MLB Best Bets: Baseball Picks, Predictions for Thursday, August 5th


We have had a superb week of MLB action, highlighted by Max Scherzer’s) electric debut as a Dodger last night. Almost everywhere you look right now in the majors, the air feels a bit different as we approach the home stretch toward Fall. It’s a glorious feeling for a baseball fan, and an even better feeling for MLB bettors. With increased meaning behind games, we usually have an easier time picking winners.

This week has not only been entertaining, it’s also been lucrative for our Bets of the Day. We went 2-1 once again on Wednesday, pushing our season-long record up to 41-28. That’s close to a .600 winning percentage, with a ton of momentum heading toward the weekend.

Thursday’s slate features 12 more games for us to pick from, so let’s dive right in. Here’s the three MLB plays we have chosen as our Bets of the Day.

MLB Betting Picks, Predictions — August 5th

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers

Pitching Matchup: Martin Perez vs. Tarik Skubal
Pick: Red Sox -130

I wanted to pick at least one matinee game today, so I’ll go with my hometown team. The Red Sox may have been stumbled a bit offensively since the All-Star break—they have averaged four runs per game in the second half of the season—but they did break a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Tigers Wednesday. Thank goodness for Detroit.

Now Boston draws Tarik Skubal, who looked to be having a halfway-decent sophomore campaign until he hit the skids in July. The 24-year old southpaw has surrendered 18 earned runs over 27.2 innings across his last five starts. In that span, he has allowed 30 hits. He has also served up three homers in each of his last two starts, against the otherwise-tepid offenses of Kansas City and Baltimore.

The Sox bats woke up a bit Wednesday, with a 410-foot blast by J.D. Martinez in the second inning, and back-to-back jacks by Kike Hernandez and rookie Jarren Duran in the fifth. With the way Skubal has been pitching, I wouldn’t be surprised if Boston cracked another three dingers on Thirsty Thursday.

Martin Perez has been nowhere near great this season, but he almost always gives the Sox offense a chance to compete for the win. He has surrendered three or fewer runs in 17 of his 21 starts this season, and only really been blown out a few times. One such time was his last outing in Tampa, in which the 30-year old lefty served up three homers and six total runs.

I like Perez to rebound Thursday, as the Tigers have scored just 16 runs in their past five games. Veterans eat up subpar teams, and Perez is no different—so far this season, he has pounced on the likes of the Twins, Orioles, Marlins, Rangers, Royals, and, you guessed it, the Tigers. The southpaw’s line against Detroit on May 5: 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 SO, 2 BB. Sox manager Alex Cora will take another solid but unspectacular outing from Perez Thursday—if Boston’s bats stay hot, there will be no need for heroics on the hill.

San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks

Pitching Matchup: Alex Wood vs. Merrill Kelly
Pick: OVER 5 Runs in 1st 5 Innings (+110)

The red-hot Giants have made me a ton of money this season, just as they did on Monday and Wednesday nights. So I’m tempted to go with San Fran -165 Thursday, but instead I’ll go with the OVER on the run total of five over the first five innings. Hey, it’s fun and it’s +100!

Alex Wood has enjoyed a strong age-30 season, but he just gave up four runs in five innings against Houston on July 31. On five different occasions this season, he has surrendered four or more runs in his first five innings. I think this start will be another non-quality start, as Arizona has showed more pop than its 34-75 record suggests. The D-backs have plated six or more runs in six of their last 15 games. Who needs “(player-popup #eduardo-escobar)Eduardo Escobar”:/players/eduardo-escobar-11507—this team competes!

What pushes this prop into green territory for me is Kelly against San Fran. Across his last two outings against the Giants, the 32-year old righty has given up seven earned runs over 10 total innings. With San Francisco continuing to wield hot sticks (giggety!), I’m all-in on the OVER in the first five. Root for both clubs to mash, and print that cash off this NL West clash! (I’ll see myself out…)

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Cleveland Indians

Pitching Matchup: Ross Stripling vs. Triston McKenzie
Pick: Blue Jays -1.5 in 1st 5 Innings (+110)

I’m biting on two consecutive “1st 5” props—somebody call help! Nah, I’m betting them because I like the odds and I love the value. And it’s sometimes fun to deviate from the same-old song-and-dance of moneylines and run lines.

Ross Stripling has enjoyed a quietly effective season for the Blue Jays, who have showcased the most power in the majors the last couple months. Meanwhile, Triston McKenzie has looked erratic throughout his second season as a big-leaguer, surrendering five earned runs on a half-dozen occasions since May. How can you not love the Jays here? The +110 is too tempting to pass up.

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

Sloan Piva (SloanPiva)

Sloan Piva is a veteran of the sports journalism industry, and a freelance sports betting analyst. He received his master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Massachusetts, and currently resides in East Bay, Rhode Island with his wife and daughter. He covers the MLB, NFL, NBA, NCAA, and PGA, as well as anything related to fantasy sports and sports betting. Shoot him an email anytime at!