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MLB Picks

MLB Picks: 8/31

MLB Picks: 8/31

The wild 2020 season is treating us to as wild of a trade deadline as we’ve seen in years. None of today’s deals have a major impact on today’s games, but we’re here to help you make sense of today’s slate nonetheless. Here’s to entering Month 2 on a winning note!

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Let’s get after it!

Cardinals-Reds over 9 (-145)

This doesn’t scream “shootout” to me, but all signs point to the “over.”

Throughout his career, Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani has been great against right-handed batters (0.281 wOBA, 3.41 FIP) and helpless against lefties (0.353 wOBA, 4.97 FIP). He faces a visiting Cardinals lineup that’s trotting out six LHBs and looking to take advantage of the extreme hitting environment that is the Great American “Smallpark.”

St. Louis counters with sinker-baller Dakota Hudson. While the 25-year-old has tinkered with his pitch mix – throwing his sinker just 30.8% of the time and doubling the usage of his slider to 22.8% – he is still out-pitching his 4.76 FIP and 4.60 SIERA suggest that his sparkling 3.32 ERA isn’t sustainable. He’s taking the mound in an extreme hitter’s park on a humid night where the ball should be carrying. I think he gets touched up for more than a few runs.

Despite both of these teams ranking in the bottom-third for most offensive categories, the park, pitchers and projections all point to a healthy amount of runs being scored. I’m picking the over.

Rays-Yankees under 7.5 (-121)

First 6 innings under 6 (-136)

Chop this one up however you’re comfortable. For me, it’s as simple as Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow grading out as two of the top four pitchers overall for today’s games. Both teams boast elite bullpens, but if this game hits the over, I believe that’ll happen because of bats springing alive in the 2nd half of the game. Trust the talent level of these starters and bet the under.

Braves -1.5 (-136)

The Braves are slowly getting healthy, while the host Red Sox are in rebuild mode. Atlanta starter Max Fried has (finally) emerged as a front-line starter and shouldn’t have major issues carving up Boston’s lineup sans J.D. Martinez. Whether Boston’s bullpen gives up a little or a lot of runs, my projections point to Atlanta scoring enough to cover the run line at Fenway tonight.

Indians-Royals under 7.5 (-121)

First 3 innings under 2.5 (-145)

First 5 innings under 3.5 (-121)

The same logic applies here as with the Rays-Yankees above. Shane Bieber is legitimately one of the best pitchers in baseball and Brad Keller has evolved into a legitimate front-of-the-rotation arm. Bieber in particular is especially lock-down in the first 3 innings. All signs and projections point to the under and – unlike the aforementioned Rays-Yankees tilt – this game is taking place in the spacious confines of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. This will be a pitcher’s duel and you should bet accordingly.

White Sox (-121)

I have a lot riding on a Twins future bet, so don’t particularly like breaking down this bet. Minnesota is beat up and in poor form, while the White Sox’s youth movement is a full year ahead of schedule. These are teams going in opposite directions at the moment, so when my models loved Chicago ace Lucas Giolito and were cool on the always-fragile Rich Hill opposing him, this was an easy one to pick and move on.

Rockies (-125)

Padres-Rockies under 12.5 (-136)

German Marquez is too good and this is just too many runs to think are scored at Coors Field tonight. My projections have Garrett Richards getting roughed up – a 45.4% hard contact rate and 5.18 SIERA will do that to you in the most hitter-friendly environment in the universe – and Marquez potentially scratching out a quality start. It doesn’t hurt that sharp money has poured into both of these bets since the line opened, either.

I like it. The sharps like it. You should like it, too.

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