MLB Picks Today | Odds, Expert Projections for Friday, August 4

MLB Picks Today | Odds, Expert Projections for Friday, August 4 article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Volpe and Rafael Ortega.

Welcome to Opening Pitch, my column that you'll find daily throughout the 2023 MLB season.

My goal for Opening Pitch is to highlight my top daily projection edges for MLB moneylines and totals, share my favorite bets and provide some betting notes and analysis, mainly as I react to opening and overnight lines while using my baseball betting model.

I will look to release a new version of Opening Pitch daily between midnight and 3 a.m. ET; after I enter my overnight bets in the Action Network App and update the MLB projections. Hopefully, you will use it as your morning betting guide to get ahead of the baseball markets.

You can find my projections for every MLB game in the Action App (on both the PRO Projections tab and the game pages) and our Projections Hub (which you can bookmark).

You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.

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Expert Picks for Friday, August 4

New York Mets vs. Baltimore Orioles

David Peterson vs. Dean Kremer
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

The Mets are 1-4 and have been outscored 33-19 by the Royals and Nationals since they traded David Robertson — and, subsequently, six other key members of their roster — earlier this week. While it's difficult to handicap motivation, based on the projected starters and lineups for Friday's matchup, the Mets should offer an actionable edge.

David Peterson (4.80 xERA, 15.4% K-BB%, 89 Stuff+, 97 Location+, 93 Pitching+) and Dean Kremer (5.48 xERA, 14.9% K-BB%, 98 Stuff+, 102 Location+, 100 Pitching+) are similar starters. Peterson's underlying indicators also align with his 2022 campaign (3.94 xERA), and his called-strike plus whiff rate has improved this season. A .385 BABIP has tanked Peterson's overall 2023 stat line and killed his confidence.

Baltimore has a clear bullpen advantage (2nd vs. 27th in bullpen xFIP, and growing following the Mets' trades). Both teams are in their superior split; the Mets rank ninth (107 wrC+) against righties, and the Orioles are ninth against lefties (111 wRC+). Still, I project an offensive advantage for the Mets on Friday.

The Orioles have been running extremely hot with runners in scoring position (RISP), hitting .351 with a .363 BABIP in clutch situations over the past 30 days. Granted, they are striking out less frequently than any other team in those spots, but they are also hitting about 100 points over expectation with RISP.

Additionally, in the Orioles' recent series with the Blue Jays, Toronto went 2-for-29 with RISP.

Bet the Mets to +120 in the first five innings (F5) and +137 for the full game — compared to projections of +111 and +126, respectively.

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

Hunter Brown vs. Luis Severino
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

Luis Severino blew up again in his last start, finishing July with an 11.22 ERA (5.03 xFIP) in five outings (21 2/3 IP, 43 H, 29 R, 9 BB, 18 K). Severino's K-BB% (9.4%) has halved compared to last season (20.2%), and his xERA has fallen from an elite 2.94 to a dreadful 6.48.

Pitching models believe that his arsenal remained intact throughout a rough July (100 Stuff+, 103 Location+, 100 Pitching+), still within reach of his 2022 form (108 Stuff+, 102 Location+, 104 Pitching+). Severino's CSW% is at a career-low, but he has been a bit unfortunate (.358 BABIP, 63.2% stand rate, 19.5% HR/FB rate vs. .292, 74.3%, 14.1% career).

While I have factored Severino's 2023 results into his model projection, I still need to trust the pitch modeling data and hope Severino re-discovers the form held at various points of this season.

And while I am high on Hunter Brown (3.96 xERA) as a pitching prospect, the same pitching models don't see a massive difference between Brown (106 Stuff+, 101 Location+, 102 Pitching+) and Severino.

Houston has the better bullpen. The two offenses are comparable, but as I previously mentioned, the Yankees have a significant defensive advantage in this series.

Bet the Yankees to +122 and play an Over 9 to -120 or Over 9.5 to -102, a built-in hedge on another Severino implosion.

Zerillo's Bets for Friday, August 4

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  • Atlanta Braves / Chicago Cubs, Under 8.5 (-112, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -117)
  • Boston Red Sox F5 (-150, 0.5u) at BetMGM (bet to -160)
  • Boston Red Sox / Toronto Blue Jays, Under 10.5 (+100, 0.5u) at Caesars (Bet to -115)
  • Chicago White Sox (+150, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +137)
  • Chicago White Sox / Cleveland Guardians, Over 8 (-115, 0.5u) at DraftKings (Bet to -120 or 8.5, -102)
  • Colorado Rockies (+152, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +148)
  • Cincinnati Reds F5 (-165, 0.5u) at FanDuel (Bet to -174)
  • Cincinnati Reds / Washington Nationals, Over 10.5 (-105, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -110)
  • Detroit Tigers (+130, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +127)
  • Kansas City Royals (+220, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to +205)
  • Kansas City Royals / Philadelphia Phillies, Over 9 (-110, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -120 or 9.5, -102)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers F5 (+105, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +102)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (+110, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +102)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers / San Diego Padres, Under 8.5 (-110, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -118 or 8, +100)
  • Miami Marlins F5 (+138, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to +130)
  • Miami Marlins (+132, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to +129)
  • Milwaukee Brewers F5 (-145, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -152)
  • Minnesota Twins F5 (-125, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -130)
  • Minnesota Twins (-125, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -125)
  • New York Mets F5 (+134, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to +120)
  • New York Mets (+155, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +137)
  • New York Mets / Baltimore Orioles, Over 9 (-118, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -118 or 9.5, +100)
  • New York Yankees (+130, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +122)
  • New York Yankees / Houston Astros, Over 9 (-110, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -120 or 9.5, -102)
  • Seattle Mariners F5 (+108, 0.75u) at FanDuel (bet to -108, reduce risk after +100)

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