Bales' Best MLB Bets (8/19/20)
Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best MLB Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for August 19, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our MLB Premium Package.
The New York Mets and Miami Marlins will battle it out in a matchup of aces for respective teams. Well, maybe not an actual ace for Miami, but each pitcher has been throwing like one early this season.
Jacob deGrom will take the mound for New York tonight. He’s allowed only 6 earned runs over 22 innings thus far. deGrom hasn’t looked as good quite as good as past years thus far, but he still has yet to allow more than two earned runs in any start. Overall, his 2.45 ERA is backed by a 3.15 xFIP and a 3.11 SIERA.
deGrom continues to keep his home runs down, forcing opponents to beat him by stringing hits together. He has the ability to pitch his way out of tough situations, as he boasts 32.6% strikeout and 18.5% swinging strike rates this season. The ground ball has been in play, as well, as deGrom owns a career-high 47.2% ground ball rate early this season.
deGrom found plenty of success at home and on the road in 2019. He wasn’t much better either way, although his home run rate dropped outside of New York. deGrom was at his best against right-handed batters, though. He recorded a 2.77 xFIP against righties in 2019. deGrom has yet to throw more than 6 innings in a game, but he has thrown 98 and 104 pitches in his last 2 games, suggesting he can go 7+ innings if he’s throwing well tonight.
He gets a plus matchup against the Marlins tonight. They got off to a hot start in 2020 but currently rank 16th in the league in team batting average, 24th in slugging percentage, and 24th in OPS. They’re averaging 4.5 runs per game because of their elite steal potential. Without power, though, it’s going to be difficult to string hits together and score on deGrom.
Pablo Lopez isn’t necessarily the ace for Miami, but he has been throwing like one. He’s allowed five runs (four earned runs) over his first 16 innings. His 2.25 ERA is matched by an elite 2.74 xFIP and a 3.12 SIERA. I don’t expect Lopez to sustain these over the entire season, but he hasn’t been a lucky pitcher, and his numbers back his outstanding performances early in 2020.
Similarly to deGrom, he has kept his home runs down while his ground balls and strikeouts are up. He boasts 28.4% strikeout and 17% swinging strike rates to go along with a 61.4% ground ball rate.
In 2019, Lopez was better at home, where he posted a 4.13 xFIP. He was also better against right-handed batters, as he posted a 3.91 xFIP against them. He was also significantly better early in the season before fading late. There is a bit of concern there, but it also could have been fatigue, suggesting he’ll be at his best early in 2020.
Lopez gets a tough matchup against the New York Mets. They feature one of the most consistent offenses in the league, ranking second in team batting average thus far. They also rank eighth in slugging percentage and third in OPS. They’re also averaging 4.7 runs per game while leaving plenty of the bases early in the season. They do rank eighth in the MLB in BABIP and 24th in exit velocity over the last 10 days, though, suggesting they could see some regression.
The Marlins have struggled with their bullpen in 2020 but they have a few reasonable options that they can use to hold the Mets offense down. New York, on the other hand, has multiple options that have the ability to shut down any team in the MLB. Regardless, I expect the pitchers to throw a bit deeper than they have been in this game. I also don’t expect many runs to be scored against either starter. The pitcher-friendly ballpark is the final factor that makes the under the play tonight.
Bet 1.22 units on New York Mets and Miami Marlins under 7.5 runs to win 1 unit
2020 MLB Season Record - 17-26 (-9.2 units)