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BETTING

MLB Computer Picks for August 17: Should I Bet on the Mets?

Pete Alonso New York Mets MLB pitcher
Pete Alonso 20 of the New York Mets celebrates a 8 3 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates during there game at Citi Field on August 16 2023 Al BelloGetty ImagesAFP

Editor’s Note: The game between the Tigers and Guardians was postponed due to bad weather.

These are the dog days of baseball. It’s mid-August, and it’s Thursday, so there’s not much happening on the MLB odds board; we’ve only got six games to choose from for our daily MLB computer picks, and the algorithms at OddsTrader only have projections for four of those matchups as we go to press. 

So let’s switch things up a little. We’re taking the three games that the computers seem to think will generate the biggest winners, then we’re going to use our old-school human betting logic to see if those picks hold up or not – starting with a certain Big Apple team that’s fallen on hard times.

Picks Summary


New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals

Thursday, August 17, 2023 – 07:15 PM EDT at Busch Stadium 


No, it’s not the Yankees – like most MLB teams, they’ve got Thursday off. We’re dealing with the Mets (54-66, minus-23.30 betting units at press time), who are just 5-11 since they dropped ballast at the August 1 trade deadline. 

Maybe they’ve still got some talent left over. The OT computers project New York to beat the Cardinals (54-66, minus-16.29 units) 5.1 runs to 4.5, which would make the Mets an easy choice for your baseball picks as -120 road faves at Bet365. 

Different Angle

This particular moneyline bet doesn’t pass muster. True, St. Louis was also a seller at the trade deadline, but they’re 7-6 in the month of August. They even took two of three games off the Tampa Bay Rays last week, in Tampa no less. 

We figure both the Mets and Cardinals are likely to outscore their projections, especially the Cards, who will be facing a familiar foe in Jose Quintana (3.03 ERA, 5.03 xFIP in five starts). Current St. Louis batters have a combined .976 lifetime OPS off the former Chicago Cubs starter, with 1B Paul Goldschmidt going 11-for-17 with three doubles and three home runs. 

Adam Wainwright (8.78 ERA, 5.65 xFIP) is clearly washed up in his final year before retirement, so St. Louis isn’t in great shape here, but Over 10 should be worth at least a slight lean on what is expected to be a very warm evening at Busch Stadium, with 5-10 mph winds blowing towards left field. 

MLB Pick: Over 10 (-120) at Bet365


Boston Red Sox vs. Washington Nationals

Thursday, August 17, 2023 – 04:05 PM EDT at Nationals Park 


It looks like the Red Sox (63-56, plus-7.47 units) have clawed their way back into the American League Wild Card race. They’re only three games back at press time, although Boston has to leapfrog both Toronto and Seattle to grab that final playoff berth. 

Chances are they’ll pick up another win this Thursday against the Nationals (53-67, plus-15.38 units). According to the computers, Boston will beat Washington 5.9 runs to 4.5; that’s a severe beatdown in quant terms, one that shouldn’t discourage us from eating the -185 chalk at Bet365. 

Forget About the Side

Not so fast. The Nats have been one of this year’s most profitable moneyline teams, and the Red Sox are starting Chris Sale (4.52 ERA, 3.53 xFIP) this Thursday. Sale’s performance hasn’t been as bad as his ERA and his personal 7-4-1 Over record would indicate, but he’s still not the Cy Young candidate we’re used to seeing. 

Meanwhile, what you see is pretty much what you get with Patrick Corbin (4.85 ERA, 4.69 xFIP, Under 13-11). Boston’s run projection seems reasonable; give Washington another half-run or so, and you’ve got another slight lean towards the Over on Totals Day. 

MLB Pick: Over 9.5 (+100) at Caesars Sportsbook


Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Guardians

Thursday, August 17, 2023 – 07:15 PM EDT at Progressive Field


The remaining two games OT has for us at press time are both projected as pushes, but we couldn’t help but notice that both Detroit (Over 60-55-4) and Cleveland (Under 67-48-5) are being undervalued somewhat at 3.9 runs apiece – at least in our estimation. 

We can’t blame it on Tigers starter Tarik Skubal (4.18 ERA, 2.91 xFIP, Under 4-2-1). However, Detroit’s batting order has been somewhat unlucky to post a .288 BABIP (No. 24 overall) this year. Regression is coming. 

Flip Side

On the flip side, Cleveland hitters have a combined .293 BABIP (No. 20), and they’ll be giving fringe prospect Xzavion Curry (3.39 ERA, 5.30 xFIP, Over 3-2) his eighth big-league start. 

It’s probably going to rain over Progressive Field this Thursday, so this baseball pick might get washed out, but if it doesn’t, the forecast calls for 15-mph winds blowing towards right. Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken. 

MLB Pick: Over 8.5 (-110) at Bet365


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