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MLB Best Bets for Friday (8/6)

MLB Bets

MLB Best Bets is back for Friday to end the week strong, and we’re looking to keep the momentum rolling after Wednesday’s late-inning heroics. Toronto cashed the F5 o5.5 early, with eight runs in the first three innings off Cleveland starter J.C. Mejia. The score would be stuck at 8-0 until the top of the eighth and had the makings of a brutal full-game o9.5 loss until Owen Miller stepped up to the plate and unleashed a bases-clearing double in the top of the eighth to cash the over.

There are 15 more games on the slate Friday where value could be hiding, so let the wins keep coming as we dive into Friday’s best bets.

San Francisco Giants @ Milwaukee Brewers

Giants +147, Brewers -156, Caesars Sportsbook

San Francisco will head up north to Milwaukee to kick off a three-game weekend series between two of the National League’s divisional leaders. Logan Webb will get the ball for San Francisco while Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes toes the rubber for the home squad.

San Francisco has easily been the biggest surprise in the league all season far exceeding anybody’s expectations. BetMGM had their preseason win total set at just 75.5 wins, while PECOTA is currently projecting them to finish with 93.1, almost a 20-game difference. They’ve been a top-five team against righties in terms of wOBA (.333) and wRC+ (109), albeit both marks rating as just slightly above average, and on the road they check in as slightly below average with a .318 wOBA and 97 wRC+. Their K%, both against righties and on the road, rank within the five highest in the majors with the highest HR/FB ratio in both splits, a number that is sure to normalize as the season progresses. Their game totals on the road this season have only averaged 8.37 runs so far and with an ace, another above-average starter, and a bad offense going in this one I don’t see it reaching that mark.

Logan Webb may be one of most underrated and underappreciated starters in the league this season, if not the single most. Through 14 starts and 73 innings, he’s quietly put up a 3.33 ERA and a nearly equivalent 3.34 FIP. His 60.3% groundball rate ranks fifth out 177 starters with at least 50 innings pitched, and because of that high rate he’s only allowed 0.74 HR/9, resulting in a HR/FB ratio (16.7%) that actually suggests, even with that low of a number, he’s been slightly unlucky. Since giving up six runs at Colorado May 5 (but who isn’t giving up runs to Colorado at home?), he’s been on an eight-game stretch with a 1.76 ERA, 2.97 FIP, a mere 5.4% barrel rate, and an insane 1-degree launch angle. With Milwaukee’s team groundball rate falling just outside the top-10 against right-handers, we could be seeing a lot of roll overs and routine hoppers induced by Webb. 

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For as good as Milwaukee is in the pitching department, they’ve been just as bad offensively. Their .305 wOBA and 88 wRC+ both put them in the bottom-10 teams in the major leagues this season facing righties and they’ve been equally as bad at home with a .303 wOBA and the lowest wRC+ in the league at 87. They strikeout at a top-5 rate while their OBP (.312), SLG (.379) and OPS (.691) rank no higher than 25th at home. Their GB/FB ratio is among the 10 highest in the league, I mentioned before their borderline top-10 groundball rate, and they have the seventh-highest soft contact rate in the majors when facing right-handed pitchers. Milwaukee has been an extremely below average offense all year and I don’t see that chancing here with one of the best groundball-producing pitchers in baseball.

On the other side of the ball for Milwaukee, Corbin Burnes has gone full scorched earth on the league this year. Through 18 starts he’s pitched 106 innings with the seventh-lowest 2.46 ERA and lowest 1.49 FIP (by an entire run — Zack Wheeler’s 2.49 FIP is second) among pitchers with at least 100 innings. His starts are elite across the board, ranking in the top 5% of baseball in average exit velocity, hard hit rate, BB%, whiff rate and chase rate, in the top 3% in xBA, barrel rate, and K%, and in the 99th percentile in xwOBA, xERA and xSLG. Burnes has been an absolute workhorse at home, allowing just a .238 wOBA to opposing hitters while pitching to the tune of a sparkling 1.14 FIP with an astonishingly high .347 BABIP somehow suggesting he should be even better. He did just have his worst outing of the year in his last start against Atlanta, but in his five previous starts before that he was 3-0 through 33.1 innings with 38 strikeouts, a 1.08 ERA, and a 1.81 FIP. Burnes has been punching tickets left and right this season, especially at home, and I expect that continue with a bounceback start here.

The pick

Taking quite the opposite approach of our last best bets and looking for both teams to barely score here. He doesn’t have the name recognition, but Webb has been one of the best starters in the league so far this year and we all know what Corbin Burnes is capable of at this point in the season. San Francisco’s starter has shown the ability to be able to shut down some of the league’s best offenses (Houston, the Dodgers three times, Cincinnati twice) so I don’t foresee this Milwaukee bunch being an issue for him. I’m looking for a lot of groundballs from Milwaukee induced by Webb combined with a bunch of Giants strikeouts by Burnes. Under 8, -110, Caesars

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