Saturday is always a great day for betting in MLB. All 30 MLB teams are playing, and it is the second game of most three-game series. There are lots of potential opportunities out there but for today, we narrowed our bets down to three games at fair odds. Let’s get into it:
Minnesota Twins – Chicago White Sox
Twins -1.5 @ (-125/1.80)
Our first game features the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox. The Twins have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season, leading the entire league in home runs, RBI’s, and runs scored. They have been a high powered offense this entire season and are capable of blowing their opponents out when their hitting comes alive. This game today appears to be another great spot for them with weather conditions favoring the hitters with a strong wind blowing out to the outfield. There should be plenty of runs scored in this game.
The reason why the Twins hitters have a much bigger advantage over the White Sox hitters is the pitching matchup. Kyle Gibson, pitcher for the Twins has a high groundball rate due to the number of sinkers he throws. Compare him to the White Sox pitcher Manny Banuelos who happens to have a ground ball rate of only 36% meaning balls hit could potentially leave the yard. That is not a recipe for success against this Twins team and it’s worth mentioning how the Banuelos will only go a few innings before the White Sox bullpen takes over that has been historically bad in recent seasons. When taking a closer look at Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson, what stands out to me the most is his strikeout to walk ratio. In his last 6 games, the most walks he has issued is 2. He’s not getting in trouble and it’s allowing the Twins offense to do its work. Like many games with the Twins, when they win, they score in bunches. I think they win again today, and I will take the -1.5 handicap for value.
Oakland Athletics – Seattle Mariners
Under 9.5 Runs @ (-115/1.86)
This game features two teams heading in opposite directions at the moment. The Mariners have been struggling to win games and Oakland has been red hot as of late. However, in this game, we’re going to look to the total and bet under 9.5 runs. Our reasoning has a lot to do with ballpark and team situations. In terms of the ballpark, Oakland is always a pitcher-friendly park and Mike Fiers should feel right at home for Oakland. In his home starts this year, he has only given 6 runs in 31 innings pitched at home this year. All 6 came in a bad performance against the Toronto Blue Jays. I would rather bet on the trend against a struggling Seattle team than to bet the over.
On the other side, Seattle will send out Yusei Kikuchi to pitch. This season he has pitched very well, this past month with 3/4 games only giving up one run. He faces an Oakland team who just had their best hitter Khris Davis go out with injury. Taking a look at the chart below, you can see how Oakland is impacted with/without Davis in the lineup. Considering the ballpark and team situations like we mentioned, I think the under is the right side to be on.
Los Angeles Angels – Texas Rangers
Angels to win @ (-125/1.80)
This is an interesting matchup as we see a contrast in teams. First, the Angels are right-handed heavy hitting team and they face a left-handed pitcher in Mike Minor. The Rangers also face a left-handed pitcher, but most of the power hitters in their lineup are left-handed. This sets up favorably for the Angels who should be able to use the matchups to their advantage in this game. Taking a look at Mike Minor, two things stand out, he struggles against right-handed batters and is worse on the road.
For the Angels, Tyler Skaggs is not a pitcher I am betting on every game, but the matchup should set up well for him. This year, he has pitched much better at home with a 3.00 ERA and gets to face a Texas team that consists almost entirely of left-handed batters. Texas has been terrible against left-handed pitching this season hitting with much lower batting averages in nearly every statistical category. Considering the massive contrast in matchups, I will side with the Angels here.