Smart Money MLB Picks For 8/27/2020

August 27, 2020by Mike Barner1
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Smart Money MLB Picks For 8/27/2020

MLB Season Record: Teoscar Hernández - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox

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Wednesday turned out to be a profitable night since I went 4-0 with my MLB recommendations. For the MLB season, my record is now 38-13-1. I’ll try to keep that momentum rolling with four more wagers to consider for Thursday. All odds were obtained from the BetMGM Sportsbook.

Oakland Athletics @ Texas Rangers: Athletics ML (-195)

The A’s came through with a win for us Wednesday, although it was a close one with a 3-1 final score. The Rangers’ lineup continues to struggle and is now averaging only 3.6 runs a game. With that loss, they're 1-9 across their last 10 games to drop their overall record to 11-19 for the season. They might continue to have problems scoring runs in this game with Chris Bassitt set to take the mound for the A’s. He has a 2.97 ERA that is supported by a 3.64 FIP across his first six starts. And he has done an excellent job of limiting base runners, leaving him with a 1.08 WHIP.

It might also be difficult for the Rangers to limit runs being scored against them with Jordan Lyles on the mound. He’s never finished a season with an ERA under 4.11 for his career and he’s been particularly bad this season, allowing at least four runs in four of his five starts. He has even allowed 15 runs (14 earned) across his last eight innings. The odds on this aren’t as good as what we were able to get Wednesday. But I still like the A’s to pull off another victory.

Minnesota Twins @ Detroit Tigers: Twins ML (-155)

The Twins have lost two straight, but they still have a sparkling 20-12 record for the season. Meanwhile, the Tigers are only 13-16, which includes an unsightly 6-10 record at home. Working in the Twins favor is that Randy Dobnak will make this start. He has already racked up five wins over his first six starts. And he has shown excellent control that has helped him build a 1.02 WHIP.

Starting for the Tigers will be Matthew Boyd, who's been the opposite of Dobnak, with a 1.74 WHIP this season. His strikeout rate has also dropped from 30.2 percent last year to 24.1 percent this season. Despite missing some key hitters in Josh Donaldson (calf) and Byron Buxton (shoulder), the Twins still have enough potent hitters to be able to take advantage of this matchup.

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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles: Rays ML (-195)

It’s not always pretty with the Rays, but they find ways to win games thanks to timely hitting and a strong bullpen. They not only lead the AL East, but they have the third-best record in the MLB. They have won both of the first two games in this series against the Orioles and have won nine of their last 11 contests, overall. Meanwhile, the Orioles are having another disappointing MLB season, having lost eight of their last 10 games to drop their overall record to 14-16.

The Orioles’ best starting pitcher might be John Means, who is set to take the mound in this matchup. However, he hasn’t pitched like it this season, allowing 12 runs across 10 2/3 innings. The Rays will start Ryan Yarbrough, who has made five of his six starts this season against the Blue Jays and Red Sox. While not a strikeout pitcher, Yarbrough usually does a good job of limiting hard contact. He allowed a 26.1 percent hard-hit rate last year and has followed that up with a 29.6 percent hard-hit rate in 2020. With how hot the Rays are, I’ll take them to win again and make it three straight over the Orioles.

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox: Teoscar Hernández Over 0.5 Hits (-200)

The Red Sox’s pitching staff is a mess. They have allowed a staggering 191 runs through 31 games, which is the most in baseball. Things likely won’t get much better with Chris Mazza set to make this start. He was a 27th-round pick in the 2011 Draft and didn’t receive his first appearance in the big leagues until last season with the Mets. Despite being in the minors for so long, he didn’t even reach Triple-A until 2018. One of the reasons why he’s had difficulty ascending to the next level is his lack of strikeouts. He never finished with a strikeout rate of more than 23 percent during any of his stints at Double-A or Triple-A.

The Red Sox also have a terrible bullpen, so this could be another opportunity for Hernández to shine. He’s already off to an excellent start, slugging 11 home runs and batting .294 through 29 games. He’s currently on an eight-game hitting streak, as well. This is about as favorable of a matchup as he’s going to get to extend his streak to nine.

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