Sunday’s MLB Best Bets | Today’s Top Picks, featuring Astros vs Tigers, Reds vs Diamondbacks, More (Aug. 27)
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
Today's MLB slate is loaded with 15 games on the board. As a result, there are plenty of MLB betting picks and predictions to make, so let's dive into Sunday's best bets.
Our MLB betting experts have looked over the odds and identified the best bets, including picks for Astros vs. Tigers, A's vs. White Sox and Reds vs. Diamondbacks.
Continue reading for today's MLB best bets below.
Sunday's MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Game||Start Time (ET)||Pick|
|1:40 p.m. ET|
|2:10 p.m. ET|
|4:10 p.m. ET|
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for each game.
Astros vs. Tigers
By Kevin Rogers
The Tigers walked off the Astros on Friday, but Houston rebounded on Saturday with a resounding win behind a strong pitching performance from Hunter Brown.
Former Tigers’ standout Justin Verlander gets the ball for Houston in Sunday's rubber match at Comerica Park. The Astros are 3-0 in his past three starts in the first five innings, and Verlander tossed six scoreless innings in his previous outing against Boston.
However, Houston has struggled in series finales from a first five innings perspective, going 2-8-3 in its past 13 opportunities and allowing 11, seven and five runs in the past three series finales in the first five innings.
Alex Faedo has allowed three or fewer hits in three of his past four starts, although he gave up four runs in his past outing, a home loss to the Cubs. But, the Detroit right-hander is 3-1 in his past four starts in the first five innings, including F5 victories against San Diego and Minnesota.
Verlander lost at Detroit once already this season (as a member of the Mets). The former Cy Young winner yielded two runs in five innings but dropped a 2-0 decision as a -170 road favorite.
Let’s take Detroit in the first five innings at +0.5 (-108) against Houston at FanDuel. Play this up to -115.
Athletics vs. White Sox
By D.J. James
The Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox have played an eventful series thus far, but Sunday should be nothing of the sort. Paul Blackburn will pitch the matinee for Oakland, and Mike Clevinger will go for Chicago.
Blackburn ranks in the 87th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 92nd percentile in Hard-Hit Rate. He ranks in the 77th percentile in Chase Rate, while the Sox have the highest Chase Rate in baseball at 33.2%. Blackburn’s 4.00 ERA against a 3.93 xERA shows he's slightly above average. His strikeout rate has increased nearly four points since last season, so he should get the best of the White Sox hitters.
Clevinger has a 3.47 ERA against a 4.48 xERA, so regression is expected. That said, his Average Exit Velocity ranks in the 65th percentile with a Hard-Hit Rate in the 81st percentile. He doesn't have the chase numbers of Blackburn and only strikes out 19.5% of hitters while walking 9.4%. Either way, that should be enough against a weak Oakland lineup.
However, Oakland has a 107 wRC+ in August with a 7.7% walk rate and a .742 OPS. That's above average, but the A's are unlikely to keep that up for long.
The White Sox offense has been terrible this month. Against righties, they own a 5.6% walk rate, a .685 OPS and a 85 wRC+.
In relief, there are some question marks for each team. The A’s have a 5.18 xFIP, and the White Sox have a 4.80 xFIP, though each team does have a couple of reliable arms if necessary.
Take the under in this game from 9 (-115), and play it down to 8 (-115).
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Reds vs. Diamondbacks
After an improbably bad start to the season, Graham Ashcraft has figured things out in a big way.
After a June 24th start against the Braves in which he allowed six runs in four innings, Ashcraft had a 7.17 ERA. He's made 10 starts since (he missed July with an injury), and he has a 2.35 ERA across 65 innings.
Ashcraft's strikeout rate is reason for pause (even after his 10-K outing against the Angels last time out), but the biggest difference for him has been an increase in his sinker usage. Ashcraft was always going to be playing with fire trying to survive multiple times through an order with only a cutter and slider, but the sinker – while far from a dominant offering – has proven to be a solid complement to his true putaway pitch (the slider).
Ashcraft's true talent level isn't that of a mid-2s ERA pitcher, but he's also not the 7-ERA guy we saw earlier in the year. Regardless, he shouldn't be an underdog against Slade Cecconi and the Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Cecconi has had a moderate amount of success over four outings (two starts), but has below-average stuff across the board, and his 2.93 ERA in a very small sample (15 1/3 innings) is a full two runs lower than his expected marks, and at least that much away from his true talent level.