Tuesday MLB Betting Picks: Best Bets for Red Sox vs. Blue Jays, Pirates vs. White Sox and More (Aug. 25)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Jackie Bradley Jr. and Alex Verdugo
- Looking for some quick MLB betting picks for Tuesday? Our staff's got you covered.
- Collin Wilson explains why you should give Boston another chance as underdogs against Toronto, and Danny Donahue sees value on Pittsburgh +220.
- Below, you'll find betting odds, picks and predictions for our three favorite MLB games of the night.
While this probably wasn’t the phrase’s intention, the dog days of summer oftentimes coincide with the days our baseball experts bet on underdogs.
That’s certainly been the case Tuesday, as all three of our staff’s favorite MLB bets have come on teams that aren’t expected to win their given games. Take a look at how we’re approaching tonight’s slate below.
Note: Odds as of 12:30 p.m. ET.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
Collin Wilson: Red Sox Moneyline (+116) vs. Blue Jays
Kyle Hart and Chase Anderson as the starting pitchers should not pull any desire to bet on an under in the bandbox that is Buffalo. Sahlen Field is now third in runs and home runs per Park Factors for 2020. The wind will be blowing out at 11 mph at first pitch, but Boston ranks 24th in home run to fly ball ratio and dead-last in line drive percentage. Neither Hart or Anderson have pitched more than 3.2 innings this year, making this a bullpen game.
The Blue Jays have not had an off day since Aug. 8 and played a doubleheader just last Thursday. Meanwhile, the Red Sox had an off day on Monday and had minimal bullpen activity in this past weekend series with the Orioles.
There are stark differences in these relievers, as Boston ranks eighth in xFIP and Toronto 23rd. The inevitable is that this will be a bullpen game, and in that situation I would side with the more rested and talented group, which is Boston here.
Danny Donahue: Pirates Moneyline (+220) vs. White Sox
The Pirates have won only 29.2% of their games this season. They’ve also won their past three.
The chance that a 29.2% outcome happens four times in a row? 0.7%.
That’s probably part of the reason Pittsburgh is the least popular moneyline spot on today’s slate, getting just 20% of the tickets. But here’s the problem with that way of thinking: the first three wins have already happened.
In other words, there’s a difference between betting on the Pirates to win four games in a row, and betting on them to win a fourth-consecutive game. And even though most people understand that, it’s still very difficult to bet against the feeling that the Pirates are “due” for a loss tonight.
That’s not to suggest that I think the Pirates are likely to win this game — they’re still 7-17, and serving up a lefty to a team that’s been crushing them. I simply think they’re being undervalued as a result of their winning streak, and history has reflected that.
In our database (since 2005), when a sub-.400 team sees the minority of moneyline bets (less than 45%) after putting together at least two consecutive wins, that team has gone 337-385. And while that’s not a winning record, since most of these teams are underdogs (like the Pirates are tonight), it’s led to a profit of 83.2 units, good for an 11.5% return on investment.
So while I don’t expect to win this bet tonight, I do expect that over the long term, such plays will continue to produce a profit.
BJ Cunningham: Mariners +1.5 (-120) vs. Padres
Marco Gonzales has been pretty good so far this season, accumulating a 3.34 ERA and 4.28 xFIP through his first 29.2 innings of 2020. He’s a sinker-ball guy and he’s been really effective with it so far, as opponents have only a .179 wOBA against it on 200 pitches. Gonzales isn’t a swing-and-miss type of pitcher. None of his pitches generate a whiff rate over 22% and his K/9 rate is only 7.89. However, he has been really effective with his location as he’s allowed only three walks so far this season.
The Padres offense has been average versus left handed pitching so far this season with a .321 wOBA and 103 wRC+. They’ve also been fairly average against all of the pitches in Gonzales’ arsenal, so he should have a decent matchup on Tuesday night.
Chris Paddack hasn’t lived up to his preseason projections so far, as he has a 4.26 ERA and 4.21 xFIP through six starts. His biggest issue by far is his fastball is getting shelled. He’s allowed a .445 wOBA on it, including six home runs, which is already almost half the amount of home runs he allowed all last season on his fastball.
I think the Padres are overvalued in this spot, given how poor Paddack has been to this point in the season, but I don’t trust the Mariners to get the win given some of their bullpen issues, so I am going to back Seattle on the run line of +1.5.