For an updated breakdown of Friday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted by 3 p.m. ET. I'll also be co-hosting The Lombardi Line with Dave Ross from 12 p.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET and then I'll be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where smart money is leaning for a trio of MLB games tonight...
6:40 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay Rays (45-37) at Cincinnati Reds (29-54)
These Interleague foes are trending in opposite directions. The Rays just took two of three against the Red Sox at Fenway Park to move to 5-1 over their last six games. Meanwhile, the Reds are just 3-7 over their last ten games after splitting a two-game set with the Pirates. In tonight's series opener, Tampa Bay hands the ball to lefty ace Shane McClanahan (9-3, 1.74 ERA) and Cincinnati counters with righty Luis Castillo (3-4, 3.09 ERA). This line opened with the Rays listed as a -135 road favorite and the Reds a +120 home dog. Pros have laid the chalk with the Rays, steaming Tampa bay up from -135 to -170. Non-division road favorites are 152-89 (63%) this season. Favorites coming off a day off, as is the case with the Rays, against teams that played the previous day, like the Reds, are 255-160 (62%) since 2018. Favorites who made the playoffs the previous year against teams who did not are 319-173 (65%). The Rays are 32-19 as a favorite and 35-26 against righties. The Reds are 22-41 as a dog and just 7-17 against lefties. McClanahan is currently the favorite to win the AL Cy Young at +250.
7:20 p.m. ET: Washington Nationals (30-55) at Atlanta Braves (49-35)
Another exampled of two teams heading in different directions. The Nats just dropped two of three to the Phillies to fall to just 1-7 over their last 8 games. On the flip side, the Braves just took three of four at home against the Cardinals, improving to 10-5 over their last 15 games. In tonight's NL East series opener, Washington trots out righty Erick Fedde (5-5, 4.29 ERA) and Atlanta sends out fellow righty Charlie Morton (4-3, 4.34 ERA). This line opened with the Braves listed as a hefty -250 home favorite and the Nats a +225 road dog. Pros aren't scared off by the expensive chalk and have steamed Atlanta up from -250 to -270. Home favorites -200 or more are 126-51 (71%) this season. Favorites off a loss who made the playoffs last season, like the Braves, are 159-86 (65%). The Braves are 41-20 as a favorite, 27-18 at home and 29-26 against righties. The Nats are 23-48 as a dog, 16-24 on the road and 19-34 against righties. Both teams are hitting .250. The difference comes on the mound, with the Braves sporting a 3.65 ERA compared to 5.12 for the Nats. Atlanta leads the season series 4-2.
9:40 p.m. ET: Colorado Rockies (36-47) at Arizona Diamondbacks (37-46)
The Rockies took Thursday night's series opener 4-3, cashing as slight -115 road favorites. In tonight's rematch, Colorado hands the ball to righty Chad Kuhl (5-5, 3.83 ERA) and Arizona taps fellow righty Zac Gallen (4-2, 3.40 ERA). This line opened with the Diamondbacks listed as a -145 home favorite and the Rockies a +125 road dog. Pros have sided with the Snakes to even up the series, steaming Arizona up from -145 to -165. Arizona has correlative betting value as a favorite in a low total game (8). The Diamondbacks are currently receiving 60% of bets but 82% of money, a sharp "low bets, higher dollars" bet split. Arizona is 9-6 in Gallen's 15 starts this season. The Rockies are just 3-8 in Kuhl's last 11 starts. Colorado is just 13-26 on the road this season, the second worst road record in MLB trailing only the Tigers (12-23).