MLB Betting Guide for Thursday 8/17/23: Will Patrick Corbin Crush the Under in Washington?
Baseball has you covered if you want a large inventory of options to bet.
From moneylines to run totals to first-five-inning wagers, we have plenty of ways to bet the long, arduous MLB schedule daily. Outlooks can be vastly different due to starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know if an individual pitcher, a bullpen, or a team is due for positive -- or negative -- regression.
Using numberFire's projections as a guide, which MLB odds from FanDuel Sportsbook are most appealing today?
Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All stats come from FanGraphs and Baseball Savant unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated projections.
Boston Red Sox at Washington Nationals
Under 9.5 (-110)
There is significant juice to the first-five-inning under here, so we'll take the full game under at a pick 'em. After all, these are two top-15 bullpens (by xFIP) over the past month.
This is similar to the bet that cashed yesterday; the Boston Red Sox are having a tough time with left-handed pitching at present. Their 64 wRC+ against lefties over the past 30 days is the fourth-worst mark in baseball.
While Patrick Corbin has become a bit of a meme at this point, he's navigated at least five innings allowing no more than four runs in five of his past six starts. He's not great, but a low fly-ball rate (31.8%) and walk rate (7.2%) keep him in the game.
We should also feel confident that Boston starter Chris Sale has some success today despite a Washington Nationals team that's friskier against southpaws than you might guess. Their 105 wRC+ against lefties in the past 30 days is actually the 13th-best mark in MLB.
Sale returned from injury in his last start to 58 pitches, so he won't get a full leash today, but he was outstanding, striking out seven while exiting just one out shy of five innings. That pitch limit will likely be bumped a tiny bit, but for as long as we get him, it's easy to be excited about a 3.34 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA), a 29.7% strikeout rate, and a tiny 5.7% walk rate.
Boston's recent incompetence against lefties should allow this total -- approaching double digits -- some breathing room despite the fact Corbin has actively sabotaged unders for a half-decade.
Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Guardians
Tigers -0.5 in F5 Innings (-118)
I haven't laid this kind of juice with a run on the Detroit Tigers' first-five-inning runline all season, but today is a special exception.
While Boston earned "incompetent" against lefties, the Cleveland Guardians get the leap to flatly incapable. Cleveland has a horrendous, league-worst .551 OPS against southpaws in the past 30 days and actually improved that mark by squeaking just two runs off Andrew Abbott last night. They'll face an even better lefty tonight.
Tarik Skubal has put forth a season that should comfortably project him as Detroit's ace in 2024. Skubal has amassed a 3.14 SIERA, 27.7% strikeout rate, and tiny 4.6% walk rate in limited action since returning from injury, and he crossed the 90-pitch threshold for the first time this season in his last start. That should allow him -- if successful -- to last the duration of this bet.
It helps that the Tigers are well-positioned to score at least one run in the first five. Xzavion Curry will toe the slab for the Guards, and Curry has struggled to a 5.00 SIERA this season. His 48.2% fly-ball rate and 47.0% hard-hit rate allowed are kerosine for opposing offenses, and he's been absolutely blessed to allow just 1.04 HR/9 with those peripherals.
Detroit's bullpen (4.45 xFIP in the past 30 days) is still a bit of a dodgy proposition, so we'll take the five-and-dive with Skubal here.
Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers -0.5 Runs in F5 Innings (-104)
Lynn has been unlucky, per his peripherals, all season, but it turns out a change of scenery was all that was needed. He's recorded three straight quality starts in Los Angeles. Even with the good results lately, the gap between his season-long ERA (5.88) and SIERA (3.83) shows how unlucky he was with the Chicago White Sox earlier this season.
He'll draw a tremendous matchup today; the Milwaukee Brewers' 80 wRC+ against righties in the past month is the third-worst mark in baseball. That's why I'm siding with L.A. (127 wRC+ in that split) despite the fact Corbin Burnes is on the bump for the Brew Crew.
Burnes has had the opposite fortune of Lynn. His 3.65 ERA is sparkling, but a 4.17 SIERA suggests more pedestrian results are ahead. After all, Burnes' 24.7% strikeout rate would be the lowest mark he's posted since his 2018 rookie campaign. He's just not quite at that same, top-shelf level as seasons past, and the Dodgers crush righties.
Milwaukee is slightly favored to cover this runline behind Burnes, but with better underlying peripherals and an easier opposing offense, Lynn can absolutely blank the Brewers and cash this with some offensive support.