, a big offensive environment, and against a Reds lineup that has the sixth-most home runs in the majors.

Thompson’s two main pitches are his fastball and cutter, which combined he utilizes nearly 70% of the time. Those pitches should allow Cincy hitters to feast, as the team is fourth in weighted runs created against fastballs, and second against cutters.

The juice is too big on the moneyline, so I’m instead looking at Cincinnati’s team total at over 4.5 and -120. I would bet that to -135.

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