MLB Betting: Thursday Best Bets

MLB Betting: Thursday Best Bets

This article is part of our MLB Betting series.

Previous: 1-7,  -2.27n RWBucks
Overall: 148-123-2, +8.99 RWBucks

White Sox vs. Astros, 4:07 p.m. EDT

Lance Lynn vs. Lance McCullers

Opening Line: Astros -140; Total 8 
Current Line Astros -132; Total 7.5

Astros are 51-30 at home; White Sox are 40-41 on the road. The Astros are 45-32 vs. teams over .500 while the White Sox are 27-29 vs. teams over .500.  The Astros won the season series 5-2 including a three-game sweep of the White Sox in Houston for a combined score of 27-8.

The Astros current lineup is 47 for 138 against Lynn, which is a .340 batting average. They ranked second in most key hitting categories against right-handed pitchers at home. The White Sox ranked 12th against right-handed pitchers on the road.

Since coming back from the IL, Lynn has had four starts for 21.1 innings, 24 strikeouts, three walks, 3.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. He had not pitched well in the prior four starts before going on the IL. In his only start against the Astros, he gave up six earned runs in four innings, but did strikeout six.

McCullers has been solid over his last seven starts, going 41.2 innings with 41 strikeouts, 20 walks and a 3.02 ERA. I don't like the walks, but his strikeouts have gone up so the K/BB % is the same as what it has been. He has had two solid outings against the White Sox, including a gem on July 16 where he went seven innings with 10 strikeouts and two walks.

Yes, I know the White Sox lineup was not as strong then as it is today.  The projected White Sox lineup is 11 for 49 vs. McCullers.  There is a possibility that Jose Abreu is not in the lineup, but I am proceeding as if he will play. But I do think the total going from 8 to 7.5 is an indicator what bettors are thinking.  McCullers has hit over 6.5 strikeouts in 14 of his last 18 starts (78 percent).

Most will point out that Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert coming back is the big difference for the White Sox. I get that, but they are scoring about the same amount of runs or less on a monthly basis. Also when the White Sox and Astros played in Chicago, the White Sox scored 13, four and two runs. I would look at what the Astros scored against the White Sox in the season series as an indication of what will take place.  They have scored at least four runs in 22 of their last 30 home games and 13 of 20 wins have been by at least two runs or more.

You can see that I like the Astros in the series, and especially in Game 1. I have been a huge Astros backer all year and will not stop now.

BET: McCullers over 6.5 strikeouts (+110) for 1 RWBuck

BET: Astros over 3.5 runs (-130) for 1 RWBuck

Red Sox vs. Rays, 8:07 p.m. EDT

Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Shane McClanahan

Opening Line Rays -150; Total 8
Current Line Rays -160; Total 7.5

I think the Red Sox purposely are starting Eduardo Rodriguez in Game 1 as they are almost "punting" the game. As a Red Sox fan, it is hard for me to think that, but Rodriguez is the definition of a Jekyll and Hyde pitcher. Also, the Rays are dominate at home and the Red Sox have struggled on the road since July with 20 of 30 games to the under (67 percent).

In the 10 games in Tampa, the Red Sox have totaled 34 runs in which one game they scored nine runs. So it would be nine games for a total of 25 runs (2.8). In the seven games that the Rays won at home, five were by two runs or more.

BET: Red Sox under 3.5 runs (-130) for 1 RWBuck

BET: Rays -1.5 runs (+125) for 1 RWBuck

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Rathburn
Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
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