MLB Betting: Saturday Best Bets

MLB Betting: Saturday Best Bets

This article is part of our MLB Betting series.

Previous day: 0-2, -1.56 RW Bucks
Season: 12-10-3, 0.66 RW Bucks

We have a typically loaded Saturday of baseball, and I will focus on a divisional clash in each league. A couple sometimes overlooked factors in MLB betting caught my eye — weather and its effect on offense, as well the potential hazards of a team getting a crack at the same starting pitcher multiple times within a condensed period.

Twins at Tigers, 4:10 p.m. EDT

Starting Pitchers: Jose Berrios vs. Jose Urena  

The Pick: Twins -179 on William Hill Sportsbook for 1 RWBuck

Secondary Pick: Under 8.0 runs (-110 on BetMGM) for 1 RWBuck

Berrios is flashing career-high swing-and-miss stuff (33.1 percent strikeout rate, 12.7 percent swinging-strike rate) and is doing also a better job than ever keeping the ball in the park (0.6 HR/9). The right-hander's 2.71 xFIP, 1.01 WHIP and 88.7 mph average exit velocity allowed also all point to how difficult it's been for hitters to put good wood on the ball against him.

Urena may well have the quietest four-game quality-start streak in recent history. The veteran right-hander not only has gone seven innings in each of his last four, but three came on the road against the Athletics, White Sox and Yankees. Saturday, he's back home at Comerica Park, where the afternoon forecast is offense-suppressing temperatures in the mid-50s.

Urena had trouble in Detroit against the Twins in his first start of the season, but he's really turned it on since and hasn't allowed more than two ER in any of his subsequent five outings. Minnesota has decent numbers against righties on the road, but it's been much quieter lately (.209 average, .272 wOBA over last two weeks) and has a real scarcity of the lefty bats that can give Urena trouble. Meanwhile, the Tigers are the Tigers, averaging a league-low 2.9 runs per home game.

Phillies at Braves, 7:20 p.m.

Starting Pitchers: Vince Velasquez vs. Ian Anderson

The Pick: Over 9.0 runs (+102 at PlaySugarhouse) for 1 RW Buck

Secondary Picks: Braves (-161 at William Hill Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck; Over 4.5 runs first 5 innings (-115 at FanDuel Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck

Velasquez has somewhat surprisingly stuck in the rotation, essentially earning Saturday's shot by turning in a quality start against the Brewers his last time out. However, there are plenty worrisome signs with the right-hander, who's once again pitching to plenty of hard contact (career-high 12.8 percent barrel rate allowed, 2.5 HR/9) and handing out plenty of free passes (6.4 BB/9) as well. Velasquez is also getting throttled by right-handed hitters (.297 average, 1.166 OPS, .477 wOBA allowed) and faces a Braves lineup with several wielding highly potent bats. Atlanta is also picking up against RHP lately, posting a .335 wOBA and .204 ISO against that handedness the last 14 days.

Anderson is undeniably a quality hurler but is already facing the Phillies for the third time this season. That type of familiarity often works against the pitcher, as was evident when Philly tagged Anderson for four earned runs on five, hits, including a pair of homers, when seeing him a second time. The Phillies are scuffling for runs overall on the road (3.8 per game), but they broke out for 12 runs Friday night and put an already fatigued Atlanta bullpen (third-most innings pitched over last 10 days) through quite the workload by chasing Charlie Morton in the first.

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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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