We’ve been so spoiled by stacked Saturday schedules that a mere 15 games feels light. With no doubleheaders on the docket, bettors have more time to prepare before the day’s action starts at 2:10 p.m. ET.
Several aces will come out to play in the evening. One of those marquee showdowns draws attention below alongside a far less intimidating pairing of southpaws on poor teams simply fighting to avoid last place. But hey, a win pays the same for us regardless of the game’s stakes.
Rockies at Diamondbacks: Moneyline
Each entering the day at 37-47, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are playing for fourth place in the Phoenix Arizona Mega Bowl. While the Rockies have taken the first two games of the series, they’re still 14-26 on the road and possess MLB’s seventh-worst run differential. They also might not have C.J. Cron, who exited Friday’s game after getting hit by a pitch on the wrist.
And yet, I’m drawn to the Rockies moneyline.
While Coors Field has inflated Colorado’s MLB-best .351 wOBA against lefties, the team’s 113 wRC+ still ranks ninth. Cron has led the way, but the Rockies have played most of the season without Kris Bryant, who is batting 11-for-28 with three doubles and three home runs (two last night) in seven games this month. More importantly, Madison Bumgarner still has a mediocre 4.68 FIP, 8.7 K-BB%, and career-worst 24.2% CSW below his 3.74 ERA. Even without Cron, the Rockies can cram their lineup with righties, who have a .201 ISO against the veteran this season.
On the other hand, Kyle Freeland has posted a 3.40 ERA when enjoying fairer conditions outside Coors Field. He tossed six shutout innings when last visiting Chase Field on May 7 and even dominated the D-Backs at home (7 IP, 2 ER, 10 K) in their only encounter last season. Arizona’s current 87 wRC+ off southpaws ranks 26th in the majors.
While Colorado’s bullpen is far from trustworthy, the same goes for its fellow NL West cellar-dweller. You may not feel great about backing a bad team on the road, but try to remember that their opponent also stinks.
Pick: Rockies (+108 on FanDuel, +105 on DraftKings)
Pete Alonso to Record 2+ Bases
Pete Alonso hasn’t reached base in the first two games against the Marlins. Furthermore, he hasn’t gone yard since June 25. Eleven games represents the first baseman’s longest home-run drought of the season.
Although he’s in a funk, Saturday could present an escape valve. Alonso has fared far better against righties (158 wRC+) than lefties (110 wRC+) this season, but he wields a career .299 ISO off southpaws. Braxton Garrett, meanwhile, has relinquished a .292/.372/.467 slash line to righties over his short career. He’s posted an impressive 3.14 FIP underneath a 4.25 ERA through six starts, but the 24-year-old struggled (4 IP, 3 ER, 0 K) in his last trip to Citi Field.
Recent rough patch aside, Alonso is batting .274/.350/.531 with 13 doubles, 22 long balls, and a .385 xwOBA. He’s a solid play for two or more bases against an unproven pitcher at +120 odds.
Pick: Yes (+120)
Blue Jays at Mariners: Moneyline
After seemingly turning a corner, the Blue Jays have gone ice cold. The preseason AL East front-runner has dropped seven of their last eight games to dip 16.5 games behind the Yankees in the division standings. They’ve only plated a combined 21 runs in those contests.
The Mariners, on the other hand, are red hot. They’ve won six straight and nine of their last 10 following Friday night’s 11-inning triumph over Toronto. While Seattle now has a higher run differential than Toronto, Vegas is rightfully skeptical. The Blue Jays have too much talent to keep sleepwalking through the season. However, redemption may have to wait another day.
To bounce back Saturday, they’ll have to defeat the one that got away.
After revitalizing his career with a Cy Young campaign, Robbie Ray will host his former team. While the southpaw had a bumpy start to his Mariners tenure, he’s rebounded with a 0.80 ERA and 40 strikeouts in his last five starts. He’s repaired his 2022 ERA to 3.62, and that mark drops to a stellar 2.33 at home.
My first instinct was to take this information and hit the under, either on the overall run line (O/U 7.5 for -110) or Toronto’s team total. But while one ace is cruising, another has hit a rough patch. Over his last four starts, Alek Manoah has allowed 23 hits, seven walks, and 14 runs (12 earned). The 24-year-old has surrendered three home runs and 15 hard hits in his last two outings.
Seattle is still a slight home underdog despite these trends, so let’s ride the wave and look for Ray to stick it to his old team.
Pick: Mariners (+105 on DraftKings, +100 on FanDuel)
Andrew Gould Overall Record: 17-20-2
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): -$159.86
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)