MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 5/20

By Adam Burke  ( 

May 20, 2022 12:03 PM

Almost half of the league was idle yesterday with a travel day for most teams, but we’re back to the 15-game slate today with only one matinee. That will be at Wrigley Field between the Diamondbacks and Cubs. Otherwise, it will be a baseball-filled Friday night around North America, to go along with everything else happening this weekend.

Take some time to look around today. We’ve got a lot of excellent PGA Championship and Preakness Stakes content, plus podcasts for the race weekend in F1 and NASCAR, NBA and NHL Playoff coverage from my pals JVT and Andy MacNeil, UFC from Lou Finocchiaro and First Strike podcast host Dave Ross and a French Open tennis podcast with two of my favorites in the gambling space, Gill Alexander and Drew Dinsick. And, of course, our new MLB feature from Derek Carty and the crew at EV Analytics with some betting capsules on every game.

Without further ado, let’s get into the card.

Yesterday’s Recap

While I did finally get a winner on the Red Sox yesterday, it was a frustrating day. I had Reds/Guardians under with the bad weather on Wednesday and didn’t follow up and take it again on a warm afternoon in Cleveland. The game never came close and I could’ve gotten 10 cents better on the vig. I liked the under in Astros/Rangers and that stayed comfortably under, despite a three-run first inning. I also liked the Padres, but the 10 a.m. West Coast start and the article don’t really jive.

You’re going to have days that should be a positive and turn them into a negative. I left money out there yesterday, but at least I had good reads on the games after not having many a few days prior. I try to make it a point to talk about the mental side of handicapping a lot because this hobby/business/interest can wear you down, especially if you do what I’m doing about wishing I had taken more games. It is easier said than done to be happy with a positive day and just move forward with the moral victory of capping other games correctly, but we have to try.

The “what if” game is a dangerous one in this business because now the instinct will be to chase more games today and in upcoming days to try and “get back” the money that wasn’t won. It’s a struggle no matter how long you’ve been doing this, but it’s important to stay level-headed and treat every day as its own quest.

Padres/Phillies: There were 18 combined hits, but only two runs, as the teams went 1-for-12 with RISP. All 18 hits were singles, which is kind of incredible. There were only two walks in the game as well. Keep an eye out for this. We should see a lot of pitchers willing to pitch to contact until (if?) the baseball normalizes a bit.

Cardinals/Mets: St. Louis gradually chipped away at a good right-handed starter by scoring four runs on nine hits over 6.1 innings against Chris Bassitt, but the Mets prevailed in extra innings. Dakota Hudson actually did experience regression with four runs allowed on five hits over 4.2 innings. I’ll end up betting against Hudson a fair amount in road starts going forward I would think, given all of the strong indicators of negative regression in his profile. The Mets also stole three bases off of Hudson, which may be something to follow moving forward.

Diamondbacks/Cubs: Has miracle worker Brent Strom fixed the Diamondbacks bullpen as well? The Cubs bullpen turned in four scoreless innings and has pitched extremely well of late also, but the Diamondbacks pen has a 2.97 FIP over the last 14 days. Some bad luck has led to a 4.43 ERA thanks to a 61.8% LOB%, but Arizona’s pitching staff is vastly improved across the board. We’ve also seen a K% spike from the D-Backs relief corps. The Cubs, by the way, lead MLB in reliever fWAR over the last two weeks and have a 2.66 ERA with a 2.55 FIP.

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