MLB Betting Guide for Friday 8/11/23: The Wrong Team Is Favored at Fenway Park
Baseball has you covered if you want a large inventory of options to bet.
From moneylines to run totals to first-five-inning wagers, we have plenty of ways to bet the long, arduous MLB schedule daily. Outlooks can be vastly different due to starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know if an individual pitcher, a bullpen, or a team is due for positive -- or negative -- regression.
Using numberFire's projections as a guide, which MLB odds from FanDuel Sportsbook are most appealing today?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated projections.
Washington Nationals at Oakland Athletics
Under 5.5 Runs in F5 Innings (-154)
There's substantial juice on this line, but I believe it's worth every penny when I'd personally set this total around even money at 4.0.
We know these offenses aren't great, but that's not why I'm targeting this line today. It's because the starting pitching is actually really solid if the 2023 samples from our two hurlers hold into tonight's affair.
Paul Blackburn of the Oakland Athletics is a stabilizing force in their rotation; I truly only bet them in his starts. Blackburn's 3.86 expected ERA (xERA) is really solid, and a 23.8% strikeout rate is quite high for a guy who specializes in limiting hard contact. Blackburn's 28.6% hard-hit rate allowed is in the 96th percentile across MLB.
On the other side, it appears Joan Adon has turned a corner for the Washington Nationals. Though his hard-hit rate allowed (42.9%) is a bit high, his sample across three appearances thus far includes a 3.28 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) and 26.8% punchout rate against three solid offenses. The Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, and St. Louis Cardinals are all dangerous against righties.
Of course, by xFIP, these have been the two worst bullpens in baseball all season, so I'll pass on that circus into later innings with a full-game under, but there's quite a bit of wiggle room here with solid arms and two bottom-12 offenses against righties (by OPS) in the past 30 days.
Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox
Tigers ML (+120)
On the mound, Tarik Skubal has taken a backseat to very few MLB starters this year. Skubal has a 2.82 SIERA and 31.1% strikeout rate across six starts, so the lone drawback has been the ultra conservative workload as the Tigers navigate a lost season.
In the past month of play, Boston also has the fourth-worst wRC+ against lefties (65), having been outperformed by many -- including the lowly Stripes. Detroit has a 90 wRC+ against left-handers in that span and are set to face southpaw Chris Sale today.
Sale (3.47 SIERA) isn't a reason to bet the other side, but this is his first start back from injury, so he's likely not long for this affair. Ceding to a bullpen with the 10th-worst xFIP in baseball this season (4.34) could be another window of opportunity for the Tigers.
Oddly enough, Detroit enters today's game with the better starter, better split offensively, and a bullpen that's outperformed Boston's all year. That's a good package at +120.
Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago White Sox
Under 8.5 (-105)
Avoiding an under for one unstable pitcher against two bad offenses likely isn't the right move.
I believe a majority of the action is toward this over because of Michael Kopech, but Kopech isn't disastrous. He's put forth at least five innings while allowing no more than four runs in four straight, and this will be one of the easiest assignments he can draw. The lackluster Milwaukee Brewers offense has a pitiful .691 OPS (fifth-worst in MLB) against righties over the past 30 days.
Amidst a fire sale, the Chicago White Sox have fared worse in the split than Milwaukee (.665), so that's really the stable side of this under wager as they battle Corbin Burnes. The former Cy Young winner hasn't been at the peak of his powers in 2023, but a 3.36 xERA, 25.0% strikeout rate, and a minuscule 32.2% hard-hit rate allowed should mow down the Pale Hose's order.
When you also factor in the Brewers' second-best reliever xFIP over the past 30 days (3.50), it's hard to envision an offensive outburst from the home side here. If Milwaukee's anemic offense lighting up Kopech dooms this bet, so be it.
You can check out all the live MLB odds for today's games at FanDuel Sportsbook.