Welcome to the Saturday, August 3 edition of the MLB Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one MLB bet for tonight I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
8/3/19 MLB Betting Pick:
Boston Red Sox (59-52) vs. New York Yankees (69-39), 7:05pm EDT
- DraftKings Sportsbook Total Runs Odds: Over 11.5 (+102)/Under 11.5 (-122)
- FanDuel Sportsbook Total Runs Odds: Over 11 (-115)/ Under 11 (-106)
- 888 Sportsbook Total Runs Odds: Over 11.5 (+102)/ Under 11.5 (-122)
The Red Sox and Yankees play two Saturday, with the nightcap we’re delving into here featuring a much less prestigious pitching matchup than the matinee. Chris Sale and Domingo German toe the rubber in the opener. Then, it’s Brian Johnson and Chad Green taking the hill for the Red Sox and Yankees, respectively, in the nightcap. The latter duo has me leaning in the direction of the Over in this contest, as I’ll explain further.
Both Johnson and Green have had their share of struggles this season. Johnson has been particularly poor on the road over a limited sample. That’s evidenced by a .409 BAA, .494 wOBA and 6.27 xFIP he has across nine road frames. Johnson has primarily worked a reliever thus far, although he did log his first start of the season his last time on the mound. He was stellar in that outing against the Blue Jays, allowing just an unearned run through five innings. However, that came back on June 22, when Toronto was one of the worst hitting teams in the majors.
Johnson has had a mixed track record against current Yankees bats. They own a collective .255/.333/.588 line against him over 51 at-bats. That sample includes seven extra-base hits (two doubles, five home runs). His biggest tormentor, Giancarlo Stanton (.571 BAA), is on the shelf with a knee injury. But New York has been trouble all the way around for lefties at home after a slow start versus that handedness at Yankee Stadium this season.
They own a .347 wOBA, .216 ISO and 6.6 wRAA against southpaws at home over the last two months. Narrowing it down further to the last month, they boast an even better .356 wOBA and .225 ISO. And when factoring out home/road splits altogether, the Yankees check in with the second-highest wOBA (.374) and MLB-high 15.5 wRAA versus southpaws over the last 30 days (325 plate apperances). They’re also well equipped to take advantage of Johnson’s considerable struggles versus right-handed hitters (.436 BAA, .498 wOBA). Edwin Encarnacion, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres and D.J. LeMahieu are all highly capable of bashing lefties.
On the other side, no team has been hotter against right-handed pitching over the last month than the Red Sox. They carry an MLB-high .372 wOBA and 32.1 wRAA versus righties over the last month into Saturday’s action. When narrowing it down to the road, it’s still an impressive .294 average and .350 wOBA, along with a 8.2 wRAA. Green has also had his share of troubles with current Boston hitters. Red Sox bats have generated a collective .260/.296/.411 line versus the right-hander over 71 at-bats. That includes eight extra-base hits (six doubles, one triple, one home run) out of 19 hits he’s allowed them.
Green does have excellent strikeout numbers overall (27.6 percent strikeout rate). However, he’s actually been better in that regard on the road (12.27 K/9) than at home (10.36 K/9). And, Boston comes in with a relatively modest 20.9 percent strikeout rate against righties on the road over the last month. Green has also gotten away with a bit more at Yankee Stadium. While he sports a solid 3.70 ERA in 24.1 home frames, he’s also carrying 4.49 xFIP and is allowing a 42.1 percent hard-contact rate there.
Finally, the Red Sox bullpen in particular also leads me in the direction of the Over. Boston relievers have a 5.40 ERA and have allowed a .337 wOBA on the road over the last month of play. And both the Boston and New York ‘pens have been scuffling lately. Yankees relievers sport a 4.84 ERA and have allowed a .332 wOBA to the 99 hitters they’ve faced over the last week. Boston bullpen arms have surrendered a .328 wOBA over that same span.
By the Numbers: The Over is 66-42-3 (61.1 percent) in the Red Sox’s games this season. That includes a 30-22-3 mark (57.7 percent) in their away games. Then, the Over is 59-45-4 (56.7 percent) in the Yankees’ games this season.
The Final Word
Although they played a subdued offensive game overall Friday night, the Red Sox and Yankees have lit up the scoreboard on multiple occasions recently. Yankee Stadium checks in sixth in run factor (1.126) and home-run factor (1.166), while both squads naturally pack plenty of firepower. With two inconsistent arms on the mound and some bullpen issues on either side recently, I’m siding with the Over in the nightcap of the twin bill.
The Pick: Over 11 runs