MLB will kick off the month of August with a 10-game slate, starting with a series opener between the visiting Cincinnati Reds and the Miami Marlins at 6:40 p.m. ET and concluding with a west coast rivalry game between the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants at 9:45 p.m. ET.
Note: Odds via DraftKings
6:40 p.m. ET: Cincinnati Reds (40-61) at Miami Marlins (47-55)
Probable starters: Reds RHP Hunter Greene / Marlins TBD
There are no lines available for this matchup between a pair of low-level ball clubs to open the Monday slate due to Miami not announcing a starter. The Reds and Marlins are each fourth in the NL Central and NL East, respectively, but Cincinnati is the hotter team entering the contest by winning six of its last 10 games. Meanwhile, Miami has struggled by losing six of its last 10 but took two of three at Cincinnati last week.
Hunter Greene will toe the rubber for the Reds and while there have been glimmers of elite talent, the rookie has struggled in his first full year in the big leagues. He owns an unimpressive 3-12 record in 19 starts with a 5.59 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He does have 119 strikeouts in 96.2 innings, but has walked 41 batters and allowed 23 home runs in those innings. At least Greene will be at a pitcher-friendly ballpark in Miami.
The Play: Reds F5 ML, over 8.5
Why: I simply don’t trust the Marlins at the moment and I think the Reds have a much better offense entering the game (despite being in full fire sale mode).
The Prop: Greene – over 5.5 strikeouts
Why: The Reds rookie has certainly found success in the strikeout department with a blistering triple digit heater and a nice breaking pitch. He has a great opportunity to go into the sixth inning against a Marlins offense that ranks 20th in strikeouts per game (8.70) and 24th in runs per game (3.99).
7:05 p.m. ET: Seattle Mariners (55-48) at New York Yankees (69-34)
Probable starters: Mariners LHP Marco Gonzales / Yankees RHP Domingo Germán
I would never recommend a bet against the team with the best record in baseball, but I simply can’t back Germán in any scenario. The Yankees (-180) open as a heavy home favorite, while ‘America’s Team’ is the road dog at +165. The game total opened at nine runs with justice toward the over.
Germán (0-1) has been atrocious in his first two games of the season, pitching just 7.2 innings with nine strikeouts, an 8.22 ERA and a 1.83 WHIP. Meanwhile, Gonzales has done well for the Mariners, compiling a 3.66 ERA in 113 innings with 60 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP. However, most of Gonzales’ struggles have come on the road where he is 2-5 in nine starts with a 3.83 ERA in 47 innings. What’s most alarming is his .286 opponent batting average. And at a little league ballpark like New York, look for the Yankees to be aiming for the fences.
The Play: Mariners F5 ML, over nine runs (-115)
Why: I am taking the bullpens out of the mix for this play and focusing strictly on how bad Germán has been lately. The Yankees have a much better bullpen and offense than the Mariners, but I think Seattle could pinch Germán for a couple runs in the first five innings.
The Yankees are scoring an MLB-best 5.34 runs per game, while the Mariners rank in the bottom third of the league with 4.06 runs per game. With a soft lefty and a terrible righty on the bump, I see this run total clearing with ease.
The Prop: Jose Trevino – Over 0.5 hits
Why: The All-Star catcher has been in a bit of a slump over his last 15 games, going just 9-for-39 (.231 avg.) but the good news is he has gotten six of those hits in the last seven games. Trevino also owns great career numbers against Gonzales, going 5-for-12 (.417 avg.) against the lefty with four doubles and a 1.212 OPS.
7:05 p.m. ET: New York Mets (64-37) at Washington Nationals (35-68)
Probable starters: Mets RHP Max Scherzer / Nationals LHP Patrick Corbin
Do I really have to go over this matchup? The Mets (-235) are sending veteran ace Max Scherzer with a 2.09 ERA against arguably the worst pitcher of the season, Nationals (+215) lefty Patrick Corbin. The run line opened at 7.5, which is astonishingly low.
Corbin’s season has been a dumpster fire, to put it nicely. He is 4-14 on the year across 21 starts with a disgusting 6.49 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 105.1 innings. He has a 6.26 ERA over his past 15 games, including an outing where Corbin was shelled for six runs on seven hits in 0.2 innings against the Dodgers on July 27. The Mets are also one of the best teams in baseball when it comes to runs scored, averaging 4.66 per game.
The Play: Mets ML, Mets -1.5, Mets F5. Over 7.5
Why: Whatever you can bet on, place it all on the Mets because I don’t see them losing. There is way too much juice on the moneyline that it only makes sense if you parlay it with another play, or just take the runline at -140.
I like the over 7.5 play because the Mets might be able to hit the total all on their own against Corbin. We all know how good Scherzer is, and he has given up no more than two earned runs in his last seven starts. The Mets are going to rock Corbin and the Nationals’ bullpen. As long as Washington still has Juan Soto and Josh Bell (assuming they aren’t traded before game time tomorrow), I can see the Nationals scratching a run across to help hit the over.
The Prop: Scherzer – under 7.5 strikeouts
Why: There is no question that Scherzer is a strikeout machine but the Nationals simply don’t strike out often, ranking second behind the Guardians with 7.19 per game. Mad Max has two double-digit strikeout games in five starts this month but he hasn’t recorded an out in the eighth inning in any of those starts either. I think Scherzer will finish with about 6 or seven strikeouts in roughly the same amount of innings.
7:10 p.m. ET: Arizona Diamondbacks (45-56) at Cleveland Guardians (52-49)
Probable starters: Diamondbacks RHP Zach Davis / Guardian RHP Cal Quantrill
The Diamondbacks opened as +130 road dogs while the Guardians are a -140 home favorite. The runline opened at 8.5 with juice toward the over.
The NL West’s last place Diamondbacks are 6-4 in their last 10 games but are 18-29 on the road. Meanwhile, the AL Central’s second place Guardians are an even 5-5 in their last 10 games with a 25-19 home record. Quantrill is a perfect 5-0 with a 3.19 ERA in 10 starts at home this season while Davis will come off the IL and make his first start since June 25.
The Play: Guardians moneyline (-140), under 8.5 (+100)
Why: The Guardians on the moneyline is the safe play, but the under is also intriguing. The Guardians are ranked 16th in MLB with 4.39 runs per game while the Diamondbacks are 20th with 4.26 per game. Especially after trading David Peralta to the Tampa Bay Rays, I don’t see Arizona contributing more than a run or two while the Guardians put up four or five.
The Prop: Jose Ramirez – Over 1.5 Total Bases / Steven Kwan – Over 0.5 hits
Why: Ramirez is Cleveland’s best hitter, as he leads the team with a solid .931 OPS and 84 RBIs. Of his 107 hits this season, 59 of them have gone for extra bases including 34 doubles, 21 home runs and 4 triples. He also owns a .302/ .373/ .608 slashline against right-handed pitchers this season.
Kwan is a solid contact hitter. He currently owns a 14-game hit streak dating back to July 14, including five multi-hit performances, which has seen him raise his batting average from .285 to .295. His streak should continue against Davis and the Diamondbacks.
7:40 p.m. ET: Detroit Tigers (41-62) at Minnesota Twins (53-48)
Probable starters: Tigers LHP Tarik Skubal / Twins TBD
There are no opening lines for this game, but what I can tell you is to fade the Tigers. Detroit is on pace for another losing season while entering another “rebuild” phase ahead of Tuesday’s Trade Deadline.
To help paint a picture of how bad the AL Central’s fourth place team has been, I will rattle off some numbers: The Tigers are 16-35 on the road, they are 3-7 in their last 10 games, they strike out 8.51 times per game and worst of all they are ranked dead last in runs per game with 3.24, nearly a full run less than their 4.30 mark last season.
Skubal found success early in the season but that has since faded. He is 7-8 on the year in 20 games started with a 3.67 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 112.2 innings. He has struggled recently to the tune of a 4.74 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in his last seven starts. To add the cherry on top, Skubal has logged a 4.02 ERA in 10 road starts spanning 56 innings.
The Play: Twins moneyline
Why: While Skubal owns a respectable 3.75 ERA in two starts against the Twins this year, Minnesota’s bullpen and overall offensive production still top the Tigers. Even if Skubal limits the damage in the first five innings, the Tigers bullpen is likely to allow multiple runs to help Minnesota claim a victory.
The Prop: Byron Buxton – At least one home run
Why: Buxton is having a down year in the batting average department, but he has still clubbed a team-best 26 home runs in just 78 games. Buxton has seen Skubal well so far in his career, going 2-for-6 against the lefty with a pair of home runs. Buxton has also found his power stroke recently, going yard in three of his last five games.
8:05 p.m. ET: Baltimore Orioles (51-51) at Texas Rangers (46-55)
Probable starters: Orioles RHP Spenser Watkins / Rangers RHP Jon Gray
The Orioles opened as heavy road underdogs at +145 while the Rangers are a -160 home favorite. The game total opened at eight.
Baltimore has been one of the most profitable teams on the moneyline this season but I can’t fade Jon Gray who has had a decent season up to this point. Gray is 7-5 in 18 starts with a 3.62 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 113 strikeouts in 102 innings. He has been especially great in his last seven starts, posting a 2.72 ERA in 43 innings of work while allowing three runs or less in six of those seven games.
What scares me about the Rangers is their bullpen, and unless Gray has an incredibly efficient outing, I don’t see him pitching into the seventh inning where the Orioles might make a comeback. The Rangers offense is respectable, ranking 11th with 4.55 runs per game, but I think Texas can handle Spencer Watkins, who owns a 4.03 ERA in 58 innings this season. Watkins is also coming off his worst outing since May 22, where the righty allowed 10 hits and three earned runs with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings.
The Play: Rangers F5 moneyline
Why: If Gray pitches as advertised, the Orioles are going to have a tough time scoring multiple runs in the first five innings, especially in a ballpark where Gray is 4-0 with a 2.93 ERA. The Orioles might scrape a few runs together, but that will be tough when the team is ranked 21st averaging 4.19 runs per game.
The Prop: Jon Gray – Over 6.5 Strikeouts
Why: Gray has hit this number in five of his last seven outings while pitching seven-plus innings only twice. The Orioles are also ranked 23rd in the league by averaging 8.79 strikeouts per game, putting Gray in a prime position to hit the over.
8:10 p.m. ET: Boston Red Sox (51-52) at Houston Astros (67-36)
Probable starters: Red Sox RHP Nathan Eovaldi / Astros RHP Luis Garcia
Similar to the Nationals game, this is an automatic fade against Eovaldi and the Red Sox. The Astros opened as -170 home favorites, while a struggling Red Sox team is a road underdog at +160 with the run total set at eight.
The Astros are one of the best teams in baseball; there is simply no denying that. Garcia has struggled in home matchups this season for Houston, posting a 4.89 ERA in nine starts. But his overall numbers are still solid; He has a 3.81 ERA in 99.1 innings with a 1.08 WHIP and 107 strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have been struggling in every aspect of the game – hitting, fielding, pitching … you name it. They just can’t play fundamental baseball right now, evident by their 3-7 record over their last 10 games.
The Play: Astros ML (-170) / Over eight runs (-110)
Why: The Astros are favorites for a good reason, as Eovaldi’s allowed 16 earned runs across 13 innings in his last three starts. However, he does own a 2.56 ERA in eight road games so maybe there is hope he turns it around. Even if Eovaldi shuts down a potent Astros lineup that is scoring on average 4.49 runs per game, the Boston bullpen won’t be able to maintain a lead when Eovaldi eventually exits. Add the Boston pitching struggles to Garcia’s home struggles, and the over should cash with ease as well as the Astros moneyline.
The Prop: Jose Altuve – Over 0.5 hits / Yordan Alvarez – Over 1.5 total bases
Why: Altuve has excellent numbers against Eovaldi. In 21 at-bats, Altuve has seven hits including a trio of home runs and a pair of doubles with a 1.221 OPS. Altuve is batting just .208 in his last seven games, so a familiar opponent with a history of success could help him break out of his recent slump.
Alvarez is a perfect 4-for-4 with a home run and a double in his career against Eovaldi. Alvarez owns a .348 batting average and .696 slugging percentage over his last seven games including a pair of doubles and home runs. He is also a threat against right handed pitching as he is batting .333 with a 1.174 OPS in 195 at-bats.
8:10 p.m. ET: Kansas City Royals (40-62) at Chicago White Sox (51-50)
Probable starters: Royals RHP Brad Keller / White Sox RHP Michael Kopech
The Royals enter this matchup as road underdogs at +145 while the White Sox are home favorites at -160 with the run total set at 8.5.
I tend to avoid White Sox games unless Dylan Cease is pitching because I have been burned by this volatile team too many times in the past. Kopech is enjoying his first season since returning from Tommy John surgery, posting a 4-6 record with a 3.16 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 88.1 innings. He will be toeing the slab against Keller (5-11), who owns a 4.18 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 107.2 innings.
The Play: White Sox moneyline (-160)
Why: Like I said, I tend to fade a majority of White Sox games. But if I had to pick I would take the Chi Sox on the moneyline because I can’t back Keller and the Royals. The White Sox are 18th in runs per game with a 4.36 average, while the Royals are 27th with a 3.82 mark.
The Prop: Leury Garcia – Over 0.5 hits
Why: I am not confident in this play considering Garcia owns a .205 batting average this season, but he is coming off a multi-hit performance and has logged at least one base hit in three of his last four games. In his career against Keller, Garcia is 11-for-33 with a pair of doubles and a home run.
9:40 p.m. ET: Colorado Rockies (46-57) at San Diego Padres (57-46)
Probable starters: Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela / Padres RHP Mike Clevinger
There is an old saying about the Rockies: back them at home, fade them on the road. Considering the Rockies are traveling to sunny San Diego to face the righty Mike Clevinger, the play should be obvious. The Rockies opened as road underdogs at +180 and the Padres are heavy home favorites at -200 with the game total set at 7.5.
Even away from hitter-friendly Coors Field, Senzatela is an automatic fade. Senzatela owns an 0-3 record and a ghastly 6.57 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in five road starts this season. Meanwhile, his opponent Clevinger is playing above average. He owns an 0-2 record at home with a 3.54 ERA in four starts.
The Play: Padres -1.5 (+100) / Under 7.5
Why: The Padres are averaging 4.36 runs per game, but that number decreases to just 3.69 in home games. Meanwhile the Rockies are posting a measly 3.20 runs per game on the road. I don’t think the Padres can hit this game total all by themselves, even with Senzatela on the mound, which is what it would take for the over to cash. Clevinger and the Padres should have no trouble keeping the Rockies at bay to cash the under and the moneyline on the same night.
The Prop: Mike Clevinger – Under 5.5 strikeouts
Why: Clevinger has solid punchout potential, striking out 53 batters across 53 innings. However, in 11 starts this season, he has only gone over this total three times, including a season-high eight strikeouts against the Diamondbacks on July 17. The Rockies, despite their offensive struggles on the road, don’t strike out a bunch either – they rank 7th in the league with an average of 7.80 per game.
9:45 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Dodgers (68-33) at San Francisco Giants (51-51)
Probable starters: Dodgers LHP Andrew Heaney / Giants RHP Logan Webb
This is easily the matchup of the evening as the Dodgers travel to San Francisco for a rematch with their division rival. The Dodgers opened as a -130 road favorite, while the Giants are +120 home underdogs. The run total is set at 7.5.
The Giants swept the Dodgers in San Francisco in an earlier series, but the Dodgers swept them right back at Chavez Ravine. If history repeats itself, the Giants have a pretty good shot of winning the series opener.
Heaney will be making his first start since being activated off the 15-day IL. In his limited time on the mound this season spanning just 19.1 innings, Heaney is 1-0 with a 0.47 ERA and 0.88 WHIP with 27 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Webb has been having another great season, posting a 9-4 record with a 2.91 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 130 innings with 108 strikeouts. He has pitched especially well over his last seven games, turning in a 2.23 ERA while only allowing 35 hits in 44.1 innings.
The Play: Dodgers -1.5 (+130)
Why: 60 of the Dodgers’ 68 wins this season have come by two or more runs, including all four of the most recent games at Dodger Stadium between these two clubs. If you feel inclined to bet on the Dodgers, you might as well take the run line to give yourself better odds. The Dodgers are second behind the Yankees in average runs per game with a 5.19 mark, while the Giants are eighth with a 4.62 mark. The Key difference is the Dodgers post an average of 5.36 runs on the road, while the Giants average 4.73 per home game.
The Prop: Freddie Freeman – Over 1.5 total bases
Why: Freeman is scorching hot at the plate right now. He owns a ridiculous .415 average and a 1.209 OPS in his last 15 games, including seven doubles, three home runs and seven multi-hit performances. Freeman is also a career .417 batter against Webb with a .833 OPS