Afternoon baseball on a Thursday? Sounds delightful. There are only eight games on the MLB odds board for this regularly-scheduled travel day, and as usual, the totals are where it’s at for betting value.
The best three MLB computer picks on the board are all matinee affairs, so let’s dive right in with our top selection – which happens to be for the most important game on the slate.
- Astros-Orioles Under 9.5 (-115) at SBK
- Twins-Tigers Over 8.5 (-112) at SugarHouse
- Blue Jays-Guardians Under 9.5 (-121) at BetRivers
Thursday, August 10, 2023 – 12:35 PM EDT at Orioles Park at Camden Yards
It’s cute how the Orioles (Over 58-48-6 at press time) have put together the best record in the American League at 70-43. Given their plus-74 run differential, Baltimore has played more like a 64-49 team, which happens to be right about where the 65-49 Astros (56-56-2 totals) are right now.
Granted, Houston (plus-66 differential) has performed slightly worse than the Orioles up to this point. But their 64-50 Pythagorean record is very close to their actual record, and the defending World Series champs loaded up at the August 1 trade deadline, reacquainting themselves with starter Justin Verlander and closer Kendall Graveman.
The O’s wanted to get their hands on Verlander real bad. They settled for Jack Flaherty, but neither of those pitchers will be featured this Thursday:
- Hunter Brown, HOU: 4.07 ERA, 3.32 xFIP
- Dean Kremer, BAL: 4.61 ERA, 4.44 xFIP
These pitchers have played better than their ERAs suggest, but the computers at OddsTrader still have Baltimore winning this game 4.9 runs to 4.3, which if accurate would make this Under worth investing a single unit of your bankroll in – provided you can get the standard –110 vigorish or less by the time you read this.
We’re obviously less enthusiastic about the –120 juice most online sportsbooks are posting at press time. And those 5-10 mph winds blowing towards left field aren’t going to help us, either. But there’s also a 70% chance of rain over Camden Yards, and the weather shouldn’t be insufferably hot for this time of year.
MLB Pick: Under 9.5 (-115) at SBK
Thursday, August 10, 2023 – 01:10 PM EDT at Comerica Park
We’re paying less of a premium on juice for this battle between the Twins (Under 57-53-5) and Tigers (Over 58-50-4), and on this occasion, we’ve got the Over in our baseball picks with game-time temperatures around 80 degrees and 10-mph winds blowing down the third-base line.
Splendid, yes, but still only worth a slight lean at this vigorish. While the OT computers project Minnesota to win 5.5 runs to 3.9, that’s probably unfair to Tigers starter Reese Olson (4.94 ERA, 4.07 xFIP), who “should” see some better Under results after splitting the totals at 4-4-1 in his nine spot starts since getting the call-up in early June.
We also have to keep a close eye on Kenta Maeda (4.22 ERA, 3.77 xFIP) and his partially inflated 6-5-1 Over record. And neither of these teams took steps to improve their hitting at the trade deadline, although the Twins did claim LF Jordan Luplow (.746 lifetime OPS) from the Toronto Blue Jays last Friday.
MLB Pick: Over 8.5 (-112) at SugarHouse
Thursday, August 10, 2023 – 01:10 PM EDT at Progressive Field
The Jays (Under 62-45-6) are doing just fine in left field now that Davis Schneider (1.461 OPS in four games) has made his major-league debut. Schneider has also played second base for Toronto to help cover for SS Bo Bichette (.847 OPS), who’s on the 10-day IL with a sore knee, but he’s needed more in the outfield now that CF Kevin Kiermaier (.750 OPS) is also on the shelf with a lacerated elbow.
This isn’t just smoke and mirrors – although small sample size definitely plays a role in Schneider’s fat stats thus far. He did post a .969 OPS in 87 games at AAA-Buffalo this year, and minor-league numbers often translate well to major-league ballparks.
Speaking of which, we had the Under in Wednesday’s baseball picks for this same matchup, in part because Progressive Field ranks near the bottom of the majors this year with a park factor of 90 for runs. Maybe it’ll be even stingier this time now that the winds will be blowing down the third-base line instead of out towards right.
Too bad the pitching battle isn’t nearly as robust for Thursday with Toronto’s Alek Manoah (5.72 ERA, 5.96 xFIP) and Noah Syndergaard (6.75 ERA, 5.06 xFIP) both trying to resuscitate their careers. But the OT computers still have the Jays winning 4.1 runs to 3.4, so you could add nearly one run to each team and still slide just below the posted total. Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken.
MLB Pick: Under 9.5 (-121) at BetRivers