Free MLB Picks and Parlays – Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

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Madison Bumgarner may not be quite the pitcher he once was, but he's being underrated by Tuesday's odds

Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB Picks column for Tuesday, August 28th.  Chris Archer still hasn’t lived up to the high hopes we had for him in the National League, as he got shelled for six earned runs by the Brewers on Sunday in a 7-4 Milwaukee win.   The loss snapped our two-game winning streak, and we now sit 16 games above .500 for the year at 83-67.

After Monday’s short schedule didn’t offer up anything we liked, we’re back at it on Tuesday.   We’re making a pick that goes against one of our best unsettled future bets, but the value is too good to pass up.  Let’s get into it.

Arizona Diamondbacks (Buchholz) at San Francisco Giants (Bumgarner)

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BetOnline*Giants -10650% on $1000
MyBookieGiants -11050% on $1000
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Run Line: Giants -1.5 (+185)

Moneyline: Giants -106

Bet the Giants -106

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Giants Diamondbacks Pick

Before the year started, we analyzed the NL West race and decided that the Diamondbacks were our best bet at +530 odds to win the division.  We’re happy about the way things have played out - Fangraphs’ playoff odds now has the Diamondbacks at about 50% to win the division, and the D’Backs are now +125 to win the West at BetOnline (as of Monday).

In that same preview article, we said that we preferred the under on the Giants’ 83 game win total, and at 65-67 currently, they’re on pace to stay under.  So why do we like the Giants on Tuesday? It’s because the odds being offered on Tuesday are a clear case of recency bias, on the part of gamblers and sportsbooks alike.  

We’re thankful that Clay Buchholz has come out of nowhere to make 13 very effective starts for Arizona this season, but we’re betting that his resurgence is short lived.  Buchholz had his last productive season in 2015, and he has bounced around ever since for a reason - his peripheral stats are not impressive, especially the strikeout rate.  

Meanwhile, Giants starter Madison Bumgarner may not be the same pitcher he was for his dominant stretch from 2011-2016, but he’s still got the track record and enough recent success to rate him comfortably ahead of Buchholz.   

Bumgarner's main issue this season has been his fastball - despite similar velocity to previous years, he’s getting far less value out of the pitch, and is throwing it about 10% less often.  If he can start to find his heater, Bumgarner should be able to ratchet up the strikeouts and have a solid finish to the season.

Both of these offenses rank below average for the season, with the D’Backs narrowly edging the Giants in overall production.  We don’t see enough of a difference between the two to make Tuesday’s odds seem reasonable - the Giants have struggled this year, but they still boast solid offensive players in Brandon Belt and Andrew McCutchen.  Also, take it from us as someone who has been following the D’Backs closely - their offense has been a problem in 2018. If they win the West, it will be in spite of their lineup, not because of it.

While clearly some bettors see Clay Buchholz as a new and improved pitcher, we’re not buying it after only 13 starts.  We’ll be rooting for Arizona in most of their remaining games, but not on Tuesday - we’re snagging the value and making Bumgarner and the Giants -106 at BetOnline our bet of the day.

That’ll do it for our MLB predictions today.   As football draws closer, make sure you’re checking in for all of our previews and best futures bets.  

Don’t forget to consult our top sportsbooks list if you’re looking for a new online book for the football season or the MLB playoffs.

Good luck out there, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Bet the Giants -106

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