MLB Betting: Saturday Best Bets

MLB Betting: Saturday Best Bets

This article is part of our MLB Betting series.

Previous: 2-0, 1.97 RW Bucks       
Season: 32-35-3, -4.95 RW Bucks

We're set for our first big Saturday of the second half of the season, and my attention turns toward two later clashes featuring a pair of intriguing pitching matchups.

Giants at Cardinals, 8:10 p.m. EDT

Starting Pitchers: Anthony DeSclafani vs. Kwang Hyun Kim  

The Pick: Giants -120 (William Hill Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck

Secondary Pick: Under 8.0 runs (-109 at PlaySugarhouse) for 1 RWBuck

DeSclafani is having his best season by far, with a career-high 10 wins and career-low ERA (2.68) and WHIP (1.00). He's given up more than three earned runs once in 18 starts and has been at his best on the road, where he has a 2.14 ERA and 0.97 WHP in 67.1 innings. He's also set up well against the Cardinals, who have a .231 average, -7.5 wRAA and .296 wOBA against righties at home since June 1.

Kim has enjoyed a strong season in his own right and would arguably have a notably better record than 4-5 if he'd gotten better run support in some instances. The southpaw enters Saturday's matchup coming off 13 scoreless innings in his last two starts, the penultimate one a seven-inning blanking of these same Giants at Oracle Park. However, San Fran has been particularly dangerous against lefties on the road, generating a .261 average, .811 OPS and .348 wOBA in that split since June 1.

While I do think the Giants can break through a bit against Kim, I still see this as a low-scoring game overall when also factoring in the quality of the bullpens.

Mariners at Angels, 9:07 p.m. EDT

Starting Pitchers: Yusei Kikuchi vs. Alex Cobb

The Pick: Angels -125 (BetMGM Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck

Secondary Pick: Angels +115 in first 5 innings (FanDuel Sportsbook) for 1 RW Buck

Kikuchi has had a bit of a rocky road last week-plus, as he dealt with a bit of a minor illness right before the All-Star break that disrupted his between-starts throwing routine and that came in the wake of a poor start against the Yankees where he was touched up for five earned runs on eight hits. The left-hander now faces an Angels team that hasn't been kind to lefties at home in recent weeks, including Kikuchi himself. Los Angeles owns a .307 average, .350 OBP, .932 OPS and MLB-high 13.3 wRAA and .394 wOBA versus southpaws at home since June 1, with part of that sample including four runs on six hits over four innings vs. Kikuchi on June 5.

Cobb has had a few stumbles this season, but he's been very good at home with a 4-1 record, 2.48 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 0.5 HR/9. He's had a couple of interesting turns against the Mariners this season, initially giving up five earned runs on only three hits in seven innings June 5 but bouncing back to hold the Marines to two runs (neither earned) in 5.1 frames in his final start before the All-Star break. Seattle has been fairly solid versus righties on the road since June 1 (.770 OPS, .335 wOBA) but has also struck out at a 28.1 percent clip in that sample.

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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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