MLB Odds, Predictions, Best Bets: Our Top Picks, Including Royals vs. Cardinals, Rockies vs. Marlins, More (Aug. 7)
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images. Pictured: Austin Gomber.
- A Saturday in early August means it's a perfect time for bettors to sit back and watch baseball all day.
- Our team of MLB betting analysts have identified three games for their four best bets on the 16-game slate throughout the day.
- Check out their picks and detailed breakdowns below.
It’s a Saturday in early August. You know what that means.
It’s time for everyone to plop themselves on the couch and watch baseball all day.
There are 16 games on the docket on Saturday, Aug. 7, in MLB. We get an extra game north of the border!
Our team of baseball betting analysts have identified four picks across three games as having the most value for bettors to benefit. Below, they break down each pick and explain how to approach each game, two of which are in the 7 p.m. hour before we head to the Marlins vs. Rockies at Coors Field.
MLB Odds & Picks
Twins at Astros
Brad Cunningham: Michael Pineda has been the definition of average this season, posting a 4.49 xERA. His biggest problem is that he’s giving up way too many home runs, as his HR/9 rate is up at 1.41. His fastball is also getting shelled to the tune of a .301 xBA and a .387 xwOBA, which will be a problem against this Astros lineup, who is first in MLB with 117 wRC+ against right handed pitching and also has a +19.3 run value against fastballs.
We should also mention the fact that the Twins have one of the worst bullpens in baseball, ranking in the bottom 10 in ERA, HR/9 rate and LOB%.
Luis Garcia has been pitching well, but this is a bad matchup for him because the Twins are a one-trick pony at the plate. They are ninth in MLB in wOBA against right-handed pitching and they are second against fastballs with a +52.4 run value. Garcia goes to his fastball over 50% and it has not been effective, allowing a .393 wOBA.
Royals at Cardinals
Matt Trebby: Kwang Hun Kim has made 18 starts this season and allowed a first-inning run just once. He has a 0.50 ERA in the first frame this season and is allowing a .508 OPS to opposing hitters.
Brad Keller, meanwhile, has a 8.18 ERA in the first inning this season.
I know what you’re thinking. That’s bad. Stick with me, though.
Keller has a 5.64 ERA this season but has been much better over his last five starts. His ERA over those outings is 2.93, and guess what? He hasn’t allowed a first-inning run in any of them!
Marlins at Rockies
Kenny Ducey: I’m not sure if you are aware of this (because as someone who isn’t following the basement dwellers, I wasn’t!) but the Colorado Rockies actually have two more wins than the Miami Marlins this year. It seems impossible, considering how awfully they began the season on the road, but this team has shown that it has a pulse lately and has been hitting the snot out of the ball.
One spot in which Colorado has been particularly pesky is against left-handed pitching, against which it has a .769 OPS that ranks fifth in baseball.
It makes perfect sense with big right-handed power bats like Trevor Story and C.J. Cron, but that’s an especially staggering number. Mix in the fact that they’re playing at home — where their numbers more closely resemble a big-league offense — and there’s trouble on the way for Jesús Luzardo.
The newest Marlins hurler hasn’t even been having a good season to begin with, registering a 6.70 ERA and poor peripherals, as well as a declining strikeout rate and far too many walks. He’s had traffic on the basepaths throughout almost every start and has gotten himself in trouble with a few big mistakes.
While you may argue that the Marlins will also get a boost from playing at Coors Field, consider that they’re second-last in OPS against lefties this year and have to face a surprisingly competent Austin Gomber, who was touched up by the Padres in his last start but has been otherwise fantastic this year with a 3.69 xERA and a plethora of useful off-speed pitches.
Marlins at Rockies
Tanner McGrath: Totals at Coors Field are always jacked, and rightfully so. It’s the highest-scoring ballpark in the majors, where batted balls just tend to keep going and going.
However, did you know that First Five Innings Unders have been hitting like crazy in Denver? This season, the Rockies are 34-21-2 to the first five under at home. Plus, after they went 22-8 to that trend last season, it makes the total profits from the last two seasons:
It’s because the Rockies, for all their flaws, have figured out run prevention at the highest-scoring park in the league. All of their top-rotation guys have posted much better ERAs at home this season than on the road.
That especially goes for Austin Gomber. While has a 4.04 ERA overall, Gomber has posted a 1.98 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP in seven home starts this season. Gomber has been so effective pitching at Coors that it almost makes the Nolan Arenado trade worth it.
Opposing him today will be the Marlins new starting pitcher, Jesús Luzardo, who hasn’t been good. But there’s only one thing you should know about him in this game: He’s left-handed.
That gives us a southpaw vs. southpaw game, and these two offenses don’t hit southpaws well. Over the past 30 days, the Rockies have posted the 11th-worst wRC+ against lefties (96), while the Marlins have the third worst (72).