MLB

MLB Betting Guide: Wednesday 8/12/20

Matt Boyd is having a rough 2020 campaign but will try to turn things around against the White Sox. Does numberFire's model see any betting value in this game?

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 to make at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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.

Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers

Detroit +1.5 (-136): 4-Star Rating out of 5
Detroit Moneyline (+116): 4-Star Rating out of 5

Our model's favorite betting values actually come in today's early game at 1:10pm ET between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.

This contest pits Chicago's Dylan Cease against Detroit's Matt Boyd, and a look at their respective 2020 ERAs would suggest that Cease and the Pale Hose are rightful favorites.

But we know ERA never tells the whole story -- let alone after just three starts apiece. Cease may have a solid 4.05 ERA, but it's come with a 5.37 SIERA, 15.5% strikeout rate, and 10.3% walk rate. Yeah, not exactly awe-inspiring numbers.

Cease also wasn't amazing in his 2019 rookie campaign, either. He did record a healthy 24.9% strikeout rate, but a double-digit walk rate and home run issue (1.85 per 9 innings) led to a lackluster 5.79 ERA. Early indications are that those dingers could remain a problem in 2020, as Cease has already given up 3 round-trippers in 13.1 innings. In all, this isn't a matchup that the Tigers should fear by any means.

Meanwhile, Boyd has struggled mightily (9.20 ERA), though some of it has been of the bad luck variety due to an inflated .417 BABIP. The issue is he isn't missing as many bats, with his 18.3% strikeout rate being several pegs down from last year's career-high 30.2% mark. The good news is his fastball velocity is about where it normally is, and his slider has still been effective (20.7% swinging-strike rate), so he should theoretically be much better than this.

It never feels great to side with a pitcher showing an ERA bordering on double-digits, but this is a clear case of one hurler pitching below his abilities and the other outperforming his peripherals. numberFire's algorithm sees value in betting on Boyd to turn things around, with the Detroit runline getting a 70.52% chance of hitting and the moneyline coming in at a 59.03% likelihood.

Baltimore Orioles at Philadelphia Phillies

Baltimore +1.5 (-118): 3-Star Rating out of 5

A duel between Wade LeBlanc and Zach Eflin probably doesn't fall under appointment viewing, but numberFire's model sees value in taking another underdog this evening.

The Baltimore Orioles will hope for a little bit more out of LeBlanc in his fourth start, as he's coming off a shellacking at the hands of the Miami Marlins. We probably shouldn't expect any miracles tonight, though. LeBlanc wasn't all that great in 2019, and he's sporting a 4.84 SIERA and 13.1% strikeout rate thus far.

That may not inspire much confidence, but Eflin won't necessarily be that much better, which should keep things close. The right-hander performed well in his 2020 debut, tallying 5 strikeouts over 4.0 scoreless innings against the Yankees (a 29.4% strikeout rate), but it came with a modest 6.5% swinging-strike rate, so we should take those punchouts with a grain of salt. Last year, he posted a 4.86 SIERA and 18.3% strikeout rate, which shouldn't faze the Orioles' bats.

But even if Eflin is up to the task, the true equalizer is a dreadful Philadelphia Phillies bullpen that once again reared its ugly head last night and is now sitting on a collective 10.19 ERA for the year. That number will surely go down eventually, but they also hold the league's second-worst FIP (6.12) and ninth-worst xFIP (4.69). Eflin only threw 77 pitches in his debut, so chances are he still won't see a full workload today.

If LeBlanc can keep things from getting out of hand, we have to like Baltimore's chances in the late innings. Picking the Orioles and the runs gets a 63.55% chance of success, per numberFire's projections.