Free MLB Picks Wednesday 8/26/2020 and Opening Line Report
Wednesday’s MLB slate features plenty of rivalries and exciting match-ups between potential playoff teams next month. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound against the Giants late on the slate, while Sonny Gray will make his seventh start of the season against the Brewers with a 2.21 ERA. Here are the leans for some of the MLB action on Wednesday.
Twins vs Indians 8/26/20 (Twins -141, 8.5)
The Twins and Indians are fighting at the top of the AL Central. Jose Berrios will take the mound for the Twins. He had a 2-3 record with a 4.75 ERA and a 4.19 FIP. Berrios has been a bit unlucky this season but also hasn’t been the ace we’re so used to seeing. He still has high strikeout numbers, but his walk rate is trending up.
He’ll go up against Adam Plutko of the Indians, who has a 1-2 record in five games and four starts, along with a 6.88 ERA and a 5.88 FIP. Plutko is struggling getting strikeouts, and the Indians offense is struggling to score runs. Plutko is also allowing plenty of hard line drives and fly balls as opposed to ground balls.
Look for Berrios to come around and pitch a quality outing in this one for the Twins.
Key trends: Twins are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 3 of a series.
Early Lean: Twins, Over
Yankees vs Braves 8/26/20 (Braves -115, 9)
The Yankees are 16-9 on the season and had a huge break over the weekend after the Mets had to postpone games over the weekend. The Yankees got some rest and have all-star slugger Aaron Judge back in the lineup this week. Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound with an 0-1 record and a 4.6 ERA along with a 4.58 FIP. His ERA is basically what Tanaka is this season. Low amount of strikeouts in four starts but also has low amount of walks.
On the flip side, Max Fried will give it a go for the Braves. He’s 4-0 in six starts and is the ace of the Braves staff with Mike Soroka out for the season. Fried has a 1.32 ERA and a 2.38 FIP and is getting 55.3 percent of ground balls this season. Fried is striking out 8.74 batters per nine innings and walking 2.91 batters per nine innings.
One thing Fried has done well is getting out of jams. Tanaka hasn’t done that. I like the Braves in this game, but maybe in the first five innings as opposed to the full game.
Key trends: Braves are 8-0 in their last 8 interleague home games vs. a right-handed starter.
Early lean: Braves F5, Under
Reds vs Brewers 8/26/20 (Reds -135, 8)
The NL Central was supposed to be a fantastic division with plenty of hitting and great pitching. We’ve got great pitching, but hitting in this division has been hard to come by for most of these teams. The Reds and Brewers have struggled offensively all season long.
The Brewers won’t have it easier going up against Sonny Gray, who is 4-1 in six starts this season with a 2.21 ERA and a 2.68 FIP. Gray is striking out 12.52 batters per nine innings and walking 3.19 per nine innings. His ground ball rate is average at 45 percent. He’s doing what he has to do.
The Brewers will send out Adrian Houser who is notorious for his ground balls. He’s 1-2 on the year with a 3.72 ERA and a 4.76 FIP but has a 66.3 percent ground ball rate this season. He’s just not getting enough strikeouts, which means more balls in play, which then means more opportunities to score runs for the Reds.
I like having more opportunities to score. The Reds have that opportunity.
Key trends: Brewers are 2-5 in their last 7 games as an underdog.
Early lean: Reds, Under
Mariners vs Padres 8/26/20 (Padres -218, 8.5)
The Padres have been the most surprising team in the MLB this season with an 18-12 record before Tuesday’s game. They’ll send Dinelson Lamet to the mound with a 2-1 record and a 1.89 ERA. His 2.99 FIP makes him one of the best pitchers in baseball, and he’s already taken over ace status in San Diego. Lament is striking out 12.15 batters per nine innings and walking 2.97 batters per nine innings. His BABIP is a whopping .203.
The Mariners will pitch Taijuan Walker, which is usually a fade pitcher for many MLB handicappers. He’s a fade for me, too. Walker has a 4 ERA but a 4.95 FIP with just 8.33 strikeouts per nine innings and 2.67 walks per nine innings. The home run big has gotten to him as he has allowed 1.67 per nine innings.
The Padres should win big at home here. Maybe look at the Padres team total and take over if you’re looking for an over/under play.
Key trends: Padres are 7-0 in their last 7 overall.
Early lean: Padres, Over
Dodgers vs Giants 8/26/20 (Dodgers -250, 8.5)
The Dodgers are 22-8 before Tuesday’s game and will now throw ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is 3-1 in four starts this season and has a 2.25 ERA and a 3.96 FIP on the season. He’s getting a ground ball rate of 61.4 percent but has been hit with the long ball 1.88 times per nine innings. However, his strikeout rate is still high at 10.88, and his walks are low, which make him an intriguing pitcher any time he’s on the mound.
Kevin Gausman will pitch at home for the Giants. He’s 1-1 with a 4.65 ERA but a 3.14 FIP. He’s looked good and actually has been a bit unlucky while looking good. Gausman is striking out 12.19 batters per nine innings and walking just 1.74 batters per nine innings. The one thing he doesn’t have that Kershaw has is the ground ball rate. The Dodgers have plenty of power and guys in the lineup that can hit hard contact and launch the ball.
The Dodgers bats should exploit Gausman’s fly ball: ground ball ratio and score enough runs for Kershaw.
Key trends: Dodgers are 39-12 in their last 51 vs. a team with a losing record.
Early lean: Dodgers, Over
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