MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, August 8th

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MLB schedule today has 16 games

The Major League Baseball board is stuffed on Tuesday, as all 30 teams are back in action. Six teams enjoyed Monday off, but that won’t be the case on August 8. Every game is a night game except for one with the 7-6-3 format, as there are only three interleague games early in the week.

 

The one extra game is Game 1 of the doubleheader between the Nationals and Phillies, as they’ll go ahead and make up Monday’s game right away. Rain washed out that one and also led to a couple of delays, as the heat, humidity, and the summer storms will play a part again on Tuesday night as well.

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Here are some thoughts on the August 8 card (odds from DraftKings):

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies (-290, 8.5) Game 1

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies (-198, 9) Game 2

The Nationals and Phillies will play two on “Twosday” with Trevor Williams vs. Zack Wheeler in Game and Josiah Gray vs. Ranger Suarez in Game 2. Wheeler makes a lot of sense since he’s likelier to work deep into the game and can set the tone and also set up the bullpen for the nightcap. The Nationals will just go with Williams, who was supposed to be Monday’s starter, in the first game.

I don’t have anything on either game here and especially don’t like playing doubleheaders preflop. The same thoughts I had yesterday apply to Williams and Suarez, respectively, in their games, as the Nationals definitely hit lefties better than righties and the Phillies should do well against Williams, who has had home run issues this season.

Ultimately, though, I don’t mess with doubleheaders much and I’ll just move on down the card.

Miami Marlins (-142, 10) at Cincinnati Reds

Braxton Garrett and Luke Weaver will get things going here, as the Reds stopped their six-game skid by beating Eury Perez and the Marlins last night. Brandon Williamson actually turned in a solid effort against a Marlins bunch that has been a top-five offense against lefties. So maybe there’s hope for the right-handed Weaver if Williamson shut down the southpaw smashers.

Or maybe not. Weaver has a 6.98 ERA with a 5.83 xERA and a 6.04 FIP in his 19 starts over 89 innings. He’s arguably the worst starting pitcher in baseball. He’s allowed an 18% HR/FB% with 22 homers allowed in just 19 starts. He’s allowed 71 runs on 114 hits and only has 72 strikeouts. Furthermore, Weaver has an 8.25 ERA at home with a 6.79 FIP. He’s allowed 12 of his 22 homers in just 36 innings at Great American Ball Park and has allowed a .411 wOBA with a .314/.365/.614 slash.

That’s about as bad as it can get for a pitcher and Weaver has allowed four or more in 12 of his 19 starts, including five runs or more three times at home.

Garrett is riding the struggle bus a bit himself. He’s got a 4.14 ERA with a 4.56 xERA and a 3.55 FIP for the season, but he’s got a 5.83 ERA with a 4.36 FIP in his last six starts. He has an excellent 30/4 K/BB ratio, but he’s allowed 20 runs on 37 hits, including five homers. He has a 66.7% LOB% in that span and a .364 BABIP against. It hasn’t all been bad luck because he’s allowed a 49.5% Hard Hit%.

He’ll be on extra rest here after Perez jumped in today, but he’s made some other starts on extra rest in that span and struggled. Even though there are a lot of reasons to go against Weaver, the Marlins have lost 17 of 22 in the second half and their offense is way better against lefties, which Weaver is not. I’ll move on down the card.

Atlanta Braves (-162, 10) at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Braves are a really smart team, but I cannot figure out what they saw in Yonny Chirinos to think that he was a good pickup. Chirinos has a 4.42 ERA with a 5.72 xERA and a 5.09 FIP in his 71.1 innings of work. He’s been an effective pitcher throughout his career, but he missed all of 2021 and only threw seven innings in 2022. This season has not gone well for him at all and his numbers could honestly be worse with a 43.8% Hard Hit% against.

Maybe the Braves did fix him to some degree, as he has only allowed six hard-hit balls in 28 batted ball events across two starts. He’s still allowed seven runs on 12 hits in 8.2 innings, but he’s not getting hit as hard as he did with Tampa Bay. He’s also had a 57.1% GB% in both starts, which is important because he allowed 10 homers in his time with the Rays this season.

Still, I can’t really trust him, even though his two data points aren’t terrible with Atlanta. That said, I will be keeping a close eye since he does have back-to-back double-digit SwStr% starts, despite having a 7.6% SwStr% for the season. I guess it is possible that they’ve made some substantive changes and, honestly, that kept me off of the Over 9.5 here.

It’s probably a touch surprising to see a 9.5 in a Pirates game and one started by Mitch Keller, but Keller has been another passenger on the struggle bus of late. He has a 5.92 ERA with a 4.91 FIP since May 26, which covers his last 13 starts. He’s actually allowed 24 runs in his last four starts, allowing 8, 6, 2, and 8. He’s had some control issues recently, but also some big command concerns with seven homers allowed in his last four starts.

If the Braves really did find a way to fix Chirinos, it will be quite a win for them and I guess I will have to give them the benefit of the doubt and that means staying away from the Over 9.5.

Chicago Cubs (-130, 9.5) at New York Mets

The Cubs were cooled off by the Mets last night, as the Kings of Queens rolled to an 11-2 win behind Kodai Senga and Pete Alonso. It will be a little bit of a taller order for the Metropolitans today with Carlos Carrasco on the hill. Carrasco is having a rough season and this may very well be the end for the 36-year-old, who is a free agent at season’s end. He’s got a 6.60 ERA with a 6.62 xERA and a 6.00 FIP over his 76.1 innings of work. His K% is way down, his BB% is way up, and his HR/FB% is 19%, one of the higher marks of his career.

Carrasco has really been bad since the All-Star Break, allowing 23 runs in four starts over just 15.1 innings of work. He only has nine strikeouts out of 83 batters faced in that span. That’s a 12.33 ERA with a 6.21 FIP against the White Sox, Red Sox, Nationals, and Royals, so we’re not even talking about good opposing offenses.

The Cubs have a .404 wOBA against righties in the second half to easily lead the league. They may need some of that support for Taillon, who has a 5.36 ERA with a 5.11 xERA and a 4.65 FIP in his 94 innings pitched. There are definitely some positive regression signs in the profile with a 64.9% LOB%, and he may finally be experiencing some of it. Taillon has allowed just seven runs in his last five starts, including four runs over his last three starts against St. Louis twice and then Cincinnati.

Taillon has only allowed a 37.1% Hard Hit% on the season and has only surrendered two homers in his last five starts. He’s locating better and has been mixing his pitches more effectively.

It’s a steep price to pay here, but the Cubs pen got a much-needed night off yesterday and Carrasco has been a punching bag of late, while Taillon has straightened some things out. I like Chicago to bounce back tonight and encourage you to shop around for the best price.

Pick: Cubs -130

Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers (-218, 8.5)

Southpaws Kyle Freeland and Wade Miley line up here with the Brew Crew as sizable home favorites against the Rockies. Milwaukee took care of their affairs last night in a big favorite role with a 12-1 win and will look to do the same tonight.

Miley has a 3.01 ERA with a 4.75 xERA and a 4.26 FIP in 71.2 innings of work. He’s got a low strikeout rate, but also a low walk rate and has done well to keep the ball in the park. His 82.7% LOB% does look wildly unsustainable, but he’s only allowed a .258 BABIP with a 34.6% HH% against. Miley is making just his second start since returning from the IL and went four innings with one run allowed against Washington six days ago.

Freeland has a 4.86 ERA with a 5.46 xERA and a 5.25 FIP in his 113 innings of work. The veteran southpaw also has a low strikeout rate and a solid walk rate, but he’s had some bigger home run issues and he’s more of a fly ball guy than he used to be. He’s given up 20 homers, including three last time out against the Padres. Freeland has allowed nine runs on 16 hits over 10 innings since returning from the IL on July 28.

Not much to really add here, other than to say that the full-season numbers aren’t good for the Brewers against lefties, but they are 13th in wOBA at .325 and have a 104 wRC+ in the second half against them, so they’ve certainly been better over the last few weeks.

Los Angeles Dodgers (-162, 9) at Arizona Diamondbacks

The Dodgers are big favorites after finishing up a wraparound set with the Padres as they head to the desert to take on the D-Backs. It will be Julio Urias and Brandon Pfaadt in the series opener, as LA takes a four-game lead over San Francisco and a nine-game lead over Arizona into Tuesday night. The D-Backs are two games out of a Wild Card spot as they’ve really played poorly for well over a month now. 

Arizona has dropped six in a row and a loss here would take them down to .500 for the first time since they were 4-4 back on April 7. On the surface, a loss looks extremely likely given the line on the game and the stat line for Pfaadt, who has a 7.11 ERA, 5.35 xERA, and a 6.65 FIP in his nine starts over 44.1 innings. However, Pfaadt has been better of late with seven runs allowed on 14 hits in his last three starts. Pitching coach Brent Strom moved Pfaadt to the other side of the pitching rubber and the changes have been quite impressive.

He has allowed five homers in that span and has had problems in the middle innings, but he allowed five or more runs in four of his first six starts, so this version of Pfaadt is a really, really big upgrade.

The problem here for Arizona is that Urias is rounding into form as well. He has a 4.69 ERA with a 4.00 xERA and a 4.61 FIP in 86.1 innings, but he’s allowed three runs on 11 hits in his last 11 innings. He gave up eight runs in five innings to the Orioles on July 19, but there was quite a bit of bad luck in there with an average exit velo of 85.9 mph on batted balls and a 33.3% Hard Hit%. Since returning from the IL on July 1, Urias hasn’t had a game with a HH% higher than 33.3%. Overall, he has a 26.4% HH% and a 4.4% Barrel%.

Those contact management numbers do not support a 5.23 ERA. He’s only allowed two homers, but has a 60.2% LOB%. He’s allowed 13 of his 18 runs in two of those six starts. So, we’ll see if he can build off of the good contact management numbers and set the tone tonight. No bet from me in this one.

Minnesota Twins (-118, 8) at Detroit Tigers

Eduardo Rodriguez did not waive his no-trade clause to go to the Dodgers at the Trade Deadline and now makes his first start since that moment in front of the Tiger faithful at Comerica Park. He allowed two runs on seven hits six days ago at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and picked up the victory. He has a 2.96 ERA with a 3.10 FIP in 94.1 innings of work and I’ll be really curious to see the reaction he gets.

Rodriguez has had a tough Tigers tenure, as he missed a good bit of time due to a personal matter last season and then made the decision to stay, which impacted the Tigers minor league system in a big way, especially if bats were the target since they’re in dire need of those. He’s having a really good season this year, though, with a 25.5% K% and a 5.8% BB% to go along with the nice run metrics. He’s also only allowed a 31.9% Hard Hit% in his 257 batted ball events, which is quite strong.

Sonny Gray heads to the hill for the Twins, as he has surpassed last season’s innings total and will soon have the most innings pitched at the MLB level that he’s had since 2019. Gray has a 3.18 ERA with a 3.86 xERA and a 2.92 FIP in 124.1 innings of work across 22 starts. He allowed six runs in his last start before the Break and five runs in his first start after it, but those are the only two starts for Gray with more than three runs allowed this season.

The irony is that he’s actually allowed a home run in each of his last two starts, but has only allowed five runs on 10 hits in 13 innings with 13 strikeouts and no walks. What makes that ironic is that Gray has only allowed five home runs this season. His homer avoidance is bordering on historic levels in the current era and he didn’t allow any homers in those two really bad starts.

While the Twins have bad numbers against lefties for the season, they’ve certainly been better recently and have a .348 wOBA and a 125 wRC+ in the second half. That puts them sixth in wOBA and fifth in wRC+. The Tigers are 29th in wOBA and have just an 82 wRC+ in the second half against righties and got shut down by Pablo Lopez yesterday. I anticipate Gray finding similar success tonight.

Overall, the Tigers are 28th in wOBA and have an 84 wRC+ on offense in the second half. The Twins, meanwhile, are fourth in wOBA at .355 and have a 129 wRC+ that also ranks fourth. The bullpen is well-rested for tonight as well, as they only needed a mop-up reliever for a couple of innings in yesterday’s big win.

While I respect what Rodriguez has done this season, the Tigers have such a low offensive baseline that he has limited margin for error against what is clearly the superior offense in this matchup. As always, shop around for the best line you can find.

Pick: Twins -118

Houston Astros (-130, 8) at Baltimore Orioles

We’ve got a good one here in Baltimore between the Astros and Orioles, as Framber Valdez comes off of a no-hitter against Grayson Rodriguez. Valdez no-hit the Guardians in under 100 pitches last time out and had a signature moment in his quest for the AL Cy Young Award. Valdez is down to a 3.07 ERA with a 3.86 xERA and a 3.11 FIP in his 135 innings of work.

Much like Domingo German’s perfect game, it was hard to see this one coming. Valdez had allowed 15 runs on 21 hits in his previous three starts over 15 innings pitched. All three starts came against AL West opponents and when he got outside the division, he shoved against Cleveland, who never really sniffed a hit if we’re being honest. Valdez has a 54% GB%, which can make it tough to throw no-hitters, but also makes it tough on the opposing offense to score runs.

Up until that bad run coming out of the Break, Valdez had only allowed more than three runs in a start three times. But, now you have to wonder if he found something, if Cleveland just played a big role, or if maybe facing non-AL West opponents made the difference. He obviously gets one outside the division here in Baltimore, who is 12th in wOBA at .325 and has a 107 wRC+ in the second half against southpaws.

The full-season numbers for Rodriguez are not good with a 6.09 ERA, 5.18 xERA, and a 4.80 FIP, but he is a changed man since coming up from an extended stint in the minors. He has a 3.57 ERA with a 2.56 FIP in four starts since his return. He hasn’t allowed a home run and has only issued eight walks. Most importantly, he’s only given up 15 hits in 22.2 innings because his contact management numbers look substantially better. He’s allowed a 3.4% Barrel% and a 36.2% Hard Hit%. Compare that with a 52.2% HH% and a 12.7% Barrel% in his first 10 starts before going to the minors.

I lean with Baltimore here, but not enough to take the O’s. It is important to point out that Felix Bautista and Yennier Cano are both in good shape from a rest standpoint if it comes to that. Even when Rodriguez was having issues, he was still better against righties with a .318 wOBA and he’ll see a lot of them today. It’s just that it’s tough to go against Valdez and teams usually have to win 3-2 or 4-2 and that leaves little margin for error against the Houston lineup, which is a top-10 unit in the second half.

Toronto Blue Jays (-130, 8) at Cleveland Guardians

We’ll see Yusei Kikuchi and Tanner Bibee as the Blue Jays and Guardians take the field on Tuesday night. Gavin Williams was masterful with seven one-hit innings and 12 strikeouts yesterday, but Cleveland couldn’t hit Hyun Jin Ryu or the Toronto pen in the 3-1 loss. Ryu only went four innings after taking a comebacker in the knee, so it was a pretty big lift for the Toronto relief corps.

Kikuchi has a 3.67 ERA with a 4.44 xERA and a 4.68 FIP in his 115.1 innings of work. His main problem this season has been the long ball, which is unfortunate because Cleveland doesn’t hit a lot of them and the 19-foot high wall in left field does suppress right-handed power a bit. Kikuchi has given up 22 homers, but also has 119 strikeouts against 34 walks this season. 

That said, Cleveland is among the league’s best at strikeout avoidance and Kikuchi has allowed a 43.1% Hard Hit% and a 9.5% Barrel% on batted balls, so the Guardians may have a decent chance here, though it’s always hard to say that with their offense. While Jose Ramirez did get suspended for three games, he is appealing the suspension and he cannot start serving it until that process takes place. Emmanuel Clase was also suspended and he served that one game yesterday.

Cleveland will empty the bench here to get some righties in there against Kikuchi, who has allowed a .331 wOBA to righties. They’ve hit 17 of the 22 homers he has allowed, but also have four times the number of plate appearances. It is worth noting that while Kikuchi’s ERA is only .42 runs higher on the road, his wOBA against is 42 points higher and his SLG against is 90 points higher.

It is also worth noting that Kikuchi has allowed four runs in four second-half starts. He hasn’t given up a homer and has struck out 23 against seven walks in 22 innings of work. He’s come back from the Break throwing the ball well in starts against the Diamondbacks, Mariners, Dodgers, and Orioles.

On the Cleveland side, Bibee has also been successful of late. He has a 3.14 ERA with a 3.62 xERA and a 3.87 FIP for the season as a whole in 94.2 MLB innings across 17 starts. He’s got over a strikeout per inning and some good home run avoidance numbers with a 9.2% HR/FB%. Since giving up six runs in a homecoming start of sorts in California against the Padres, he has allowed a total of 12 earned runs in his last eight starts with 50 strikeouts against 21 walks in 46.1 innings of work. Bibee has made four starts in the second half and allowed seven runs on 20 hits over 24.2 innings.

Lastly, Cleveland has a .252 wOBA and a 56 wRC+ against lefties in the second half. So, while I thought I’d like the Guardians as an underdog here with how Bibee’s going and the right-handed-heavy nature of the Jays lineup, I cannot trust their offense one iota here. It is also worth noting that Bibee has allowed a .325 wOBA to righties and a .262 wOBA to lefties.

If you want a fun-money bet, find the best number you can on David Fry to hit a home run. He’s hit a couple with a 141 wRC+ in 39 PA against lefties.

Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox (-180, 10)

Brady Singer and Kutter Crawford are the listed hurlers here as we look at the Royals and Red Sox. Singer is having a really rough season on the whole, but things have started to turn for him. His FIP always suggested a bit of positive regression and it’s been happening of late, as his ERA is down to 5.10 with a 4.94 xERA and a 3.95 FIP. Because FanGraphs’s fWAR calculation is so FIP-heavy, he’s actually not having that bad of a season in their eyes.

However, what FIP can’t take into account is contact quality against and Singer has allowed a 50.5% Hard Hit% on the year. That number hasn’t improved a ton, but his results have, as he’s allowed four runs in his last three starts over 19 innings of work. He’s actually got 23 strikeouts in that span, as he’s really thrown the ball well in the second half. Not much has changed with his pitch usage and he’s still basically a two-pitch pitcher, but he’s had much better outcomes.

Crawford checks in with a 3.62 ERA, 3.44 xERA, and a 3.97 FIP in his 82 innings of work. The right-hander has just shy of a strikeout per inning with some solid peripherals across the board. The issue for him has been pitch efficiency, as he’s struggled to work past five innings in a good number of his starts, but he’s largely been effective when he’s been out there.

Yesterday’s game stayed under the total and I could see the same here tonight, but Singer’s hard-hit rate is still a real concern, especially in a ballpark tailored to offense. I would be surprised if the Royals knock around Crawford and the Boston bullpen is in decent shape after using the three primary guys in last night’s win. No play from me in this one.

New York Yankees (-162, 9) at Chicago White Sox

Clarke Schmidt and Touki Toussaint are the listed starters here. The White Sox beat Gerrit Cole last night behind a strong performance from Dylan Cease, as they have really been fighting over the last few days and credit to them for that. They’ve been the subject of a lot of headlines after comments made by some players that have left the team and some stories that have come out about clubhouse incidents.

Schmidt’s 2023 odyssey is something I’ve talked a lot about. He has a 4.35 ERA with a 4.26 xERA and a 4.33 FIP in his 109.2 innings pitched. However, he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since May 14, as the Yankees have made him a pitch-to-contact guy with an emphasis on staying away from the barrel. From the start of the season through that May 14 start, Schmidt had a 6.30 ERA with a 4.67 FIP. He had 48 strikeouts in 40 innings, but had also allowed eight homers with a .383 BABIP and a 48.8% HH% to go with a 12.2% Barrel%.

Over his last 13 starts, Schmidt has a 40.2% HH% with a 6.2% Barrel% and a 3.23 ERA with a 4.13 FIP. He only has 55 strikeouts in 69.2 innings, but he’s been way more effective. He’s allowed a total of 25 earned runs in those 13 starts.

Toussaint shut down the Guardians on July 28 with five scoreless innings, but he allowed four runs on five hits to the Rangers five days ago and allowed five runs on four hits to the Mets on July 19. I wouldn’t call him trustworthy at all, though most pitchers have been trustworthy against the Yankees for the better part of two months. Still, Toussaint is a guy who does have a major control problem and the timing of the hits he allows has a lot to do with how his game goes.

That said, his BB% troubles are more against lefties than righties, as righties have a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 69 PA with a .200/.304/.333 slash and a .288 wOBA. Lefties have walked 18 times in 107 PA with 15 strikeouts, but also have just a .183/.304/.293 slash.

I gave some thought to the Under 9 here, as the Yankees just don’t have a lot of competent left-handed bats and the White Sox don’t have a lot of competent anything. Ultimately, I couldn’t like it enough to make it a play.

Texas Rangers (-258, 7.5) at Oakland Athletics

Max Scherzer and JP Sears are listed for the final AL game of the evening, as the Rangers came away with a 5-3 win last night. The teams went 2-for-18 with RISP, so our over fell a half-run short in what wound up being the only play of the night because the Phillies game was postponed. A frustrating outcome for the first play of August to say the least.

Scherzer makes his second Rangers start here and he will try to get off to a better start. Scherzer gave up all three runs in the first inning against the White Sox, but those were the only ones he allowed, as he settled in and ultimately got the win with a quality start over six innings with nine strikeouts. We’ll see what he does today, but he did a really good job of limiting hard contact in the first outing, so I’d expect he performs well.

Sears has a 4.07 ERA with a 4.59 xERA and a 5.15 FIP in his 121.2 innings of work. The left-hander has allowed a lot of homers on the season as a strike-thrower who induces a lot of fly balls. He’s given up 25 HR in 22 starts, but 16 have been solo shots. Surprisingly, his numbers are worse at the Coliseum, with a .482 SLG against and 14 of the 25 homers he has allowed.

St. Louis Cardinals at Tampa Bay Rays (-180, 8.5)

Zach Eflin’s MRI results came back fine and the Rays seemed to dodge a bullet with him, but they’re waiting to see what to do with Shane McClanahan as they continue to have to fight through large loads of adversity. Eflin has been stellar this season and a huge addition for them in light of all the starter injuries. He comes into this one with a 3.46 ERA, 3.06 xERA, and a 2.93 FIP in his 122.1 innings of work.

Eflin has been battling a bit of a knee issue, but threw six shutout innings last time out against the Yankees. He’s on a couple extra days of rest here, so we’ll see that impacts him, either positively or negatively. He has allowed five runs twice in four starts since the Break, but also thrown seven shutout and six shutout in the other two starts. 

The other thing about Eflin is that he has been masterful at home with a .240 wOBA against in 72.2 innings and a 2.60 ERA with a 2.65 FIP. He has a 75/8 K/BB ratio at Tropicana Field with a .207 batting average against.

Miles Mikolas has a 4.29 ERA with a 4.94 xERA and a 3.77 FIP in his 134.1 innings of work. The crafty right-hander is on extra rest himself after going seven innings last time out with three runs allowed on six hits. He was suspended for throwing at a Cubs player in his July 27 start and then made the start against Minnesota while the appeal process took place. Mikolas has allowed a .311 wOBA at home, but has a 4.78 ERA, and a .314 wOBA on the road, but has a 3.84 ERA.

It’s been an interesting season for him, especially with a rocky start due to the World Baseball Classic. As the year has gone along, he’s been a little bit better in certain areas, but he’s a pitch-to-contact guy and therefore subject to some variance.

This is another total where I gave it some thought, but the Under 8.5 just isn’t quite good enough for me. Mikolas has had some tough outings recently and I’m not sure what version of Eflin we get with the knee problem. Sometimes that can throw off a guy’s mechanics a little bit and he can struggle to find them again.

San Francisco Giants (-115, 9) at Los Angeles Angels

The Giants will use opener Scott Alexander in front of Alex Wood and the Angels will counter with Lucas Giolito as they look to end a seven-game losing streak. Alexander has a 3.21 ERA with a 3.86 xERA and a 3.30 FIP in his 33.2 innings of work. The longtime relief specialist has a 62.6% GB%, so that’s how he gets by despite a really low K% of 13.3%. 

Wood has a 4.83 ERA with a 5.11 xERA and a 5.09 FIP in his 63.1 innings pitched. He’s had some walk problems this season with an 11.3% BB% and his K%, which usually sits in the low-to-mid 20s, is just 18.8% this season, so he hasn’t really been able to work around the free passes as well. The Angels are a top-10 offense against lefties in the second half with a .340 wOBA and a 115 wRC+, so this may not be an optimal spot for Wood.

For the season as a whole, Giolito has a 4.36 ERA with a 4.78 xERA and a 4.87 FIP in his 130 innings of work. He’s got a solid K%, but has had a homer problem with a 15.2% HR/FB%, which represents the highest of his career in a full season. His two Angels starts have not gone terribly well, as he has allowed 12 runs on 14 hits in nine innings against the Blue Jays and Braves. He’s struck out seven and walked four.

This will be Giolito’s first home start as an Angel, so plenty of friends and family will be in attendance for the Harvard-Westlake High School product. That adds a little bit of an interesting layer to this game. I don’t have a bet on it, as I can’t trust Wood, but the Angels are in freefall mode right now and it would be hard to trust them in any context.

San Diego Padres at Seattle Mariners (-130, 8.5)

Nick Martinez gets the start today for the Padres as they battle it out with Logan Gilbert and the Mariners. Two teams that had high hopes for this season have fallen short of their goals, but one team is moving in the right direction and the other seems stuck in neutral.

Seattle is three games back of a Wild Card spot in the AL and San Diego is only four games back, but the Mariners are now eight games over .500 and the Padres are three games below .500.

This is a weird spot for Martinez, who is starting on two days rest. He has a 3.68 ERA with a 4.41 xERA and a 4.13 FIP over his 80.2 innings pitched. He made a start against Colorado six days ago and went three scoreless innings. He pitched two innings against the Dodgers on August 5 in relief and didn’t allow a run. He only threw 22 pitches in that appearance, so he should be fine, but he’s unlikely to go more than two innings.

Unless the Padres call somebody up, this becomes a Johnny Wholestaff game, as Pedro Avila threw 90 pitches on Sunday. Four relievers were used yesterday and some of the lower-leverage guys h