MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Saturday, May 27th

By Adam Burke  ( 

May 27, 2023 12:13 PM

MLB schedule today has 15 games

A full slate is on the way for Saturday, as we’ve got a bunch of mid-afternoon games to go with three early games and a handful of late games. With all 30 teams in action, there is a lot to get to and a short amount of time to do it.

Have a great holiday weekend, everybody. Stay safe and enjoy the time with family and friends.

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Here are some thoughts on the May 27 card (odds from DraftKings): 

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves (-130, 8.5)

Zack Wheeler and Charlie Morton have had many battles in the rivalry between the Phillies and Braves and they’ve got another installment today. Wheeler has run into quite a bit of bad luck this season, as he has a 4.11 ERA with a 3.55 xERA and a 2.90 FIP in his 57 innings of work. His 26.1% K% absolutely supports a better LOB% than his current 65.8% mark and his .327 BABIP is way too high for a guy with a 34.4% Hard Hit%.

Wheeler had a 26.9% K% last season and ran a 77.1% LOB%, so I’d expect some positive regression from him as we go forward. His LOB% has never been lower than 71.4% and he had a 23.6% K% in that 2019 season. His .327 BABIP is also the highest he’s had since 2017 and his last two seasons with the Phillies have been .288 and .287 with HH% marks of 28.5% and 34.5%.

Recently, he’s really had some bad luck, as he’s allowed at least four runs in three of his last four starts and has given up a total of 24 hits in those three starts. In those four May starts, his HH% is 37.2%, so it is a little bit elevated from the rest of the year, but not anything crazy against the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Giants, and Diamondbacks. Are the Braves the spot to buy in with some positive regression? As I’ve mentioned, the Braves are 13th in wOBA at .320 and 17th in wRC+ at 97.

The Phillies lead the league in batting average against righties, but only rank ninth in wRC+ at 104 and also wOBA at .329 because they haven’t hit for a lot of power in that split. Perhaps that’ll change today against Morton, who has a 3.61 ERA with a 3.98 FIP in his 52.1 innings of work. I picked against him with the Dodgers and Gavin Stone earlier in the week and he allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings of work.

Morton has a 38.3% Hard Hit% on the season, so he’s mostly done a good job of limiting hard contact, but he did allow 10 hard-hit balls in that start against the Dodgers and a season-high four barrels. He has a 4.69 xERA on the season thanks to a heightened walk rate and his last start with the hard contact and the barrels made that number spike a bit. While I’m not huge on Morton moving forward, the Dodgers matched up better against him than the Phillies do I think.

Wheeler at a dog price is kind of attractive here, but I’m not invested in this game. Also, in the time it took to write today’s article, the price dropped 10 cents, so any potential value seems to be extracted.

San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers (-115, 7.5)

Corbin Burnes looks to be at a pretty cheap price here against the Giants, but the former Cy Young winner hasn’t looked the same this season. He just got rocked with four homers by the Astros, who scored five runs on seven hits in five innings earlier in the week. Burnes has a 3.97 ERA with a 4.82 FIP on the season. He’s only got 51 strikeouts in his 56.2 innings of work and has now allowed nine homers and has 21 walks. 

His Hard Hit% is just 36.4% and he had only allowed seven barrels in his previous nine starts before the Astros jumped on him. The biggest issue for Burnes is a 9% drop in K%. Add in a 2.5% spike in BB% and a decrease in cutter command and he not only looks human, but looks more like a back of the rotation starter. His SwStr% is down 3.3% this season, as he’s not getting guys to expand the zone as much.

Lefties only own a .173/.272/.255 slash with a .244 wOBA against him this season in 114 plate appearances, while righties have a .277/.333/.482 slash and a .352 wOBA. That’s relevant because the Giants have a lot of left-handed hitters. Burnes has allowed seven of his nine homers to righties. He did give up five runs to the Giants back on May 5, but only two of the runs were earned.

Logan Webb had his start pushed back this week due to what was termed “lower back soreness”, so we’ll see what kind of negative impact that has (if any) on his start today. Webb has a 2.91 ERA with a 3.58 FIP on the season and he’s coming off of six shutout innings against the Marlins, so any back issue seems to have popped up between starts. He allowed 16 runs over his first four starts with four runs allowed in each. He’s only allowed eight runs in six starts since.

Webb has a 40.7% Hard Hit% for the season, but in that six-start stretch, he sits at 37.5% and he hasn’t allowed a barrel in his last three starts. Obviously Burnes at a cheap price is always going to be intriguing, but Webb’s thrown the ball well and the problems seem to run pretty deep with Burnes.

I will say that Webb has a 90.5% LOB% in this six-start stretch, so regression is coming for him with a 1.74 ERA and a 3.24 FIP. I might be more interested in fading him if the Brewers didn’t have to put Willy Adames on the concussion IL, although his offensive numbers have really regressed this season. The Giants are also second in road wOBA vs. RHP on the season, so Burnes and his command questions are a concern.

Cincinnati Reds at Chicago Cubs (-175, 8.5)

Jameson Taillon is in a big favorite role today as the Reds send Brandon Williamson to the hill in hopes of taking a second straight game in this series. Hunter Greene threw six no-hit innings in yesterday’s rout, but it took him 110 pitches, so he had no chance of finishing the game. The Reds jumped all over Justin Steele for six runs in 3.2 innings and cruised to the 9-0 victory.

This will be the third start for Williamson, who threw five excellent innings at Coors Field in his debut, but then struggled against the Cardinals in his second effort. He allowed four runs (three earned) over 4.1 innings with four walks and four hits allowed. Williamson is a guy that issued a lot of walks in the minor leagues, so that will be something to watch very closely in all of his MLB starts. The Cubs rank fourth in wOBA against lefties and have a 9.1% BB% that ranks seventh.

Taillon has ridden the struggle bus this month. He came back from injury on May 4 and has allowed 19 runs on 21 hits in 12.2 innings of work. Only 17 runs are earned, but that’s still good for a 12.08 ERA and an 8.34 FIP in his four starts. He’s allowed five homers and has an 11/6 K/BB ratio in that span. His .381 BABIP and 42.9% LOB% really stand out with regards to those numbers, but he has allowed eight barrels and a 44.7% Hard Hit%, so he’s given up plenty of hard contact in starts against the Nationals, Cardinals, Astros, and Phillies.

The Reds are just 21st in wOBA against righties and 17th in road wOBA in that split, so it’s hard to trust them too much here. With this pitching matchup and the recent returns for Taillon, you wouldn’t expect just an 8.5 here, but it’ll be in the 50s with a breeze blowing in at Wrigley Field, as it just refuses to warm up in Chicago.

New York Mets (-195, 11) at Colorado Rockies

The Mets draw another favorable matchup with a Hall of Fame pitcher on the mound as Justin Verlander takes on Chase Anderson. Yesterday’s game with Max Scherzer and Connor Seabold did lead to a run line victory for the Mets and it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see the same here. 

Verlander got smashed by the Rays on May 16, but he’s allowed four runs in his other three starts against the Tigers, Reds, and Guardians, who are all on Colorado’s level offensively. Tampa Bay is on their own level offensively, so a bad start against them isn’t a terrible thing. Verlander only has 20 strikeouts in 25 innings, so he’s still working his way through some things in that regard, but he’s only allowed a 36.6% Hard Hit% and everything else looks pretty normal. He’s stingy with walks, allows homers here and there with a high fly ball rate, and should run a low BABIP with a high LOB%.

This will be Chase Anderson’s third start for the Rockies and his third start at home. He’s allowed two runs on eight hits in 10.2 innings of work against the Reds and Marlins with four strikeouts out of 42 batters faced. He has only allowed a 20.6% Hard Hit% with one barrel allowed and seven hard-hit balls in 34 batted ball events. I’m not sure how long that’s sustainable for a guy like him, but it’s always nice to see a 35-year-old back in the big leagues having a bit of success.

I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the success stops today or shortly thereafter, especially with all the fastballs he’s throwing and the lack of chases. But, I don’t think there’s a great amount of equity on Verlander as nearly a -200 favorite or with a run line of -130 at most shops.

Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers (-120, 8.5)

This game has already started, but I had some thoughts on it.

The White Sox will send out recent call-up Jesse Scholtens for the straight start in this one after using an opener in his five-inning appearance last time out. Scholtens allowed one run on two hits to the hapless Cleveland offense, despite only recording one strikeout in 17 batters faced. In three MLB appearances this season, he’s allowed two earned runs on six hits with five strikeouts against four walks. He had a 3.99 ERA in Triple-A before getting recalled for the second time.

The 29-year-old is a non-prospect and just a filler arm for Chicago, so there isn’t a ton of upside in this profile, even though he’s had some nice minor league numbers this season. I wouldn’t expect a ton going forward.

Michael Lorenzen had a rough outing last time out against the Royals with five runs allowed on five hits in 5.2 innings of work. He gave up three home runs, an average exit velocity of 95.6 mph, and a 68.8% Hard Hit%. It was his worst command display since April 21 against Baltimore, but the Tigers offense bailed him out with an extra-innings win. 

Lorenzen gave up six barrels in that start against the Royals. He had allowed eight barrels total for the season, all in his first four starts. He had actually gone two straight starts without a barrel, but those were against Cleveland and Pittsburgh. 

Not much more to say here, as this is an early start, but let’s see if Lorenzen bounces back. I don’t think Scholtens is worth following.

Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins (-120, 8)

We’ve got a good one at Target Field here between Toronto and Minnesota. The Blue Jays send Chris Bassitt to the bump and the Twins will counter with Pablo Lopez. Bassitt ran into a bit of a wall against the Rays, as he allowed six runs, though only two were earned. However, he gave up three homers and a ton of loud contact, so the errors didn’t help, but they weren’t really the story. He allowed a 50% Hard Hit% and 11 hard-hit balls. He only allowed 30 hard-hit balls in an eight-start stretch prior to that.

Bassitt hadn’t allowed a run in his previous 27 innings before that Rays start, but all good things must come to an end and his scoreless streak emphatically did. All that matters now is how he bounces back and whether or not that was just one of those starts or if something got messed up mechanically and needs to be corrected. I will say that he has a 3.03 ERA with a 4.94 FIP, so the advanced metrics are kind of pointing towards more of those types of outings. He only has a .199 BABIP against and a 77.1% LOB% with 52 strikeouts in 62.1 innings of work.

There were some spin rate decreases in that start relative to his previous two starts along with a bit of a velo drop, but I don’t see anything too concerning. He had some long innings. Let’s see what happens today.

Lopez has had an interesting season with a 3.90 ERA and a 3.62 FIP in 60 innings of work. He’s struck out 75 batters against 18 walks and has given up eight homers, with three of them two starts ago against the Dodgers. He’s allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his 10 starts and allowed 16 runs in the other three.

He’s also allowed a good bit of hard contact with a 39.6% Hard Hit% and a 10.1% Barrel%. His HH% isn’t too far off the league average, but he sits at 45.6% over his last five starts and admitted to having some issues against lefties following one of his starts. For a guy with a 34.8% Hard Hit% career and a career-high of 37.2%, to see him up around league average is a bit concerning. He only has a .219 BA against and a .291 BABIP, but a 30.5% K% can cure a lot of ills.

Not sure there’s any good betting angle in this game, but I do think it’s interesting to see how these two pitchers do. Lopez draws a lineup that typically makes a ton of hard contact, though Toronto is just 19th in Hard Hit% this season. The Twins are top-10, so let’s see how Bassitt does with his command.

Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles (-115, 8.5)

On a day when the Orioles sent down Grayson Rodriguez, they’ll send Dean Kremer to the mound and hope for good returns. He’s at home, which could help, as his wOBA against is 40 points lower at home compared to the road this season and was 75 points better last season. For the year, Kremer has a 4.61 ERA and a 4.85 FIP. He has not been nearly as productive at home as he was last season and it seems like every start is a struggle.

Last time out, he allowed one run over 5.1 innings, but gave up nine hits and two walks, so he was really fortunate to give up just one run on a solo homer. Technically, he’s allowed five runs in his last four starts, but he’s allowed a 54.9% Hard Hit% and a 12.7% Barrel%. He’s given up 31 baserunners via hit or walk, but has a 92.2% LOB%.

Maybe that’s just some good karma after a rough start in which he had a 6.67 ERA with a 5.78 FIP in his first six starts with a .348 BABIP against and a 68.9% LOB%. The weird part is that he only allowed a 42.7% HH% in those first six starts, but had way worse returns than what we’ve seen recently.

Personally, this is a profile that I’m not very excited about. I know Oriole Park helps and it helped him a lot last season, but his .266 BABIP at home seems pretty unsustainable with the amount of hard contact he has allowed. He has a .418 BABIP against on the road, which is unsustainably high, so there’s some give and take in the profile to be sure.

The sticking point for me here is looking at Andrew Heaney, who, first of all, is left-handed, and has a 4.13 ERA with a 3.60 xERA and a 4.79 FIP in his 48 innings of work. The Orioles are ninth in wOBA against lefties with a .344 wOBA and a 120 wRC+, so this has been the better split for them, although, they’ve been sliding backwards a little bit lately. 

Heaney has a 31% Hard Hit%, which is why xERA is such a fan of his performance. He also has 52 strikeouts in his 48 innings of work, so over a strikeout per inning pace. Outside of his first 2023 start, which came against Baltimore and resulted in seven runs allowed on seven hits in just 2.2 innings, he has a 2.98 ERA, but that does come with a 4.26 FIP. 

I just find Heaney a little too inconsistent to feel overly confident in this one.

Houston Astros (-350, 8) at Oakland Athletics

The Astros will use Framber Valdez and they are an overwhelmingly large favorite. Valdez has a 2.45 ERA with a 3.79 xERA and a 2.92 FIP on the season over 66 innings. Everything looks great except for his Hard Hit% of 45.1%, but most of those hard-hit balls are grounders and he has over a strikeout per inning to erase some of the baserunners that do reach as a result.

Oakland’s bulk reliever Hogan Harris has faced eight batters in the big leagues and allowed six runs on one hit with five walks and a hit batter. For those keeping score, that’s a 162.00 ERA with a 30.49 xERA, a 57.29 FIP, and a 57.29 xFIP. He recorded one out in his April 14 appearance.

In 31 innings at Triple-A this season, he has a 3.77 ERA, but a 5.92 FIP and a 6.32 xFIP with 20 walks against 31 strikeouts.

Late note that Austin Pruitt will open for Oakland.

San Diego Padres at New York Yankees (-155, 8.5)

This game has already started, but I had some thoughts on it.

I wouldn’t call myself a Michael Wacha fan, but this is a pretty optimistic price for Luis Severino’s second start. The right-hander allowed one run on four hits in 4.2 innings at Cincinnati last time out with five strikeouts against one walk. It was a good outing for Sevy and none of the 12 batted balls classified as “hard hit”, as the hardest exit velo was just 93.7 mph. He had a 13.3% SwStr% and the fastball sat 97. He looked as healthy and effective as he could.

That said, the Padres are an upgrade, at least from a talent standpoint. Xander Bogaerts is sitting out the day game, so that did bump the line up a little bit. Severino allowed three runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings in his two rehab starts with six strikeouts against a couple of walks. I guess we’ll see how he looks in this early game.

Wacha has a 3.58 ERA with a 4.18 xERA and a 3.49 FIP In his 50.1 innings of work. He’s got solid K/BB peripherals and an excellent 30.8% Hard Hit%. Since April 26, Wacha has a 1.20 ERA with a 2.92 FIP in 30 innings of work with a 27/8 K/BB ratio and he’s only allowed one home run. He’s allowed four runs total and a ridiculous 23.4% Hard Hit%. He has a 0.36 ERA in the month of May and has held opposing batters to a .175 wOBA after posting a 6.75 ERA with a .395 wOBA in April. Talk about a dramatic turnaround.

No play from me here in the early game. The Padres feel a little cheap, but no Bogaerts is a concern and, frankly, there just isn’t enough lead time.

Washington Nationals at Kansas City Royals (-115, 9.5)

What an interesting game yesterday at Kauffman Stadium. Both Jordan Lyles and Patrick Corbin fell apart in the middle innings and a slow-pitch softball game emerged, as it was a 2-1 game through the first five innings and the full-game under never had a prayer as the Nats hung a snowman in the sixth.

Today’s game sets up similarly to yesterday’s. The Nationals have the better starter going, but are a slight underdog, much like what we saw yesterday when Corbin and Lyles was a moneyline pick ‘em across the board. Josiah Gray and Brady Singer are the listed starters and we’ve had some success going against Singer this season.

Singer has a 7.48 ERA with a 5.05 FIP in his 10 starts. He’s got 43 strikeouts in 49.1 innings, and he’s given up a ton of loud, penal contact. He’s got an average exit velocity of 93.1 mph and a .344 BABIP to go with a 57.4% Hard Hit% and an 11.7% Barrel%. He actually had his second-best start from a HH% standpoint against the Tigers, but still allowed five runs on seven hits with four walks against just three strikeouts. 

Singer has now allowed at least five runs in six of his 10 starts and allowed four in another one. He’s had a single-digit SwStr% in every start except for one this season and isn’t getting hitters to expand the zone and chase anything. Even in the starts where he’s had good results, he’s allowed a lot of hard contact. Three starts ago, he pitched “well” against the White Sox with one run on five hits, but allowed a 55.6% HH%. 

The Nationals are only 22nd in wOBA against righties and haven’t generated much power, so this is the type of matchup on paper where Singer should have some better results. That makes Washington a tough sell, but so does Gray, who has a 2.65 ERA with a 3.90 xERA and a 4.35 FIP. He’s got a 47/28 K/BB ratio in 10 starts over 57.2 innings of work. That 7.7% K%-BB% makes me really concerned about his ability to sustain what he’s done this season.

Gray has not allowed more than three runs in a start since April 1. He has a 35.7% Hard Hit%, but things are starting to turn. He’s allowed a 46.1% Hard Hit% over his last four starts with 35 hard-hit balls in 76 batted ball events. He had 26 hard-hit balls in his first six starts, so the command profile is starting to be a problem. He’s allowed just seven earned runs in that span with 16 strikeouts against 15 walks. He’s building up towards a really bad start.

The idea of trusting Singer and this Royals bullpen honestly gives me hives, but the Royals are up to third in Hard Hit% now. They also just brought up Drew Waters, who had a 125 wRC+ last season in 109 PA and had a 154 wRC+ in Triple-A during his rehab assignment, so this offense is improving.

I’m going to take a shot on the Royals Team Total Over 4.5 (-115 at DraftKings) here. Gray has a 5.09 SIERA, which is another run estimator that looks deeper than things like FIP and xFIP. The Royals don’t walk a lot, but Gray’s command profile is starting to really concern me. It’ll be an 80-degree day at Kauffman Stadium where the ball carries nicely to the alleys on warm days. Gray has an 85.3% LOB% with a well below average K%.

I can’t trust Singer enough to take the Royals, but the juice on the TTO is the same as taking the Royals ML, so I can trust KC’s offense instead.

Pick: Royals Team Total Over 4.5 (-115)

Los Angeles Dodgers at Tampa Bay Rays (-115, 8)

Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Glasnow are the slated starters for this one, as Kershaw returns from the bereavement list. He’s had a couple of tough outings lately, as he only made it through four innings against the Twins and then lasted just 3.2 innings against the Cardinals with four runs allowed on five hits. Those starts just featured some bad luck and sequencing issues, as he really limited hard contact in both outings.

Kershaw has a 2.98 ERA with a 3.31 FIP on the season over 57.1 innings. His xERA of 3.33 actually seems a little high, given that he has 69 strikeouts in 10 starts and has held the opposition to just a 32.7% Hard Hit% on the season. Over his last five starts, he’s allowed just a 29.7% HH% with an average exit velocity against of 84 mph. He’s been spectacular in terms of his contact management profile and has a monstrous SwStr% of 15.6%, with double digits in every single start.

Certainly the Rays have been thoroughly impressive against lefties this season, so that’s something to keep in mind. Also, Kershaw has a 34/1 K/BB ratio at home and a 35/13 K/BB ratio on the road, where he has allowed six of his seven home runs. 

Glasnow made two starts late last season over 6.2 innings against the Guardians and Red Sox and allowed one run on four hits out of 26 batters faced. Those were his only starts of 2022 and now he’ll make his 2023 debut after an extended rehab stint for an oblique injury. He allowed one run on eight hits over 13.1 innings with 20 strikeouts against five walks. He went six innings and faced 21 batters in his last one, so the Rays deemed him ready to go.

Glasnow’s extended injury history makes it really hard to know what we might get here and going forward. He’s only thrown 409.2 MLB innings and made his debut back in 2016. He’s thrown over 100 innings once. He was really good for 14 starts and 88 innings in 2021, but I haven’t the slightest idea what he does here against a Dodgers lineup that ranks second in wOBA against righties.

I’m going to take a shot on Kershaw today. Manager Dave Roberts said that Kershaw was in a much better spot coming off the bereavement list and that he was a little bit fatigued in his last two starts. He’s on an extra day now and has had some time to process his emotions. I also like that Glasnow only threw 67 pitches in his last rehab start, so he’s likely a five-and-fly at best, which brings in a Rays bullpen that ranks 29th in fWAR, has a 4.49 ERA with a 4.85 FIP, and owns an 8.41 ERA with a 6.92 FIP over the last 14 days.

Glasnow gets a Dodgers lineup that works a lot of deep counts with a high walk rate, which could really limit how far he’s able to go and we know that the Rays will be hesitant to push him with Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs already sidelined.

Pick: Dodgers -105

Pittsburgh Pirates at Seattle Mariners (-230, 7.5)

Remember how I’ve told you that baseball makes no sense? Explain to me how a dormant Pirates offense explodes against George Kirby in a pitcher’s park. I’m happy with it, as I had the Pirates last night, but I didn’t really expect that to be the way that the Jolly Roger would wave. I’m not sure the Pirates can duplicate their heroics against Luis Castillo, but I guess you never know.

Castillo has a 2.97 ERA with a 3.90 xERA and a 3.08 FIP in his 57.2 innings of work. He got knocked around in Boston on May 16 and had a couple of “meh” outings against the Astros and Rangers in his two starts prior to that. Fortunately, he faced the A’s last time out and fired six shutout innings to get back on track. It’s hard to look at the profile and see reasons to bet against him, though, especially at home, where he’s got a 2.16 ERA and a .233 wOBA against.

That mirrors the types of numbers he had after the trade from the Reds last season at T-Mobile Park, so you’re always going to pay a premium on him at home. It just comes with the territory.

I have no interest in backing Vince Velasquez anyway, as he returns following an IL stint for some elbow discomfort. He went three innings against the Rays on May 4 and then hit the IL, even though he had been pitching really well. He gave up eight runs on 11 hits in his first two starts of the season, but allowed three runs over a 25-inning stretch before that start against the Rays that he left early.

He made one rehab start and allowed four hits and a walk over 4.2 shutout innings with a couple strikeouts. He’s got a 37% Hard Hit% and was really doing a good job of keeping guys off the barrel before the elbow started barking, but I can’t see a reason to back him here, even at a big underdog price. I’m just curious to see how healthy he looks.

St. Louis Cardinals at Cleveland Guardians (-115, 8)

Emmanuel Clase made it interesting, but the Cardinals ultimately fell short yesterday in the 4-3 loss to Cleveland. Today, they’ll send Jack Flaherty to the hill and Cleveland will counter with Tanner Bibee in a game that is swinging towards a coin flip most places.

Flaherty has a 5.29 ERA with a 4.88 FIP and a 4.66 xFIP in 51 innings of work. He has 54 strikeouts, but he’s also issued 33 walks and has been way too vocal publicly about the Cardinals’ catching situation. He gave up 10 runs on nine hits over 2.1 innings to the Angels on May 4, so that big blow-up has absolutely affected his full-season numbers. In his other nine starts, he has a 3.70 ERA. That’s not to say his peripherals are very exciting, but that one start has really skewed the data in a big way.

He has about a league average Hard Hit% and the Guardians don’t really hit anything all that hard, so we’ll see how his command profile holds up. Cleveland also doesn’t walk much, so this may be a good spot for him. The Guardians are 19th in BB% against righties on the season. This is the 29th-ranked offense against righties by wOBA, but tied for dead last in wRC+ at 76.

Bibee, like rotation mate Logan Allen, has been fighting his way through his last few starts. He’s walked four in two of his last three starts and has seen his early strikeout fortunes reverse a little bit. He has a 3.18 ERA with a 3.04 FIP with a 25/8 K/BB ratio, but this will be a stiffer test for him than some of his other matchups. He’s done a good job to limit hard contact with a 33.8% Hard Hit%. 

He’s allowed a .177 wOBA the first time through the order and a .299 wOBA the second time through, but he’s allowed a .409/.440/.682 slash and a .466 wOBA the third time through the order in 25 PA. It’s a small sample size, but he’s also lost velocity as he’s worked deeper into his starts, so that merits watching here and going forward.

I don’t have a play on this one. The line seems pretty fair and this one may very well come down to the bullpens.

Boston Red Sox (-125, 9) at Arizona Diamondbacks

Not one, but two pitchers coming off of the IL square off here. It will be Garrett Whitlock for the Red Sox and Zach Davies for the Diamondbacks. Whitlock’s last MLB appearance was April 22 and Davies saw his last big league action on April 8. Whitlock made two rehab starts and allowed one run on a solo homer over 8.2 innings with eight strikeouts and one walk. Davies only made one rehab appearance and scattered three hits over 4.2 innings with seven strikeouts and a walk.

Whitlock allowed 11 runs on 19 hits in 16 innings, including four homers allowed, before hitting the IL. Davies allowed six runs on nine hits in 9.1 innings with seven strikeouts against six walks before his IL stint. Both of his starts came against the Dodgers. 

My initial thought here is that there is no way to like Davies against the Boston lineup. His margin for error is really thin with his inability to miss bats and he’s recently allowed a lot of walks as a Major League pitcher. But, let me throw this at you. The Red Sox are fifth in wOBA at .333 against righties. You know who is fourth? The Diamondbacks at .335. 

And, of course, as we know, the Red Sox have really padded their numbers at Fenway. They are actually 19th in road wOBA against righties at .306 with a 94 wRC+. So, I can’t really do much with this one. It’s a pass for me.

Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Angels (-200, 7.5)

Edward Cabrera draws this matchup against Shohei Ohtani to wrap up the Saturday slate. Ohtani has a 3.05 ERA with a 4.02 FIP in his 59 innings of work. He’s struck out 80 and walked 25 to go with eight homers allowed, all of which have come recently. Ohtani worked six innings of one-run ball against the Twins last time out, but he had allowed 17 runs on 18 hits in his previous 25 innings, including all eight home runs. 

For the season, Ohtani’s numbers are great, but you wonder if that four-start stretch was indicative of maybe some fatigue or something else. It does look like he made some adjustments for the Twins start, as he only allowed two hard-hit balls and an average exit velocity of 75.4 mph with nine strikeouts. 

As competent as Miami is against lefties, they rank 24th in wOBA against righties at .301 and have one of the league’s lower BB% at 7.0%. Their 23.2% K% is a little north of league average against RHP as well. This should be a good matchup for Ohtani in hopes of stringing together a second straight solid start.

The handicap of Cabrera remains the same as it always is. He’s got a 5.05 ERA with a 4.69 FIP in 46.1 innings of work. He’s faced 207 batters with 61 strikeouts and 31 walks, so you never really know what you’re going to get on that front, but he’s been “effectively wild” with just 39 hits allowed. He hasn’t allowed more than four runs in any of his 10 starts, but has allowed at least two in every one of them.

His Hard Hit% is 43%, so maybe he should have allowed some more hits, but this is such a hard profile to bet on or against because you don’t strike out that many dudes by accident, but you also don’t have that kind of control by accident. The Angels rank 24th in BB% against righties, so they don’t draw a ton of free passes. They’re 11th in wOBA against righties, but they’ve been falling in that department lately.

No play here either. Tricky card today with a lot of games and a lot to watch, but not a ton of great betting options.

TL;DR Recap

Royals Team Total Over 4.5 (-115)

Dodgers -105

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