MLB Betting Guide: Thursday 9/1/22
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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.
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Seattle Mariners at Detroit Tigers (1:10 p.m. EST)
Mariners -1.5 (+116) - 1 Star
The Tigers' fatal flaw of 2022 has been their offensive woes against right-handed pitching.
One would think a 72 wRC+ for the year against righties would have to experience some positive regression at some point, but it's clear they can't touch them. In August, they've still posted just a 78 wRC+ while striking out a league-worst 29.1% of the time.
Logan Gilbert should cruise in this one as a result. With Gilbert sporting a 4.04 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), it's been a bit of a disappointing year for him, but this is the matchup where his stuff (10.4% swinging-strike rate) should shine.
This is definitely the "square" side with the public never rushing to bet on the Tigers, but Detroit's woes against righties are too systemic to ignore at this stage.
Our model believes the M's cover a 1.5-run spread 46.6% of the time against the 46.3% implied probability at the +116 price.
Oakland Athletics at Washington Nationals (4:50 p.m. EST)
Over 8.0 (-115) - 3 Stars
Even with the anemic offenses at play tonight in Washington, this total is just too low for the starting pitching in this game.
Visiting Oakland is sending Ken Waldichuk to the bump for his MLB debut. While his stuff is impressive (34.0% strikeout rate in Triple-A this year with the Yankees before getting dealt), he's still a bright-eyed rookie. Behind him lurks the fourth-worst bullpen in MLB in the last month in terms of xFIP (4.46).
The Nationals will counter with Paolo Espino. The low-whiff veteran still has a poor strikeout rate (17.4%) and is giving up plenty of hard contact (40.1% rate). That's led to a mediocre 4.20 SIERA, and Washington's bullpen (4.10 xFIP in August) is also one of the worst in baseball.
Oakland has been one of the worst offenses against righties all season, but they improved to a 92 wRC+ last month. The same can be said for the Nats, sporting a 91 wRC+ since the deadline against southpaws.
With offenses better than reputation in this split and two pitchers who don't deserve the benefit of the doubt at this stage, expect some scoring at Nationals Park on Thursday.