A 2-1 day yesterday has us on our way to another profitable week. Going forward, MLB bettors must be mindful of what odds represent good value and what lines oddsmakers have removed all value from. Case in point, San Diego’s moneyline odds were -300 yesterday, but they had been steeper than -225 favorites once in the previous 116 games. Thus, oddsmakers were making bettors pay an obnoxiously steep price in the Padres’ first game with a star-studded roster.
Where does the value lie today?
Here are our best bets for Thursday’s MLB action. (Odds courtesy of DraftKings)
Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels O/U
The Athletics are underdogs in this matchup despite surprisingly improved play of late. Oakland is 8-3 in its last 11 games and has won nine of its last 11 games against right-handed starting pitchers. While the Athletics’ plus-odds on the moneyline are enticing, the over is the smarter play given their offensive resurgence and their own struggling starting pitcher on the mound.
Oakland’s struggles in the first half of the season were primarily because of an anemic offense that averaged just 3.3 runs per game. However, the A’s have improved that number by almost a full run since the All-Star break and has scored at least five runs in six of the 13 games in that span. They now face Angels rookie Janson Junk (1-0, 0.00), who is making just his second start of the season and will have to prove to us he can keep opposing offenses off the scoreboard consistently.
Los Angeles’ offense ranks 22nd in wRC+ and 23rd in slugging over the last 14 days. However, they have a chance for improved success against Oakland’s Paul Blackburn (6-6, 4.15), who is winless and has pitched to an 8.05 ERA in his previous seven starts. Blackburn has a 1.74 road ERA compared to an 8.31 ERA at home, but this is the third time the Angels have seen him this season, and he failed to complete five innings in his last road start against Los Angeles.
The under is 13-3-2 in the last 18 meetings between these teams, but we like them to buck that trend in this game.
Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres O/U
Though San Diego’s offense ranked 14th in runs scored before inserting their new acquisitions into the lineup, Padres G.M. A.J. Preller addressed some pressing needs at two positions he determined were liabilities in the team’s lineup. On Tuesday, San Diego added rightfielder Juan Soto and first basemen Josh Bell from the Nationals, as those two positions were some of the team’s most significant liabilities from a hitting standpoint.
Before the trade, San Diego’s ranks by rightfielders compared to the rest of the league were as follows: 27th in OPS, 29th in home runs, and 28th in extra-base hits. Furthermore, their first basemen collectively ranked 19th in OPS, 26th in home runs, and 17th in extra-base hits. Not only will the additions of Soto and Bell help them drastically, but San Diego also added Brandon Drury, who is having the best season of his career. In addition, Manny Machado already had the third-or-fourth-highest NL MVP odds due to carrying an offense playing without Fernando Tatis Jr. all season. With protection up and down the lineup, Machado’s numbers could explode.
The Padres were 22-14 against left-handed starting pitchers before the trade, largely because of their outstanding offensive numbers against southpaws. Thus, Colorado’s Kyle Freeland (6-7, 4.63) will have a tough time keeping San Diego off the scoreboard, and we expect the over to cash for the seventh time in San Diego’s last ten games this afternoon.
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