MLB Betting Guide: Tuesday 7/28/20
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.
Under 10.5 (-115): 2-Star Rating out of 5
Taking the under on a warm summer night at Great American Ball Park probably doesn't sound appealing, especially when you see the two starting pitchers are Alec Mills and Tyler Mahle. However, those two hurlers may not be as ripe for a collective beatdown as you might think.
Based on his minor league work, Mills has almost certainly pitched over his head, but we shouldn't ignore the fact that he's produced some pretty strong numbers as a reliever and spot starter for the Chicago Cubs. Over 57.1 career innings, he's posted a 3.77 ERA that's backed up by a 3.71 SIERA, 28.5% strikeout rate, 9.5% walk rate, and 49.3% ground-ball rate. And even if we narrow that down to just his six career starts, the numbers are actually even better, with a 3.39 SIERA, 30.0% strikeout rate, 6.9% walk rate, and 51.9% ground-ball rate.
A quick look at his minor league numbers will show that these numbers should regress in a big way -- he posted a 5.26 xFIP and 21.5% strikeout rate in Triple-A last year -- but it's also hard to completely ignore what he's achieved at the big league level.
Meanwhile, Mahle put up a 5.14 ERA in 2019, but he actually had a solid 4.16 SIERA, 23.2% strikeout rate, and 6.1% walk rate. His struggles have mainly come from the home run ball, but ERA estimators suggest he's been a better pitcher than the results have shown.
Both pitchers obviously have their warts and probably won't pitch very deep into the game, but we don't need them to be perfect to stay under 11 runs, and there are enough positives here to think it can happen. Our model likes the under as a two-star wager.
Texas -1.5 (+184): 2-Star Rating out of 5
With most teams hitting the back of their rotations, most of tonight's starters leave a lot to be desired. And at a first glance, Kyle Gibson is just another ho-hum hurler coming off a 4.84 ERA in 2019.
But Gibson actually showed a lot of promise last year. His 13.1% swinging-strike rate backs up a strikeout rate that's gone up the past couple seasons (22.7%), and could be a sign that there's even more room to grow. The rise isn't totally random, either, as it can also be tied to throwing breaking balls more often, as well as a slight jump in velocity.
Gibson also posted a 51.4% ground-ball rate last season, which falls almost exactly on his career average. ERA estimators universally thought he deserved better in 2019, too, including a respectable 4.25 SIERA.
Overall, he should be able to outduel Merrill Kelly, who was mediocre across the board last season (4.73 SIERA). numberFire's model likes taking the Texas Rangers at -1.5 runs for a two-star bet. The Texas moneyline (-108) is another option, with our model predicting a Rangers win 60% of the time.