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MLB Betting Guide: Wednesday 9/5/18

Where can we find betting value in Oakland's crucial matchup with the Yankees on Wednesday?

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a line, or moneyline. For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet.

For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our models as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for today.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

New York Yankees at Oakland Athletics

Over 7.5 (-102): 2-Star Rating out of 5

A's +1.5 (-121): 2-Star Rating out of 5

The Oakland Athletics are only 5-5 in their past 10 games. While the Seattle Mariners have done even worse over that span and kept their distance, the Tampa Bay Rays have won four straight and are starting to look less like dreamers and more like contenders. If the A's want to hold off both teams and make it to October, they'll need to get back to their winning ways.

They'll look for a win tonight against the Luis Severino and the New York Yankees. Severino was on the short list for the American League Cy Young Award before the All-Star break. After his first start in July, the fourth-year pitcher was 13-2 and sporting a spectacular 1.98 ERA. Since then, however, he's become much more pedestrian.

In his 10 subsequent starts, Severino has given up 39 runs in 52 2/3 innings. He's given up at least three runs in nine of those 10 starts, and has pitched through six innings just twice. By comparison, he pitched at least six innings in 14 of the 18 starts through July 1.

The Yankees are 4-4 in Severino's last eight starts. Since July the Yankees and their opponents have combined for an average of 11.73 runs. The over is--not surprisingly--a whopping 9-2 in those games. There have been at least eight runs scored in 10 of Severino's past 11 starts. All of this combined makes tonight's 7.5 total mysteriously low.

The A's are 3-2 against the runline when facing the Yankees this season. Dating back to last season, Oakland is 7-5 straight up and 9-3 against the runline when facing New York. They are 5-1 straight up and against the runline when facing the Yanks at home during that time frame.

Given all of this, our models like a couple of bets from this game. The first is the over. We give the over a 59.24% chance of hitting. The second is the A's runline. We give Oakland a 61.22% chance of covering the 1.5 runs. Both bets are two-star plays.

Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros

Over 8.5 (-105): 3-Star Rating out of 5

Justin Verlander found his mojo last night, and the Houston Astros cruised to a 5-2 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins. They'll face off again at Minute Maid Park tonight, with the 'Stros looking to increase their 3.5-game lead over the A's.

Houston will send Framber Valdez to the mound, while Minnesota will counter with Jake Odorizzi. Valdez has been rock-solid since being called up, allowing just three runs in 14 1/3 innings.

Those numbers are a bit deceiving, however. His BABIP sits at an unsustainable .158, far below the .363 and .348 BABIP he allowed in Double-A and Triple-A this year, respectively. His FIP and xFIP stand at 3.85 and 4.66, so we should soon expect regression from his 1.26 ERA. Since reaching Double-A in 2017, the best ERA Valdez has sustained is 4.10.

Odorizzi has been his usual good-but-not-great self this season. He enters tonight's game with a 4.41 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, both of which are just below league average.

Our models don't see either pitcher being at their best tonight. We have them giving up a combined 6.20 runs. For the game, we see the two teams combining for 9.94 runs. As such, we have the over as the bet to focus on tonight. We give the over a 61.95% chance of hitting and mark it as a three-star play.

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