Free MLB Picks and Parlays – Monday, August 13th, 2018
MLB Picks and Parlays
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The A's Sean Manaea has had good results this year, but we forsee him having more of a struggle from here on out
Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB Picks column for Monday, August 13th. Sunday’s pick was a winner after a topsy-turvy game between Atlanta and Milwaukee ended in an 8-7 Braves victory, despite the Brewers racking up 19 hits. We got a little lucky there, but we were due after a couple close losses the last few nights.
On Monday we’ll be turning our attention to the first game of a critical three game set between Oakland and Seattle. These two are battling it out for the final Wild Card spot in the American League, and while Oakland has been the hotter team of late, we think there’s value in betting against them with Sean Manaea on the mound. Let’s get into it.
Seattle Mariners (Gonzales) at Oakland Athletics (Manaea)
The A’s have been one of the best teams in baseball since June, going 40-20 since then to make an improbable comeback in the wild card race. After being the early-season surprise, the Mariners have played worse than .500 ball since July and now find themselves looking up at Oakland in the AL West standings.
While the A’s have all the momentum on their side, the average bettor is likely to favor them in their series with the Mariners this week. We love to fade the public in games like these, especially when we think an overrated starter is on the mound for the favorite.
Sean Manaea has posted a 3.50 ERA in 24 starts this season, and we think that’s just about the best possible result the A’s could have hoped for. Manaea ranks 6th worst among the 76 qualified starters in strikeout rate, and if you read this column often, you’ll know that we favor pitchers that get Ks above all else.
To his credit, Manaea doesn’t walk many batters either. However, to make that sort of pitching profile work long-term, you also have to induce a lot of ground balls and weak contact, and Manaea doesn’t do nearly enough of either - he’s allowed a well above-average hard contact rate. We’re bearish on Manaea, and we definitely think he’s being overrated by the moneylines being offered on Monday.
Seattle’s Marco Gonzales is flying much further under the radar, but he’s got a better chance of maintaining his sub-four ERA (3.79 in 23 starts) than Manaea does going forward. Gonzales has an even better walk rate than his A’s counterpart - 1.63 per nine, 5th in baseball to Manaea’s 7th - while striking out far more batters.
Gonzales has a BABIP over 70 points higher than Manaea’s (.314 to .240). If these stats were reversed, Seattle would probably still be leading Oakland in the wild card race, and we wouldn’t be able to get nearly the same value in betting on the Mariners here.
While Oakland has had the better offense this year, it’s not by much - the A’s are fifth in baseball with a wRC+ of 106, where the Mariners are in 9th at 102. Frankly, we think both of these squads are over performing - we think both are much closer to league average than they currently are. While the Mariners’ have some guys who should cool off (Jean Segura comes to mind), the A’s have a trio of hitters in Khris Davis, Jed Lowrie and Matt Chapman who are punching above their weight class, so to speak.
Even allowing for a slight disadvantage on offense, we still like the moneyline being offered to take the Mariners with the better starting pitcher on the mound. In a game where walks will be few, we see Seattle’s offense making lots of hard contact against Sean Manaea, and that’s why we like the Mariners +120 at BetOnline as our pick of the day for Monday.
Thanks to all of you LazyBets readers out there, we’re looking forward to bringing you another week’s worth of free MLB picks.
Be on the lookout for more NFL and NCAA football previews on our homepage, we’ve got a lot of analysis coming your way over the next month to get you ready for this season on the gridiron.
See you back here tomorrow. Let’s get the win.
Bet the Mariners +120
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