BetsByBob's Thursday MLB Picks: Look for the Athletics to cruise behind Bassitt

Chris Bassitt

The MLB is back in action today, with games going all day long. Some doubleheaders, a few morning getaway days, and some night games on the west coast also. Bettors can rejoice, as we also have a few preseason NFL games today to help break the trend of nothing but betting the bases as of late. Nonetheless, my focus is still over on baseball. For those that have been paying attention, the Pickswise newsletter hit again, making that 7 in a row now thanks to the Red Sox beat-down of the Rays.

It was a solid day for me overall, going 4-1, and is something I am looking to build on here today. I have a juicer card than I normally like to play, but I still believe there is value in these. Let’s try and keep the train rolling heading into the weekend!


Oakland Athletics (Chris Bassitt) @ Cleveland Indians (Eli Morgan)

Play: Athletics -1 (-134)

*Playable to: Athletics -1 (-140)

Oakland managed to rally for me yesterday in the late stages of the game to come back and win. The Indians have struggled a bit as of late, but their bats have come alive here more so in the second half of the season. They have a much tougher pitching assignment here today, so runs will be harder to come by for them here.

Chris Bassitt gets the start for the Athletics, and he has had a really nice season up to this point. He has a 3.19 ERA with a 3.41 FIP, and does a good job keeping guys off the base paths. Bassitt only walks 5.7% of batters to go with a strikeout rate of 25.2%. What is more impressive, is the minuscule amount of hard contact that he gives up. Bassitt is currently sporting a HardHit% of 33.2%, which is really impressive. Bassitt should give this Indians lineup plenty of trouble here today.

Eli Morgan will be the starter for the Indians, and he has not had a fine season like Bassitt. Morgan comes into this one with an ERA of 6.09 with a FIP of 5.21, while also sporting a WHIP of 1.263. He allows a good amount of traffic on the bases, and couple that with a homerun rate of 6.4%, and that can get you in trouble quickly. Morgan allows a good amount of hard contact, and is a fly ball pitcher. The Athletics should be able to get some runs off Morgan here, and wouldn’t be surprised to see him give up multiple homers to a talented lineup in this morning game.

Be sure to check out our full game previews for all of today’s MLB games

San Diego Padres (Yu Darvish) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Taylor Widener)

Play: Padres -1.5 (-135)

*Playable to: Padres -1.5 (-140)

Yu Darvish of the San Diego Padres

CREDIT – Jayne Kamin-Oncea (USA Today)

The Padres are heading to Arizona after getting shutout by Miami in their final game of their homestand yesterday. They currently find themselves 8 games back in their division, and 4 games back from the top wild card spot. That is a thin line for a talented team to walk with high playoff asperations, but lucky for them, they get 4 games here against the lowly Diamondbacks.

Yu Darvish gets the assignment of the series opener, and has been one of the better pitchers in baseball the past few years. He currently has an ERA of 3.43 with a FIP of 3.67. Darvish really has honed in his control the past few seasons, and that is no different here in this one. He hardly walks anyone, and limits hits as well, giving him a great WHIP of 0.995. Darvish has elite stuff that has lead him to have a strikeout rate of 30%, and the HardHit% is only 34.1% when hitters do make contact. He gets the pleasure of taking on one of the weaker lineups in baseball today, and should flourish in this one.

Taylor Widener will be opposing the Padres ace, and has struggled like much of this Diamondbacks pitching staff has this season. He has an ERA of 4.89 but with a FIP of 5.81. The control issues for Widener are really what get him in trouble, and even he has been lucky with that so far this season. He has a walk rate of 10.1% and gives up a homerun 5.3% of the time. Add it all up with a HardHit% of 45.1%, and he could be in for a long (or short) outing here against a very talented Padres lineup. I am comfortable playing the -1.5 run line here, as the Padres are guaranteed to get to hit in all 9 innings. Padres should take this one comfortably.

After cashing last night’s, check out today’s MLB mega parlay at +1063 odds!

Pickswise is the home of free MLB Picks and Predictions. Check out the latest MLB Prop Bets and MLB Parlays as well as our MLB Best Bets from the experts.

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