Saturday MLB Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Red Sox-Yankees, Diamondbacks-Giants (September 24)
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Cobb (Giants)
There's a full 15-game slate on the Saturday docket, providing plenty of betting opportunities.
D.J. James has looked over the schedule and found betting value in a pair of games — Red Sox-Yankees and Diamondbacks-Giants.
So, without further ado here are Saturday's best bets.
MLB Odds & Picks
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
DJ James: The biggest rivalry in baseball continues as the New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox. Domingo Germán will start for New York and Nick Pivetta will get the ball for Boston.
Neither of these pitchers are good. Germán has a 3.12 ERA, but that is deceiving because he has a 4.06 xERA and far below average peripherals. Pivetta has a 4.35 ERA and a 4.44 xERA, so he is at least much more in line with expectations, but a poor starter, nonetheless.
Pivetta had a nice May and June, but has otherwise been a below-average starter. He ranks in the seventh percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the ninth percentile in Hard-Hit Percentage. The Yankees rank second in Exit Velocity and third in Hard-Hit Percentage, so this matchup is like pairing a wine with a hot dog instead of cheese.
On the other side of the matchup, Germán ranks in the 14th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 28th percentile in Hard-Hit Percentage. That explains why his xERA nearly a point higher than his actual ERA.
In addition, both of these offenses have skyrocketed lately against right-handed pitching — and both of these starters are righties. New Yorks’s wRC+ against righties is 123 while Boston’s team wRC+ off of righties is 117.
Lastly, the Yankees have a decent bullpen, but they have their weak spots. The Red Sox have notably one of the worst ‘pens in MLB.
All of these factors point toward the over in this game. Expect plenty of fireworks and potentially a record-setting blast from Aaron Judge.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Francisco Giants
DJ James: The San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks have hit well lately off of right-handed pitching. Alex Cobb is going for the Giants with Merrill Kelly starting for the D-Backs.
Cobb has finally started to look like himself. He had a 4.09 ERA in the first half and has a 2.80 ERA after the All-Star Break. Kelly has improved slightly, too, with 3.26 ERA in the first half and a 2.99 ERA in the second half.
Cobb will allow some hard contact, ranking in the lower half of the league in Average Exit Velocity and Hard-Hit Rate. However, he ranks in the 94th percentile in Barrel Percentage and is above average in strikeout and walk rates.
Kelly is a little better with limiting hard contact, ranking in the top half of the league in Average Exit Velocity and Hard-Hit Rate. He does not miss as many bats as Cobb, but this should not be as much of a concern.
San Francisco is right around league average with a 99 wRC+ off of righties in the past month, but the Giants have a .368 SLG — 25th in MLB. They will not get much power off of Kelly. The D-Backs have hit righties well at 108 wRC+ in the past month, but Cobb has allowed a sub-.300 OBP against righties. He also boasts a .329 SLG in the second half.