MLB Parlay for August 4: A Bet That Pays (+230)

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Top sportsbooks have released their MLB odds for today’s baseball action. Two games, in particular, interest me as worth investing in: Astros vs. Guardians and Red Sox vs. Royals.

For reasons that I will explain, you should play the total for both games. Feel free to parlay these bets at one of our best sportsbooks in order to maximize your profit.

Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Guardians

Thursday, August 04, 2022 – 07:10 PM EDT at Progressive Field

Who Is Pitching for the Astros Today?

Justin Verlander starts for Houston tonight. By looking at his ERA, one might refuse to consider playing the "Over" in a game in which he starts.

However, Verlander has benefitted from pitching in venues where he has been significantly stronger than he is in Cleveland's venue.

Whereas he has enjoyed success in, for example, Seattle, he suffers a 10-16 career record and 5.34 career ERA in 29 starts in Cleveland.

Verlander's Numbers 

Verlander's terrific ERA masks a 3.04 FIP (like ERA but factors out fielding) that shows that he is performing much worse than his ERA suggests. Specifically, he is benefitting from a fortunately low opposing BABIP (batting average of balls in play) and from an unsustainably high strand rate.

His stuff is far from invincible. Most often, he throws a fastball that, as heat maps show, frequently lands in the more middle parts of the strike zone where batters tend to make stronger contact. His fastball's xBA and xSLG (expected batting average and expected slugging rate) indicate that batters should be turning more of their contact into actual hits.

Tonight's game offers a strong opportunity to expect the Guardians to exploit Verlander's vulnerability because of his awful history in Cleveland.

Guardians' Batter to Look Out

Among others, look out, especially for Jose Ramirez. In 30 career at-bats against Verlander, Ramirez is batting .367 and slugging .667.

Overall, Cleveland merits optimism also because it ranks above-average against Verlander's favorite pitches from righties.

Who Is Pitching for the Guardians Today?

Cleveland starts Zach Plesac tonight. Pertinently to my best bet for this game, Plesac is a strong "Over" pitcher at home and as an underdog.

The "Over" is 3-0 in Cleveland's games against AL West opponents when Plesac is starting for them.

Plesac's Unreliability 

Plesac's current form attests to his unreliability. In his last four starts, he has allowed a combined total of 14 earned runs in 18.2 innings despite facing zero teams that rank top-10 in runs per game.

Heat maps show the consistency with which he locates his pitches poorly, often placing his pitches in the more middle parts of the strike zone. Such a tendency (to place pitches in more dangerous locations) is often apparent in unreliable pitchers who, like Plesac, are liable to walk several batters in a given game.

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It is not too much of a simplification to say that Plesac will either throw a pitch down the middle or out of the strike zone altogether.

Plesac merits pessimism particularly tonight because the Astros rank third in slugging against his favorite pitches from righties.

MLB Pick: Over 7.5 (-120) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Boston Red Sox vs Kansas City Royals

Thursday, August 04, 2022 - 08:10 PM EDT in Kauffman Stadium

Who Is Pitching for the Red Sox Today?

Tonight, Nick Pivetta starts for Boston. This year, Pivetta has been a very strong "Over" pitcher.

The "Over" is hitting in 63.2% of all his starts, in 75% of his road starts, and in 75% of his starts in which Boston is favored. In Pivetta's last six starts, the "Over" has hit five times.

His poor form largely explains why the "Over" is hitting at this high rate in his starts. He has allowed a total of 25 earned runs in his past five starts.

Pivetta vs. Royals' Batters 

Pivetta merits pessimism especially tonight because of his terrible history against Kansas City. In his career, he has yielded an 8.68 ERA in two starts against the Royals.

Among others, watch out for Michael Taylor and Hunter Dozier. Both batters are hitting .400 or better and slugging .800 or higher in at least five career at-bats against Pivetta.

Who Is Pitching for the Royals Today?

The Royals start Kris Bubic tonight. Bubic's three pitches are his fastball, changeup, and curveball.

Boston's lineup looks particularly attractive tonight because they rank sixth in slugging against his pitches from lefties.

MLB Pick: Over 8.5 (-125) at BetOnline

MLB Parlay Verdict 

For your MLB picks, expect high-scoring contests in Cleveland and Kansas City.

For the above reasons, parlay the "Over" between Houston and Cleveland and between Boston and Kansas City.

 Be sure to use our trusty parlay calculator for your parlay betting needs.

MLB Parlay Picks for Today

  • Astros vs. Guardians: Over 7.5 (-120)
  • Red Sox vs. Royals: Over 8.5 (-125)

MLB Pick: Two-Legged Parlay (+230) at BetOnline

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Two-Legged Parlay (+230)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.