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The weekend slate is loaded with some critical series. The Toronto Blue Jays will travel to Boston to face the Red Sox with Wild Card positioning on the line. The Mariners will face the Angels in another series loaded with American League playoff implications.
Every game suddenly matters more in August, with time ticking away in the playoff race. There is value throughout this slate, and we’re here to bring you our best bets for the action. I give my best bets every Friday on WSN, so don’t miss out on the picks! Let’s break down the best wagers on the board for August 4.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will travel to Minnesota for an interleague series against the Twins. Both teams come into this series off a travel day, and their results as of late haven’t been pretty. The Diamondbacks are 2-3 in their past five games, while the Twins are 1-4. However, both clubs need to snap out of their losing ways because this series has massive playoff implications for both sides.
Arizona is 1.5 games back for the final Wild Card spot in the National League. The Twins are benefactors of their division as they enter this game in first place in the American League Central despite having a worse record than Arizona.
Minnesota is 2.5 games up on Cleveland for the division lead. They’re in the driver’s seat, but they still have much winning left to do in the final 50 games to secure a division title and a playoff berth.
The under is the bet catching our eye in this spot, mainly because of the pitchers in this game. Both wings have been phenomenal, and this streak can continue on Friday. Merrill Kelly will throw for Arizona, and he is 9-5 with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Over 106 innings, he has allowed 82 hits with 109 strikeouts. Kelly has done an excellent job keeping the ball in the yard, which is critical against a powerful Twins team. Minnesota strikes out more than any other team in baseball, but they have elite home run power.
The biggest concern for Kelly in this spot is his location issues. He has 41 walks in 106 innings, and this is a high walk rate for taking an under. Yet, Minnesota shouldn’t be able to capitalize on all his mistakes, which will result in potential runs being left on the bases.
Bailey Ober will pitch for the Twins and has been one of the main bright spots amongst a quality Minnesota pitching staff. Ober is 6-5 on the season with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. His WHIP has been spectacular, and we expect him to continue keeping runners off the bases on Friday.
He has allowed 85 hits in 98.2 innings and nearly has one strikeout per inning. Our favorite part of Ober’s game is that he limits homers and walks. The Diamondbacks are hitting .255 as a team with a .324 OBP, so they have a quality offense. Yet, Ober should limit runners on base and give them fewer chances to put up enough runs to get this game over the 8.5 run total.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
The buzz around Fenway Park will have a playoff feel as the Blue Jays come to town this weekend. Toronto has a two-game lead for the final wild card position, but Boston can take that over by Sunday afternoon with a sweep. It may seem crazy to think the Red Sox can sweep the Blue Jays at this point in the season, but it’s realistic.
The Red Sox are playing good baseball, and they smell blood in the water. Boston is 7-0 against the Blue Jays this season, and they have a great opportunity to make it 8-0 on Friday with their pitching advantage.
James Paxton will pitch for Boston, and he has been the ace of this staff since returning from injury. Paxton has been sensational with a 6-2 record, a 3.34 ERA, and a 1.07 WHIP over 70 innings. The pitcher has recorded 80 strikeouts over this span, with 20 walks and nine homers. The walks have been Paxton’s primary issue, but he consistently gets himself out of trouble on the mound.
The Blue Jays' biggest handicap on Friday is their pitcher Alek Manoah. Manoah was shipped down to the minors to learn how to pitch again after a terrible start to the season. He has shown some bright spots since returning to the big leagues, but he isn’t a pitcher we recommend betting on in this spot.
Boston has a tremendous offense, which has been even better at home. Manoah has a 5.87 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP in 76.2 innings. He has allowed 83 hits, 13 homers and surrendered 54 walks over his time on the mound. If his walk rate is this high on Friday, the Red Sox will cruise to a victory.
Masataka Yoshida and Rafael Devers have been the two best hitters for Boston in 2023. Triston Casas has also come a long way since the beginning of the year, and he is becoming a feared hitter for opposing pitchers. We like the Red Sox bats to come alive, Paxton to shove, and the home team to cover the run line for plus money.
Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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