MLB Betting Guide: Thursday 8/18/22
numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money – whether you are betting on the total, a runline, 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 three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.
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.
Giants -1.5 (+152): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Giants Moneyline (-146): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Starting with an afternoon game (3:45 p.m. EST), our algorithm has a strong lean on the San Francisco Giants.
San Fran is sending Logan Webb to the bump, and while Webb hasn't matched his top-notch 2021 numbers, he has the stuff to come through in this matchup.
Webb is sporting a 3.56 SIERA for the year, and he's been lethal at his pitcher-friendly home park -- Oracle has the second-lowest home run factor -- posting a 2.96 xFIP in the split. In his past six home starts against anyone other than the Los Angeles Dodgers, Webb has conceded just five earned runs and punched out 42 over 39 innings.
Zac Gallen is up for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Gallen looked like an emerging ace back in 2020, when he recorded a 3.88 SIERA and 12.1% swinging-strike rate. He's been solid since, but he hasn't performed at quite that level, pitching to a 4.04 SIERA last season and a 9.3% swinging-strike rate since the start of 2021.
Gallen will have his work cut out for him versus a Giants lineup that is fifth in wOBA (.338) across the last 14 days.
The Giants are -146 moneyline favorites, but that's not a big enough number, according to our model. The -146 moneyline implies win odds of 59.3%. We give San Fran 65.2% win odds and mark a Giants moneyline bet as a two-star wager (two-unit recommendation).
There's also value on the runline. We project the final score to be 4.74-3.53, and we have the Giants covering as 1.5-run favorites 48.2% of the time. With a +152 price on the Giants to cover, our projections rate it as another two-star bet.
Pirates Moneyline (+126): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Pirates +1.5 (-130): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Well, this is something I haven't said much this season -- we're really into the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Pirates are priced as underdogs for their home clash with the Boston Red Sox, but our projections see the Pirates winning this one. While Boston is the better team on the whole, the Pirates have the edge on the mound today.
JT Brubaker is starting for Pittsburgh, and he checks some boxes despite a meh 4.05 SIERA. Namely, Brubaker can miss bats. He owns a 12.0% swinging-strike rate and has put up a single-game swinging-strike rate of at least 11.0% in eight straight outings, including clips of 13.0% and 15.3% in his previous two starts.
He's taking on a Boston offense that isn't as tough of a matchup as you might think. The Sox sit 24th in wOBA (.300) over the last 30 days with the 6th-highest strikeout rate (24.5%) in that time.
Josh Winckowski gets the nod for Boston. Winckowski has shown very little through his first 55 2/3 MLB frames, struggling to a 4.81 SIERA and 13.9% strikeout rate. Yuck. He does keep the ball on the ground well (51.1% ground-ball rate), but that's about it.
Our model has Pittsburgh winning by a score of 4.72-4.51, and we hand the Pirates win odds of 54.7%. Taking the Pirates to win at their +126 moneyline price is a two-star bet, according to our numbers.
On the runline, Pittsburgh is a 1.5-run underdog at a -130 price, with the -130 clip implying odds of 56.5%. We have them covering 66.5% of the time and slap a three-star rating on it.