This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Previous day: 3-0, +1.05 RW Bucks
Season: 20-23-3, -4.68 RW Bucks
We have our usual jam-packed MLB Saturday on tap, and I'll look to keep a recent favorable streak going with a pair of later-afternoon clashes that are heavy on southpaws. Home underdogs are always intriguing, and both games I'll be highlighting caught my eye partly for that very reason.
Rays at Rangers, 4:05 p.m. EDT
The Pick: Rangers +132 (DraftKings Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck
The Rays have been one of the hottest teams in baseball the last several weeks, going 17-4 to vault into first place in the AL East. However, Tampa Bay has enjoyed much more success against right-handed pitching, as it sports a 27.9 percent strikeout rate, .214 average, -5.9 wRAA and .284 wOBA in 283 plate appearances against left-handed pitching on the road in the last month. Allard has been a quality pitcher as well, posting a 1.54 ERA and 0.77 WHIP in 11.2 home innings. While he's only been utilized as a starter once this season, he does have 18 starts at the big-league level prior to this year and could potentially work five to six innings in this spot.
On the other side, the Rangers do get a tough draw against the seemingly ageless Rich Hill, who is 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 11 starts. Hill has pitched to more contact on the road, however — his 5.9 K/9 when traveling is dwarfed by his 11.9 figure at home — and he's facing a Rangers team that's been among the most lethal versus lefties in baseball recently. The Rangers are batting .311/.347/.500 with a .362 wOBA against southpaws at home in the last month.
Marlins at Pirates, 4:05 p.m. EDT
The Pick: Pirates +130 (FanDuel Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck
Secondary Pick: Under 3.5 runs first 5 innings (+110 at William Hill Sportsbook) for 1 RWBuck
The Marlins have been one of baseball's worst road clubs, going 12-20 straight up and averaging just 3.7 runs per game. Miami has also dropped the first two games of the series to Pittsburgh and lost seven consecutive games overall. The Marlins have a .225 average, -7.9 wRAA and .285 wOBA against right-handed pitching on the road in the last month. De Jong also pitched very well in his first start of the season Sunday against the Rockies, allowing an earned run on three hits over five innings, while Pirates relievers own a 2.92 ERA, .214 BAA and .292 wOBA at home in the last month.
The Pirates do get a very tough assignment in Rogers, who continues to roll along with a 6-3 record, 1.87 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 11 starts. He's been nearly as elite on the road as at home, but the matchup Saturday is a bit tougher, at least on paper, than one would assume. Pittsburgh has actually enjoyed some success at home against lefties — it certainly helps that the Pirates' best hitter, the lefty-swinging Adam Frazier, is even better in same-handed matchups than against righties — as evidenced by their .269 average, .807 OPS and .341 wOBA against that handedness over the last month in their home park. Then, Marlins relievers are also reeling lately on the road, posting a 7.79 ERA .316 BAA and .355 wOBA in that split over an 85-batter sample the last two weeks.