Thursday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Bets for Rangers vs. Mariners & Yankees vs. White Sox (August 12)
Ron Vesely/Getty Images. Pictured: Eloy Jimenez.
- It's a special day for baseball with the Field of Dreams game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox taking place in Dyersville, Iowa.
- There are also plenty of other games, though, and our staff sees value in two of them.
- Check out all of our picks and predictions complete with a full betting breakdown below.
It’s a special day in baseball.
The Field of Dreams game in Dyersville, Iowa, is finally here. But while the Yankees and White Sox will attempt to smack baseballs into a cornfield, there are many more games on the docket that our staff likes.
Check out all four picks below, and click on any game to navigate directly to that bet and breakdown.
MLB Odds & Picks
Rangers vs. Mariners
Brad Cunningham: This is a matchup between two of the worst starting pitchers in Major League Baseball.
Marco Gonzales has pitched well in his last two outings, but his xERA for the season is at an astonishing 6.50 and his HR/9 rate is up at 1.91. He’s giving up a ton of hard contact, as his hard % is over 40% and he’s had no command of any of the pitches in his arsenal because they are all allowing an expected batting average over .250 and an xwOBA over .300.
Mike Foltynewicz hasn’t been much better because his xERA has ballooned up to 5.38, and he’s having the same problem as Gonzales because his HR/9 rate is at an astonishingly high 2.38, which is the highest mark among qualified starting pitchers in baseball.
He’s been completely struggling with his top three pitches of fastball, slider, and sinker, as they’re all allowing a wOBA over .350.
Reds vs. Braves
Kenny Ducey: It’s time we talk about Kyle Muller, who has quietly impressed for the Braves after being called up to little acclaim.
Atlanta’s No. 5 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Muller has used his excellent fastball to strike out 25.7% of the hitters he’s faced this year and produce a 2.88 ERA. His Achilles’ heel has been walks, boasting a 12.1% walk rate, but his .307 xwOBA on contact stands to solidify the fact that Muller has been a great pitcher, not allowing many hitters to prosper.
That’s been the story with just about every lefty who’s faced the Reds this year. Cincinnati ranks all the way down in 27th when it comes to wRC+ against left-handed pitching, striking out 23.7% of the time and posting just a .153 ISO.
This should be a solid matchup for Muller, who already doesn’t have much to worry about from a quality-of-contact standpoint has dominated with strikeouts.
On the other end of this matchup, Vladimir Guitierrez has been underwhelming this year with his personal strikeout-to-walk ratio, and he’s struggled with barrels and quality contact. He’s begun to pick up steam over the last three starts, but with those outings coming over the Cubs, Mets and Pirates, I’m not reading too much into it.
Yankees vs. White Sox
Collin Whitchurch: People will come, Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom.
Major League Baseball is coming to Iowa — for reasons we can’t even fathom — for tonight’s Field of Dreams game between the Yankees and White Sox, as the two playoff contenders will throw Andrew Heaney and Lance Lynn in a brand-new, 9,000-seat stadium at the site in Dyersville, where the iconic movie was originally filmed.
The uniqueness of this game is aplenty, and particularly for handicappers and bettors because how, exactly, do you factor in park effects in a stadium that’s never hosted a game?
That stadium’s dimensions are relatively neutral, and the wind looks relatively calm, but we’re still talking about a small park in the middle of a literal cornfield — there’s simply no other architecture getting in the way of those towering hits into the outfield.
Oddsmakers no doubt have that in mind, which is why the line has moved from its opening of 8.5 to its current total of 9.5. The White Sox are throwing Cy Young frontrunner Lance Lynn against New York’s Andrew Heaney.
The White Sox used to be an auto-bet any time they faced a lefty, but they’re wRC+ against southpaws is a below-average 94 since the start of June, and with Lynn on the mound, you have to pay hefty juice to bet them anywhere, so we’ll instead turn to the aforementioned total.
With little wind, Lynn’s dominance, and the White Sox struggles against lefties, I think oddsmakers have bumped this line too high. I’m betting under 9.5 at -110 and would do so to -120. Take that bet to the window and it’ll be as if you dipped yourself in magic waters.
Yankees vs. White Sox
Mike Ianniello: Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa.
All eyes in the baseball world will be on Iowa Thursday for the Field of Dreams game between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees in the middle of a cornfield. What should be one of the coolest scenes we will see all year also could be one of the biggest pitching mismatches.
Chicago will start current AL Cy Young favorite Lance Lynn on Thursday. Lynn has a 10-3 record and his 2.04 ERA is the lowest among any pitcher with over 100 innings. He has allowed more than three runs just once all season and has held opponents to one run or fewer in 14 of his 20 starts, including six of the last seven. Lynn has allowed just 10 home runs all season and should be able to keep the ball out of the corn, even against this powerful Yankees lineup.
Andrew Heaney, meanwhile, is likely to cause some damaged corn. The left-hander has allowed 21 home runs this year, including five just in his two starts with the Yankees. Heaney has 5.45 ERA on the season and a 7.20 ERA since joining New York. He ranks in the bottom 25% of the league in hard-hit%, average exit velocity, and barrel rate this year.
That will be a big problem against a White Sox team that crushes left-handed pitching. Chicago has sluggers Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert both back in the lineup, along with Jose Abreau who has taken Heaney deep three times in 10 at bats.