It’s the first weekend of baseball after the All-Star break, and you know what that means. Sixteen games in the span of less than 8 hours. Pure, unadulterated, baseball chaos.
I wish I was at a sportsbook, where I could keep my eyes on all the games going on at once. I’ll have to settle for my couch and pay close attention to a few of the teams I have on my Top 5 Power Rankings. Several questions loom over today’s games. Can the Yankees get back on track? Will the Braves catch the Mets? What will happen in the 3rd game of the series against the Dodgers vs. the Giants? Let’s look at some of the evening games in this Saturdays Wicked Wagers.
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Wicked Wager is a term coined by our experts that refers to our best betting recommendation(s) for a specific game.
7:05PM EST New York Yankees (-240) @ Baltimore Orioles (+196)
Starting Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (NYY) vs Jordan Lyles (BAL)
The New York Yankees secured what seems like a must win in their first game against the Baltimore Orioles. It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win. In the 7th inning, the Yanks had a 7-3 lead and it looked like they had it in the bag with no issue. But Baltimore decided to make things interesting and put up a 3 spot to make it a 1 run game. The Orioles had all the momentum on their side but couldn’t muster any more offense. New York’s front office will have to look at the trade market for bullpen help sooner than later.
In recent years, I’d take the Yankees, no matter how bad the odds were. However, this year’s Orioles have painted a different picture this year. They’re resilient and scrappy and just one game under .500. I’m not touching the money line on this game because of how favored the Yankees are. I just don’t think the value is there and it’s not a smart bet. I am, however, interested in the totals line. The teams combined for thirteen runs yesterday.
Look for today to be a much lower scoring game with Gerrit Cole on the mound. Lock this in for our first Saturday Wicked Wager.
Wicked Wager – Full game u8 Runs (+100)
7:15PM EST San Francisco Giants (+150) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-178)
Starting Pitchers: Alex Wood (SF) vs Julio Urias (LAD)
There isn’t a hotter team in Major League Baseball than the Dodgers. They’ve smacked around their division rivals in the first two games of the series. Thursday night’s game was a bit of a nail biter.
The Giants scored 5 runs in the 7th inning, and then went up a run in the 8th. But Mookie Betts broke the tie after a Trayce Thompson RBI with a 3-run home run to left field. Yesterday’s game was a more lopsided, as the Dodgers won 5-1 thanks to a grand slam from outfielder Cody Bellinger.
Alex Wood gets the start for the Giants today. Wood hasn’t had a great season with a 4.20 earned run average and record of 6-7. I expect the Dodgers to tag him up for at least a few runs early while Julio Urias keeps the Giants offense quiet. He hasn’t had as much success as last year, but his stats are still respectable. Urias is 8-6 with a 2.89 ERA? I’ll take it!
It’ll be a close game, but not that close and the LADs win by two to cash Wicked Wager #2.
Wicked Wager – Los Angeles Run Line -1.5 (+118)
7:20PM EST Los Angeles Angels (+170) @ Atlanta Braves (-205)
Starting Pitchers: Patrick Sandoval (LAA) vs Kyle Wright (ATL)
There’s no way to sugar coat it. The Angels just flat-out stink. How bad are they, you ask? They’ve lost 9 out of their last 10. Then they dropped the first game against the Braves last night by a score of 8-1. The team isn’t playing for anything, and they just look lifeless.
Atlanta, on the other hand, has started to hit full stride in the last month or so. They’re 7-3 in their last 10 games. They find themselves only 1.5 games back from the division lead and I can see them overtaking the Mets if they stay hot.
The Braves have the slight advantage in the pitching department today with Kyle Wright on the bump. He’s been great so far this season, tallying 11 wins and holding an ERA of 2.95. Today, against a minor-league-type offense, I can see him pitching deep into the 6th or 7th inning and giving up only a run or two. Sandoval has been solid for the Angels with a 3.0 ERA, but the Braves are rolling.
Like the game with the Yankees, I don’t see the value in the money line with the Braves being favored so heavily, but I do like the run line.
Wicked Wager – Atlanta Run Line -1.5 (+100)
How to Bet Baseball
Unlike other popular sports, most wagers placed on MLB games do not involve a point spread. Instead, bettors typically wager on the moneyline, looking to predict the winner of the game straight-up.
The less-popular cousin of the moneyline bet in baseball is the runline wager. The betting favorite will be assigned a -1.5-run handicap, but oddsmakers will offer an appropriate amount of “juice” to make laying the 1.5 runs with the favorite more appealing.
Totals wagers in baseball work very much like totals wagers in other sports. Oddsmakers will assign an Over/Under figure to every game, leaving bettors to determine whether the game in question will be a home run derby or a pitcher’s duel. Totals of 8.5 runs are typical of MLB games, though totals as low as seven runs and as high as 10 runs will pop up throughout the season.