MLB Best Bets: Odds, Picks for Mets vs Red Sox, Astros vs Athletics (Saturday, July 22)
Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images. Pictured: Cristian Javier.
There’s a full 15-game MLB slate today, which means there are numerous betting opportunities.
Our baseball betting experts looked over the odds and found the best betting value on the board for the night slate. They're on Mets vs. Red Sox and Astros vs. Athletics.
Continue reading for our best bets and picks for Saturday, July 22, below.
TODAY 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.|
Mets vs. Red Sox
By D.J. James
The New York Mets find themselves in a bind heading into the trade deadline and also have the tall task of facing James Paxton on Saturday. Paxton owns a 3.51 ERA against a 3.31 xERA on the season, despite allowing six runs in his most recent start. His Average Exit Velocity hasn’t been impressive, but his strikeout rate is nearly 29% and his walk rate is around 7%.
On the other side, the Mets will send Max Scherzer, who may be dealt at the deadline, to the hill. He has been solid this year and although he hasn’t been his dominant self, he’d still sit nicely atop a rotation in a contention spot. His ERA is 3.99 with a 3.51 xERA, both above Paxton. His Average Exit Velocity is comparable, and his walk and strikeout numbers are also similar.
The difference here is the Red Sox have a 119 wRC+ off of righties in July with an .825 OPS, while the Mets have a 70 wRC+ off of lefties in July and also have a 25.7% strikeout rate.
Given that Boston’s xFIP in relief has been near the top of the league (3.79), while New York’s has been near the bottom (4.76 xFIP), Boston’s pitching staff could reign supreme in this matchup.
Yes, both starters are similar, but the Red Sox have proven their worth off of righties lately. Back Boston to -125.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Astros vs. Athletics
I’m going to mention multiple Action Network co-workers in this blurb. Make sure you follow them on The Action Network App and relevant socials.
My buddy Mike Calabrese (@EastBreese) once told me he “didn’t understand a sport where the worst team in the league wins 60 games.”
That’s the funny thing about betting baseball. You have to fire on these godawful teams and somehow not be upset when they pull off dumbfounded, cockamamie moves. That’s just how the game works — it’s the only way to be profitable.
The Athletics are going to win around 60 games. You pick your spots, and you’ll nab some nice plus-money winners. For example, the A’s stole two of three from the Red Sox early this week.
Saturday is one of those spots. You gotta bet the A’s against the defending World Series champions.
Javier was a preseason breakout candidate. He received plenty of Cy Young Award hype in my circles, and I engaged in that hype.
He then suffered a random decrease in his Stuff metrics, including a dip in fastball velocity and secondary location.
But, as Ducey pointed out, the decreased Stuff analysis can't explain his recent implosion. Javier has allowed 25 earned over the past 26 innings pitched behind a nosedive in strikeouts.
Javier was still getting Whiffs earlier in the season despite the decrease in Stuff, so it’s become clear something else is happening. Ducey suggested tipping, but neither of us can be sure.
Either way, Javier is a worse pitcher by the Stuff metrics and is in a really bad place. This broken version of Javier is a 5+ ERA guy.
So, there’s no better time to bet on the worst team in baseball. I’d fade Javier against anyone at this point.
I’m actually not that scared. The A’s have a 107 wRC+ against right-handed pitching over the past two weeks. It’s never really been about the lineup in Oakland, it’s been about the rotation and bullpen.
But the A’s are starting Paul Blackburn today, a league-average arm. That’s pretty good for this staff! And, more importantly, it gives Oakland the clear starting pitcher advantage.
Meanwhile, Houston is far from a juggernaut on offense, and is slightly below league average against right-handed pitching. Blackburn should hang tough behind a career-high strikeout rate (22.7%).
I don’t want to get involved with the bullpens, but I’d make the worst team in baseball a favorite in the early frames.
You can still nab the A’s F5 ML at +135 on DraftKings.