MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: A Favorite & An Under To Bet Sunday (Aug. 1)
Getty Images. Pictured: Shane McClanahan
MLB Odds & Picks
Mariners at Rangers
Kenny Ducey: Things are not going well for the Texas Rangers.
They rank dead last in baseball with a 44 wRC+ over the last two weeks, they’ve just traded away their best players, and they keep getting let down by their starting pitching. Nick Solak hit so poorly after his hot start that he’s found himself in Triple-A, contact man Isaiah Kiner-Falefa is hitting .244 over the past two weeks, and Adolis Garcia looks like a modern-day Eric Thames, coming out of nowhere to impress us for one half of a season before reminding the league why it gave up on him.
Yet despite all that, the Rangers come into this one off a shocking comeback win over the Seattle Mariners, who will be out for revenge on Sunday.
It’s never fun backing Marco Gonzales, but this could be as good a spot as any.
Aside from Jonah Heim’s three dingers over the past two weeks, the power has completely dissipated here with just four other home runs to be found. If you’re familiar with Gonzales, you would know he’s been victimized by the longball with 17 homers against him in 13 starts and a ridiculously-bad 15.3% barrel rate.
Without much quality contact coming from Texas — and given the fact it’s posted just an 83 wRC+ against lefties all year — the lefty could have, as the kids say, a rare W.
Then there’s Mike Foltynewicz, who has returned to his awful ways after providing hope for a brief period.
He allowed 10 earned against the Blue Jays a couple of starts ago and was lit up for five runs in four innings last time out against the Tigers. And like Gonzales, Foltynewicz has allowed some absolute rockets off the bat while failing to strike many out, but the Mariners come into this one poised — and with the better roster.
Seattle is in the thick of the playoff hunt and has some legitimate talent swinging the bat, so I’ll back the Mariners at this low number.
Red Sox at Rays
Collin Whitchurch: Something I’m often on the lookout for is good, young pitchers facing a lineup for the first time. That’s what we have here with Shane McClanahan against the Red Sox.
McClanahan is one of the brighter young pitchers in the league. In 15 starts, he has a 3.93 ERA and 84 strikeouts in 71 innings. He limits walks (3.2 per 9) and home runs (just nine allowed) and has a devastating repertoire that has helped Tampa get by after the injury to Tyler Glasnow.
McClanahan will likely become very familiar with Boston’s lineup as time goes by, but this is his first crack at the Red Sox. Or rather, this is their first look at McClanahan, and they could struggle against him at least the first time or two through the order.
This bet is a risk mostly because of the presence of Nick Pivetta. The 28-year-old got off to a decent start to the season, but has been hammered lately. He’s allowed 16 home runs this season and 11 have come in his last nine starts. Still, he held the Rays scoreless through 6 2/3 innings in late June, and I think he does just enough for us to get by tonight.
But mostly, this bet is because of Boston’s unfamiliarity with McClanahan. I like the first five innings under 5 at -115 and would bet it to -120. There’s some under 4.5 lines out there, too, and I would consider that at -105, but under 5 is the safer bet in my eyes.