MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 8/19

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

August 19, 2022 12:34 PM
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One day game and 14 night games usher us into the weekend in Major League Baseball. Brewers/Cubs is the lone matinee, as every other game starts in the 7 p.m. ET hour or later. That means a lot of time to evaluate the card and think about the opportunities that are available on the board.

That also means there is plenty to get to, so let’s get down to business.

Yesterday’s Recap

Rockies/Cardinals: We saw some pretty high-scoring getaway day games yesterday, but only one team did the scoring in this one. Unsurprisingly, that team was the Cardinals. Adam Wainwright’s home/road splits remained a thing with seven shutout innings and St. Louis jumped on Antonio Senzatela for five runs and then Austin Gomber for five more. Wainwright only needed 89 pitches. What makes the Cardinals so good is that their starters don’t really issue walks and it’s hard to hit your way on base against this defense. I still feel like the Brewers have a shot to win the NLC, but it sure feels like the Cardinals hit their stride a while ago and will just keep right on going.

Dodgers/Brewers: Andrew Heaney had a really interesting outing yesterday. He struck out 10 and had 19 whiffs on 44 swings in 4.2 innings, but also allowed three homers and five runs total. Corbin Burnes wasn’t overly sharp with three runs allowed on six hits over 5.2 innings, but the Brewers provided enough offensive support for the win. Burnes only had four whiffs on 31 swings against the cutter, so the Dodgers really battled well.

Diamondbacks/Giants: Just when it looked like the Giants were going to take advantage of the soft part of the schedule to become relevant in the wild-card race, they dropped back-to-back games to the Snakes to end the series. Zac Gallen was brilliant 17 whiffs on 46 swings and 12 strikeouts over just 99 pitches against a Giants offense that has fallen like a rock this season. There are just way too many games in which the Giants look lifeless. That was the seventh time they’ve been shut out and the 56th time they’ve been held to three or fewer runs, which accounts for 45 of their 59 losses.

Mets/Braves: The early-morning news for the Braves wasn’t good with Marcell Ozuna in trouble with the law again after getting arrested for a DUI, but that’s more of a public safety/personal thing and less of a Braves thing because he’s been awful anyway. Atlanta’s 3-2 win over Jacob deGrom and the Mets was a big deal. The Braves won the series, picking up two games in the NL East race, and also got seven strong innings from Max Fried in his return. deGrom struck out nine over 6.2 innings, but the hits he allowed were clustered and Seth Lugo couldn’t get out of a seventh-inning jam.

The lead is 3.5 games for the Mets, who had abbreviated starts from Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker in this series.

Nationals/Padres: Yeesh. The Padres just cannot find a steady run of good play. They lost 3-1 to Anibal Sanchez and the Nationals last night. San Diego only had three hits and just nine hard-hit balls in the game. One of them was a solo homer off of Sanchez that accounted for the team’s only hit. Also of note, Josh Hader, who hadn’t pitched in nine days, looked pretty bad in his appearance with a HBP, BB, sac fly and infield single before ending the inning. He’s not right. The Padres aren’t right.

Athletics/Rangers: The A’s could have sent Donal Logue to the mound yesterday and he’d have probably had about the same fortunes as Zach Logue. The Rangers banged out seven runs in 4.1 innings against the left-hander to cruise to a 10-3 win. Texas vs. lefties has not only been a political angle for a long time, but it’s also a betting angle this baseball season. A lot of Rangers money hits the board against southpaws. They’re not very good and they’re not priced with much respect, but they’ve hit lefties at a good clip just about all season long.

Astros/White Sox: anchormanthatescalatedquickly.gif. That pretty much sums up what happened yesterday on the South Side, as the White Sox allowed 21 runs to the Astros. Lucas Giolito was awful and so was everybody else that pitched, including position player Josh Harrison. The Astros had 23 hard-hit balls and batted .490 in the game. They scored seven against Giolito, whose ugly reverse splits against righties proved to be a huge factor.

Luis Garcia wasn’t great for the Astros, but it’s hard to pitch well with long half innings of offense and a big lead. He gave up all three runs in the fifth when Houston already led 10-0. The White Sox keep dangling that carrot and when they get close, it disappears again. What a maddeningly frustrating season it must be for White Sox fans.

Blue Jays/Yankees: I think it’s time to move to DEFCON 4 with the Yankees offense. Only managing seven hard-hit balls and one earned run off of Jose Berrios is egregious. Aaron Judge went 0-for-4 again and has two hits over his last 25 plate appearances. Along with the ongoing offensive shortcomings, Frankie Montas wasn’t very good over his six innings against a Toronto lineup that had also been scuffling. Bad looks all around for the Yankees right now. I haven’t had the stones to fade them because there’s still a lot of talent here, but congratulations if you’ve been going against them.

Royals/Rays: Kansas City was pummeled for the sixth time in seven games in last night’s 7-1 loss. Kansas City has lost by 5, 10, 2, 9, 4 and 6 in that span, with a 4-0 win behind Brady Singer on Sunday. Singer goes tonight, so they presumably have a chance. They had their little run earlier this month, but it appears that the clock struck midnight and they’ve turned back into a pumpkin.

Cubs/Orioles: A lost opportunity for a young team, as the Orioles dropped the random makeup game with the Cubs by a 3-2 count. The Cubs were in D.C., so it was a short trip to Baltimore, whereas the Orioles had travel and have a series with the Red Sox that starts tonight. They managed just two runs off of Adrian Sampson and the Chicago pen. Fortunately, their bullpen is in great shape for the Boston series, but it came at the cost of a loss.

Red Sox/Pirates: Yesterday’s lone play was a winner, though not exactly how I envisioned it. The Pirates scored eight runs to almost get the over 8.5 themselves, but Boston chipped in a couple late for the victory. Pittsburgh took advantage of 11 hard-hit balls off of Josh Winckowski, whose ERA bumped to 5.19. JT Brubaker was excellent over seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts. 

Friday Resources

Weather: It gets going early, but we’ve got good hitting weather at Wrigley, as evidenced by the move up on the total to 9.5 with Aaron Ashby and Keegan Thompson. It’s warm and winds are blowing out. The weather could give hitters a chance against Chris Bassitt and Aaron Nola in Philly with breezes blowing out. Otherwise, we’ve got some decent rain chances in Atlanta and Minneapolis, so be careful with those games.

Injuries: Check out our Injury Report right here at VSiN. This is also a good resource at FanGraphs (sort by date) HERE.

Line Moves

Brewers (-135, 10) at Cubs: We’re up to 10 on the total for this one. This is all about the weather, as Wrigley Field is the most impacted park by weather in the entire league. I am a tad surprised we aren’t seeing some love for Keegan Thompson, who has been a market darling most of the season. This was 9 at one point and then moved to 9.5 with over juice before piggybackers pushed it to double digits for the 2:20 p.m. ET start.

Mets at Phillies (-120, 7.5): Even though the weather looks conducive to hitting, the total has gone down in Mets/Phillies, moving from 8 to 7.5. We haven’t seen much side movement at all in this one and I’m not sure that we will, but the total has certainly been an interesting and strong move.

Giants (-150, 11) at Rockies: How’s this for a sad commentary on the Giants offense? Jose Urena is on the mound at Coors Field and this total has fallen from 11.5 to 11. Furthermore, the total is falling with the Rockies at home against a lefty in Alex Wood. That speaks to a really low projection today for the San Francisco bats. We’ve also seen a little bit of Rockies investment, which is yet another indicator.

Marlins at Dodgers (-260, 8): Another totals mover here. We’ve got some 8s with heavy under juice, but we also have some 7.5s starting to show up across the market with Jesus Luzardo going up against Tyler Anderson. I’m sure we’ll see interest in the Miami team total under when that populates across the market.

Angels (-140, 7.5) at Tigers: Patrick Sandoval and the Angels are getting a little love for their trek to Motown to face the Tigers. Matt Manning goes for Detroit in this one. It’s a low total, but some shops are showing a little bit of over juice. That tells me that modelers actually like the Angels’ lineup against Manning because Sandoval has been very stingy and Detroit’s offense is terrible.

Royals at Rays (-200, 6.5): This is a big number in what appears to be a low-variance game, so I’ll be curious to see if some Royals money leaks in later. We’ve got a total of 6.5 with under juice here with Brady Singer and Shane McClanahan in today’s premier pitcher’s duel.

What I’ll Be Watching

Lance McCullers Jr.: McCullers gets a much stiffer test than what he had in his last start as he faces the Braves. McCullers worked around four walks in six innings against the A’s last time out, but he may not be as fortunate if he has similar control issues against Atlanta. He only allowed two hits and had five strikeouts in his first regular season MLB start since September 30. Out of 12 batted ball events, he only allowed one hard-hit ball in that start. In four minor league rehab starts, he allowed 11 runs on 16 hits over 13.1 innings with 17 strikeouts against seven walks.

The Astros don’t need him to be good, but it would help if he could be good later on. This would be a nice building block towards being a trustworthy option once again.

Jameson Taillon: Not to pile on the Yankees, who have more than enough problems right now, but Taillon has a 5.35 ERA with a 5.00 FIP over his last 13 starts dating back to early June. In that span, he’s allowed 15 home runs and 19 barrels. He’s only held the opposition to two or fewer runs in four of those 13 starts, which seems like a big concern with Kevin Gausman on the other side and the way that the Yankees are hitting right now. He’s allowed five homers over his last three starts while giving up 12 runs on 11 hits with seven walks and 16 strikeouts in 18.2 innings, facing Seattle twice and then Boston.

I felt back in June and July that Taillon was showing some red flags and he hasn’t really done much to get me off of those concerns.

Marco Gonzales: A bonus mention here because the Regression Monster found Marco Gonzales last month and keeps chomping away. Gonzales has allowed 26 runs on 50 hits in his last 35 innings, including seven home runs. His ERA in that span is 6.69 and his full-season ERA is up to 4.11. In that span, however, he has faced Texas three times (a lineup that hits LHP well), the Yankees, Angels and Astros. Not surprisingly, his best start in that span was against the Angels, but he’s had some tough assignments of late. The A’s at the Coliseum doesn’t exactly qualify as a tough assignment, so we’ll see if he can get back on track.

Friday Best Bets

Shop around for the best lines! I’m using a market consensus number that should be widely available to most, but every cent matters, so do the best you can to get the best line possible.

VEGAS LINES | ODDS BY STATE | MLB MATCHUPS

Blue Jays (-110) over Yankees: Kevin Gausman is having a spectacular season despite some of the worst batted ball luck in baseball. Gausman owns a 3.16 ERA with a stellar 2.08 FIP, even though he has a .372 BABIP against and a low 72.5% LOB% for his spectacular K%. He’d had a few duds, but he’s held the opposition to three or fewer runs in 17 of his 22 starts on the season. If he can do that here, the Blue Jays should have a great chance at winning.

I just wrote about the concerns that I have with Taillon and his performance over the last eight weeks. Within his last five starts, he’s had 12 of his 24 walks this season. When guys that have above average to elite control start walking people, that’s when I start to get really worried. Either something is wrong mechanically or there’s a potential injury situation. He’s throwing a lot more fastballs lately, which I also consider to be an indicator since those aren’t quite as taxing on the arm.

As we know, the Yankees bullpen has been a bit of a mess. Toronto’s isn’t anything to write home about, but I do think the Blue Jays have the lead late in this one and I expect Gausman to have a strong, efficient start and be able to work deep into the game. By batting value by pitch, the Blue Jays are seventh against fastballs. With Taillon throwing more of them recently, that gives the Blue Jays a stronger projection in this game, so I’ll ride with them at -110.

Angels/Tigers Under 7.5 (-105): A lot of books are showing -105 on the under here, so find one of them if you can. Patrick Sandoval should have an outstanding start in this one against Detroit. The Tigers have the lowest BB% in baseball at 5.8% in the second half, while also having the highest K% at 27.4%. As a team, they’re only batting .217/.269/.325 in the second half and I’ve gotten to watch a lot of them lately. Their approach at the plate is awful.

Sandoval’s lone issue this season has been the walk. He’s walked 49 in 100 innings, but also has 106 strikeouts and a high GB% of 45.4%. This Tigers team really struggles to put together multiple hits to generate offense and can’t draw any walks, so this should be a really good spot for Sandoval to have a successful outing.

I still believe in Matt Manning. He gave up 10 hits in his five innings against the White Sox last time out, but it’s not like he allowed a ton of hard contact. Chicago makes a lot of hard contact and only had six hard-hit balls on 20 batted ball events. Manning got a bit unlucky in that regard. In his five starts, he’s only allowed a 30% Hard Hit% with a 6.3% Barrel, so his contact management numbers have been extremely strong. He missed a big chunk of the season, but has only allowed nine runs on 25 hits in his 25 innings of work. 

I realize he had a 5.80 ERA last season, but Manning allowed six runs or more in four of his 18 starts to account for 29 of the 59 runs he gave up. He was solid to decent more often than not and I think he’s a good pitcher, especially with a pretty decent pitcher’s park and his potential. Both teams were off yesterday, so the two bullpens should be on point. I think Sandoval has a tremendous matchup here. It’s just a matter of whether or not his offense can score for him and I’m not entirely sure that they will. So, I’ll take the Under 7.5, but I also think laying the -140 or taking the run line aren’t bad options either.

I’m tracking my picks in this spreadsheet HERE.

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