Best Bets Across the League – 8/6

Kyle Stanzel highlights Thursday's best bets around baseball.

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Twins vs. Pirates O/U 2.5 Runs After 3 Innings 


Let me preface this pick by saying I am a die-hard Pirates fan (yes, we exist), so while I know more about them than any other team I am also stricken with a bit of bias. J.T. Brubaker is one of the very few bright spots going for the Bucs in 2020, throwing five scoreless innings with seven Ks over two relief outings. Starting is nothing new for J.T. however, as he was named the Pirates Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2018 after posting a 2.81 ERA in 28 starts in between AA and AAA. With a fastball that averages almost 95 MPH and a slider that averages 88 MPH, Brubaker has the stuff to keep Twins batters honest and will give them a look that they haven’t seen much of in their recent games against Pittsburgh.

Kenta Maeda has been lights out for the Twins in his first two starts and allowed just two baserunners in his last outing against Cleveland. He should have no trouble with a Pirates lineup that features just two hitters with a wOBA over .280. Look for the first three innings of this game to fly by with little to no activity on the basepaths.

Pick: Under 2.5 Runs (-110 DK, -106 FD)


Athletics O/U 4.5 Total Runs


Mike Minor struggled mightily in his last start against a subpar Giants squad, giving up nine hits and six runs while seeing his fastball velocity dip 2.3 MPH. Now he is facing an Oakland team that has scored 22 runs in its last three games and is really starting to catch fire. The FTN Hot Hitter Tool lists Mark Canha as one of the hottest hitters in the league and he also has dominated Minor in the past with three HR in just 13 AB. Minor even struggled with Oakland in his successful 2019 season, giving up 17 ER in 16 IP across three starts, including seven ER in his one start in Oakland. Expect the A’s to plate at least five in this day game.

Pick: Over 4.5 Runs (-109 DK, -122 FD)


Reds vs. Indians O/U 3.5 Runs After 5 Innings


Of all of these bets today, this is the one I am going to be sweating the most, but these are two elite caliber pitchers facing two offenses that can’t seem to get anything going this season. The Ohio showcase has seen just 13 runs in three games and things won’t get any easier for batters with Luis Castillo and Carlos Carrasco on the mound. Castillo has one great start and one not so great against the Tigers this season and I’m sure he will be happy to face a different team, especially an Indians team that he gave up just one ER to in six IP last season and one that has an MLB-worst 59 wRC+ this season. Carrasco was able to hold a potent Twins lineup to three ER in six IP on Saturday and will have an easier time with a Reds team that couldn’t score yesterday despite being awarded 5 walks by Mike Clevinger. 3.5 runs is not a lot for five innings but these two teams have had a hard time scoring at all in 2020 and I’ll take those odds.

Pick: Under 3.5 Runs (+104 DK)


Cubs Run Line


Tyler Chatwood has been one of the biggest surprises of the 2020 season, striking out 19 batters and giving up just one run against Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. The righty shouldn’t even need his best stuff to hold a Kansas City team with a 82 wRC+ in check. As Troy Klauder wrote in his DFS Plays of the Day article, the Cubs are set up to have a big day at the plate against Brad Keller, who is making his first start of the season. All of this is pointing towards a big win for Chicago, so I am taking the increased run line and calling for a blowout.

Pick: Cubs -2.5 (+150 DK, +150 FD)

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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Kyle Stanzel

New Jersey-born and North Carolina-bound, Kyle is as die-hard a Pittsburgh Pirates fan as there is, attending the last ever game at Three Rivers Stadium and the first ever game at PNC Park. Follow him on Twitter @style_kanzel

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