MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 5/31

By Adam Burke  ( 

May 31, 2022 12:04 PM

The month of May wraps up with 16 games across the MLB card and only one huge favorite on the board, as the Dodgers lay an enormous number against the Pirates, who blew a 4-0 lead yesterday, but still prevailed 6-5 as a huge underdog winner.

I wrote yesterday about how offense has picked up around the league as the temperatures have increased and now we’re back to seeing plenty of 9 and 9.5 totals on the board. Weather was a big factor yesterday in terms of high totals, but some games came up short of their expectations. The sportsbooks also got middled on totals in Philadelphia and Cleveland thanks to where the sharp money drove the line. If you like overs, bet ‘em early. If you like unders, bet ‘em late.

Yesterday’s Recap

Brewers/Cubs: The Brewers swept yesterday’s doubleheader and, astonishingly, used Josh Hader in both games. I never would have thought Craig Counsell would do that, but he did, and Hader’s push towards being the first reliever since Eric Gagne to win the Cy Young in 2003 added another signature moment.

In other news, Drew Smyly fell victim to the dreaded oblique injury. We’re seeing a lot of these this season with pitchers and he is the latest, leaving after three no-hit innings. The Cubs are really banged-up right now, including injuries to Jonathan Villar and Seiya Suzuki, but they also don’t have many starting pitcher options on the 40-man roster. It’s been a tough season already, but it could get tougher.

Padres/Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt couldn’t extend his hitting streak with the bases loaded and nobody out in the fifth to help out our over bet, but he did hit a two-run homer in the seventh to help us to a push. He’s got a 21-game hit streak going now, as the Cardinals are now 12-13 against teams .500 or better and 15-8 against teams with losing records. The Padres have only played 13 games against teams .500 or better and are 24-11 against teams with losing records, which is a big reason why their 3rd Order Win% is lagging behind their actual record.

Giants/Phillies: Yesterday was a day ending in –y, so the Phillies bullpen had another forgettable day. It took until the ninth, but Corey Knebel blew the save and Andrew Bellatti gave up two in the 10th. It was an odd day for the Phillies offense, as they struck out 10 times against Logan Webb, but also had 12 hard-hit balls over eight innings, which only resulted in four hits, three of them solo homers. At least Kyle Gibson pitched well in the losing effort.

There is some unrest around the Phillies right now, as some are wondering if Joe Girardi should go, but this is a systemic failure with the bullpen. The Phillies haven’t had a good bullpen in forever. There’s only so much any manager can do with that.

Marlins/Rockies: Ryan Feltner and Pablo Lopez combined for 13 innings of one-run ball, but the Rockies got to the Marlins bullpen for a 7-1 victory. Miami will go as Jazz Chisholm Jr. goes. After missing about a week, he’s 0-for-9 in the last two games and 3-for-24 in the last 10 days. The Marlins can ill afford slumps from any offensive contributors and Chisholm especially. Until he gets it going again, this offense will suffer, apparently even at Coors Field.

Nationals/Mets: Ben Wilson and I talked on The Run Line about how neither one of us believed in Erick Fedde. Well, he allowed six runs on eight hits in 1.1 innings and the Mets rolled to a 13-5 triumph. The relentless Mets offense just continues to put up numbers, despite a Hard Hit% that ranks 21st and a Barrel% that ranks 23rd.

Other teams in that hard-hit range are Arizona, Miami, Cincinnati, Seattle, Cleveland – bad or below average offensive teams. Outliers like this are frustrating because they put some doubt into my handicapping strategy and the stats that I like to use. The Mets have the league’s second-highest BABIP at .310 (despite the below average contact quality) and lead the league in ground ball batting average at .268. They also have 64 RBI on ground balls. The Dodgers have 58, the Cubs have 55 and no other team has more than 50. I really do believe this offense is a regression candidate and I’ll be looking to fade the Mets in their upcoming stretch against better teams.

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