Double Play: Saturday Night Value Plays

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, April 7, 2018 3:27 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 7, 2018 3:27 PM UTC

Mark Lathrop looks to the Saturday evening MLB betting card for wagering value, as he finds two gems worthy of his MLB Picks of the Day.

2018 MLB Record: 9-3-1, +6.19u

Oakland Athletics (4-4 O/U) vs Los Angeles Angels (5-3 )/U)

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Free MLB Pick: Over 8.5 Runs Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

The Athletics and Angels are coming off of a wild 13-9 game in which both bullpens were used for the majority of the game. I was backing the Angels there, and even though my thesis regarding the starting pitching was wrong, it’s usually best to be wrong while backing the better offense as well. The Angels put up 14 hits off of A’s pitching, including 8 earned runs against their bullpen. They’ll get to tee off against Andrew Triggs tonight, who should be forced past his comfort zone as he hasn’t made it into the 6th inning since last May. The Angels will see the taxed Oakland bullpen at some point tonight.

The Athletics weren’t any slouches either, getting into the Angels bullpen in the second inning and tagging Angel relievers for 4 earned runs while putting up 13 hits overall. They’ll face JC Ramirez in this game, who hasn’t faced Matt Olson or Matt Chapman yet and woo boy do I smell some dingers coming. Ramirez has a career 16.2% HR/FB rate and gave up 3 home runs to Cleveland in his first start on April 2nd. Add in some perfect temperature and a slight breeze blowing out and we have the recipe to take Over 8.5 runs as one of my MLB Picks.

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Breaking out in a big way!

Shohei Ohtani is the first #Angels rookie to homer in each of his first three home games.

— Angels (@Angels) April 7, 2018

Toronto Blue Jays (5-3 SU) vs Texas Rangers (3-6 SU)

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Free MLB Pick: Texas Rangers F5 RL +.5 -135Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

The Texas Rangers scrambled over the offseason to add pitching depth, and one of those signees was big lefty reliever, Mike Minor. Minor was a starter with the Atlanta Braves organization from 2010 to 2014 and had some fantastic seasons before his shoulder fell off in 2015. He battled back from a torn labrum to become one of the most valuable relievers in baseball last year with the Royals while putting up a 2.62 FIP over 77.2 innings. Texas is taking the chance that Minor can start again, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far especially in regards to velocity. He was averaging 94.5 mph on his fastball as a reliever last year, and in his first start this year his top velocity was averaging 93.4. Pretty good considering that Minor’s fastball average 90.9 mph in his best season with the Braves.

Toronto will counter with groundball specialist, Marcus Stroman, who gave up 4 runs over 5 innings pitched in his first start of the year versus the Yankees. He’ll be glad to face the Rangers here, as the last three starts for Stroman dating back to last year have been against the Bronx Bombers. Stroman has limited innings against the lineup expected on Saturday, which makes his performance sort of a wild card. In addition, Stroman exhibited a negative road split and allowed a .279 BAA away from Toronto last year. I find value with the home dog here, but since Minor is still being stretched out and the Texas bullpen can’t be trusted, I will take Texas plus a half-run on the first five inning line as one of my Saturday night MLB Picks.

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