A full slate of MLB betting goodness is set to go down at BetRivers Sportsbook on Saturday and I’ve targeted three games worthy of investing upon with Best Bet wagers. I churned out a modest profit with my MLB odds recommendations last week, and look to do the same through this weekend. Let’s see if we can continue adding to the bottom line with a Saturday installment of MLB Best Bets – SLAM YOUR MAN!!
YTD: 3-2 ($61)
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Texas Rangers vs. Chicago Cubs
I’m pumped for the second game of this series between the Rangers and Cubs! Though the over has dominated the first week of the MLB betting season (50-38-3), I think we’re in store for a good ‘ol fashioned pitcher’s duel from the “Friendly Confines” with left-handers Martin Perez and Justin Steele set to square off. While very little jumps off the page in terms of counting stats for Perez, the veteran southpaw has been a model of consistency in that he gives up a good amount of hits per start (10.7 and 8.2 L/2 seasons) but ultimately finds a way to limit the damage on the scoreboard (2.89 ERA in 2022). Chicago hasn’t hit for power and is a middling offense when it comes to OPS (No. 15).
Against lefties, the Cubs have managed eight hits in 28 at-bats with only two going for extra bases. Steele deserved to log the win in his season debut after tossing six innings of shutout ball at the Brew Crew (8:1 K/BB ratio), but the bullpen let him down. I’m extremely bullish on the Cubs third-year starter and expect him to excel in this spot against a Texas offense ranked No. 20 in OPS against lefties. The Rangers sport the best bullpen in the game right now, and Chicago’s should be determined to show out considering it cost Steele the dub in his last turn. Look for the second game of this series to be low scoring and competitive throughout!
BET THE UNDER (F5 & FG)
Oakland A’s vs. Tampa Bay Rays
As a team, Oakland is batting .217 against left-handers (No. 23) and averaged a grand total of half a run (No. 29) through 60 at-bats. A stiff challenge waits Saturday afternoon in the form of Rays’ southpaw Jeffrey Springs who looks to have established himself as one of the nastiest left-handed pitchers the Bigs currently has to offer. Off a 2022 campaign in which he went 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.07 WHIP and allowed just over seven hits per start, Springs showed out in his 2023 debut by tossing six innings of shutout ball at the free-swinging Detroit Tigers without allowing a single hit.
Most importantly, his stuff tallied a whopping 12 strikeouts with 13 whiffs and a 41 percent called strike + whiff percentage. While the A’s have only been sent down via the strikeout 12 times through 60 at-bats, Springs is a much different type of animal than the offense has run up against to this point of the year. Averaging a strikeout per inning pitched through 22.2 total innings lifetime against the A’s and Oakland doing jack squat against him evidenced by a poor .211 BAA, I expect No. 59 to move to 2-0 and churn out another lofty strikeout tally in the process.
BET OVER JEFFREY SPRINGS K PROP
San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves
With both offenses potentially being shut down in Thursday’s series opener staring back at Blake Snell and Spencer Strider respectively, I expect both squads to flex their offensive muscles following Friday’s off day. Why you ask? It’s quite simple really – Michael Wacha is getting the call for the Friars while Charlie Morton will be making his second start for the Braves. Neither impressed in their season debuts, and it looks to me like a few more starts under the belt will be needed for each to get back on track.
Wacha arrived to spring training late and it showed in his first start versus the Rockies who tagged him for six hits (1 HR) and 4 ER through six innings. He struck out a pair but also issued three free passes. His velocity was down across the board. As for Morton, he was ripped by the Cardinals for nine hits and 3 ER while only managing a 1:2 K/BB ratio through 5.1 innings. He didn’t look to have confidence with any of his go to pitches; especially Uncle Charlie! This one has bullpen game written all over it, and it wouldn’t shock me in the least if both offenses forced each manager to pull out early hooks. While Atlanta’s bullpen has excelled (No. 6), the Padres’ has done anything but (No. 27). Provided weather doesn’t play a role, Truist Park is in line for some early-April fireworks!
BET THE OVER (F5 & FG)