The One Hitter: MLB game-by-game betting breakdown (8/24)


Each day, we are going to give you a quick preview of the day’s main slate and any interesting betting angles that we spot. Take a look.

Note: I omitted the Dodgers/Padres game purposely here because we still do not have listed pitchers as of noon ET. If you want my thoughts on that game, find me is our Discord chat on FTNBets.

Los Angeles Angels @ Baltimore Orioles

Dylan Bundy vs. Spenser Watkins
Angels -125, Orioles +115
Total: 10.5

Three things to know

  • Both pitchers have an ERA over 5.50, so a total 10.5 runs is not as high as it seems.
  • Baltimore has lost 18 straight games. This is not a typo.
  • The Angels own a league-average 101 wRC+ vs. RHP. Baltimore is at 95, just a tad below.

Best bet: The pitching here is atrocious, and Camden Yards is a good hitter’s park. With that said, 10.5 is not an insignificant total of runs. I’m not touching the total here. The Angels are a .500 team, the Orioles are one of the worst in baseball and on an 18-game skid. I’ll lay -125 on them before I take +115 on a team who hasn’t won since the beginning of the month. 

New York Yankees @ Atlanta Braves

Andrew Heaney vs. Charlie Morton
Yankees +130, Braves -133
Total: 9/9.5 (Big price differences today across the books)

Three things to know

  • The Yankees have won 10 straight and are now tied for the second-best record in the AL.
  • Even after Monday’s loss, Atlanta is 4.5 games clear of the Phillies in the NL East.
  • Atlanta has a slight edge in hitter matchup metrics and a big edge in pitching metrics.

Best bet: The Yankee fan in me cringes when I say this, but the Braves do deserve to be at least -145 here. The -133, and even up to -140 numbers on these books is a bit of an overreaction. The value here is with the Braves ML. 

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Seattle Mariners @ Oakland Athletics

Chris Flexen vs. Cole Irvin
Mariners +135, Athletics -145
Total: 9.5

Three things to know

  • Both of these pitchers are serviceable options. A lot of league-average stats.
  • Scoring is down in MLB this year, yet two league-average pitchers and a total of 9.5 in Oakland? Something does not add up.
  • Seattle has the fifth-worst wRC+ score against LHP at just an 89. Great matchup for Irvin.

Best bet: A three-run, come-from-behind rally in the top of the ninth lost us our Oakland play Monday and burned .30 worth of closing line value. We won’t get them at -120 here, but Oakland is still a tad below fair value give the matchup. I actually prefer the under in this game though. My projection is closer to 8, so we have 1-2 runs of cushion on that under 9.5.

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Madison Bumgarner vs. JT Brubaker
Diamondbacks -114, Pirates +105
Total: 8.5

Three things to know

  • The Diamondbacks have won 33% of their games, but Bumgarner is .500 on the season and this is one of their softest matchups.
  • Pittsburgh is dead last in MLB with just a 70 wRC+ vs. LHP in 2021. This is borderline historically bad.
  • Brubaker is sub-par, but the Diamondbacks offense only owns an 83 wRC+ vs. RHP.

Best bet: This game is super ugly. You have two bottom-level offensive teams facing off. Bumgarner is better than Brubaker, but 2021 Bumgarner is not peak Bumgarner. I still think he has enough to handle this dreadfully bad lineup. His offense is bad too, but they should be able to at least get him some support vs. Brubaker.

Tampa Bay Rays @ Philadelphia Phillies

Drew Rasmussen vs. Ranger Suárez
Rays -115, Phillies +105
Total: 9.5

Three things to know

  • Tampa has the American League’s best record at 77-48. Philly is second in the NL East at 63-61.
  • Rasmussen is more of an opener. He has not gone past 4 IP in any start this year.
  • Tampa’s lineup is weaker vs. LHP, but still an above-average 106 wRC+.

Best bet: Rays should be bigger than a -115 favorite. Probably not by a wide margin, but -125 is my fair value here, so I do think we have a slight edge on the Rays moneyline at -115. 

Chicago White Sox @ Toronto Blue Jays

Dylan Cease vs. José Berríos
White Sox +115, Blue Jays -125
Total: 9

Three things to know

  • Both these teams mash. The Jays own the third-best wRC+ vs. RHP with their current roster at 116. The Sox are not bad either at 107 wRC+ in eighth.
  • Two above-average pitchers on the mound, which could hinder the offensive explosion and the over from cashing, even in a hitter’s park.
  • Cease dominated April and May, stunk in June and July, and has rounded back into form in August. He’s only 25 and he has talent, but he’s inconsistent.

Best bet: My favorite bet here is the over. These two teams mash and Toronto is a hitter’s ballpark. Both guys are talented, but both are also prone to some blowups. I expect runs to be scored and unless one of these two pitchers spins a gem, the final score here should include a couple runs on both sides with either team having the power and offensive potential to hang a big number. 

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Minnesota Twins @ Boston Red Sox

Griffin Jax vs. Tanner Houck
Twins +200, Red Sox -217
Total: 10.5

Three things to know

  • Boston has the fourth-best wRC+ at 112 vs. RHP, but the Twins are also above average at a 102.
  • Houck is still looking for his first win in his 8th start of the season, but he’s pitched well. He has only gone 5 IP in one start, so that’s likely why.
  • Jax is 3-0 in August with a 3.12 ERA. He’s pitched well of late and is going 5-plus IP per start now.

Best bet: If you want a high probability of cashing a ticket and winning no little money, then play the Red Sox. Personally, I am not willing to play them at that price. I actually like the under here despite the good lineups. I think both of these young pitchers have talent. I doubt either spins a gem, but I’m not banking on them getting rocked for a combined 11 runs in this game either.

San Francisco Giants @ New York Mets

Sammy Long vs. Tylor Megill
Giants +101, Mets -110
Total: 8.5

Three things to know

  • Long is making just his fifth start of the season. He never goes deep, so this is most likely a bullpen game for the Giants.
  • Megill was stellar in July, giving up 3total  ER in 5 starts. He’s given up 3 or more in three of his four starts in August, though.
  • San Francisco owns a 110 wRC+ vs. RHP. The Mets have a below-average 99 wRC+ vs. LHP.

Best bet: The Giants at plus money are worth a play. They have a solid lineup that stings RHP and Megill is not as good as his July was. Now that he’s dropped back down to earth, I think he’s going to get hit a little bit today. Give me the Giants ML at plus money as I have them as the higher probability of winning this game anyway.

Texas Rangers @ Cleveland Guardians

Taylor Hearn vs. Eli Morgan
Rangers +157, Indians -165
Total: 9

Three things to know

  • Texas owns a 76 wRC+ vs. RHP, tied for the worst in baseball.
  • The Indians are bottom 20% vs. LHP at just an 88 wRC+.
  • The pitching matchup arguably favors Texas here, but Cleveland has a more potent lineup so that evens it out.

Best bet: The Rangers are one of the worst teams in baseball, but it’s not like the Guardians are great, at just .500 on the year. I’m not saying I expect the Rangers to win, but I don’t think Cleveland should be a a 62% favorite. +157 is too high a number for the Rangers, so that is where the value lies. Give me the dog in this one. Rangers are playable over +150.

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Washington Nationals @ Miami Marlins

Erick Fedde vs. Jesús Luzardo
Nats +102, Marlins -105
Total: 8.5

Three things to know

  • The two pitchers have been awful this year — Fedde’s ERA sits at 5.14, Luzardo’s at 7.76.
  • The Marlins current lineup has the fourth-worst wRC+ in the league at just 82.
  • The Nationals vs. LHP are slightly above average with a 101 wRC+.

Best bet: The Nationals have above a 50% chance of winning this game on lineup alone. Neither pitcher is above league average, but Fedde had a slight edge over Luzardo. +102 is a gift. Take the plus money here on the dog. 

Detroit Tigers @ St. Louis Cardinals

Casey Mize vs. Jack Flaherty
Tigers +210, Cardinals -227
Total: 8

Three things to know

  • Neither offense is good. Detroit has just a 90 wRC+ and the Cards are a 91 vs. RHP.
  • Mize has been solid, but Flaherty is a stud. The pitching advantage is clearly with Cards.
  • Both teams are third in their division, 12 games out of first.

Best bet: Let’s keep this simple. We have two good pitchers facing two bad offenses in a pitcher’s park. The under is the play here, even at 8. My projection for this game is slightly below 7.

Colorado Rockies @ Chicago Cubs

Germán Márquez vs. Justin Steele
Rockies -125, Cubs +120
Total: 9

Three things to know

  • Young lefty Steele has just two starts, of 4 and 5 IP. He will not go deep here
  • Germán Márquez faces a LU that has just an 83 wRC+ with their current players vs. RHP in 2021
  • The Rockies are hot garbage vs. RHP, but they are only slightly below average vs. LHP at a 95 wRC+. Still not good, but better than hot garbage.

Best bet: The Rockies project to be the better team and win this game more often with this pitching matchup. The line of -125 is actually even a tad high, but not enough for me to want to take the other side of this one. Look how close we can get the juice here by taking the best numbers books have to offer on either side. That alone should tell you how close to the right number this one is. Pass on this game, there’s no value.

Cincinnati Reds @ Milwaukee Brewers

Tyler Mahle vs. Corbin Burnes
Reds +185, Brewers -200
Total: 7.5

Three things to know

  • Corbin Burnes has been dominant this season. 127 IP, 175 strikeouts, 0.91 WHIP.
  • Tyler Mahle has been above league average and faces a lineup that has been below league average with just a 95 wRC+ in 2021.
  • Burnes is great, but the Cincy offense has a 112 wRC+ vs. RHP, fifth in MLB.

Best bet: Is Burnes a stud? Absolutely. Is he worth being a -200 favorite, which our Odds Calculator says is a 66% implied probability of winning? I don’t think so. It’s not on him, it’s on his offense. I agree with the 7.5 run total here, but in a low-scoring game, one good inning can decide it and the Reds have the better bats. At +185, I still expect them to lose this game more often than not, but not two-thirds of the time. +185 is too big a number, bet the dog here.

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Kansas City Royals @ Houston Astros

Brady Singer vs. Luis García
Royals +210, Astros -227
Total: 8.5/9

Three things to know

  • The Astros’ 121 wRC+ vs. RHP is league best and 5 points clear of every other team.
  • The Royals’ 89 wRC+ is bottom third of the league.
  • Luis García is the better of the two pitchers by a decent margin.

Best bet: I think the -227 is a little light and that number climbs today, but not by a ton. I’m not interested in laying that kind of money today. The Astros should win, they should win this game 70% of the ime, which means -227 is about right. 

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