TGIF! This Friday’s MLB slate is highlighted by a couple of possible postseason previews. The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals, who would be the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in the National League playoffs, respectively, if the season ended today, will begin a three-game set at Busch Stadium. And out west, the AL Central-leading Cleveland Guardians will continue their series against the Seattle Mariners, who are in position to end their 21-year postseason drought.
Here we’re going to be tracking all the best MLB picks based on the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook for today’s action.
MLB picks for Friday, August 26
Shane Bieber UNDER 2.5 earned runs (-130)
Bieber is no longer a truly dominant starter, but he remains highly effective. He has posted a 1.62 ERA over his past five starts, allowing a total of six earned runs during that span. The Mariners have a bevy of big bats, but their offense has been cold of late; Seattle has scored only 14 runs over its previous five games. Their lineup could also be missing All-Star first baseman Ty France due to a calf bruise tonight.
Johnny Cueto OVER 18.5 outs recorded (-140)
It’s incredible that the 36-year-old Cueto, picked up by Chicago in April, has been one of the best starters in the American League. The reigning AL Player of the Week has a 1.95 ERA through nine starts since the beginning of July. He threw at least seven innings in six of those outings, and he pitched into the ninth his last time out. This line, which would require Cueto to last at least 6.1 innings, seems like a low bar against the also-ran Diamondbacks.
Nelson Cruz OVER 0.5 singles (+100)
Cruz’s career is winding down and he is no longer the feared power hitter he once was. Although he’s hit fairly well of late, he has just three extra-base hits over his past 19 games. He will face veteran left-hander Mike Minor tonight, and Cruz has dominated that head-to-head matchup to the tune of seven hits in 12 career at-bats. Most of those knocks went for extra bases, but this line provides good value considering that Cruz is a singles-heavy player these days.
Boston Red Sox moneyline (-125)
The Red Sox have been in a freefall for a couple of months and can just about start looking forward to 2023 as they currently sit eight games out of a Wild Card spot. For everything that has gone wrong lately, Wacha has been a rock in the team’s rotation when healthy. He has not allowed a run in his past 14.2 innings since returning from the injured list a couple of weeks ago. Boston is 5-2 in his past seven starts, including 3-0 at Fenway Park. You never know what kind of run support he will get, but Wacha will definitely put the Red Sox in position to win at home tonight versus a Tampa Bay Rays club that will be employing a bullpen game.
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