Houston Astros ace and American League Cy Young favorite Justin Verlander returns to the mound for the first time since Aug. 28 when he faces the Oakland Athletics in the second game of a four-game series on Friday. The 39-year-old Verlander (16-3, 1.84 ERA) has missed three starts with a minor calf issue. He leads the majors in ERA and WHIP (0.86) and is tied for second in wins. Houston is a -385 favorite in the latest Astros vs. Athletics odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while Oakland is a +300 underdog. The over/under for runs scored is 7.5.
First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The game is one of 15 on the MLB schedule for Friday. Elsewhere in the majors, the Blue Jays and Orioles open a three-game series in Toronto, and the Guardians and Twins begin a five-game series in Cleveland. Before making any MLB picks or parlays, be sure to see the predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every MLB game 10,000 times, and it is a 316-272 on top-rated MLB money-line picks since the start of the 2021 season. This is the same model that pegged the 2021 Atlanta Braves at 10-1 as one of three best bets to win the World Series. Anybody who has followed the model has seen profitable returns.
Now, the model has locked in three confident MLB best bets for Friday. They all involve games at 8:10 p.m. ET or later, so there’s still time to get these MLB picks in. If you successfully parlay the picks, you’d be looking at a payout of almost 33-1. You can only see the model’s MLB picks at SportsLine.
Top MLB picks today
After simulating every game on Friday 10,000 times, the model is high on the Diamondbacks (+158) to beat the Padres. Arizona (68-75) enters the game on a two-game winning streak, having knocked off the Dodgers, 5-3, on Wednesday and the Padres, 4-0, on Thursday. Meanwhile, San Diego (78-66) has lost four of its last five games.
The Padres have gone ice-cold at the plate as over their last six games, they rank last in the NL in both batting average (.204) and OPS (.571). They’re averaging just 1.8 runs over their last five games. On Thursday, they were shut out and managed just three hits against a pitcher, Drey Jameson, making his major league debut. See who else to back right here.
Featured Game | Arizona Diamondbacks vs. San Diego Padres
How to make MLB picks and parlays for Friday
The model also locked in two other best bets for Friday, including plays on two even bigger underdogs. You can see the model’s MLB Friday best bets and parlay only at SportsLine.
What MLB picks should you target for a payout of almost 33-1? And what underdogs does the model like on Friday? Visit SportsLine now to see the MLB best bets from an advanced model that is on a 316-272 run on top-rated MLB money-line picks since the start of 2021.