I'm putting my focus on two afternoon clashes on Saturday, and I'm targeting a pair of left-handers that I think could be vulnerable while facing teams that have excelled against that handedness most of the season.
Washington Nationals at Texas Rangers
Gray had an ugly stretch in mid-to-late May where he had the misfortune of running into the Astros and Dodgers and gave up a combined 13 earned runs across nine innings. However, the right-hander has bounced back to post a 2-0 mark, 0.82 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 0.8 HR/9 across 22 innings over his subsequent four turns, and he'll come into Saturday with back-to-back blankings of the Marlins and Phillies over 11 innings. He's also been excellent on the road all season, fashioning a 4-0 record, 1.89 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in that split, a 33.1-inning sample. The Rangers haven't been particularly intimidating against righties at home of late, either, posting a 24.8 percent strikeout rate, middling .301 OBP and .316 wOBA in that split over the last month.
Allard's 0-2 mark and 5.06 ERA seem to be belied to an extent by his impressive-in-comparison 1.06 WHIP, and he's actually been fairly solid except for a propensity for giving up the long ball, which is an extension of 2021. Allard pitched to a 2.1 HR/9 over 124.2 innings last season, and that figure sits at 2.8 over his first 16 frames in the current campaign. Allard's below-the-surface numbers also imply he may actually be fortunate to not have worse marks, as he's allowing a .305 xBA, .592 xSLG, .384 xwOBA, 12.8 percent barrel rate and 5.76 xERA. Then, the Nats have punished southpaws for a .283 average, .344 wOBA and 10.2 wRAA over the last month, making them an unappealing matchup to say the least.
MLB Best Bets for Nationals at Rangers
The Pick: Nationals moneyline – 1st 5 innings (Odds TBD) for 1 RW Buck
Secondary Pick: Nationals moneyline (+150 on FanDuel Sportsbook) for 1 RW Buck
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Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals
Koenig has gotten a mostly rude introduction to the big leagues, getting tagged for a 6.59 ERA, 1.76 WHIP and 1.3 HR/9 over his first three starts. While his last outing was certainly a confidence-builder – Koenig blanked these same Royals over 5.2 innings in his home park of the Coliseum despite issuing four walks – KC now has some experience against him and are also curiously one of the most dangerous home teams against left-handers. The Royals boast a tiny 11.6 percent strikeout rate, plus an elite .293/.349/.541 slash line, and a .380 wOBA, .248 ISO and 9.6 wRAA against lefties at home in the last two months of play.
Keller's statistical profile is the embodiment of a tough-luck pitcher, as his 2-8 record is accompanied by a modest 6.6 percent barrel rate and 29.8 percent sweet-spot rate allowed. Keller's surrendered fewer hits (72) than innings pitched (75.1), and he's generated seven quality starts in 13 trips to the mound while coming just two total runs of accomplishing the feat on two other occasions. He just blanked the A's on one hit over seven innings in his last start, and Oakland was averaging just 3.8 runs per road game before scoring only one Friday night.
MLB Best Bets for Athletics at Royals
The Pick: Royals -0.5 – 1st 5 innings (-120 on BetMGM Sportsbook) for 1.20 RW Bucks
Secondary Pick: Same-Game Parlay Royals moneyline/ Under 8.5 runs (+250 on DraftKings Sportsbook) for 1 RW Buck
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MLB Best Bets Today Recap
Nationals moneyline – 1st 5 innings (Odds TBD) for 1 RW Buck
Nationals moneyline (+150 on FanDuel Sportsbook) for 1 RW Buck
Royals -0.5 – 1st 5 innings (-120 on BetMGM Sportsbook) for 1.20 RW Bucks
Same-Game Parlay Royals moneyline/ Under 8.5 runs (+250 on DraftKings Sportsbook) for 1 RW Buck