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Free MLB Picks Today – Four MLB Games Predictions for 8/17/2023

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Tony Mejia drops FOUR free MLB Picks for 8/17/2023. Visit Tony’s expert profile now! You can also find free MLB picks across Wagertalk’s experts all year long.

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The Pulse: Daily MLB Betting Picks for Thursday, Aug. 17

Tigers at Guardians Prediction

TIGERS (-115) at GUARDIANS (+105), 7:15 p.m. ET, Total: 8.5

Although Detroit didn’t sweep its two-game set against Minnesota, picking up an 8-7 win on Wednesday allowed it to hang within eight games of the Twins in the AL Central. The Tigers also did the Guardians a favor since they fell in Cincinnati but remained just 4.5 games back in the division. Given how the Wild Card race is shaping up, the only way either of these teams are going to reach the playoffs is to get hot and surpass a Twins squad that has gone 9-11 over their last 20 games. Detroit has much less room for error since yesterday’s win marked the final time it will play Minnesota this season, while Cleveland still has six games remaining against the team its chasing over the next three weeks. The Guardians are just 2-4 against the Tigers, so getting on track against them is also vital to their aspirations as they try to rally and reach the postseason for the sixth time in seven years.

Talented lefty Tarik Skubal (2-2, 4.18 ERA) has been inconsistent since debuting on July 4, surrendering no earned runs in four of his last six while getting hit hard in his other three outings. Skubal has been able to pitch into the sixth inning in consecutive starts, but his home-road splits have really been eye-opening. He’s been brilliant at Comerica Park, but shaky on the road, which follows a trend that’s been the case most of his career. So far through seven appearances, he’s 2-0 and hasn’t allowed a single earned run at home over 18.1 innings but is 0-2 with a 9.64 ERA over 14 innings in opposing ballparks. Teams are batting .356 against Skubal, who has given up 16 runs (15 earned) despite surrendering just one home run. This will be the seventh time over 68 career appearances that he’ll face Cleveland, but he’s still looking for his first win, coming in 0-2 with a 4.40 ERA. Current Guardians are 9-for-39 against Skubal, with Jose Ramirez (5-for-14, .357) and Myles Straw (3-for-7, .429) faring best. Cleveland righty Xzavion Curry (3-1, 3.39) will be making his 33rd appearance, but only his fifth start, having moved into the rotation earlier this month. Curry comes off his roughest career outing, allowing five runs in five innings in Tampa in his first career road start, so perhaps getting back to Progressive Field will help him settle down early. Current Tigers are 7-for-19 (.368) against Curry, facing him exclusively out of the bullpen. Kerry Carpenter is 1-for-3 against him with a double, while Riley Greene has gone 2-for-5.

THE PLAY – Tigers at Guardians Full-Game Total Bet

The high side prevailed in a Tigers game for the first time since Aug. 9, ending a run of five consecutive contests to the under. The low side is 10-4 over Cleveland’s last 14 games, but we should see runs in this game since Skubal struggles on the road and Curry has yet to prove he’s a reliable starter. Ride the over on 8.5 runs in this key series opener between the Tigers and Guardians.

Mets at Cardinals Prediction

METS (+108) at CARDINALS (-118), 7:15. ET, Total: 10.5

Most of the country will get this game as a nationally televised showcase on Fox, so let’s apologize for them in advance. The schedule makers had good intentions, but neither the Mets or Cards did their part in remaining in contention long enough for this game to remain attractive unless you lay down some action on one of these NL underachievers. New York (55-66) is one game up on St. Louis (54-67) as both settle into spoiler roles since it is unrealistic that either can earn a Wild Card given the multitude of teams ahead of them. The Cubs, Reds, Marlins, Diamondbacks and Padres are all better positioned to earn the final postseason bid, but if an improbable rally is coming from either of these disappointing teams, it would have to start with a four-game sweep in this series since neither have any room for error going forward.

41-year-old Adam Wainwright (3-7, 8.78) is seeing his career come to an unceremonious end and has been part of the problem for the Cards, entering this one with a hideous WHIP of 2.09. He’s surrendered 15 runs over his past two starts, lasting just four innings and allowing eight runs on nine hits in Kansas City before recording three outs last Friday night. Ironically, Wainwright’s last quality start, his only one among 15 appearances this season, came against the Mets on June 17. The Cardinals won that game 5-3, but Wainwright is 0-6 since, seeing his ERA climb by three full runs. Current New York hitters are 29-for-89 (.326) against the veteran righty, with Omar Narvaez (9-for-24, .375) and Rafael Ortega (6-for-14, .429) excelling against him. Both should be in the mix at the bottom of the order, so there may not be any easy outs for Wainwright, who has fared well against Francisco Lindor (2-for-9) and Jeff McNeil (1-for-11). Veteran Colombian lefty Jose Quintana (0-4, 3.03) hasn’t won in 2023, but also hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his five appearances and has a streak of four consecutive quality starts working. Unfortunately, the Mets haven’t scored more than a single run in support of Quintana while he’s been in the game in any of his five outings after debuting following rib surgery. Although current Cardinals are 15-for-49 (.306) against Quintana, most of that damage has been done by Paul Goldschmidt (11-for-17, .647, 3 HRs). Nolan Arenado has gone 2-for-15 against him, but both hits have left the yard.

THE PLAY – Mets at Cardinals F5 MoneyLine Bet 

The best days are behind both these starters, but it’s clear that Quintana has a lot more left in the tank than Wainwright, who looks to be running on empty. So long as the Colombian pitches around Goldschmidt, he should outperform his counterpart in order to give his team the lead entering the sixth inning. Ride the Mets on the first-five money line, which covers us with a push in the event these teams are tied after five and takes New York’s suspect bullpen out of the equation.

Fernando Tatis Jr. hits home run for Padres

Diamondbacks at Padres Prediction

DIAMONDBACKS (-115) at PADRES (-105), 9:40 p.m. ET, Total: 8.5

These NL West squads are getting together for the second straight weekend after pulling off key series wins. The Diamondbacks lost last Friday’s series opener to Blake Snell but rallied to win on Saturday and Sunday, snapping out of a month-long funk. Arizona has now won four of five after starting August 0-9, following up its series victory over the Padres by claiming consecutive wins in Colorado to climb back above .500 and pull within 1.5 games of an NL Wild Card bid. San Diego recovered from squandering a late 4-2 lead in Phoenix on Sunday by taking two of three from the Orioles, so there’s still hope that a season that hasn’t gone according to plan hasn’t gone completely off the rails. Taking care of business at home against the Snakes would go a long way.

Fortunately for Arizona, ace Zac Gallen (12-5, 3.24) has his turn come up for this series opener, giving the visitors an opportunity to set the tone and further bury the Padres. Gallen dominated San Diego’s lineup last Saturday, allowing four hits in six innings while striking out eight and walking one. After slumping through his first few starts after the All-Star break, he’s back on track and has given up just two earned runs through his last 13 innings. Prior to last weekend’s win, Gallen hadn’t pitched in a Diamondbacks victory since July 7. This will be the fourth time he’s facing the Padres this season and he’s fired off all goose eggs in two of those three outings. Current San Diego hitters are batting just .237 against Gallen, although Fernando Tatis (5-for-15, 2 HRs), Manny Machado (6-for-20, 1 HR), Jake Cronenworth (6-for-22, 1 HR) and Xander Bogaerts (3-for-8, 1 HR) have all had their moments against Arizona’s ace. 43-year-old lefty Rich Hill (7-12, 5.17) is back in the NL West after being acquired by the Padres at the trade deadline, but he’s allowed nine runs in 6.1 innings, surrendering three homers in setbacks against his former team, the Dodgers, and these Diamondbacks. Current Arizona hitters are batting .304 against Hill (17-for-56), with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (3-for-5, 1 HR) having done the most damage against him.

THE PLAY – Padres Player Prop Pick  

Although he’s not the biggest name among San Diego’s star-studded bunch, Jake Cronenworth turning up has played a large role in his team starting to get things together down the stretch. Cronenworth was batting .207 as recently as June 20, but enters Friday night’s game up at .231, coming in on a 25-for-70 surge (.357). He’s had nine multi-hit games among his last 18 contests. Ride San Diego’s Jake Cronenworth to top his runs + hits + RBI prop.

Brewers at Dodgers Prediction

BREWERS (+125) at DODGERS (-145), 10:10 p.m. ET, Total: 8.5

The Dodgers didn’t trail in Wednesday’s 7-1 win over the Brewers, improving to 14-1 in August, which includes a 9-0 run at home. Clayton Kershaw went five innings, the bullpen held Milwaukee hitless over the final four frames and the lineup’s top three hitters, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith, finished a combined 8-for-13 at the plate, scoring five times. L.A. has now outscored its opponents 58-14 at home this month, covering the run line in eight of its nine triumphs. Thursday’s game marks the first time they will go off as a home favorite of less than -200 since their last loss at Dodger Stadium, a 9-0 blowout at the hands of Cincinnati. The Crew will look to try and salvage this series finale and has seen their lead in the NL Central trimmed to 2.5 games by both the Cubs and Reds, who are both off until Friday.

Milwaukee is counting on Corbin Burnes (9-6, 3.60 ERA) to help stop the bleeding as he attempts to bounce back from his worst start since June 19. Although the Brewers rallied for a 7-6 extra-inning win in Chicago, Burnes’ streak of allowing two or fewer earned runs ended at seven – all quality starts – as the White Sox tagged him for five runs over 5.2 innings last Friday. Burnes has walked 10 batters over his last three outings after giving out just 15 free passes in his previous nine appearances. Burnes had a 1.85 ERA over six July starts and opened August with another solid outing, so the hope is his latest start was an aberration. Current Dodgers hitters are batting .250 against him. Jason Heyward (4-for-12) has the only homer against Burnes, while Freddie Freeman has gone 3-for-10. Max Muncy, Will Smith and Chris Taylor are a combined 1-for-17 vs. Milwaukee’s ace. Lance Lynn (9-9, 5.88) has been lights out since joining the Dodgers, winning all three of his decisions while allowing just four earned runs over 18 innings, striking out 22 and walking just four in compiling an ERA of 2.00. His number prior to getting a spot in L.A.’s rotation was 6.47. Current Brewers are 22-for-76 (.289) against Lynn, with Christian Yelich owning two home runs despite coming in just 3-for-15 against the veteran righty. Mark Canha, who accounted for the Brewers’ lone run on Wednesday via a solo homer, is an impressive 8-for-17 against Lynn.

THE PLAY – Dodgers Strikeout Prop Pick  

Lynn has been tremendous this month and faces a Brewers lineup that has the fifth-lowest batting average in MLB against right-handed pitching (.232). Milwaukee strikes out in over 26 percent of at-bats against righties and faces a great K artist in Lynn, who has notched at least six strikeouts in 10 of his last 11 outings. Ride the over on Dodgers righty Lance Lynn’s K prop.

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