MLB

MLB Betting Guide: Friday 8/21/20

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 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.

Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles

Orioles +1.5 (-156): 2-Star Rating out of 5

numberFire's model liked the Baltimore Orioles last night, and while they ultimately lost to the Boston Red Sox by six runs, it was a tight game until a four-run ninth inning.

The algorithm sides with Baltimore again tonight, as they're in a good spot to plate some runs against the duo of Colten Brewer and Darwinzon Hernandez.

Brewer has been thoroughly mediocre over 14.0 innings with a 4.49 SIERA, most notably owning a lackluster 12.1% walk rate. He also struggled with walks in 2019 (13.4%).

Hernandez is making his 2020 debut, and while he's adept at missing bats, he similarly had control issues last season (17.7% walk rate). It wouldn't be surprising to see either or both pitchers run into trouble.

The main issue for the Orioles is whether or not left-hander John Means can keep the Red Sox off the board. Means managed a 3.60 ERA last year, but his peripherals were mediocre at best, and he's performed poorly across three starts. The good news is he's seen a notable jump in velocity, so there's a chance he can right the ship sooner rather than later.

Our projections sees the Orioles runline succeeding at a 66.17% clip, which rates as a two-star bet.

Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs

Under 9.5 (-106): 1-Star Rating out of 5

Our model likes the Chicago Cubs runline and moneyline tonight, but I'm a little reluctant to go there considering how well the Chicago White Sox perform against left-handed pitchers (124 wRC+ dating back to 2019), and Jon Lester isn't the pitcher he once was.

However, this could still be a lower-scoring game overall, as both Dallas Keuchel and Lester have some positives going for them.

Keuchel may only have a 13.6% strikeout rate, but his 58.3% ground-ball rate remains elite, so perhaps his 3.07 ERA isn't a total fluke. He's also allowing batted balls of 95 mph or higher at just a 32.3% rate, so it's no wonder he's only given up two home runs in five starts.

Lester's 2.74 ERA is definitely more shaky -- he also has a 5.02 SIERA -- but he's also finding a way to induce poorly hit balls. He has a solid 18.1% soft-hit rate, and much like Keuchel, he isn't giving up 95-plus mph balls often (31.9%).

I wouldn't expect either pitcher to be perfect tonight, but both may be able to avoid the long ball and keep the overall runs down. numberFire's algorithm gives the under a 52.66% chance of hitting for a one-star play.