MLB Best Bets: 5 Top Picks From Saturday’s Slate, Including Padres vs. Mets
Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Bassitt (Mets)
- A full slate of MLB games on Saturday means that there are plenty of betting opportunities to look for.
- In this edition of best bets, we have everything you're looking for -- a F5 pick, a player prop, a runline, a moneyline and a total.
- Here's our staff's five top picks for Saturday in the majors.
With a bunch of matchups to breakdown to find the perfect bet(s), our experts have narrowed it down to four games and five picks for the purposes of this piece.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
MLB Odds & Picks
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
Jules Posner: After a 28-5 drubbing of the Boston Red Sox on Friday night, the Toronto Blue Jays look to continue their playoff push behind Alek Manoah early Saturday evening.
The Jays were in a bit of a funk heading into the All-Star break, but have moved to 6-4 over their last 10 games, as they look to continue to distance themselves from the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card race.
Although Manoah’s 4.10 FIP and 4.05 xFIP on the road this season may be a red flag, he’s still been able to pitch himself to a 2.47 road ERA. Additionally, his opponent tonight, Kutter Crawford, has really struggled at home so far this season.
Even if Manoah struggles some, there’s still a good chance he can get enough offense to keep the Jays ahead.
While both bullpens have had their issues, the Blue Jays’ pen has been solid over the past two weeks and own a big edge coming into Saturday night’s matchup.
The Jays moneyline is still available for a reasonable -140, which is a pretty good value in a Manoah start. Also, the public cash seems to favor that line, as well.
Play it to -150.
Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies
D.J. James: The Philadelphia Phillies face an important series, as they need to take care of business in order to stay afloat and possibly gain ground in the NL East.
That business is the Chicago Cubs, as Zack Wheeler will go against Marcus Stroman.
Wheeler has been a rock for the Philly rotation, boasting a sub-3.00 ERA and xERA. He’s right in line with expected results. He also only allows an Average Exit Velocity of 86.2 mph, which ranks in the 92nd percentile.
He will also typically go six or seven strong innings, and this should be more than enough to hold the Cubs’ lineup in check.
Stroman looked like himself in his last outing. He only allowed one hit and one run in 4 1/3 innings against his former squad, the New York Mets. He may be restricted — innings-wise — but the Phillies own a below average wRC+ in the past month against right-handed pitching (98).
The Cubs have not been particularly strong, either (95).
This is the angle in this game. Since both bullpens should have enough arms to keep the game close, bet the under from 8.5 (-115) to 7.5 (-110). The only issue might a low-scoring, extra-innings affair.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Charlie DiSturco: The Minnesota Twins open up the second half of the year with a two-game series in Detroit, and there’s no time greater than the present to fade Tigers starting pitcher Michael Pineda.
Take a look at Pineda’s Baseball Savant page, and aside from walk rate, there’s not one area the 33-year-old is even below average at. His barrel rate is in the double digits and his hard hit rate is 46%.
Opponents have a .308 xBA and .551 xSLG against the right-hander, both ranking in the bottom one percent of all pitchers. And if that’s not enough, Pineda’s xERA is a run higher than his actual ERA at 6.22.
The Guardians roughed up Pineda for eight runs over two innings his last time out, but aside from that, Pineda has been fortunate in 2022.
He matches up in this one against rookie Joe Ryan, who has been a reliable arm atop the Twins’ rotation. The 26-year-old has a 2.99 ERA and a 3.48 xERA, and despite not striking out many batters, Ryan limits hard contact and opponents have mustered just a .217 xBA against him.
The Tigers’ offense should be quiet, as well, on Saturday. They rank 29th in both wRC+ and wOBA, and are dead last in isolated power. They don’t draw walks and have been the worst offense in baseball, scoring just 3.14 runs per game.
All this to say that I love the Twins on the first five runline tonight at -130. They have a stark advantage — both on the mound and at the plate — and I think balls will be flying at Comerica for Byron Buxton and crew.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Alex Hinton: It has not been a great July for Carlos Correa thus far — the Minnesota shortstop is hitting just .180 with two home runs this month. However, he has a great matchup to open up the second half.
Tonight, Correa will face the Detroit Tigers and starter Michael Pineda. In his last start, Pineda was shelled by the Guardians. He gave up eight earned runs on nine hits in two innings of work, and the outing caused his ERA to balloon from 3.58 to 5.22.
Pineda is among the worst pitchers in MLB in strikeout rate, Average Exit Velocity, xERA, barrel percentage and Hard Hit Percentage.
In their careers, Correa has dominated this matchup. He’s 9-for-23 with three home runs and five runs batted in vs. Pineda.
Additionally, Correa has hit 10 of his 11 home runs against right-handed pitchers. Of course, if Correa does homer, he’ll easily clear the total bases he needs with four.
Comerica Park is not the friendliest park for home runs, but the gaps in left — and especially right field — are spacious. A double up the gap would get the job done for us, as well.
In 13 games at Comerica Park, Correa is a .286 hitter with two home runs, 11 runs batted in and a .835 OPS.
I like him to get the best of Pineda again today.
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets
Tony Sartori: We have the second matchup of this three-game series, as the NL East’s New York Mets host the NL West’s San Diego Padres. After dropping the first game of this series, the Mets should be able to rebound and grab a victory.
Coming off a loss as a favorite this season, the Mets are an incredible 20-1 straight up (95%). Of those 20 wins, the Mets have covered the runline 15 times (75%).
I expect these trends to continue, as the Mets are slated to go against left-hander Blake Snell. Through 10 starts this season, Snell is 1-5 with a 5.22 ERA and 1.48 WHIP.
Snell enters this game in particularly poor form, as he continues to get smacked when on the mound. Over his last five starts, Snell is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.60 WHIP.
Virtually losing all of his command this season, Snell’s problems will most likely not go away against a strong Mets lineup. Over his last two starts against the Mets, Snell is 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA and 2.25 WHIP.
Additionally, Snell may not get much run support in this game, as the Padres are slated to go against right-hander Chris Bassitt. Through 17 starts this season, Bassitt is 7-6 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.
Bassitt’s metrics are strong this year, as he boasts a .282 xwOBA, .215 xBA and .359 xSLG. These stronger metrics have translated into better starts for Bassitt.
Over his last five starts, Bassitt is 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
I would play this line down to +125.