MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Mariners vs. Tigers, Rangers vs. Red Sox & More (Thursday, September 1)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Strider
- There are just eight MLB games on the docket Thursday, but that didn't prevent our experts from finding betting value.
- Our analysts have plays on a trio of contests, including a side, team total and runline.
- Continue reading below for picks and a full breakdown.
The Thursday slate is a bit small as there are only eight games on the Major League Baseball schedule. However, that doesn't mean there isn't value to be had.
Plenty of sports fans will be watching college football tonight, but those who want to watch baseball (or both) will be interested in what our experts have to say about a trio of contests.
MLB Odds & Picks
Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers
William Boor: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The Mariners have won six of their past eight games, including three in a row. Logan Gilbert gets the start for Seattle and although his 4.27 xERA (compared to a 3.49 ERA) suggests he's been a bit lucky this season, he's performed well of late and matches up well against the Tigers.
Gilbert doesn't miss many bats (21.3 K%) and his average exit velocity (91.3 mph) is in the bottom 2% of the league. So, not only are opponents making contact against Gilbert, but they're making hard contact. However, the Tigers average just under nine strikeouts per game, which is the third most in the American League. Averaging just over three runs per game, the Tigers' offense also ranks last in baseball. Simply put, Gilbert may run into trouble against some of the tougher offenses in baseball, but that's far from what these Tigers are.
I'm also expecting Gilbert to enter this game full of confidence as he gave up just two runs over 6 1/3 innings in his last start against the Guardians and has surrendered three earned runs or fewer in three straight starts. Gilbert should also get some run support as the Mariners offense has found a rhythm of late, having tallied at least three runs in 17 of the past 18 games.
Speaking of the Mariners' offense, they'll be going up against Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez. Yes, Rodriguez has given up just one run over his past two starts (11 innings), but the Mariners should be also to scratch across a few runs. Seattle has been hitting well and has a team 112 wRC+ off of lefties this season.
As previously mentioned, Gilbert struggles to miss bats and ranks in the 30th percentile of whiff percentage. Well, Rodriguez ranks in the bottom 1%. The 29-year-old lefty has a 4.30 xERA (3.60 ERA) and also ranks in just the 15th percentile in walk percentage.
Neither of these starting pitchers has a Baseball Savant page that's painted red, but Gilbert does have the advantage. Couple that with the fact that the Mariners have the better offense and it's clear Seattle is the side to take in this Thursday matinee. This line opened at -155. Bet it to -180.
Boston Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers
DJ James: Rich Hill and Glen Otto will throw against each other in a battle between the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. Neither starter has been particularly good. Hill comes into this game with a 4.32 ERA and a 4.25 xERA, so he is about in line with expectations. Otto has a 4.79 ERA and a 5.37 xERA, meaning he has been a bit lucky.
Taking the moneyline should not be a priority. Boston was below average against righties in August, while the Rangers held a team 140 wRC+ off of lefties. Hill may rank in the top half of MLB in Hard-Hit Rate and Average Exit Velocity, but this is mainly due to curveball usage and lack of velocity.
The Rangers have eight active hitters above a .315 xwOBA, seven of whom are above .350. This means they will destroy Hill and get into a below average Boston bullpen early.
Expect the Rangers to pile on the runs and eclipse their team total of 4 (-125). Play this to 5 (-115). The Rangers have seven batters averaging an exit velocity of at least 90 mph in August, so that will eliminate Hill’s competitive advantage.
Colorado Rockies vs. Atlanta Braves
Jules Posner: Spencer Strider and his quads look to keep their solid 2022 campaign rolling with a home start against the Colorado Rockies.
Strider has a 2.54 ERA and a 1.48 FIP at home this season. He'll get the ball against an offense that has been near the bottom against right handers on the road in wRC+ over the past two weeks.
Chad Kuhl was once thought to be a potential deadline trade piece for the Colorado Rockies, but his season has taken a complete nosedive since July. In his seven starts over the past two months, Kuhl has a 9.39 ERA with a 8.44 FIP. Not great.
While the Braves' offense hasn't been lighting the world on fire over the past couple of weeks, they're not an offense Kuhl can hope to figure things out against.
The Braves' moneyline is a rude -400 on some books and the only real value here is their -2.5 runline. It sits at -115 now, but all things considered, this is quite literally a best bet.