Bales' Best MLB Bets (8/5/20)
Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best MLB Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for August 4, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our MLB Premium Package.
Yu Darvish enjoyed an outstanding 2019 season and his start to 2020 has been nothing short of spectacular. He’s allowed 3 earned runs over 10 innings, although his WHIP sits at 0.90. He also boasts a 2.08 xFIP through his 2 starts. Darvish’s struggles throughout his career have generally come through command issues but he’s walking only 2.5% of batters faced in 2020. He has also seen a slight uptick in velocity early this season, suggesting this is the best Yu Darvish we have ever seen.
He’ll be traveling to Kansas City tonight, but being away from home hasn’t had a negative effect on Darvish in the past. In 2019, he posted a 3.40 road xFIP while his strikeout rate increased to 32% and his HR/9 dropped to 1.35. Darvish struggled more against left-handed batters, as he gave up more home runs to that side of the plate and his xFIP jumped to 3.72 against lefties. He’s a player that has been lights out with the count in his favor, and that’s one of the main reasons he should find success tonight.
Darvish faces off against an underwhelming Kansas City Royals offense tonight. They rank 13th in the MLB in team batting average but 21st in slugging percentage and 23rd in OPS. The Royals are averaging only 3.7 runs per game, and they have scored two or fewer runs in three of their last five contests. They aren’t a patient team at the plate, ranking 28th in the MLB in walks even though they lead the league in games played. Overall, they’re averaging only 1.6 walks per game. Kansas City also doesn’t have any dominant left-handed batters in their lineup Ryan O’Hearn being the best lefty.
Kris Bubic simply isn’t ready for the MLB. He threw only four innings in his debut, allowing three runs (two earned runs). He also struggled with a 4.63 xFIP. As many expected, his strikeout rate didn’t follow him from the minors, although he seems to have good command. Bubic also allowed 3 runs while recording a .182 BABIP and 72.7% ground ball rate. He allowed a 41.7% hard-hit rate while recording only an 8.3% soft-hit rate. He only owns three pitches, and it’s simply a matter of time before he gets blown up in the Majors.
Bubic’s MLB sample size is far too small to trust, but he struggled early in his start before settling in. He also struggled to put guys away with two strikes. Bubic’s pitch mix and minor league stats show no indications that he can keep his ground ball rate as high as his first game. With more fly balls coming and MLB hitters easily recognizing his pitch mix, Bubic could struggle with home runs early in his career.
The Chicago Cubs haven’t been a dominant offense, but they rank 16th in the MLB in team batting average, third in slugging percentage, and third in OPS. They also rank seventh in runs scored. The Cubs rank ninth in the league in walks and could look to work the count early against a rookie pitcher. Their power is likely to make a major difference in this game, as they have a number of right-handed bats throughout the lineup that have performed well against lefties in the past.
The Cubs are a team that always comes with risk, but everything in this game is lining up for them. They have a clear edge in starting pitching and the power throughout their offense to find success. Each pitcher struggles when they get behind in the count, but Chicago is a significantly more patient team than Kansas City at the moment. The Cubs should score early and often while being backed by another gem from Yu Darvish.
Bet 1.26 units on Chicago Cubs F5 -0.5 run line (-126) to win 1 unit
2020 MLB Season Record - 10-19 (-8.88 units)