Bales' Best MLB Bet (8/25/20)
Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best MLB Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for August 25, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our MLB Premium Package.
The Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers relied on pitching last night, scoring a total of six runs. We have another great pitching matchup tonight, and I’m going back to the well that cashed for us last night.
Luis Castillo has seen mixed results this season, allowing 16 runs (13 earned runs) over 26.1 innings. He’s been unlucky, though, as his 4.44 xFIP is significantly higher than his 3.04 xFIP and 3.43 SIERA. His BABIP also sits at .403 in 2020, suggesting he’s due for quite a bit of positive regression. Castillo’s success is backed by 35.6% hard-hit and 4.1% barrel rates this season. He also has multiple ways to get out of tough situations, recording 30.3% strikeout, 16.1% swinging strike, and 57.5% ground ball rates in 2020.
Castillo looked outstanding against both sides of the plate in 2019, but he struggled a bit more against left-handed batters. The same can be said for his home and road splits. Castillo’s biggest issues come on the road against left-handed batters. His other struggles have come with accuracy, as he walked 13.6% of batters on the road last season. With that being said, Castillo still posted great numbers on the road in 2019.
He gets a great matchup against Milwaukee tonight. Over the last 10 days, they rank 27th in the MLB in team batting average and 16th in slugging percentage. Over that span, they’re averaging 4.4 runs per game, as well. The Brewers have been better at home in 2020, but they’re still only hitting .228 with a .412 slugging percentage and a .699 OPS in Milwaukee. They have also struggled against right-handed pitching, recording a .200/.345/.621 line against righties this season.
Brandon Woodruff will be taking the mound for Milwaukee tonight. He’s allowed only 11 earned runs over 30.2 innings in 2020. His 3.23 ERA is backed by a 3.47 xFIP and a 3.63 SIERA in 2020. Similar to Castillo, Woodruff has multiple ways to work out of difficult situations in his starts. He boasts 26.2% strikeout, 11.5% swinging strike, and 53.6% ground ball rates this season.
Woodruff was better against right-handed batters in 2019, although he also found plenty of success against lefties last season. Most importantly, his xFIP dropped to 2.91 in 2019. Furthermore, it sits below 3.00 against both sides of the plate in Milwaukee.
Woodruff gets an elite matchup against the Reds tonight. They rank last in the MLB in team batting average and slugging percentage over the last 10 days. They’re averaging only 2.4 runs per game over that span. Cincinnati has struggled on the road in 2019, where they are hitting for a .182 average with a .327 slugging percentage and a .613 OPS. They also own a .202/.390/.700 line against right-handed pitching.
The Reds bullpen is a bit of a concern, ranking 26th in the MLB in bullpen ERA. With that being said, they aren’t as bad as their numbers suggest, as they rank 18th in the league in bullpen xFIP, suggesting they’re due for positive regression. The Brewers are another bullpen due for regression, as they rank 13th in the MLB in bullpen ERA but first in bullpen xFIP.
Once again, I’m backing two great pitchers against two ice-cold offenses. I’ll be taking the full game total, as I expect these bullpens to continually get better and they are underrated at the moment.
Bet 1.15 unit on the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers under 8 runs to win 1 unit
2020 MLB Season Record - 20-29 (-8.95 units)