MLB Betting: Saturday Best Bets

MLB Betting: Saturday Best Bets

This article is part of our MLB Betting series.

Previous day: 2-0-1, 1.75 RW Bucks
Season: 12-8-3, 2.22 RW Bucks

After an encouraging Thursday, I'm back with a pair of bets for a big Saturday of MLB action. Moneyline wagers have gone relatively well thus far and I've selected one today where I feel there is a clear starting pitching advantage for the favorites, while my second game is an expected pitcher's duel that I expect to live up to expectations.

Both of today's bets reference William Hill Sportsbook pricing. 

Baltimore Orioles at Oakland Athletics, 4:07pm ET

Starting Pitchers: Matt Harvey vs. Jesus Luzardo  

The Pick: Athletics (-179 on William Hill Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck

Harvey has undeniably exceeded expectations, and his peripheral numbers seem to mostly support his solid surface metrics of a 2-1 mark, 4.26 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. He's limited the damage to no more than four earned runs in any of his four turns, but he is allowing a .318/.366/.470 slash and .363 wOBA to the 71 right-handed hitters he's faced, and Oakland is likely to send out a right-heavy lineup, especially if Matt Olson is held out another game with his eye injury. The A's have gotten hot versus righties at home lately as well, posting an 11.0 percent walk rate, modest 18.8 percent strikeout rate, .381 wOBA and 9.1 wRAA against that handedness in the last two weeks of play.

In contrast to Harvey, Luzardo has underwhelmed with a 1-2 mark, 5.40 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over five starts. However, the left-hander's xERA of 3.82 is markedly better than his actual figure, and Luzardo also owns a 10.4 K/9 and has yielded a modest 31.9 percent hard-hit rate per Statcast. He also just generated a quality start that included eight strikeouts his last time out against Baltimore, and the Os have a 28.1 percent strikeout rate, .218/.228/.291 slash and .224 wOBA versus lefties on the road over the last two weeks of play. 

San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres, 8:40 pm Eastern

Starting Pitchers: Anthony DeSclafani vs. Blake Snell

The Pick: Under 7.0 runs (+100 at William Hill Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck

DeSclafani is arguably pitching the best baseball of his career at the moment, and although his 3.00 xERA and 3.23 xFIP are both notably higher than his ERA (1.50) and FIP (2.66), they're still solid figures that support the notion his strong start could have some staying power. The veteran right-hander actually kicked off his season by holding the Padres to one run on four hits over five innings, and San Diego came into Friday's action with a .226 average, -5.9 wRAA and .285 wOBA against righties at home.

Snell has gotten his 2021 season and Padres career off on relatively solid footing as well. Even though he's yet to log a decision, he's posted a 3.92 ERA, 13.5 K/9, 0.9 HR/9 and .222 BAA across his first five starts while giving up three earned runs or less in each. That includes a five-inning, two-hit, two-run, eight-strikeout effort versus the Giants back on April 7. San Fran went into Friday night's action with a .229 average against left-handed pitching on the road.

The Giants and Padres are also averaging just 3.8 and 3.2 runs per game in the road/home splits that apply Saturday, and the under had hit in two of the Padres' first 13 home games coming into Friday.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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