MLB-SportsBook On a Saturday filled with baseball, I am looking at the five night games and my favorite plays from the later action.


STL. CARDINALS VS. ATLANTA BRAVES

BRAVES MONEYLINE (-108)

Between the two pitchers on the mound, I think Mike Soroka is far superior. He has a 2.89 FIP and Dakota Hudson has a 5.51 FIP. It’s not as if Soroka’s success is only showing up in his peripheral numbers either. He has a minuscule 1.01 ERA and allowed two or less runs in all seven of his starts. On the other hand, Hudson has yet to pitch more than six innings in a start this season and he’s allowed three or more runs in four of his past six starts.

Not much differentiates the offenses in this game. The Cardinals have a 105 wRC+ and the Braves have a 104 wRC+. St. Louis is home, so that’s an advantage in its favor, but I don’t think it’s enough to offset the difference in quality of pitchers for what is essentially a pick em game.

Related Bet: TOTAL RUNS OVER/UNDER (9)

UNDER 9 RUNS (-108)

I think this is another case of Soroka being undervalued. He’s been so difficult to score runs on that it’s hard to imagine this game hits the over at his current pace. If this game hits the over then the Braves offense figures to have to do most of the lifting. They have been consistent lately, although not very high scoring. Atlanta has scored more than five runs just once in the past seven games.


HOUSTON ASTROS VS. BOSTON RED SOX

ASTROS MONEYLINE (-127)

There isn’t much of a difference between Brad Peacock and David Price this season. Peacock actually has the slightly lower FIP at 3.15 to 3.48. He’s also pitching in his best form of the season with 24 strikeouts in his past 17 innings. After spending last season in the bullpen, I think it took Peacock a few starts to build up his endurance. In May, he has a 93.42 mph average fastball velocity, up from 92.59 mph in April. The extra velocity is yielding more strikeouts.

Beyond the starting pitchers, the Astros have clearer advantages. A better bullpen, playing at home and a better offense. The 128 wRC+ for the Houston bats is the best in baseball, while the Red Sox offense has been a bit of a letdown with a barely above-average 103 wRC. This is a game where Houston could have an advantage everywhere despite the close line.


PITTSBURGH PIRATES VS. LOS ANGELES DODGERS

UNDER 8 RUNS (-106)

Taking an under against the Dodgers is always scary, but Pittsburgh plays in a pitcher’s park and there are two quality starting pitchers on the mound. Joe Musgrove isn’t a high-upside pitcher, but he’s pretty consistent. He’s allowed three or fewer earned runs in seven of his nine starts including a strong start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. In that game, Musgrove pitched 6 2/3 innings, striking out five hitters and giving up one earned run.

Starting for the Dodgers, Hyun-Jin Ryu should be mentioned as a Cy Young candidate. He has a 3.03 ERA for his career, but injuries keep him out of the conversation as one of the better starting pitchers in baseball. Finally healthy, he has a 1.52 ERA after posting a 1.97 ERA in limited starts last season. Ryu is fourth amongst National League pitchers in WAR.


LOS ANGELES ANGELS VS. TEXAS RANGERS

RANGERS MONEYLINE (+112)

Whenever Mike Minor is on the mound, the Rangers seem to be undervalued. Minor has a 2.64 ERA and has allowed three or fewer runs in eight of his past nine starts. Not only has he been great overall, but his consistency always keeps the Rangers in games. Even though they have Mike Trout, the Angels offense isn’t all that tough to deal with. This is particularly true against left-handed pitching. The Angels have an 81 wRC+ against southpaws. Minor should be able to keep his streak of quality starts going tonight.


PARLAY OF THE DAY

LAD/COL MONEYLINES (+139)

Of all the pitchers going tonight, Ryu is the one I have the most confidence in. He’s the highest priced pitcher for DFS and for good reason. At -190, I like the Dodgers chances to pull off the win and they make for a good parlay piece.

As for the Rockies, I am betting against Andrew Cashner more than anything. He has a 4.14 ERA and all his peripheral stats suggest regression is coming. He has a 4.76 FIP and most of his success is on the back of a .264 BABIP. Cashner is allowing a career high 39.3% hard contact rate and he’s going to start allowing more hits going forward. There is no more obvious spot for regression than pitching at Coors Field.


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