MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Saturday, July 29th

By Adam Burke  ( 

July 28, 2023 01:18 PM

MLB schedule today has 15 games

Most of the league’s teams will avoid the burning heat of the afternoon on Saturday. Even though it’s the weekend, we only have two day games spread across the 15-game card, with mid-afternoon starts in Toronto and Miami, which can both be played indoors. Otherwise, we’ve got a lot of night games on July 29 and the trade winds are still swirling around, so even though it looks like a dull day by the schedule, it won’t be for those with an ear to the ground.

Remember that I do have that live Trade Deadline blog that I’ll be updating as deals come through over the weekend and will be especially busy with it on Monday and Tuesday.

Latest MLB betting splits | MLB odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

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Here are some thoughts on the July 29 card (odds from DraftKings):

Philadelphia Phillies (-175, 9.5) at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Phillies came away with a tight 2-1 decision thanks to a dominant effort from Aaron Nola last night and the stage is set for another victory tonight with Aaron Nola against Quinn Priester. Keep a close eye on the Pirates over the next few days, as they could dismantle their bullpen, as there are a lot of suitors for relievers and the Pirates have some pretty good arms, including Colin Holderman and David Bednar that might be on the move.

Nola, like Wheeler, has better advanced metrics than his ERA, as he comes in with a 4.25 ERA, 3.68 xERA, and a 4.23 FIP, but the FIP is high due to a home run problem and his xFIP is 3.76. Nola’s K% is still solid at 24.8%, but he is down from 29.1% this season and on-pace for the lowest K% of his career since his rookie season in 2015. His 23 homers are approaching a season high, but his low walk rate is an asset. His low LOB% at 66.8% once again speaks to some bad luck, much like what he dealt with in 2021 with a 4.63 ERA, but a 3.35 xERA and a 3.37 FIP because of a 66.8% LOB%.

But, the long ball has been the great equalizer against him. Fortunately, the Pirates don’t hit a lot of them, so he has the chance to play follow the leader with what Wheeler did yesterday.

Priester makes his third MLB start today after picking up his first MLB win. He didn’t pitch all that well against the Padres, though, allowing four runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. Over 10.2 innings, he’s allowed 11 runs on 11 hits and four homers with just a 6/5 K/BB ratio. He’s definitely experiencing some growing pains as a pitch-to-contact ground ball guy and he’s left a few too many pitches elevated.

That said, he’s only allowed a 35.1% Hard Hit%, but the hard-hit balls he has allowed have been really detrimental. I guess we’ll see if he can right the ship here. I don’t see why he would and laying the Phillies price may not be a bad idea, but it is a little rich at -170.

Washington Nationals at New York Mets (-170, 9.5)

Patrick Corbin and Carlos Carrasco battle it out in Game 3 of this four-game set. The Mets are sellers based on the David Robertson deal to Miami late Thursday night, but they’ve taken down the first two games in this set, holding the Nationals to one run in each game. It might be tough for Carrasco to do that, as he comes in with a 5.82 ERA, 6.13 xERA, and a 5.88 FIP in 68 innings of work.

Carrasco has ugly K/BB numbers and has also allowed 13 homers in his 14 starts. His career-high is 21 and he might be threatening that if he can stay healthy the rest of the way. I would have expected the All-Star Break to be a good chance for Cookie to get caught up and maybe heal his body a bit more, but he’s allowed nine runs on 16 hits in seven innings since coming back. He’s been battered by both the White Sox and the Red Sox and has allowed a 60.7% Hard Hit%. He’s not facing laundry today, so maybe that will help, but given his poor location and an average exit velo of 94.3 mph, I’m not excited about it.

The Mets should get theirs today as well, as they face Corbin, who comes in with a 5.01 ERA, 6.13 xERA, and a 4.87 FIP over his 120.1 innings of work. The southpaw has a low K% with a high BABIP at .334 and a high HR/FB% at 15.3%. Corbin has allowed 19 homers on the season, which is still tracking better than the 27 he allowed last year and the 37 he allowed back in 2021.

Weather may be a factor again with summer storms lingering around the Big Apple, but it will be warm and humid with the wind blowing out, not that those conditions have helped the last two nights. No play from me here.

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals (-110, 10)

The Cardinals fire sale has not yet begun, but we are getting closer and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some people moved today or tomorrow. I have to be honest, it seems really hard for the Cardinals to come back to the yard today. Jordan Montgomery’s final start ended when Mike Tauchman robbed a game-winning home run from Alec Burleson to preserve the 3-2 win for the Cubs. There could be something of an emotional letdown from Chicago, but that was a huge moment last night and they’re 4.5 back in the Central and 3.5 out in the Wild Card.

One guy who will not be traded is Adam Wainwright. It’s a sad end to a really strong career, as Wainwright comes in with a 7.31 ERA, 7.69 xERA, and a 5.65 FIP in 56.2 innings of work. He only has an 11.3% K% with a 7.6% BB%, so a 3.6% K%-BB%, which is among the worst in baseball. He’s allowed a .348 BA against, .368 BABIP, has a 60.4% LOB%, and has given up 10 homers in 12 starts. For a guy who has never allowed more than 22 homers in a season, this is quite a development and not in a good way. He’s not getting much help from his defense or the BABIP gods with a 35.6% Hard Hit%, but he does have a Barrel% approaching 11%, so he’s made his own problems as well.

His last start against Arizona after a 20-day layoff was his first of the season with fewer than three runs allowed. We’ll see what he can do against the Cubs, who have scored about seven runs per game in the second half and have reeled off seven straight dubs.

Even though they draw Wainwright, making it eight in a row might be tough with Jameson Taillon on the bump. Taillon has a 5.75 ERA with a 5.22 xERA and a 4.69 FIP in 83 innings of work across 17 starts. He’s been better lately with four runs allowed on 15 hits in his last 19.1 innings of work. He’s struck out 14 and walked just four. His last start was against these same Cardinals and he went 5.2 innings of one-run ball, but did allow seven hits, so he worked out of some jams.

Given his 61.4% LOB%, he should be able to work out of more jams going forward as his numbers stabilize a bit. While I’d love to keep riding the wave with the Cubs and feel like the Cardinals are inching closer and closer to an emotional letdown with trades actually going through, it’s hard to trust in Taillon with those numbers. The one thing that the Cardinals have done most of the season is hit. 

Maybe the Over is the play here with temps approaching 100 and a heat index nearing 110. Storms are possible here as well, but this total is a solid 10 across the board and I think that’s about where it should be.

Milwaukee Brewers at Atlanta Braves (-205, 10)

Sometimes you overthink a game and that’s what I did with this one. The Braves were going to get to Adrian Houser facing him a second straight time and Yonny Chirinos didn’t have good numbers in Tampa, which is really hard to do with how adept they are at developing and maximizing pitchers. It was an easy Over and a pick I should have made. That one will stick with me for a while.

Former Brave Julio Teheran is back where it all started in 2011 when he made his MLB debut on May 7 at Philadelphia. Teheran made three starts and two relief appearances that season. Twelve years later, he’s still kicking and also pitching in the middle of a playoff chase. Baseball is quite a sport.

Teheran has a 3.75 ERA with a 3.89 xERA and a 4.70 FIP in his 10 starts across 57.2 innings of work. In two starts leading up to the Break, Teheran allowed 13 runs on 16 hits in 11.2 innings pitched, including four homers in a start against the Mets. He allowed four runs on seven hits in his first start back, but then one run on three hits against Atlanta last time out. The lone run was a solo homer.

He allowed seven hard-hit balls in 15 batted ball events and zero barrels. Houser’s numbers in the Atlanta start were more indicative of struggling the second time around with the really loud contact he allowed and the barrels. Teheran didn’t allow a barrel for just the second time this season in that start against the Braves. He also had a 15.2% SwStr%, which was his highest of the season.

So, we’ll see what he does today. We’ll also see what Bryce Elder does. He’s got a 3.30 ERA with a 4.17 xERA and a 4.27 FIP over 114.2 innings of work. Elder has a 54.2% GB% and has been doing a much better job of limiting hard contact, as his Hard Hit% is down to 41.9% because he’s got a 34% HH% in his last eight starts. He, too, had a good start against the Brewers last time out with two runs allowed on four hits over six innings. He had allowed 14 runs on 13 hits in his previous six innings of work.

The Braves certainly deserve to be a big favorite here and I agree with the total sitting at double digits, but I’m less inclined to look for a high-scoring game tonight. We may get one, but I won’t try to make up for last night’s mistake by reaching here.

Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers (-195, 10.5)

What a win for the Reds last night as they snuck away with a 6-5 decision against the Dodgers. Brandon Williamson danced around a lot of danger and the Dodgers were 3-for-13 with RISP in the game, so it could’ve gone very differently with a hit here or a hit there, but that’s baseball.

Luke Weaver and Emmet Sheehan are today’s listed starters, as the Dodgers line up as heavy chalk once again. I would’ve expected better results against Williamson, especially with eight hits and four walks in 5.2 innings, but he is left-handed and the Dodgers clearly felt they had a weakness there based on the Amed Rosario and Kike Hernandez deals. Guess they were right.

Weaver is right-handed, though, and comes in with a 7.20 ERA, 5.98 xERA, and a 5.99 FIP in his 80 innings of work across 17 starts. Not surprisingly, he’s been better on the road than at home, but “better” is a relative term in this case. He’s allowed a .412 wOBA and a 6.14 SLG at home and a .398 wOBA and a .565 SLG on the road. So better in the way that a sinus infection is more tolerable than strep throat.

Weaver has been even worse since the start of June with a 9.41 ERA and a 6.72 FIP. On the plus side, the Reds did get an August 20 return date for Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo is expected back the last week of August.

Over those nine starts, Weaver has a 12.6% K%, a 9.3% BB%, a .368 BABIP against with a 59.9% LOB%, a 42.3% Hard Hit%, and an 11.3% Barrel%. So, I really don’t think he excels tonight against the Dodgers.

Sheehan all of the sudden has a 6.75 ERA with a 4.03 xERA and a 5.19 FIP. He’s got a 17.1% K% and a 12.4% BB% and has allowed 17 runs on 17 hits in his last three starts over 12.1 innings of work. He’s walked 12 and only struck out 10. For a kid who struck out nearly 42% of batters faced in Double-A, he’s really getting a crash course into life as a big leaguer.

It won’t be as hot at Dodger Stadium with temps in the low 80s at first pitch. The ball can still travel well there, but getting to 11 is a big number in any context. We’ve had one other total of 10.5 at Dodger Stadium this season and it was the first since August 10, 2005. I’m not keen on betting on historical outliers like this. I’d rather fade them, but not with these two guys today. 

Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays (-125, 9.5)

The Angels ran into Kevin Gausman and also ran into cramps on Friday night, as Shohei Ohtani couldn’t bat with the bases loaded in the ninth inning because of calf discomfort. The Angels are riding him really hard, as he’s played 102 games as a position player and also made 20 starts while being a batter in most of them. He’s superhuman except for cramping. And he’s right back in the lineup today.

Reid Detmers and Alek Manoah are the listed starters here. Detmers has a 4.38 ERA with a 4.12 xERA and a 3.60 FIP in his 96.2 innings of work. He’s run on the wrong side of luck throughout the year and still has a .328 BABIP against with a 68.9% LOB%. He really locked in for most of June and into July with a run of five starts that featured just five earned runs allowed combined. Then he struggled going into the Break and coming out of it with 13 runs allowed in 9.1 innings.

But, he bounced back with nine strikeouts over five solid innings against the Pirates last time out. This is a decidedly tougher assignment against the Blue Jays, who have a .382 wOBA and a 148 wRC+ against lefties in July. Only the Angels and Red Sox have a higher wOBA, but Toronto’s wRC+ leads the league.

Manoah was stellar in his return on July 7 after getting sent down to the minors for about a month to completely start over. He allowed one run on five hits with eight strikeouts. Then the All-Star Break came. Since then, Manoah has allowed seven runs on six hits in 8.1 innings with nine walks and six strikeouts. He allowed a 61.5% Hard Hit% and three barrels against the Mariners last time out, so things could’ve gone even worse.

With Ohtani officially in the lineup, this total moved up from 9 to 9.5.

Minnesota Twins (-195, 9) at Kansas City Royals

Bailey Ober and Jordan Lyles are the listed starters today for this one, as the Royals walked off the Twins on Bobby Witt Jr.’s grand slam against Jhoan Duran yesterday. In a season with few bright spots for KC, that one definitely shines. Bright spots have been few and far between for Lyles, who has made 19 starts and the Royals have won exactly one of them.

Lyles has a 6.19 ERA with a 5.01 xERA and a 5.44 FIP in his 107.2 innings of work. He’s put together a few decent starts here and there, but he’s basically just trying to eat as many innings as possible to spare the Royals from using their youngsters. He just allowed five runs on nine hits to the Yankees over five innings. He worked six shutout innings against the Tigers on July 17, but the bullpen blew that one. He also allowed just one run on six hits to Cleveland on July 6 and the pen couldn’t do its part there either.

What’s insane is that Lyles has only allowed a 34.4% Hard Hit%. He does have a 10.3% Barrel%, so that’s quite bad, but he has a 55.9% LOB%, so he’s simply had zero luck this season. I’m not sure if he’ll have any here or not. No idea, really. He’s a pitch-to-contact guy with a home run problem in the heat of July, so I would never have high expectations for him.

The heat could be an issue for Ober as well, as he’s a fly ball guy, but he has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 22 and has only done it once this season. He’s got a 2.76 ERA with a 3.59 FIP and his extreme fly ball stylings haven’t been a huge issue, as he has an 8.4% HR/FB% and has only allowed 11 of them. He’s given up three in his two starts since the Break with six runs (five ER) in 12 innings with 11 strikeouts against zero walks.

Nothing from me here. I feel bad for Lyles at this point and hope his fortunes turn. I’m not sure that they will, but nobody deserves this.

Cleveland Guardians (-130, 9.5) at Chicago White Sox

The Guardians were shut out by Touki Toussaint and a cobbled-together White Sox bullpen that saw the trades of Joe Kelly and Kendall Graveman during the afternoon. Reynaldo Lopez had already been moved the day prior. Declan Cronin and Sammy Peralta were recently recalled from Triple-A and Bryan Shaw was recently re-signed after being DFA’d. The expectation is that Aaron Bummer will also be traded soon.

A thin bullpen seems like a concern today with Mike Clevinger on the mound. Clevinger is coming back from yet another IL stint, as he’ll make his first MLB start since June 14 in this one. Surely starts against the Guardians mean more to him than starts against other teams, so maybe it’s a good time to bring him back. He’s got a 3.88 ERA with a 4.89 FIP in 62.2 innings of work on the season.

He did not make any rehab starts, so he’s only thrown bullpens and sim games. He went about four innings in his last sim game, so that’s probably what we can expect from him today. He has a 36.1% Hard Hit% and an 8.4% Barrel%, so those are good numbers, but he is a little fortunate to have an 81.2% LOB% and to have an ERA a full run lower than his FIP.

Left-hander Logan Allen goes for Cleveland here. The White Sox are certainly better against lefties than righties and Allen is coming off of a tough start against the Royals with five runs allowed on seven hits in seven innings of work. That outing is tied for his longest start of the season, but he only threw 84 pitches in that one compared to 103 in the other one.

Chicago is 21st in wOBA at .309 with a 97 wRC+ against southpaws in the month of July. Given that they are dead last against righties, that is a pretty big step up. Allen had not allowed a run in his previous three starts over 12.2 innings, so maybe he can bounce back here. I just don’t think that I can trust him enough in this spot, even though the White Sox pen is in shambles. This game might have some good live betting angles.

New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles (-125, 9.5)

Clarke Schmidt and Tyler Wells square off one night after a thrilling 1-0 win for the O’s. I’m not sure we’ll get another 1-0 game here, but both of these guys are throwing the ball well of late for their respective teams. Schmidt’s 4.33 ERA, 4.26 xERA, and 4.31 FIP don’t tell the whole story. I’ve told the story throughout the season, though. It started with Schmidt being really bad and now he’s been quite good.

Schmidt had a 6.30 ERA with a 4.68 FIP in his first nine starts. He allowed a 17.4% HR/FB%, but had a 25.7% K%. Since May 19, Schmidt has a 3.02 ERA with a 4.07 FIP. His HR/FB% is down to 9.2% and his K% is down to 20.1%. He was basically told to pitch to more contact and let his raw stuff do the talking, which does have high spin rates and some pretty good pitch metrics. Over his last 11 starts, Schmidt has not allowed more than three runs.

Wells has a 3.65 ERA with a 3.95 xERA and a 4.88 FIP on the season. He’s allowed 23 homers in 111 innings, so that’s why his FIP is so high. He has 110 strikeouts against just 30 walks and has been really effective in that regard. It’s just that he’s allowed homers. Most of them are solo since he limits walks and hits so well. He’s only allowed 47 non-homer hits over his 111 innings, which is an insane number. He has a .208 BABIP against.

Rain will be lingering again today, as rain was a factor yesterday in a very delayed start. It could a problem on Saturday as well, so we’ll see if the two starters get interrupted or the game goes off late. I like the Under a little bit here, but not as much as I did last night. Also, Aaron Judge came back last night, so as he gets more reps under his belt, we’ll have to think more about that.

The Orioles may be a little light here, but Schmidt has been throwing the ball well and Judge’s return means so much for that offense.

Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros (-130, 8.5)

A couple of slumping starters meet here, as Taj Bradley and Hunter Brown take the hill after Tampa’s 4-3 win last night. Brown had a decent stat line last time out against Oakland, but he gave up a lot of hard contact in that one. He’s got a 6.30 ERA with a 4.38 FIP over his last six starts, as he’s allowed 21 runs on 40 hits with a .420 BABIP and six homers allowed. In that span, he’s allowed a 46% Hard Hit%, a 10.3% Barrel%, and a 91 mph average exit velo.

Bradley has a 5.30 ERA with a 3.95 FIP for the season in 71.1 innings, so there are some positive regression signs in his profile, but he’s allowed a 17.1% HR/FB% and a .348 BABIP with a 46.9% Hard Hit% and a 9.3% Barrel%, so I don’t think he’s really positioning himself for improvement. 

Bradley has an 8.46 ERA with a 6.73 FIP in his last five starts with 21 runs allowed on 32 hits in 22.1 innings of work. He’s been a bit better in his last two starts with five runs allowed on 10 hits in five innings with 15 strikeouts, so there’s some hope here that he can figure some things out, but righties have actually hit him way harder than lefties. Righties own a .280/.329/.568 slash with a .377 wOBA and lefties have a .255/.308/.392 slash with a .303 wOBA.

The Astros will be running out a right-handed-heavy lineup like always. Between that and Brown’s recent struggles, especially with allowing a lot of loud contact, I like the Over here. Brown has also allowed a .292/.366/.438 slash with a .351 wOBA the third time through the order and Bradley has had trouble turning lineups over as well. His K% by TTO goes from 34.1% the first time through to 28.9% the second to 23.8% the third. Brown sees similar drops in K%. 

I’m expecting a lot of hard contact both ways in this one. The Astros definitely make a higher rate of contact, so they should have more of it. But, Brown has also experienced some starts without a lot of swings and misses. He hasn’t had the same pitch efficiency of late and also saw some noteworthy spin rate drops from two starts ago to his last start. His arm slot is down quite a bit from where it was early in the season as well, so that’s something to watch, as he only threw 20.1 MLB innings last season and has thrown 105.1 this season. He threw 126.1 innings last year and 100.1 in 2021 after missing all of 2020.

Pick: Over 8.5 (-110)

Detroit Tigers at Miami Marlins (-155, 8.5)

All seems to be right in the world, as the Marlins won a one-run game yesterday. They came away with a 6-5 victory to topple the Tigers and start off the weekend on a good note. Braxton Garrett also bounced back with six strong innings, so that was a positive for them as well.

Today’s game is a bit of a mess, as Johnny Cueto will start for Miami and Beau Brieske will open for Detroit in advance of Joey Wentz. The plan is for Detroit to call up Wentz and use him as the bulk guy here because the Tigers need a starter from Thursday’s doubleheader. Brieske has worked 5.2 innings at the MLB level this season with three runs allowed on six hits and a 5/1 K/BB ratio. He is a starter by trade, so he probably won’t be the traditional opener and only throw an inning. I’d expect more.

That’s especially true because Wentz is a left-hander and the Marlins have absolutely pummeled southpaws this season. Miami is third in wOBA at .345 and has a 119 wRC+ against lefties. They are also fourth this month against lefties with a .359 wOBA and a 128 wRC+. Considering Wentz has a 6.78 ERA with a 5.83 xERA and a 5.64 FIP in 71.2 innings at the MLB level this season, the Marlins should match up fairly well here.

Cueto has made two outings since returning from injury and they’ve both been quite good. He went three scoreless innings against the Orioles on July 16 and then went six innings of one-run ball against Colorado with eight strikeouts. I’m still not totally sold on what to expect from Cueto long-term and I can’t get myself to lay -150 on him, even though the Marlins should be in good shape today, but it’s nice to see him back.

Boston Red Sox (-135, 8.5) at San Francisco Giants

The Red Sox hung on for a 3-2 win yesterday and are heavily favored in this one with James Paxton on the bump against opener Ryan Walker and bulker Anthony DeSclafani. Sean Manaea also hasn’t worked in a while, so the Giants could opt to go that route, but it is technically DeSclafani’s turn in the rotation.

Paxton comes in with a 3.46 ERA, 3.15 xERA, and a 3.70 FIP in his 12 starts across 65 innings of work. He had a big hiccup in his first start out of the Break with six runs allowed on three hits to the Cubs, but bounced back nicely against the Mets with two earned runs on three hits over six innings with seven strikeouts. 

Paxton’s peripherals are nice. His Hard Hit% is good at 38.7%, his Barrel% is good at 8%, his K% is excellent at 29.1% and his BB% is solid at 7%. There is nothing to complain about. No regression signs. It looks like what we see is what we get for the most part and I would fully expect his 4.38 ERA on the road to come down. He’s only allowed a .282 wOBA and none of his peripherals really support numbers that high.

Walker has a 2.70 ERA with a 2.56 xERA and a 3.85 FIP in 33.1 innings this season, so he fits the bill as a nice opener. DeSclafani has a 4.88 ERA with a 5.05 xERA and a 4.37 FIP in his 99.2 innings of work. It’s been a struggle in two starts since the Break with eight runs allowed on 12 hits in 6.1 innings of work. He hit the IL right before the Break and still doesn’t seem to be right.

This game looks to be priced pretty fairly here, as Paxton and the Sox deserve to be a clear favorite and DeSclafani is a pretty big unknown in that he’s had some good starts, but he’s not throwing the ball well right now, with six homers allowed in his last 9.1 innings.

Oakland Athletics at Colorado Rockies (-120, 12)

I’m pretty upset about how yesterday transpired in this game. I preferred Over 11 more than anything else, but at the time of posting, the A’s hadn’t committed to a starter. It did end up being Sears with a straight start and the full-game Over hit, but the Rockies only scored five runs to help, so the Team Total Over 5.5 lost. I guess that’s my mistake for picking the wrong side to do the bulk of the scoring, as Oakland jumped on Kyle Freeland very early.

We’ve got the potential for runs again today, as it will be Paul Blackburn and Chris Flexen. Flexen is a guy who had some home/road splits as a member of the Mariners and now his home park is Coors Field, so that seems bad. This will be his first start as a Rockie. He had a 7.71 ERA with a 6.29 xERA and a 6.66 FIP in 42 innings with the Mariners. He had a 3.73 ERA with a 4.62 xERA and a 4.49 FIP in 2022 and even better numbers in 2021, but his road numbers were bad.

This season, Flexen has a 10.69 ERA on the road with 19 runs allowed on 31 hits in 16 innings for a .413/.463/.680 slash with a .485 wOBA. Last season, he actually had a 3.42 ERA on the road with a .311 wOBA and better numbers than at home, but that was the outlier, as he had a 4.06 ERA with a 4.52 FIP on the road in 2021. He hasn’t pitched at the MLB level since June 22, so the Rockies sent him to Triple-A and he allowed a run on five hits in 9.1 innings against the Sugar Land Space Cowboys in two starts.

Blackburn has a 5.06 ERA with a 4.09 xERA and a 3.91 FIP. You certainly worry about home/road numbers with him, since he’s pitched at the Oakland Coliseum in his home starts throughout his career. Oddly enough, he’s actually been quite a bit better on the road than at home, but not this season in 17 innings with a 5.82 ERA. He was actually way better on the road last season with a .270 wOBA against and a 2.12 ERA compared to an 8.31 ERA and a .414 wOBA at home.

These two guys have some really interesting and tough to imagine stats. I wouldn’t expect either of them to have road success based on their home park factors, but they have at times, but have also been bad at other times. This game seems pretty high-variance for me and the total is already up at 12, so no rooting interest.

Seattle Mariners (-120, 9) at Arizona Diamondbacks

Bryan Woo and Brandon Pfaadt are the listed starters here, as the Mariners jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Tommy Henry last night and made it hold up. Pfaadt is a guy to watch today and going forward. Steve Gilbert, Diamondbacks beat writer for The Athletic, wrote about a change that pitching coach Brent Strom suggested with Pfaadt to move to the other side of the pitching rubber. He allowed three runs on four hits last time out against the Reds and all three runs came on solo homers in the sixth.

Pfaadt had a 15.7% SwStr%, which was a season high at the MLB level, and struck out six in six innings. Trying just about anything is a good idea with Pfaadt, who has had some minor league success, but owns an 8.81 ERA with a 6.50 xERA and a 7.64 FIP in his 31.2 innings with the Diamondbacks.

Still, I’ll have to see some data points and some results before buying it. At least it could make him more interesting and Strom is a pitching genius, who said he was “bullish” on the changes.

Woo has a 4.91 ERA with a 3.20 xERA and a 4.28 FIP. His MLB debut was a dud with six runs allowed and then he allowed eight total earned runs over his next six starts. In two starts after the Break, he’s allowed 11 runs on 12 hits over 9.1 innings of work. He’s allowed four homers in that span as well. If I hadn’t read the thing about Pfaadt, the Over would’ve been really attractive here, but I’m willing to wait and see if this makes a difference for him.

Texas Rangers at San Diego Padres (-180, 9.5)

It is just not a good betting card. I’m not finding much of anything to invest in today, which is tough, but maybe a good thing with all the moving parts of the Trade Deadline. Martin Perez gets the call today for Texas and Yu Darvish will go for the Padres. San Diego scored an easy 7-1 victory yesterday with some more regression from Dane Dunning and another gem from Joe Musgrove.

Let’s see how Darvish fares today. He has a 4.80 ERA on the season, but a 3.81 xERA and a 4.29 FIP, so there are some positive regression signs, but he just hasn’t been sharp. He’s also had a variety of ailments and other things to slow down his season. Maybe it all goes back to the WBC and his delayed start to the season throwing him out of whack and out of rhythm. I don’t know, but he’s got a 6.08 ERA over his last nine starts. He just gave up seven runs on eight hits to the lowly Pirates, including four home runs.

Darvish also had a big velo drop in that start. The last time his velocity looked like that, it was June 21 and he missed the next 2.5 weeks with a mystery illness. It’s entirely possible that he figures out and performs better today, but this is a stiff test against a good Texas offense.

How much can I trust Perez? He’s got a 4.91 ERA with a 5.57 xERA and a 5.37 FIP in 102.2 innings of work. In two starts since the Break, he’s allowed seven runs on 11 hits with eight strikeouts against six walks. He only has a 15.1% K% for the season and a 7.4% SwStr%. In his last three starts, his SwStr% is just 3%. That said, he’s only allowed a 31.4% Hard Hit% since the Break, though five of the 11 hard-hit balls have been barrels.

There’s a chance he gets hit hard tonight, but I also think there’s a chance that the Rangers find success against Darvish, who clearly isn’t right. I think this is a gamble worth taking. The Rangers bullpen is very fresh, so Bruce Bochy can manage aggressively here. It is tough that the Rangers also lost Jonah Heim now, as he joined Corey Seager on the IL, but this line is just a little bit too high for me to overlook Texas.

San Diego still has a lot going on with the Trade Deadline and Darvish doesn’t look right to me. It’s definitely a risk, but any underdog has risks. Shop around and get the most out of this bet as you can. You can find some 160s or better out there.

Pick: Rangers +155

TL;DR Recap

TB/HOU Over 8.5 (-110)

Rangers +155

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