Best MLB Bets: Picks for Dodgers vs Padres & More
Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images. Pictured: Yu Darvish (Padres)
- There are numerous games on MLB's Friday night slate and our experts have found the best betting value on the board.
- They are targeting four games and have three bets on unders.
- Continue reading for today's best MLB bets.
We have one day game today, but the remainder of the slate takes place Friday night.
That means this is the perfect time and place to scout the best betting value on the odds board.
So, dive in below to get the top MLB odds, picks and best bets for Friday, August 4.
Friday MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Royals vs. Phillies
By Shayne Trail
The Phillies find themselves in a favorable position here against the Royals, even though the line is quite steep with the Phillies being -245 favorites.
However, we can justify why the run line would be an acceptable play here.
Since late in the 2021 season, the Royals are on a tough stretch, going 9-32 on the moneyline when listed as the underdog with odds greater than +180. Additionally, they're 5-26 on the run line, covering only 36% of the time.
The Royals will send out Jordan Lyles, who's struggled as one of the worst pitchers in the MLB this season, with an expected batting average of .261 paired with an ERA north of 6.10.
On the other hand, the Phillies will be sending out their veteran Aaron Nola. Nola has an ERA of 4.43, but his expected ERA is 3.77, indicating he's due for some significant positive regression.
Moreover, when Nola is at home playing against a non-divisional opponent with a price tag of -145 or higher in his career, he boasts an impressive 23-2 record on the moneyline, winning 92% of these games.
With the Phillies chasing a wild card spot here — and the Royals fading in the second half of the season — take the Phillies on the run line today at -115 on DraftKings.
What is QuickSlip?
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Marlins vs. Rangers
By Tony Sartori
Left-hander Jesus Luzardo takes the mound for Miami in this matchup and should be a good candidate to back. Through 22 starts this season, the 25-year-old is 8-5 with a 3.38 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
His underlying metrics suggest that regression is unlikely, ranking in the 67th percentile or higher in xERA/xwOBA, xBA, K%, Whiff% and Chase Rate.
On the other side, a fellow left-hander makes his debut for Texas after getting traded from the Cardinals at the trade deadline. Jordan Montgomery has also put together a strong campaign, posting a 3.42 ERA and 1.25 WHIP through 21 starts.
He really started to put it together over the past two months, posting a commanding 2.47 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over his last 11 starts.
While his underlying metrics are a concern in terms of regression, Montgomery's track record against Miami is much more promising. Through two career starts against the Marlins, the left-hander boasts a 1.64 ERA and 1.18 WHIP.
Assuming Montgomery delivers in his debut, then all Luzardo has to do is not get blown apart by this explosive Rangers lineup. Luzardo hasn't allowed more than four earned runs since June 12.
There have been eight or fewer total runs scored in 10 of Miami's past 14 games and in six of Texas' past eight.
Mariners vs. Angels
By Kenny Ducey
Reid Detmers has always been an excellent strikeout pitcher. He struck out 19.6 per nine innings in his final season at Louisville and in his first taste of minor-league action, he posted a 43.1% strikeout rate in 12 starts down in Double-A.
He kept that number well above 30% in Triple-A before experiencing an expected drop-off when he graduated to the major-league level. But now he’s starting to look like a menace again.
Detmers’ 29.3% strikeout rate this year is by far the best of his big-league career, and by the end of the night on Friday, that number might be over 30%.
The Mariners are hitting the ball well at the moment, but in the last two weeks, they’ve still continued to struggle in the contact department, with an unsightly 28.2% strikeout rate.
When you consider they’re sitting 18th in wRC+ to left-handed pitching, this is a great matchup for Detmers.
Unfortunately for the Angels, they've also struck out a ton over the last two weeks and have to step to Luis Castillo, who excels in that area.
I love both pitchers here, and with that, I will be taking the under down to 7.5.
Padres vs. Dodgers
The Padres return home in what could be a season-changing opportunity in a series against a familiar foe in the Dodgers.
On the outside looking in, the Padres bought at the deadline and are gearing up for a playoff push. Winning 50-50 games — like tonight — come with the utmost importance, and Yu Darvish gets the nod to open the series.
Rather than a side — I do like the Padres in this one — the under is a great look.
Darvish has been a bit of an enigma this season, posting a 4.53 ERA to date. I've been looking to back the right-hander as the season comes to an end due to him being on the unfortunate end of multiple bounces.
Positive regression is expected for Darvish. His xERA (3.67) is nearly a run lower than actual and his underlying metrics are eerily similar to last season, when he posted a 3.10 ERA:
- 2022: .226 xBA, .388 xSLG and 8.8 barrel%
- 2023: .232 xBA, .367 xSLG and 6.9 barrel%
Darvish has a deep arsenal and remains a dominant arm in this rotation, but he remains undervalued in the market because of his midseason struggles. Since July, he has a 3.62 ERA, but I would expect that to lower even more as the calendar turns to August.
The same could be said for rookie Bobby Miller. His xERA is down at 3.56, while his actual ERA sits nearly a run higher at 4.37. His numbers are pretty comparable to Darvish’s — .233 xBA, .369 xSLG and 7.1 barrel% — and has a high 90s fastball that's elite.
Miller is a top-ranked prospect for a reason and his above-average command and five-pitch arsenal makes him a tough arm to beat. Over the last 30 days and with a minimum of 20 innings — weeding out relievers — Miller has a 126 Stuff+. That’s better than Tyler Glasnow (123) and Spencer Strider (120) in that span.
Darvish is not too far behind (112) either.
I'm looking to buy low on both these arms with an under here. The Padres have the better bullpen; Robert Suarez returning from injury and Scott Barlow coming over from Kansas City only shores up their backend even more.
For what it’s worth, J.D. Martinez also remains sidelined with an injury and Will Smith has battled an elbow contusion after being hit by a pitch in the series finale against the Reds. He went 2-for-13 against the Athletics.
The Padres' offense is patient and forces pitchers into deep counts, and that’s where I see them holding the ultimate edge — getting to that Dodgers bullpen that's been shaky.
But I expect both starters to find success on Friday night in what I expect to be a low-scoring game.