Baseball is back after an exciting All-Star break that featured one of the highest-scoring Home Run Derbys of all-time and an eighth straight victory for the American League in the Midsummer Classic. With the trade deadline now under two weeks away, front offices are going to be forced to decide if they’ll be buyers or sellers, and those decisions will heavily impact MLB wagering for the rest of the year.
Last week’s best bets split, but I’ve got two more on tap today to get us off to a hot start to begin the second half of the season. Here are my picks for Saturday.
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
San Francisco Giants ML (-110)
This line opened at -105. At the time of writing, it sits at -110. By first pitch, it could get down as low as -125. I wouldn’t bet this any lower than -120, so make sure to monitor line movement.
The Giants are no longer a nice story; they’re for real. Their lead over the Dodgers and Padres — anointed playoff locks before the year even began — is not a fluke, but they’ve got to keep winning to keep their distance atop the NL West standings.
Top-5 Most Profitable Starting Pitchers YTD:
1. Chris Flexen (SEA) +$961
2. Casey Mize (DET) +$960
3. Taijuan Walker (NYM) +$848
4. Aaron Civale (CLE) +$813
5. Anthony DeSclafani (SFG) +$787
— SpreadInvestor MLB (@spreadinvestmlb) July 15, 2021
San Francisco will send quite possibly their best pitcher to the mound on Saturday: Anthony DeSclafani. The New Jersey native is having a career year in his age-31 season, and he keeps getting better every start. DeSclafani owns a 2.68 ERA, a sub-one WHIP (0.997), and a 10-3 record. The Giants are also 13-5 in games he starts, which is great news for our bet.
The right-hander has also been red-hot of late; he’s 6-1 in his last seven outings, allowing just eight total earned runs over that span and lowering his ERA from 3.51 down to the 2.68 mark it currently sits at. DeSclafani has been San Francisco’s most reliable starter for much of the season, and he should be able to continue his success against a light-hitting Cardinals lineup, especially against righties.
The Cardinals are 26th in baseball with a dismal .230 team batting average, 26th in OPS (0.681), and 27th in runs per game (3.98). Against right-handers, their batting average is seven points lower than against lefties, and the team’s OPS is 31 points lower. The lack of offense persisted in the team’s first game out of the break as well, as St. Louis turned 11 hits into just two runs in a 7-2 loss to these Giants. Look for it to carry over at least one more day and take the Giants to win this one on the road.
Miami Marlins ML (+100)
Zach Thompson – the Marlins’ scheduled starting pitcher on Saturday – is one of the better stories of the first half of the MLB season. He’s a 27-year-old rookie who made his debut in June and has done nothing but impress every step of the way. Thompson has yet to face the Phillies in his career, so he’ll have an early advantage as Philadelphia aims to figure him out on the fly.
The same can’t be said about Vince Velasquez – Philadelphia’s starter. Miami is extremely familiar with Velasquez, racking up a .312 lifetime average across 119 at-bats. He’s also struggled mightily all year, and especially lately. Velasquez’s season ERA sits at a lofty 5.35, and it’s jumped up by over a full run over his last two starts. In those outings, both losses, Velasquez has allowed 13 runs in just 8.1 innings, so look for his skid to continue against a team he’ll face for the third time already this year.
HERE'S WHAT'S NEXT
Zach Thompson takes on the Phillies for the first time in his career!
Tune in at 5:30pm for the tomorrow's Game 3 between the Marlins at Phillies@Marlins | #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/U4rIFPI7uR
— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) July 17, 2021
Back to Thompson. His ERA comes in at 2.25 over his first five starts, and he’s struck out 31 hitters over his first 24 innings. Thompson is a brutal matchup for the Phillies, who strike out 24th-most (9.39 per game) in the majors. He has yet to allow more than three runs in a start this season, and with Velasquez’s ERA above five, the Marlins should have no problem creating some distance between themselves and Philadelphia early in this game. I don’t anticipate Miami being even-money for long, and I would play this bet down to -110.
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The post Top MLB Betting Picks for Saturday, July 17th (2021) appeared first on BettingPros.