Best Bets Across the League 8/4

Nicklaus Gaut highlights Tuesday's best bets around baseball.

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Another week in the books and one more team off the books, with the Miami Marlins passing the postponement baton to the St. Louis Cardinals. But the season keeps rolling on and luckily, all of the other teams that have been on pause are now getting to play again. Welcome back to the majors, Marlins! We can’t wait to meet all of your new faces.


Braves vs. Blue Jays: Lead After 3 Innings

ATL (-105)/TOR (+195)/Tie (+325)


Max Fried was solid in his 2020 debut and then dominant in his last start, allowing one run on three hits over 6 2/3 inning and striking out seven in a win over Tampa Bay. He’ll be facing a Toronto team that has been positively dreadful against left-handed pitching in 2020. The Blue Jays have managed just a 43 wRC+ and .223 wOBA versus lefties, with a 0.018 ISO and 31.1% K-rate. None of the above are typos. Looking at FTN’s Hot Hitter Report, Toronto features many of the league’s coldest hitters over the past seven days, with Cavan Biggio (-8 wRC+) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (5 wRC+) leading from behind.

The Braves offense has been heating up, scoring 24 runs in their four-game set with the Mets (but only two in the finale on Monday night). They’ll be facing off against Matt Shoemaker, who shut down Tampa Bay for six innings in his first start, allowing just one earned run on three hits. He has the split-finger working early and that’s a pitch that can be difficult to handle the first time through. Combine that with my almost zero faith in the Blue Jays being able to do anything against Fried and you’ll wind up at a nice value on a tie after three innings.


The Pick: Tie (+325, DK)


First Team to Score: CIN (+188) vs. CLE (-230)


It’s Bieber Day—aka Michael Ajeto’s happy place—and he looks to keep the train rolling in Cincinnati. Shane Bieber has been essentially unhittable, allowing no earned runs in 14 innings, striking out 27 batters and picking up two wins. The Reds have been tough against right-handers, posting a 123 wRC+ and .354 wOBA so far in 2020. But they haven’t face Bieber and I don’t think they’ll crack him early. On the other side is Tyler Mahle, who I like in the near future—as his next two starts line up against Kansas City and Pittsburgh—but not against a Cleveland lineup stacked with left-handers. The Indians will likely run out a lineup with only two right-handed bats in it; for his career, Mahle has allowed a .391 wOBA to lefties, as opposed to a .294 wOBA versus righties. The price is hefty but this one might get banked in the first inning.


The Pick: Cleveland Indians (-235), DK


Brewers vs. White Sox: Over/Under 8.5


We have a premier pitching matchup between two players fighting to ascend to an elite tier. Brandon Woodruff goes for the Brewers, coming off of six innings of shutout ball versus the Pirates, allowing only one hit and one walk, while striking out 10 batters. He’ll face off against Lucas Giolito, who got hammered by the Twins in his first start, but bounced back in a no-decision versus the Indians, allowing no runs in six innings, giving up four hits and striking out six. While I think Giolito is the weaker of the two pitchers, he’ll also face the weakest of the two lineups. Besides Christian Yelich and Keston Hiura, the Brewers lineup has been wholly mediocre this season and is now missing Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun.

The White Sox lineup is obviously tough, with rookie phenom Luis Robert now leading off and Eloy Jimenez continuing his breakout from 2019. The problem is, is that they’ve done must of their damage versus left-handers and have struggled versus righties. So far in 2020, the White Sox have a whopping 208 wRC+ versus lefties but only an 86 wRC+ versus the other side. With one of the lowest totals on the board, I’m betting on a pitcher’s duel.


The Pick: Under 8.5 runs, DK


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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Nicklaus Gaut

Born scores ago, Nicklaus Gaut is confused by the internet and people in general. But baseball sometimes makes sense, even when it doesn't. So after getting second-place in a writing contest, he now writes for Brad Johnson at his @BaseballATeam, as well as in an editor role at RotoBaller.com. Read Nicklaus for his numbers and stories, but beware of @Nt_BurtReynolds...That dude might be nuts.

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