Best Bets on Saturday's MLB Totals

Darin Zank

Saturday, August 16, 2014 12:38 PM GMT

We tried to put our head together just enough to squeeze three good free MLB picks out of Saturday's MLB betting slate. For what it's worth, here's what we came up with.

Red Sox -190/9 vs. Astros (7:10 pm ET)
Boston took this series opener Thursday night 9-4, but Houston took Friday's contest 5-3 in extra innings.

The Astros don't have the greatest offensive numbers, but they're not too bad, either. While they're averaging just under four runs per game, they've scored at least four in 12 of their last 18 contests. The Astros also rank fourth in the Majors in homers (135) and fifth in stolen bases (85).

Oh, yeah, and Houston also owns the worst bullpen in baseball, with a 5.00 ERA and more blown saves than conversions.

Boston's offensive numbers aren't the greatest, either, but the Sox have gotten a recent boost from Yoenis Cespedes, who after a somewhat slow start for his new team has three homers and eight RBI in his last five games.

The Red Sox have scored 17 runs over their last three outings.

Boston has faced Houston starter Brad Peacock twice over the last two seasons, getting to him for six runs and eight hits in less than four innings.

Three of the five previous meetings between these teams this season have played 'over' the totals.

MLB Pick: Take the 'over' nine runs.

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Blue Jays -125/9 vs. White Sox (7:10 pm ET)
These teams combined to score 16 runs Friday night, an 11-5 Chicago victory. The Sox rapped out 17 hits, 14 of them singles, while putting up five-spots in both the first inning and the fifth.

Toronto ranks fifth in the Majors in scoring at 4.5 runs per game and second in homers with 140. The Jays also got some good news with the return of slugger Edwin Encarnacion Friday night, after he had missed more than a month with a pulled quad.

Chicago ranks ninth in scoring and seventh in homers. Sox bats have been a little cold as of late, but perhaps Friday night's performance will help them break loose.

Toronto starter (and former Southsider) Mark Buehrle started out great this season, but since the All-Star break he's allowed 17 earned runs in 23 innings.

Chicago starter John Danks has been terrible as of late, giving up 28 ER over his last 27 innings.

The 'over/unders' are a combined 28-19 in games Buehrle and Danks have started this season.

Finally, this game involves two of the worst bullpens in baseball.

MLB Pick: Take the 'over' nine runs at YouWager.

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A's -120/6.5 vs. Braves (7:10 pm ET)
Atlanta took Friday's series opener 7-2, in large part because half their hits – four – left the yard. But three of those homers came of Oakland starter Jason Hammel, who's been largely terrible since joining the A's.

But an outburst like that is rare for the Braves, who rank 28th in scoring at 3.7 runs per game.

Saturday the Braves go against Sonny Gray (12-6, 2.86), who's given up just nine homers over 157 innings this season.

Atlanta starter Julio Teheran (10-9, 3.06) is coming off a couple rough outings, allowing 11 runs over his last two starts, covering 13 innings. But a bounce-back effort seems in order. Also, the totals have skewed toward the 'unders' in Teheran's starts by a 15-9 margin.

The A's have struggled a bit to score runs lately, or at least consistently. They've been held to three or fewer runs in five of their last six games – in the other game, they scored 11. Do they miss Cespedes?

This being an inter-league game, between two teams that don't meet very often, with two young starters, neither Teheran or Gray has previously faced tonight's lineups. Advantage goes to the pitchers in situations like this.

This game also involves two of the best bullpens in baseball.

MLB Pick: Take the 'under' 6.5 runs.

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