Odds and Ends

MLB Best Bets for August 2

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: August 2, 2021, 1:54 pm ET

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If you're feeling the Monday blues, then a fun little six-game card on the diamond Monday night is just the thing you need. With plenty of tight lines, there is money to be made everywhere. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite bets.

Baltimore Orioles (+215) vs. New York Yankees (-270) Total: 10

With a high total, it's surprising to see oddsmakers counting on so little from the Baltimore Orioles. Sure, the Yankees have been ripping the cover off the ball ever since adding Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo at the trade deadline, but there are plenty of things working against the Yankees here.

For starters, the Orioles can absolutely rake against lefties. They're seventh in the league in wRC+ within that split, with some huge victories this year coming against southpaws. Additionally, Andrew Heaney isn't even very good. The lefty has allowed barrels at a 9.4% clip and his hard-hit rate has climbed to 41.7%. With a 4.22 xERA, he's nothing more than a back-end starter, and now he's begun to slip in the walk department.

Heaney's walked five over his last two starts, but he's relied on his strikeouts to limit most of the damage. The Orioles have walked at an impressive 10.3% rate over the last week and have limited strikeouts to 17.5%, making the new Yankees's road a little difficult.

I don't really feel like fading the Yankees offense when it's looking like this, and I don't want to back Jorge Lopez. With that, I'll target the team total.

Edge: Orioles Total Over 3.5

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Seattle Mariners (+175) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (-221) Total: 9

Like the Yankees, the Rays are red hot at the moment after the trade deadline, but unlike that game, I trust the undervalued underdog.

Chris Flexen may have had a bad outing against the Astros, but it was not only an outlier but it was also probably his tallest test in quite some time. He still managed to keep walks to a minimum in that one, and he allowed just one home run.

Flexen's ability to limit damage (6.2% barrel rate, 39.4% hard-hit rate) should work for him here, as should the fact that Tampa Bay has struck out a lot lately.

This is the Mariners' moment, and they've posted a 122 wRC+ over the last week. They're facing Michael Wacha, who's been a disaster at times this year. I trust Flexen, and I trust their ability to hit the ball. The talent is real, and against a pitcher who's allowed eight homers in his last four starts this is the time to back them. 

Edge: Mariners +175

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Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.