MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions for Friday: 3 Best Bets, Including Cardinals vs. Royals & Blue Jays vs. Mariners (August 13)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle’s J.P. Crawford
- Coming off the high of last night's Field of Dreams game, there is no shortage of MLB action to bet on Friday.
- There are 14 games to choose from, including Reds vs. Phillies, Cardinals vs. Royals and Blue Jays vs. Mariners.
- See what are our staff's favorite bets for the day, below.
Ladies and gentlemen, the weekend.
It’s Friday and a full slate of baseball is on tap, minus the White Sox and Yankees following their memorable Field of Dreams game on Thursday in Iowa.
With 14 games, our analysts have found three on which they see particular value, including Reds vs. Phillies, Cardinals vs. Royals and Blue Jays vs. Mariners.
Here are our three best bets from Friday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Reds vs. Phillies
Kenny Ducey: I’m infatuated with this total in the Reds-Phillies game, set at a suspiciously normal 8.5 runs. With the way Zack Wheeler has been throwing, and with the Phillies’ offense taking a step back, I think this under should cash comfortably.
Philadelphia is coming off a home series against the Dodgers in which it scored just three runs in three games, and it wasn’t even a result of exceptional pitching. The Phillies had to deal with Max Scherzer for just 3 ⅓ innings on Tuesday and Mitch White and David Price for four innings in the other two games. It was the middle of the Dodgers’ bullpen that did the damage, and while that unit should get some credit, it absolutely overachieved by shutting out the Phillies for the entirety of the series.
Philly is down Rhys Hoskins at the moment, Alec Bohm is stuck in another backslide and Andrew McCutchen continues to regress. It’s not an overly imposing order, and one which a hot Tyler Mahle, coming off a 10-strikeout performance at home against the Pirates, should be able to dominate. The righty has had his struggles this year, but he’s found some consistency over the last four starts.
Wheeler has seldom had a bad start this year, and has quieted even the hottest offenses in the baseball, which is how you’d currently classify the Reds. Coming off a complete game shutout and pitching for the Cy Young, you should expect more of the same, especially against a strikeout-happy Reds team.
Cardinals vs. Royals
Mike Ianniello: Jack Flaherty will make his first start since May 31 after a long injured list stint with a left oblique injury and I am going to back him in his return. Prior to his injury, Flaherty was one of the best pitchers in the league. He has made 11 starts this year and had an 8-1 record with a 2.90 ERA.
Mike Minor appears to be hitting the back-end of his career and has struggled to a 5.39 ERA this season. Since the start of June, his ERA is 6.01 and he has allowed at least four runs in eight of his last 12 starts. Minor’s last outing came against St. Louis and he allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings, allowing a pair of home runs to Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill.
The Kansas City offense is just 26th in the league in wOBA and wRC+ this year and has been much worse against right-handed pitching. St. Louis has been better against left-handers and its current roster is batting .381 with a .476 wOBA against Minor in his career. Goldschmidt is 5-for-9 with two home runs against him.
St. Louis has dominated the “Show-Me Series” lately and is 16-7 against the Royals over the last five years. I will lay the number to back them on Friday with their ace back on the mound.
Blue Jays vs. Mariners
Tanner McGrath: Robbie Ray is great, and the Toronto lineup is something special. But the Mariners are surrounded by magical voodoo, and I have to take the value when they’re big home ‘dogs.
To start, Chris Flexen is the third most profitable starting pitcher in MLB this season:
I’m quite excited for Flexen’s future. The young righty is thriving in the Pacific Northwest, and he specifically thrives at T-Mobile Park. At home this season, Flexen has posted a 2.67 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. While he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys, he’s been excellent with his control, walking just 5% of batters faced.
Additionally, books have the Mariners in the +150 range, while our Action PRO model projects their ML at +135, giving us a solid amount of edge to work with. It’s probably why the Mariners are pulling just 45% of the tickets but more than 80% of the handle.
The Mariners have lost Flexen’s last two home starts, but I’m banking on a bounce-back performance from the whole team tonight. Give me Seattle at +145 or better.
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