MLB picks for today
After a bit of a slow start, the White Sox sure have found their hitting shoes as Chicago now leads the majors in team batting average. But that will be put to the test Saturday as they go up against Cleveland’s Zach Plesac.
Despite being winless, Plesac looks like he’s next in the long line of system-developed Cleveland starters. The right-hander owns a 1.80 ERA with a crazy good 0.53 WHIP while racking up 17 punchouts in 15 innings over his first two starts. And one of those starts came against the White Sox. Plesac made the White Sox pale, shutting them out for eight innings on just three hits with 11 Ks.
On the other side, it looks like the White Sox will employ some form of a bullpen day as reliever Matt Foster takes the ball to open the game. The right-hander has been excellent in his three relief appearances, but starting is always a different beast. And while Chicago has some good pieces in its bullpen, it isn't great as a whole.
So, it seems like good value to get Cleveland at a price like this with such a dominant edge in starters.
The Minnesota Twins sure look like the class of the AL Central, but they may have some trouble with one of the division’s bottom feeders when they visit the Kansas City Royals Saturday.
The Twins are hitting a bunch of home runs again, and this season their pitching staff ranks in the Top 5 in several major pitching categories. But will that be enough against the Royals' Danny Duffy?
The southpaw has been solid so far this summer with a 4.11 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP while recording more than a strikeout an inning. He also owns a career 3.13 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in 23 games (19 starts) against the Twins. And while Minnesota has been slugging, they are hitting just .217 versus lefties this season.
The Twins counter with Jake Odorizzi, who is making his first start of the season after recovering from a rib injury. The right-hander had an excellent 2019 campaign, but struggled a bit against the Royals, who have been hitting surprisingly well in 2020, and will be on a pitch count here. K.C. has sneaky-good five-inning value.
PREDICTION: Royals -0.5 First 5 Innings (+175)
There's a very interesting pitching matchup taking place in San Diego on Saturday night, as late bloomer Merrill Kelly faces off against ace-in-the-making Chris Paddack when the Diamondbacks visit the Padres.
The 31-year-old Kelly is in just his second Big League season after spending four years in the awesome KBO, but he has launched strong with a 2.63 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in his first two starts, and he’d likely be 2-0 if not for running into a dealing Clayton Kershaw. And Kelly should be comfortable Saturday.
While the right-hander has just 34 career starts, five of them have come against the Padres. In those five starts, Kelly has a 3-1 record with a 3.75 ERA and 1.31 WHIP.
Meanwhile, Paddack looks like he gets better with every start. He has dominated at Petco Park and oh, he has absolutely dominated the D-backs in his young career. Paddack owns a 0.79 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in four starts against Arizona. Pitching will be the story early here.
PREDICTION: Under 4.5 First 5 Innings (-120)
Yesterday's MLB record: 2-1
Season MLB betting record: 28-16, +11.43 units
MLB betting card for August 8
- Cleveland (-119)
- Royals -0.5 First 5 Innings (+175)
- Diamondbacks-Padres Under 4.5 First 5 Innings (-120)
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