The One Hitter: MLB game-by-game betting breakdown (8/26)


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.

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Philadelphia Phillies

Zac Gallen vs. Zach Eflin
Diamondbacks +147, Phillies -154
Total: 8.5

Three things to know

  • The Diamondbacks have the fifth-worst wRC+ vs. RHP at just 83.
  • The Phillies offense is not much better at just an 88 wRC+.
  • Zac Gallen had a 2.16 ERA in April and over 4.50 every month since.

Best bet: I like the Phillies to win this game about 60% of the time. According to our odds calculator, that equates to a -150 line, which is about where it is. There’s no value there. The value is actually on the under here. These two offenses stink and currently the under is juiced down to -105 on multiple sites. If you want action here, that’s where the value is. 

(Get an All Access pass to FTN NFL coverage across all sites for $349.99.) 

St. Louis Cardinals @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Miles Mikolas vs. Mitch Keller
Cardinals -154, Pirates +147
Total: 8.5

Three things to know

  • Keller has one of the worst ERAs for qualifying pitchers at 6.35 in 2021.
  • Mikolas missed two months and is only making his third appearance of 2021.
  • The Pirates have just an 81 wRC+ score vs. RHP.

Best bet: I have more faith in the Cardinals than I do in the Phillies. They are about the same price, but I would much rather take the Cards and Mikolas. He looked good last time out in his first appearance since May. He only went five innings but gave up just two hits. This is a weak lineup he faces, and he should continue to round into form. Cardinals are playable up to -160, fair value is -170.

San Francisco Giants @ New York Mets

Alex Wood vs. Carlos Carrasco
Giants -115, Mets +108
Total: 8.5

Three things to know

  • Carlos Carrasco has not found his old form. He’s only gone 5 innings once and has an ERA over 8.
  • It’s been Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde this year for Alex Wood. Good luck guessing with you will get here. His ERA by month:
    • April: 1.50
    • May: 3.00
    • June: 6.94
    • July: 3.62
    • August: 5.40
  • The Giants own a 111 wRC+ vs. RHP, the Mets just a 99 wRC+ vs. LHP.

Best bet: We have been riding the Giants all series and I see no reason to hop off now, even at -115. Carrasco has been atrocious in August. This offense is sneaky good. Wood is solid enough not to get rocked by a low performing offense, so the Giants should again end up on top of this one. 

Texas Rangers @ Cleveland Guardians

Jordan Lyles vs. Sam Hentges
Rangers +143, Guardians -152
Total: 9.5

Three things to know

  • Lyles has an ERA over 5 and he’s the better of the two pitchers here.
  • The Rangers have the second-lowest wRC+ at just 79 vs. LHP.
  • The Guardians are also below average with a 92 wRC+ vs. RHP.

Best bet: The Guardians are more likely to win this game, but not at above -150. They should be more in the -130 range, which means the value is on the Rangers. Do I want to take that value? It’s tempting, but the Rangers are really bad. They have a slight edge in pitching here, but at the end of the day I can’t do it. It is the place where value is though.

Minnesota Twins @ Boston Red Sox

John Gant vs. Chris Sale
Twins +240, Red Sox -278
Total: 10

Three things to know

  • Chris Sale went 5 IP in each of the first two starts. Gave up some hits, but the strikeouts are there and he’s still rounding back into form.
  • Don’t be fooled by the 3.77 ERA. Gant’s xFIP is 5.15. He’s not good.
  • Boston has the fourth-best wRC+ vs. RHP at 113.

Best bet: Are the Red Sox a massive favorite, and yes, they deserve to be. Are they a good bet when you have to lay -278 to win $100? Probably not. If I had to make a bet here, I would look for the under actually. Gant is bad and the Red Sox should score, but 10+ is a lot of runs and the Twins are unlikely to help get this game over that total. 

Washington Nationals @ Miami Marlins

Patrick Corbin vs. Elieser Hernandez
Nationals +110, Marlins -120
Total: 7.5

Three things to know

  • Corbin has an ERA of 6.00 in August, and it was over 7.00 in July. He’s been bad for two months now.
  • Hernandez has bounced back and forth from AAA this year, with only four MLB starts.
  • The Nats have just an 86 wRC+, but it’s better than the Marlins.

Best bet: Patrick Corbin is a big name, but he has not backed it up lately with his pitching. I’m not expecting him to be effective. This total at 7.5 feels super low, even for two teams with bad offenses. The pitching here is not great and I’d rather be on the over than either team with that number at only 7.5.

(Get an All Access pass to FTN NFL coverage across all sites for $349.99.) 

Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Diego Padres

Max Scherzer vs. Yu Darvish
Dodgers -130, Padres +120
Total: 7.5

Three things to know

  • It took 16 innings to get a winner Wednesday, so expect many regulars to sit here.
  • Max Scherzer needs no introduction — he’s been a top-five pitcher in baseball for years.
  • Ditto here for Darvish, although you can argue more top-10 or top-15 for him.

Best bet: Wednesday’s game was 1-1 into extra innings. Thursday, the pitchers are arguably as good if not better (Walker Buehler and Blake Snell don’t suck). The kicker here is my expectation of off days. 16 innings last night, and the game ended very late. A watered-down lineup facing stud pitchers is a recipe for unders. 

New York Yankees @ Oakland Athletics

Jameson Taillon vs. James Kaprielian
Yankees -110, Athletics +101
Total: 8.5

Three things to know

  • The Yanks are riding an 11-game win streak; Oakland has lost four straight.
  • Kaprielian has a 3.25 ERA, but the xFIP is 4.61, so he’s been lucky.
  • The As own a better wRC+ than the Yanks and deserve to be favored.

Best bet: Even though the Yanks beat the A’s this series, the truth is Oakland does grade out better again here. Plus money on the team with the higher win probability is always a bet I will take. It pains me to say as a Yanks fan, but the A’s offer better value here. 

Kansas City Royals @ Seattle Mariners

Brad Keller vs. Yusei Kikuchi
Royals +150, Mariners -161
Total: 8

Three things to know

  • Kikuchi is better than his numbers. The xFIP is 3.65, so he’s been unlucky.
  • Mariners own just a 92 wRC+ vs. RHP, but Keller is not good.
  • The Royals own a 95 wRC+ vs. LHP.

Best bet: The Royals have a slightly offensive number here but face the tougher pitcher. The Mariners deserve to be favored, but the price tag is a little too rich here at -161. If I have to bet this one, I’d rather be on the Royals side, but tread lightly. Fair value is +140, so it’s not a major edge. 

Find the Best MLB Prop Bets

Find the best prices for your favorite props each day here with the FTN Prop Shop.

Sports Betting Tools

Looking for free betting tools to help you win? Try the FTN Parlay Calculator and FTN Prop Shop.

Previous College Football Betting – Week 1 Parlay Picks Next Ravens vs. Raiders Week 1 Betting Odds, Picks, and Trends