Friday saw the fireworks we expected from the Dodgers and Rangers offenses in Arlington, leading to a comfortable best bet win. MLB handicapper Dalton Brown is back with a pair of looks for a packed Saturday slate.
4:05 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Dodgers at Texas Rangers: Dodgers moneyline (-118) at WynnBet
The Los Angeles Dodgers pounded out 11 runs Friday night, toppling the Texas Rangers 11-5 and making an offensive statement in the first of a highly-anticipated three-game set. Saturday, I'm backing the hot Dodgers to win again behind their talented rookie starter.
Bobby Miller will toe the rubber for the Dodgers, a pitcher who has already shown the moxie needed to embrace pitching on the road. Miller's 2.11 road ERA this season is especially impressive when the opponents are taken into consideration - among those are starts in sold out ballparks at Atlanta, Philadelphia, and New York. After Miller saw a few starts go awry in late June, he seems to have righted the ship again - most recently with 4.2 innings of one-run ball at Citi Field. Saturday, Miller will face a Rangers lineup likely without its top righty-masher in Corey Seager, who left Friday's game with an injury.
While I'm confident Miller will do enough, the meat of my handicap is centered around what I think L.A.'s offense can accomplish against Dane Dunning. Dunning's 8-2, 2.82 ERA stat-line looks pretty, but is hiding some hideous underlying numbers (see: 4.72 xERA, bottom 10% strikeout-rate, and bottom 10% whiff-rate). The Rangers righty is due for steep negative regression like no other pitcher in baseball right now, and the Dodgers offense is primed to deliver. Los Angeles has scored five or more runs in 13 of its last 14 games, and have crushed right-handed pitching to the tune of a 117 wRC+ since June 15.
The Dodgers' bullpen, much-maligned early in the season, sneakily boasts a 3.83 xFIP (tied for sixth-best in MLB) since June 15, and L.A. picked up the win Friday without having to use de facto closer Evan Phillips.
4:10 p.m. ET: Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners: Mariners moneyline (+123) at WynnBet
After a low-scoring, tightly-contested game Friday night, I'm backing the host Mariners to find a way to win on Saturday over Toronto. Put simply, I make this game roughly a 50-50 proposition - so getting plus-money like this with Seattle is worth a look.
Toronto will send its ace to the mound in Kevin Gausman, which speaks to why the Jays are favored on the road - but in reality, Gausman and Mariners starter Logan Gilbert are separated by very little. Gausman's 3.54 xERA is actually higher than Gilbert's 3.46 mark, and in recent starts, Logan Gilbert has been excellent.
Gilbert holds a 1.29 ERA in July, striking out 18 batters while walking just one over three starts. Gausman has been consistent in his own right, allowing an average of two earned runs per start over his last four - but certainly doesn't provide enough value over Gilbert to warrant this price. Especially not when Seattle has been a smidge better against righties than the Blue Jays since June 15 (103 vs. 97 wRC+), and the Mariners bullpen ranks second in baseball in xFIP over that span (3.44 xFIP vs. 4.20 for Toronto).
Kevin Gausman's name holds a ton of weight around baseball - certainly more than Logan Gilbert's - but I simply cannot justify Toronto being a favorite across the market here given what we've seen from these pitchers and these teams recently. Let's roll the dice and hope that this line value results in a plus-money winner.