Yesterday was an interesting day when it came to MLB betting and after the first losing day for my projections this week, the 8/2 slate presents some opportunities to bounce back. In general, yesterday was a lower scoring say, with eight games seeing nine runs or less scored. The over under record for the year now stands at 50-62-3, which is what we would expect with some cold bats to start the season.
Yesterday was also a strong day for the favorites, going 8-3. Both the Chicago White Sox and the Atlanta Braves remain a combined perfect 9-0 as favorites in 2020, with the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs close behind at a combined 11-2. In terms of underdogs to keep an eye on, the Colorado Rockies are 5-1, the Detroit Tigers 3-2 ad the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 when the Moneyline odds favor their opponents.
8/2 Best Bets
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks: Dodgers -1.5 (-115
After being scratched from his first start of the season, Clayton Kershaw will take to the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers against an Arizona Diamondbacks team that has sputtered out of the gate. This matchup with Merrill Kelly should be one that eases Kershaw back in and gives him a great opportunity for a comfortable win.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have lacked any power when facing left-handed pitching so far this year. Through a small sample size of 44 PAs they are hitting for an ISO of 0.5 with zero home runs or triples and only two of their 10 hits against lefties going for extra-base hits. Given Kershaw struggled in terms of giving up home runs, a matchup against a tea who have not sparked offensively this year and lack any terrifying power hitters should be a gentle introduction for the veteran lefty
The Dodgers offense has been steady coming out of the gate, ranking in the top 10 against right-handed pitching when it comes to batting average and avoiding strikeouts. Kelly got an easy start his first time out against the Ranges, who have been among the worst in the league at hitting right-handed pitchers, but he will be facing a much tougher challenge in this one, My numbers have the Diamondbacks projected for 2-3 runs with the Dodgers in the 5-6 region, meaning that taking the Dodgers -1.5 is the play here.
Texas Rangers @ San Francisco Giants: Over 9 Total Runs (-131)
This game is a somewhat underwhelming one between two teams who look unlikely to be playoff contenders. The Rangers have stumbled out of the gate and enter this game 2-5. The Giants have had more success, sitting at 5-4, but have looked underwhelming when facing better teams.
This game should be one that is primed for the over. Both of the other two games in the series have seen the over hit and Giants games at home are seeing the over hit 80% of the time. A lot of that has come down to a lack of pitching talent on display, including today’s pitcher for the Giants in Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija allowed five runs in his first outing, although a lot of that was bad luck, with all of the runners he put on base coming round to score. On the other side, Kolby Allard will be making his first start this year, having replaced Corey Kluber in the rotation. Last season across nine starts, Allard posted a 4.96 ERA and could be vulnerable to a Giants team who have been middle of the pack when facing left-handed pitching this year.
Additionally, both bullpens have been vulnerable in 2020. The Rangers have allowed 17 earned runs in 28 1/3 innings, while the Giants have allowed 23 earned runs in 47 1/3 innings. With neither starter expected to shut down the opponents and bullpens that allow a combined average of a more than a run for every two innings pitched, a total of nine seems too low in this matchup. My projections for this game have nine runs on the low end of the possible outcomes with 10.5 being the average output between these two teams.
Baltimore Orioles @ Tampa Bay Rays: Orioles over 3.5 (-131)
The Orioles are proving to be the surprise package of the 2020 season. Through their first seven games, they are 4-3, having taken two wins off both the Rays and Red Sox already this season, Those wins have come behind an impressive offensive output, which has seen them score five or more runs in five of their seven games. In those two games where they failed to score five runs, they were facing the two aces of the Red Sox and Yankees’ staffs respectively.
The Orioles offense has shown some impressive power at the plate. They rank fourth in the league this season in slugging and fifth in ISO this season. They have also been selective at the plate, striking out the fourth-lowest with a K% just under 20%. The matchup with Yonny Chirinos is by no means easy, as he has a career 3.65, but a run line of 3.5 is low for a team averaging 5.1 runs per game.