Bets of the Day — August 20

Ryan Amore highlights Friday's best bets around baseball.

Red Sox vs Rangers Alternate Run Line


August has not been kind to Boston, as they’ve gone 6-11 this month, including a recent sweep by the division-rival Yankees. But, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better potential cure-all than their opponent tonight. The Texas Rangers have baseball’s worst team wOBA at .287. In July and August (41 games) the Rangers have a -90 run differential; not too good. Today they’ll have to face Boston’s ace Chris Sale, who looked impressive in his first start back this past Saturday against the Orioles, getting eight K’s which were backed by a 34.8% CSW across five innings.

Overall, the Red Sox offense has been productive with a .329 wOBA on the year; good for fifth in the league. They should be able to push across enough runs against Dane Dunning who should be once again held to around 70 pitches. He’s been decent but has allowed quite a few baserunners this year, with a 1.38 WHIP along with a modest 22.9% K rate, suggesting that the Red Sox should have plenty of run-scoring opportunities. This has all the makings of a convincing sort of win for Boston. 

Pick: BOS -3 (+125 DraftKings)


Yankees vs Twins Alternate Run Line


Sure, the Yankees are surging right now with a 15-4 record in August, but more than anything I just really like this matchup for them. Lefty Charlie Barnes has made just three starts this year, so we don’t have much to go by, but so far he hasn’t given us a reason to be too excited, with just an 11.5% K rate, .381 xwOBA allowed, and 6.57 xERA. For Triple-A St. Paul this year, Barnes’ numbers were of the average sort, including just an 11.2% K-BB across 63.2 IP. This seems like a gigantic mismatch as he will try to quell a Yankee lineup that can stack a ton of power — and at Yankee Stadium, no less.

On the other side, Néstor Cortes Jr has been excellent this year, with a 2.55 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 19.6% K-BB across 49.1 IP. While there is likely some regression here, his expected numbers are strong, including just a .255 xwOBA allowed and 3.8% barrel rate. Similar to the Red Sox, the Yankees are set up for a convincing win at home against a team that’s just playing out the string. 

Pick: NYY -2.5 (+120 DraftKings) 


Chicago White Sox Total Runs


Michael Wacha has been a wreck lately, allowing a combined 18 earned runs in his last three starts. Overall, he has a dreadful 5.91 ERA (6.45 xERA) and 1.50 WHIP across 85.1 IP. I don’t think you should be anticipating a bounce-back tonight considering how much he’s struggled against right-handed bats this season (.392 xwOBA).

The White Sox, as you know, are a team that can stack up a bunch of right-handed power, with the likes of José Abreu (.346 xwOBA this year), Tim Anderson (.311 xwOBA), Eloy Jiménez (.363 xwOBA), Luis Robert (.327 xwOBA), and Andrew Vaughn (.344 xwOBA). Barring the White Sox sending out some sort of watered-down lineup, you have to like their chances to stack up some runs tonight against the struggling veteran Wacha. 

Pick: Over 4.5 (-110 DraftKings) 


Ryan Amore Overall Record: 28-28-0


Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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