Best MLB prop bet for today, 8/1: Orioles to score 4 or more

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Ryan Mountcastle (6) celebrates with right fielder Anthony Santander (25) after hitting a home run during the fourth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
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Javan Shouey


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Today is the MLB trade deadline and with plenty of teams soon to make roster changes, it is important to be aware of the bets you make. Betting a team total over on a team who is soon to sell a key bat, or vice versa, is likely not going to be a profitable choice. There is no shame in waiting for official lineups today, but I have still found 2 props that I believe hold value regardless of today’s transactions. Let’s dive in!

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Baltimore Orioles team total Over 3.5 (-145)

Odds available at BetMGM Sportsbook at time of publishing. Playable to -150 odds for 3.5, or Over 4 at -120 or better.

The Baltimore Orioles have been my favorite American League team to watch for the last 2 seasons now, and their offense continues to be undervalued. Today they have a team total of only 3.5 despite being on the road and guaranteed all 9 innings to bat. This was crucial for me yesterday, as the Angels scored their 4th and final run in the 9th inning to cover their team total. On the road this season the Orioles rank 5th in runs per game with an average of 5.28 per contest. Overall Baltimore has scored 4 or more runs in 16 of their last 23 games including game 1 of this series. The O’s only faced 6 left-handed starting pitchers in the month of July but scored 4 or more runs in 5 of those games. Across 204 PA in that span they rank 11th in wOBA, 5th in SLG, 2nd in hard-hit rate and have a wRC+ of 117. In 515 PA against southpaw pitching on the road this season the Orioles sit 2nd in both SLG and wOBA while registering 11th in hard-hit rate and 2nd in wRC+ at 125.

The left-hander they face today is Hyun Jin Ryu, who will make his season debut and only his 7th start in the last 2 years. The 36-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery, which is not always the easiest injury to return from. He was already showing signs of decline prior to the injury. In 2021 Ryu posted a 4.37 ERA, 4.02 FIP and 4.17 SIERA. While still solid marks for an end-of-rotation arm, he wasn’t his former self despite tossing 169.0 innings. Last season lasted only 27.0 innings before the injury, but he posted an undesirable 5.67 ERA with a 4.78 FIP and 4.46 SIERA behind it. Well above-average hard-hit and barrel rates in those 2 seasons resulted in a lackluster batted ball profile which offsets his elite command. After only 2 minor league rehab assignments, Ryu is not likely to be fully extended or in peak form. The Toronto bullpen has been good lately but are somewhat taxed. Jordan Romano is on the IL while Jay Jackson, who appeared in 9 games last month, is on the bereavement list. Nate Pearson, Yimi Garcia and Genesis Cabrera have each been used twice in the last 3 days,as well. Jordan Hicks was traded for and may join the team, but it is still a unit that can be scored on, and I expect 4 or more runs scored from the road team in this matchup.

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Alex Cobb, SF, Over 17.5 outs recorded (-110)

Odds available at BetMGM Sportsbook at time of initial post to Twitter. Playable to -130 odds. Fine with under 2.5 ER at -125 or better.

The main worry with this play is that Alex Cobb was pushed back a day from his originally scheduled start yesterday. The right-hander apparently was dealing with some level of a stomach bug, but Gabe Kapler stated he expects a fully ready Cobb for tonight. The last 4 times that Cobb has pitched on 6 days of rest he has thrown 95, 94, 92 and 97 pitches, so if he feels fine enough to play the leash should be of no concern. I would worry more about his leash if the game was to be played in a hot environment, but San Francisco at the time of first pitch is likely to be in the high-50s, providing very enticing pitching weather. The result is a total of only 7.5, although having 2 all-star hurlers on the mound doesn’t hurt. Cobb will be opposed by Zac Gallen, and with the playoff race heating up this matchup is crucial for both teams. Run prevention will be key in this environment and Cobb is the guy for the job, as he has allowed 2 or fewer earned runs in 14 of 19 starts this season including all 8 at home. His sparkling 1.09 home ERA is the product of only 10 walks and 1 home run allowed in nearly 50.0 innings of work.

The Giants have opted for bullpen games in 3 straight, and 4 of the last 5 games they have played. Using openers lead to 3 wins in those 4 games but has left their bullpen heavily used up. Long relief options like Sean Manaea, Ryan Walker and Jakob Junis have all recently been used for length, while high their closer Camillo Doval has thrown 25, 20 and 18 pitches the last 3 nights — leaving him unavailable tonight. The Rogers twins have been used heavily, as well, with Tyler throwing 3 straight nights and Taylor being used in 3 of the last 4. Logan Webb starts tomorrow, but the next 2 games look like more bullpen games. The Giants would love nothing more than to get 6 or more innings from Cobb tonight.

Cobb’s command has been on point all season, ranking 82nd percentile in BB% and throwing first-pitch strikes 67.6% of the time. His 3.83 pitches per plate appearance are an efficient mark and have allowed him to work deeply into ball games. This includes his first matchup of the season against Arizona, when he tossed 7.1 innings of scoreless ball. Cobb relies heavily on his sinker (41.1% usage) and splitter (36.2%) combination, and both pitches have been very good to him in terms of run value. The Diamondbacks saw the 12th-most right-handed splitters in July yet recorded the 10th-lowest AVG and 7th lowest wOBA against that pitch. Overall, against right-handed pitching in July Arizona’s performance slipped, ranking just 24th in wOBA, 26th in AVG and posting a wRC+ of 88. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is in a massive slump, which also hurts the middle of the order. Given cool temperatures and an already pitcher-friendly park, Ballpark Pal is projecting Oracle park for a 14% decrease in overall run scoring, and a 38% decrease in home runs. Look for Cobb to generate a quality start for his team.

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