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Best Baseball Bets to Make on August 22

Rich Holman highlights Saturday's best bets.

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Orioles Team Total Over 4.5
(-110 FD, -104 DK)

 

The Orioles are my favorite matchup today — they face a lefty on a team with a trash bullpen. The O’s have mashed left-handed pitching, posting a .384 team wOBA over the last 14 days. When I think of the Orioles as a group, I naturally assume they strike out at a decent clip. However, over that 14-day range, they’ve struck out just 15.8% of the time.

On the bump for the Red Sox is Martin Perez. The Sox lefty has actually not been the worst of late, lowering his ERA to a respectable 4.07 ERA. However, when we dive in further the ERA seems less stable. On the year, Perez has struck out 17 batters and walked 14, which converts to a super low 2.9% K-BB rate. While Perez has done a decent job of limiting hard contact, his .221 BABIP while allowing a 25.7% line drive rate is not sustainable. his 6.02 SIERA backs up that claim. Following Perez’s departure, the Orioles will face the Red Sox bullpen. Other than Brandon Workman, who’s was just dealt to the Phillies, the Sox pen has been hot garbage. Over the last 14 days, the Red Sox bullpen has posted a 6.42 ERA. I expect the Orioles to cash this team total pretty easily.

Pick: Over (-104 DK)

 

Phillies To Lead After 5 Innings (+105 FD, -108 DK)

 

Last night, I loved Aaron Nola for DFS due to the injuries in the Atlanta lineup — Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies were both out. Ultimately, that didn’t go as planned as Nola didn’t have his best stuff. He left a couple of fastballs up in the middle of the zone to Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud and they punished him. Today, the Phillies get their number two on the bump in Zack Wheeler against those same Braves. While Wheeler’s strikeouts are down, his swinging strike rate is in line with his career numbers and he’s posted a solid 2.81 ERA. As FTN’s own @MLBMovingAverages says, Wheeler has been keeping things low and slow, allowing a 52.5% ground ball rate with just a 28.4% hard-hit rate.

On the bump for the Braves today is Robbie Erlin. The southpaw has posted a 5.40 ERA. While Erlin has done a decent job of keeping the hard contact relatively low — 30.8% — he’s allowed a 69.2% fly-ball rate. As you might’ve already guessed, that has led to him allowing three homers in just 10 innings this year. The Phillies offense has been rolling over the last 14 days against lefties, posting a .368 wOBA. Just make sure to check the Phillies lineup on FTN’s Lineup Page, as Bryce Harper sat out last night’s game.

While I like Wheeler and Phillies’ offense is playing, I want no part of the Phillies bullpen. They have an 8.16 ERA over the last 14 days. Trust me — for the Phillies, this is progress, as just a week ago that number was above 10.00. So let’s cut the bullpen out and play the Phillies to lead after five innings.

Pick: Phillies to lead after 5 innings (+105 FD)

 

Note: I had originally had written up playing the over on the Brewers team total as they’ve been hot against left-handed pitching. I expected the line to come out around 4-4.5 runs. However, once I woke up and saw it at 5.5, I bailed on the play. Too risky for me. If the number comes down to 4.5-5, I’d be okay playing it, but not at a juiced number. Good luck today!

 

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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Rich Holman

Tax Auditor by day (I promise I'm not the devil), dad to twin velociraptors by night. Complete sports junkie. Philly fan that only boos occasionally.

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