MLB Best Bet: Monday, August 27

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With the Giants taking care of business on Friday we move to 5-1 overall on picks so far, so let’s keep that momentum rolling into tonight.

My favorite bet on the schedule today is at 8:10 EST when the Astros host the A’s in a match up between Gerrit Cole and Brett Anderson.

The A’s starting pitcher Brett Anderson is putting together a strangely effective season so far in 2018. However, I do not expect him to have success tonight against a quality lineup like the Astros. Here are the 2018 numbers for Anderson:

  • 62 innings pitched
  • 33 strikeouts
  • 2.75 K/BB
  • 3.47 ERA
  • 4.23 FIP
  • 4.12 xFIP
  • 4.35 SIERA

Anderson has succeeded so far this season by inducing a large amount of ground balls (55.7%) which has made him less susceptible to home runs (1.01 HR/9). He’s also had some good BABIP luck sitting at .278. Anderson has always relied on the ground ball, but he is pitching to contact more than he ever has before, and his severe lack of strikeouts could get him into serious trouble if he starts to allow more base runners.

Anderson is also left handed, and the Astros feast on left-handed pitching. In 2018 the Stros have a ridiculous wRC+ of 124 and a wOBA of .349, meaning their lineup operates at an All-Star level from top to bottom when they get to face a southpaw.

The other reason to love the Astros tonight is obviously their starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. Since coming to Houston, Cole has completely remade himself as a pitcher. He is throwing less fastballs, more sliders, more curve balls and has all but scrapped his change up. Cole’s numbers as a result have been nothing short of brilliant:

  • 164 innings pitched
  • 226 strikeouts
  • 4.35 K/BB
  • 2.73 ERA
  • 2.57 FIP
  • 2.96 xFIP
  • 2.87 SIERA

With an ace like this on the mound, and an offense that thrives against left-handed pitching, I love the Astros tonight enough to lay the 1.5 runs and get a tasty plus money line on top of it.

The Pick: Astros -1.5 (+110) vs Oakland Athletics

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