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Juan Soto
Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

MLB Best Bets for August 5

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: August 5, 2022, 2:52 pm ET

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We have a splendid baseball slate in store for Friday as we begin some good series around the league, and it's about time we get to some best bets. Here's how I'm seeing the card.

Toronto Blue Jays (-125) vs. Minnesota Twins (+105) Total: 8.5

While José Berríos versus Tyler Mahle sounds like a good matchup, the truth of the matter is that it's probably ripe for runs.

The over is 14-7 when Berrios starts this season, for a profit of 5.73 units, while it's 13-6 with Mahle on the hill, good for 5.82 units. When both of these guys have toed the slab, fireworks have ensued.

In all fairness, Mahle has had a somewhat decent season, though I don't feel good about him in this spot against one of the best offenses in baseball, which has ranked top five in wRC+ in the last 30 days. What I'm more concerned about is Berrios and his 5.17 xERA, which is disastrous. On top of that, he has one of the worst hard-hit rates in baseball at 45% and a .423 xwOBA on contact which also puts him among the worst in the league.

It's not as if Minnesota has torn it up in the last couple of weeks, but it has the power bats to make a dent against this struggling right-hander and give him a rude welcome in his return to the Twin Cities.

Edge: Over 8.5

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San Diego Padres (+135) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (-160) Total: 8.5

I'm really loving all the overs tonight. There are two pitchers here in Sean Manaea and Tony Gonsolin which have been trending in the wrong direction, and two offenses which might wind up ranking in the top five in run production this month.

Manaea has allowed two homers in each of his last couple of starts, and in the month of July let up a homer in every single one of his outings. On top of this, he walked 11 in give starts, which is not what you want against a Dodgers team which has one of the best walk rates in baseball.

On the other side, Gonsolin has fallen off a cliff, perhaps feeling the effects of more innings than he's used to pitching. He's given up 12 earned in his last three outings and also surrendered a longball in each of his July starts. While San Diego has struggled all year in the power department, it now has Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Brandon Drury to help out there.

I'm thinking we'll see a slugfest.

Edge: Over 8.5

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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.