Saturday MLB Betting Picks, Predictions: Padres vs. A’s, Cardinals vs. Cubs, Phillies vs. Mets, More (Sept. 5)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images.
Another overflowing MLB slate arrives Saturday to go along with an already sports-filled schedule.
Including a few doubleheaders, 17 games will get underway today, with first pitches spanning from 4 to 10:30 p.m. ET. As such, our staff has labeled four spots as their top plays on the following games.
- Padres vs. Athletics (4:10 p.m. ET)
- Cardinals vs. Cubs (5:15 p.m. ET)
- Yankees vs. Orioles (7:05 p.m. ET)
- Phillies vs. Mets (7:10 p.m. ET)
Note: Odds as of 11:45 a.m. ET.
Collin Wilson: Athletics Moneyline (-110) vs. Padres
Sean Manaea has bounced back from a slow start to the 2020 season. The Athletics ace started the season with a four-seam fastball that topped out at 88 mph, but has steadily climbed to 90.5 mph through recent starts. The southpaw has no allowed more than two earned runs in his past three starts as his xFIP has lowered to 3.82 on the season. The Padres have absolutely raked this season, but much of their success has come against right-handed pitching.
Chris Paddack takes the mound for the Padres after having two of his last four outings come with disastrous results. The Mariners and Dodgers put up six earned runs apiece against the Padres ace. One of the contributing factors is a home run to fly ball rate of 23%, much higher than his 14% from 2019. Oakland leads MLB in fly-ball rate against right-handed pitching, giving Paddack a high probability of getting taken deep.
Collin Wilson: Cardinals vs. Cubs Under 6 (-110)
All the ingredients are here for Game 1 of the doubleheader at Wrigley to go under the total. The wind will be blowing in from Lake Michigan around 13 mph at first pitch, tailing off to 8 mph after a couple of hours. Eventually the wind will be non-existent in Game 2, but for our first pitch on the North Side it will certainly play a factor.
Our umpire is Dan Bellino, supporting a 143-116 record to the under. His 55.2% lifetime clip has rewarded bettors with 24.96 units.
Adam Wainwright takes the hill for the Cardinals and has a top-30 ground-ball rate on the 2020 season. The Cubs have the fourth highest ground-ball rate against right-handed pitching in the league, which should project to plenty of contact staying in the park and potentially resulting in double plays.
While Wainwright supports a 43% ground-ball rate, Cubs starter Adbert Alzolay has had an even greater rate in a short sample for 2020. Through six innings pitched, Alzolay is up at 58.5%.
The sample is small for the Cubs starter, but with Wainwright, wind and umpire trends, we have a great shot at the under in Game 1.
BJ Cunningham: Orioles +2.5 (-117)
Cole has been fine through his first eight starts as a Yankee, but he hasn’t been his dominant self. He has a 3.91 ERA and 3.69 xFIP, which are much higher than his last two seasons with the Astros. His biggest issue by far is giving up the long ball. He has a 2.35 HR/9, which is one of the highest in MLB among qualified starting pitchers.
He’s gone to his fastball more often in his first three starts (54.1%) than he did last season (51.5%). But his whiff rate on that fastball has gone down from 37.6% in 2019 to 25.2% this season. Additionally, the only one of Cole’s pitches that has been effective has been his slider, as he’s allowing a wOBA over .320 for the rest of his pitches.
Keegan Akin hasn’t been great through his first 7.1 innings and his projections for the season aren’t great, but the Yankees have been below average vs. left-handed pitching (.300 wOBA & 89 wRC+). They’ve also been ice cold over the last two weeks hitting a measly .212, with a .280 wOBA and 80 wRC+.
The Orioles’ offense has been much better than expected this season, and has been red-hot over the past week, accumulating a .348 wOBA and 118 wRC+. They’ve been absolutely crushing fastballs this season, with 18.1 weighted fastball runs, so they should have a good matchup against Cole on Saturday, since he goes to his fastball over 50% of the time.
I think Cole and the Yankees are overvalued on Saturday, but with Akin on the mound I don’t feel confident enough to take the moneyline. So, I am going to back the Orioles run line of +2.5 at -117.
Danny Donahue: Mets Moneyline (-155), Run Line (+125)
Another day, another unpopular MLB favorite that I sadly have no choice but to back. The scenario in which the Mets find themselves today has just been too good for me to pass it up.
After opening around -140, the Mets are up to around -160 across the market, even though they’ve attracted just 36% of bets at the time of writing. That sort of reverse line movement on a favorite has proved extremely profitable historically.
Since 2005, teams that have opened as favorites greater than -130, and seen the line move at least 10 cents in their favor on no more than 45% of bets have gone 130-42, winning 34.6 moneyline units for a 20.1% return on investment.
On the run line, that record drops a bit to 90-69-12, but the increased payouts lead to a profit of 42.6 units and a 24.9% ROI.