Free MLB Picks Saturday 9/5/2020 and Opening Line Report
This weekend we’ve broken records. On Friday, we had the most games played in a single day with 20. Now we’ll add even more double-headers to Saturday’s card and make this weekend the craziest weekend in baseball history. Madison Bumgarner will make his return to the mound against his former team, the San Francisco Giants, while other teams are hoping their young prospects and pitchers can make a difference as we approach three weeks left in the MLB season. Here are the leans for Saturday’s MLB action.
White Sox vs Royals 9/5/20 (+193, 9)
The White Sox will pitch Lucas Giolito. If you recognize the name, it’s because he recently threw a no-hitter. He wasn’t his best in his last start, but he has potential in this game against the Royals.
Giolito is striking out 12.21 batters per nine innings and walking 3.33 batters per nine innings. He’s also limiting home runs and has an ERA of 3.14 with an FIP of 2.72. He’s now allowing hard contact as his BABIP is .265, which is a very solid number. Fielders are making plays when he’s on the mound.
Kris Bubic will get the call for the Royals. He’s another rookie starter for the Royals that has been average all season long. He’s got an average strikeout rate but is walking nearly four batters per nine innings. While his ground ball rate is near 50, he’s got an ERA of 5.46 and an FIP of 4.56.
The White Sox have dominated lefties like Bubic. The offense should explode in this one.
Key trends: White Sox are 7-0 in their last 7 road games vs. a left-handed starter.
Early Lean: White Sox -1.5, Under
Brewers vs Indians 9/5/20 (-120, 8)
The Brewers and Indians have had great pitching all season long. It’s the hitting that has kept these teams from being superior. Still, the Indians are scoring enough to sneak wins by and are staying near the top of the AL Central.
Now the Indians will pitch Aaron Civale, who is 3-4 on the season but has a 3.72 ERA and a 3.07 FIP. Civale is really limiting walks and home runs, which has helped all of his numbers this season.
On the other hand, Brandon Woodruff will get the start for the Brewers. He’s got a high strikeout rate and low walk rate and is even getting nearly 50 percent of ground balls on the season. His ERA is also low at 3.67 and his FIP is 3.39.
This game should be under, but I’d expect the Indians to come out on top late in this game.
Key trends: Indians are 6-0 in their last 6 during game 2 of a series.
Early lean: Indians, Under
Tigers vs Twins 9/5/20 (-244, 8.5)
The Tigers will pitch their rookie, Tarik Skubal. He hasn’t been good this season with a 6.75 ERA and a 6.56 FIP. He’s also allowing 2.89 home runs per nine innings and a BABIP of .357 on the season in his first three starts. To make matters worse, Skubal is not getting many ground balls on the season, and the Twins, who are known for their power, will have plenty of opportunity.
The Twins won’t need to score much as they’ll have Kenta Maeda on the mound. Maeda has been excellent this season with a high strikeout rate and a low walk rate. He’s getting 50 percent of ground balls and leaving 80 percent of runners on base. He’s got a 2.53 ERA and a 2.9 FIP, which is one of the best numbers for starters with seven games pitched this season.
The Twins bats don’t need to do much, but they’ll still do plenty with Maeda on the mound.
Key trends: Twins are 19-7 in their last 26 home games.
Early lean: Twins -1.5, Over 8.5
Rockies vs Dodgers 9/5/20 (-200, 9)
The Dodgers and Rockies will continue their three-game series in Los Angeles. The Rockies started off the season hot but have since cooled off with poor pitching and less hitting.
German Marquez will take the mound for his ninth start of the season. He’s done well this season but has had hiccups along the way. Marquez is allowing a BABIP of .326 but getting 45.8 percent of ground balls on the season. He has an ERA of 4.88 but an FIP of 3.73, showing that he's been a bit unlucky.
However Tony Gonsolin hasn’t been unlucky or lucky. He’s just been very good. Gonsolin, who will get the start for the Dodgers, has an ERA of .51 and an FIP of 2.23 in four starts this season. He hasn’t allowed a home run yet this season and there’s just no way the Rockies and Marquez can keep up with the Dodgers pace as they’ll have plenty of chances to score runs in this one.
Key trends: Dodgers are 6-0 in their last 6 during game 2 of a series.
Early lean: Dodgers -1.5, Over
Diamondbacks vs Giants 9/5/20 (-115, 8.5)
Madison Bumgarner will take the mound against his former team, the San Francisco Giants. Bumgarner started off the season very poorly with a 9.35 ERA and a 8.78 FIP. He wasn’t getting many strikeouts before he hit the injured list, and you can’t expect him to get many with his return. He struggles getting ground balls, and his exit velocity was 91 miles per hour this season before his IL stint.
Meanwhile, Trevor Cahill will get the start for the Giants. He’s been very good with a BABIP of .167. Fielders are making plays with him on the mound as a lot of the contact has been soft contact against Cahill. He’s got an ERA of 2.51 but has been a bit lucky with a 4.53 FIP. Still, his 4.53 FIP looks amazing compared to Bumgarner’s 8.78 FIP.
The Giants have to be excited to go up against Bumgarner on the opposite side here.
Key trends: Giants are 5-0 in their last 5 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
Early lean: Giants, Over
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