Atlanta Braves' Jorge Soler, right, celebrates his home run with Freddie Freeman
Atlanta Braves' Jorge Soler, right, celebrates his home run with Freddie Freeman (5) during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

MLB Best Bests, Aug. 23

Although it’s a Monday in the thick of August and interesting games to bet on are hard to come by, if you are a money addicted degenerate, you have been blessed with this fresh MLB slate. Since the NBA Finals, there has been a steady drought of captivating action in the betting arena. This is when the public can catch Vegas bookmakers napping and benefit off of the generous value they give out, before they focus up on a prime betting season coming soon.

Yankees vs. Braves (Yankees +1.5)
In an interleague matchup, the NL East division leader Atlanta Braves are at home versus the New York Yankees. While they have performed well among a relentless division, Atlanta has an atrocious record ATS at home with a cover percentage of 35%. The Bronx Bombers come into this matchup second in their division but hold a fantastic record of 72-52. Even though the Yankees have won nine straight coming into this one, they are currently underdogs at a ML value of +125 with the Braves favored at -160. To list a New York squad that is blazing hot and completely healthy as an underdog is fully blasphemous, no matter who they’re playing. Despite the fact Atlanta is the league’s third best in home runs, on the mound for the Yankees is left hander Jordan Montgomery, who is good at keeping the ball in the park. Montgomery has been efficient by only allowing 13 homers in 120 innings pitched. This overperforming Braves squad has finally hit a tough stretch in their schedule starting with the Yankees, and after breezing through a string of low tier clubs, expect to see them unable to cover again against a far superior team.   

Royals vs. Astros (Astros -1.5)
Our next best bet is the AL West division leading Astros against the Kansas City Royals. Houston is a sizeable home favorite with ML odds of -220, whereas the Royals are dogs at +200. On the mound for Houston is the Cy Young Award winning ace, Zack Greinke and opposing him for the Royals will be lefty, Daniel Lynch. Lynch has an ERA over 5 with a 3-3 record and when you factor in the bats of Kansas City, or lack thereof, this is a mismatch for the ages on paper. In the last meeting between these two clubs, an anomaly of sorts took place when Kansas City took three of four games from the Astros. In addition, the Royals have won six of their last seven overall, and with a team that is currently 13 games under .500 going up against a dominant team, don’t expect that streak to continue. After overperforming in the past ten games while facing subpar competition, Kansas City now has to face a hungry Astros team with mismatches everywhere, so you know where I’m putting my money.

Mariners vs. A’s (A’s -1.5)
Last, in another AL West showdown, the Mariners send it to the bay area for a matchup against the Athletics. This line is currently at -103 for Seattle and -107 for the A’s making them a slight moneyline favorite. This allows for some juicy value for the A’s runline of -1.5 which is sitting at odds of a whopping +170. After fading the A’s in the Bay Bridge series and losing two of three against the Giants, I anticipate this club will bounce back after being outgunned by the best team in the league. They are now all warmed up and face a less intimidating opponent at home who they are above in their division by three and a half games. Oakland’s overall ATS cover percentage on the season sits at a fifth best, 54.8%, and while they have lost six out of their last eight, with the long-term rate at which they cover you can lock them in for this one. Oddsmakers handing out +170 runline value does not happen often so make sure to follow the numbers and play “Moneyball” like Oakland GM Billy Beane. 

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