MLB Betting Guide: Tuesday 9/3/19
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.
Blue Jays +1.5 (-102): 2-Star Rating out of 5
The Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves split the first two games of their home-and-home interleague series last week in Toronto. The Braves won yesterday's meeting in Atlanta, so the Jays will need a win to secure a tie in the season series. Our models aren't projecting a Toronto win, but we are projecting a very close game between the teams, whose seasons have been nearly exact opposites to this point.
The Braves, who come into tonight's game at 85-54, will send Mike Foltynewicz to the mound. Folty is a pitcher whose drop in performance from 2018 to 2019 is among the worst in baseball. He thrilled Braves' fans last season with a 2.85 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .275 on-base percentage allowed, and 3.9 WAR, but he's been a shell of that pitcher this year.
His 5.59 ERA would rank last among all starters if he had enough innings to qualify. Opponents are hitting 77 points better against him this year, and slugging .519 compared to .324 a year ago. The sixth-year player has struggled mightily with the home run.
He's allowed 20 in just 87.0 innings this season. A year ago, he gave up just 17 across 183.0 innings. He's given up 12 of those 20 home runs at SunTrust Park in Atlanta, where the Braves are 3-5 in his starts.
The Jays will use an opener tactic to try and take down the Braves tonight, and it's worked well for them in the past, especially when Wilmer Font has taken the mound. The Jays are 6-3 straight up and 7-2 against the runline when Font opens for them. They are 4-0 against the runline when those games have been on the road.
Our models don't see the Jays winning, however. We do see it being close, though, projecting the likelihood of the Jays' runline hitting at 55.15%. We mark the bet as a two-star play.
Under 9.0 (-102): 2-Star Rating out of 5
As recently as June 4, the Cleveland Indians were still under .500, performing nothing like the 91-win team we saw in 2018. Heading into that night's game against the Minnesota Twins, they were just 29-30. Their pitching was holding its own, giving up just 4.24 runs per game, but the offense was sputtering with just 3.97 of their own.
They won that night, however, and since then the team has been on a completely different trajectory. They've won nearly 65% of their games since then, a streak which has seen their offensive output increase to an average of 5.28 runs and their already strong pitching get even better.
The Indians have been allowing just 3.81 runs per game since getting back over .500 in June, and one of the main reasons for their success has been Mike Clevinger. Clevinger, who sat out two months early in the season with a back injury, has been on fire in the last two months.
He had a 1.74 ERA in July and a 1.96 mark in August. He's allowed one or no runs in eight out of his 11 starts over those two months, and he'll be licking his chops at his opponent tonight, a Chicago White Sox team he held to just one hit over seven shutout innings in his first start of the season in April.
In eight appearances (six starts) against Chicago, Clevinger has averaged 11.2 strikeouts per nine, posted a 2.53 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. The current White Sox roster has combined to reach base just 24.2% of the time against him. In 99 plate appearances against Clevinger, the White Sox have managed just two home runs and seven walks while striking out a whopping 30 times.
The Sox have failed to score more than three runs in four games against Cleveland and Clevinger since the start of last year, and we barely have them in line for right about that mark tonight, projecting them for 3.08 runs. We have the Indians scoring 5.41 runs off of rookie Dylan Cease and his relievers. We give the teams a marginally better than average 50.69% chance of scoring fewer than nine runs tonight, with a 10.74% chance of a push. Combined with the odds, we mark the under as a two-star play tonight.
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