We’re entering the critical final month of the MLB regular season, with the new, expanded playoff format beginning to create dramatic matchups earlier than usual. For many teams, every game now matters.
Let’s dig into my MLB predictions and best bets for Saturday, August 27, with Game Simulations powered by our friends at Ballpark Pal.
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Let’s get after it.
MLB Predictions: Saturday, 8/27
Los Angeles Dodgers at Miami Marlins
Sandy Alcantara (11-6, 2.19 ERA, 2.86 FIP, 3.36 xFIP) remains the NL Cy Young Award front-runner. He was lit up by this same Dodgers squad in his last start, but underlying peripherals suggest that history is not likely to repeat itself tonight.
While Alcantara served up 10 H, 6 ER and 1 HR over just 3.2 IPs, he maintained a 50.0% GB% (54.3% GB% for the season) and suffered some bad luck as per his unsustainable .600 BABIP. Two of his hits allowed were indeed infield singles, and both of those runners came around to score. It was simply a terrible, no-good, very bad day – and an outlier at that.
I don’t think Alcantara will shutdown the superstar-laden Dodgers lineup tonight. I also don’t think he’ll get much run support from the lackluster Marlins lineup behind him vs. Dustin May (2.81 career ERA, 5.0 IPs of 1-hit baseball against this same Miami offense in his last start). I do think oddsmakers are overvaluing the Dodgers though, and Ballpark Pal’s Game Simulation agrees.
The Dodgers are rightful favorites to win, but the Marlins moneyline is sitting at +170, which has a 37% implied probability of winning. The +2 alternate run-line is currently priced at -140 at DraftKings. Seeing how Miami’s win probability is north of 40%, and factoring in the knowledge that 30%+ of MLB games are decided by 1 run, I see big value in this exotic prop.
Note: The traditional +1.5 moneyline is hovering around -105. That is a fine bet, but I prefer paying a little extra vig to hedge on this bet by removing the 0.5 run hook.
- MIA alternate run-line: +2 (-140)
- Sandy Alcantara u6.5 Ks (-155)
- Dustin May u6.5 Ks (-150)
- MIA tt o2.5 runs (-110)
Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers
This is probably the most meaningless and uninteresting game I’ll write up all season, but I see big betting value in it, and that’s what we’re after.
Eduardo Rodriguez was one of Detroit’s big off-season signings. He has struggled with injuries and personal issues that led him to take time away from the team. Tonight he’ll make only his 10th start of the season, and just his 2nd since the end of May.
I’ve loved targeting E-Rod throughout his career because he lives and dies by the long ball. He has never had problems missing bats (career 9.30 K/9) and actually has slightly reverse platoon splits (career .335 wOBA vs. LHBs compared to .305 wOBA vs. RHBs). He’ll take on an extremely average Rangers lineup in an extremely neutral ballpark from a Park Factors perspective. He projects for a quality start.
The Tigers have a categorically below-average offense, but today they face a categorically awful pitcher in Dallas Keuchel. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner has been awful the past two seasons. Peripherals suggest that the sinker-balling southpaw is due for positive regression. His 8.53 ERA is wildly higher than his 5.79 FIP and 4.73 xFIP. Keuchel also has an unsustainably high .371 BABIP and 53.9% LOB%. Still, the Tigers will have no problems putting the ball in play and scratching out the run support Rodriguez needs.
This game is projected as a pick’em, but I see the Tigers as having significant enough of a starting pitching advantage to be heavier favorites. They quietly have put together an elite bullpen too, currently ranking 6th in MLB with a 3.32 RP ERA. I’m backing Detroit to win and also have interest in their lefty-mashing hitters.
- DET (+100)
- Eric Haase 2+ TBs (+150)
- Javier Baez 2+ TBs (+105)
- Nate Lowe 2+ TBs (+140)
- Victor Reyes 2+ TBs (+120)