With the exception of the NL East, which the Atlanta Braves lead by 11.5 games, every division in baseball is tight entering the first weekend of August. The 14-game Friday MLB schedule features only a handful of division matchups, but teams still have a chance to make up some ground. The tightest race is the NL Central, where the Milwaukee Brewers lead the Cincinnati Reds by just half a game. The Brewers host Central foe the Pittsburgh Pirates, while the Reds take on the NL East’s Washington Nationals as part of the Friday MLB schedule. The Houston Astros head to New York to face the Yankees, and they trail the Texas Rangers in the AL West by 1.5 games. The Rangers host the Miami Marlins in a three-game interleague series starting Friday night.
The Yankees are in last place — but five games above .500 — and could build some confidence if they can find success against Houston. Astros vs. Yankees is set for first pitch at 7:05 p.m. ET at Yankee Stadium. Houston is a -154 favorite (risk $154 to win $100), while the Yankees are +131 underdogs in the SportsLine consensus MLB odds. The over/under for total runs scored is set at 9. The 14-game Friday MLB schedule is short on big matchups, but there are plenty of opportunities for wagers. If you combine your favorite picks into a parlay, you can cash in big.
Before making any MLB picks or parlays, be sure to check out the MLB predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven simulation model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every MLB game 10,000 times. It went 331-285 on top-rated MLB money-line picks (+357) over the past two seasons. It entered Week 19 of the 2023 MLB season 49-39 on all top-rated MLB picks this season and has excelled on top-rated run-line picks, going 11-3 (+504). The model also hit on Wednesday’s parlay at +548. Anyone following it has seen big returns.
For Friday, the model has locked in four confident MLB best bets for games that begin at 7:05 p.m. ET or later. If you successfully parlay the picks, you’d be looking at a payout of over 7-1. You can see the model’s best bets at SportsLine.
Top MLB picks today
After simulating every game on Friday 10,000 times, the model is taking the White Sox +1.5 (-152) against Cleveland. Mike Clevinger is expected to start for Chicago, while Logan Allen is the scheduled starter for the Guardians. It’s the same pitching matchup as last Saturday’s meeting between the teams, and Chicago won that one 7-2. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson led the game off with a home run, his only one of the season, and Allen gave up eight hits and five runs. The left-hander has yielded 15 hits and nine earned runs in his past 13 innings.
Both pitchers are 4-4, with Clevinger’s ERA at 3.59 and Allen’s at 3.70, but the White Sox righty has been better recently. Clevinger hasn’t allowed a run in his past two starts, giving up five hits in 9⅔ innings. Andrew Vaughn also homered off Allen in last weekend’s victory and has 13 for the season. Luis Robert took the day off Thursday, and he’ll look to add to his 29 homers. Chicago lost its fourth in a row as the Rangers finished a three-game sweep with a 5-0 victory on Thursday. But the Guardians were just swept by Houston and have lost five of their past six. See more picks at SportsLine.