MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Friday, May 19th

By Adam Burke  ( 

May 19, 2023 12:35 PM

MLB schedule today has 15 games

After a light day on Thursday, we’re back to a full schedule in Major League Baseball, as all 30 teams take the field to kickstart the weekend. Once again, we have four series in the NL, four in the AL, and seven interleague matchups. I talked about interleague play earlier this week on VSiN Daily Baseball Bets and about how the unfamiliarity between the two teams could help one team more than another. We’ll see if that ends up being the case for the smarter, savvier teams this weekend.

With our Ohio-specific radio show to do, I’m going to get right to the point with a big 15-game card for Friday. (Tracking sheet)

Follow me on Twitter, @SkatingTripods, to get the article right as it goes live.

Catch a new edition of VSiN Daily Baseball Bets this afternoon to round out this week’s worth of shows.

Here are some thoughts on the May 19 card (odds from DraftKings):

Arizona Diamondbacks (-175, 8) at Pittsburgh Pirates

I will begin today’s thoughts with an obvious statement. Zac Gallen is the last pitcher that an offense that can’t score wants to see. But, that’s what the Pirates have to contend with this evening when they host the Diamondbacks. Gallen leads the league with 2.6 fWAR, a full 0.5 fWAR more than any other pitcher (Nate Eovaldi). He has a 2.35 ERA with a 2.99 xERA, 1.79 FIP, and a 2.56 xFIP. He has a ridiculous 70/8 K/BB ratio and has only allowed two home runs.

Gallen has allowed six runs total in his last six starts and only five of them are earned. He’s allowed a 42.4% Hard Hit%, but he hasn’t let that do a whole lot of damage throughout the course of the season. Oddly enough, he only had a 38.5% HH% and a 31.8% HH% in his first two starts where he gave up all of those runs. He’s actually allowed 26 hard-hit balls in his last three starts, including his two highest average exit velocities of the season in his last two starts. I’m not saying that the Pirates offense, which has mustered all of 28 runs in 14 games this month, is going to light him up, but there are some signs that maybe a rough outing is coming.

It might have to be pretty rough to help Johan Oviedo, who allowed 19 runs in a three-start stretch before holding the Orioles to one run on four hits last time out. He got very lucky in that start, though, with five walks and some very loud contact. Oviedo only has 11 strikeouts in his last four starts covering 17.2 innings of work and he’s allowed a lot of hard-hit balls. He has not given up any homers in his last seven starts, though, so he actually has a 3.95 FIP to go with his 5.14 ERA.

I don’t see anything I like in this game, but it will be interesting to see if Gallen dominates a slumping lineup and if the hard contact comes back to hurt Oviedo here.

Chicago Cubs at Philadelphia Phillies (-130, 9)

All of the regression that was building up for Marcus Stroman came to the forefront last time out with six runs allowed on seven hits in 2.2 innings of work. Stroman allowed an average exit velocity of 98.1 mph and a 66.7% Hard Hit%. He allowed eight hard-hit balls in the previous start as well, so that’s two straight starts with some lackluster command. He did allow just two runs on four hits in the start prior to the Twins blow-up, so he got a little help from the BABIP gods there.

Still, as much as I was waiting for regression from Stroman, nothing about this line makes sense to me. Stroman has a 3.24 ERA with a 3.66 FIP, so even if there are some existing regression concerns, I don’t see them being nearly as major as they were when he had a 2.28 ERA with a 3.41 FIP. As I’ve talked about, sometimes regression comes gradually and sometimes it hits like a truck. That was a Peterbilt last time out.

I especially don’t understand this line because Ranger Suarez is making just his second MLB start of the season. He allowed three runs on seven hits in four innings at Coors Field six days ago. He struck out four and only walked one with limited hard contact against, but I’m not sure that warrants this kind of number against the Cubs. Chicago is fifth in batting average and third in wOBA against lefties this season. 

The Phillies are a top-10 offense against righties with a .335 wOBA, so maybe this is a game that could be higher-scoring. Nico Hoerner, who is slashing .303/.348/.395 with 12 stolen bases, is expected to return for the Cubs, so that could provide a boost to the lineup. The Cubs have lost five in a row, but the Phillies have lost four in a row themselves, and against decidedly worse teams.

The Cubs have some value at plus money to me tonight. Hopefully Stroman bounces back from his tough outing and the Cubs get the bats with just their second lefty in the last nine days.

Pick: Cubs +110

Los Angeles Dodgers (-120, 8.5) at St. Louis Cardinals

The Dodgers draw a lefty here in Steven Matz as they play Game 2 of this four-game weekend set. It will be Tony Gonsolin for the road favorites, as he makes his fifth start of the season. Gonsolin has only allowed three earned runs, which all came in one start. He’s struck out 12 and walked one in his last two starts covering 11 innings with just three unearned runs allowed. He’s got a 1.42 ERA, but it does come with a 4.09 FIP and a 4.57 xFIP, so there are some regression signs to his profile with a .196 BABIP against and an 80.2% LOB%.

Gonsolin only has 16 strikeouts in 19 innings, which is why his FIP is so high, but he does have over a strikeout per inning in his last two starts as I mentioned, so there’s some sample size issues with FIP and some other advanced metrics. That being said, his .196 BABIP is definitely really low, even as a guy who ran a .207 BABIP in 130.1 innings last season.

Matz is left-handed and the Dodgers are much worse against lefties than they are against righties, but Matz has a 5.62 ERA and a 4.94 FIP, so he’s had plenty of his own problems. He’s allowed seven homers and given up a 41.2% Hard Hit% on the season. He only has 13 strikeouts in his last four starts covering 19.2 innings of work, so the margin for error is pretty thin right now.

The Dodgers are 22nd in wOBA against lefties, but a top-five offense against righties, so that could give Matz a bit better of a shot. However, the Dodgers have a .210 BABIP against lefties that is last in baseball by 45 points, so a lot of their struggles are going to regress to the mean moving forward. Despite just a .195 BA in that split, they still have a .405 SLG and rank second in home runs behind the Braves.

I think their struggles against lefties are a little bit overblown, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that. I’ll be on them today now that this line has moved down. Yesterday was a crazy game and the Cardinals offense had a big showing, but getting blown out means your top relievers don’t have to participate and that should help the Dodgers today. The Cardinals heavily used theirs on Wednesday and used their only lefty for 19 pitches yesterday.

DraftKings actually has the worst line in the market here, so shop around for a better price and you should find one.

Pick: Dodgers -120

Miami Marlins at San Francisco Giants (-120, 7)

We’ve got a good pitching matchup in San Francisco, as reigning NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara lines up against Anthony DeSclafani. Alcantara is still trying to find some consistency this season, as he heads into this start with a 4.91 ERA and a 3.65 FIP. His .301 BABIP and 60.3% LOB% are nowhere near his usual standards and he has gotten unlucky to some degree. His Hard Hit% isn’t up that much at 39.9% and his K% is only 0.5% behind last year’s pace.

He isn’t inducing as many ground balls this season with nearly an 8% reduction in worm-burners, which is part of the problem, but this looks to just really be about bad luck and sequencing. His SwStr% is actually higher (13.7%) than last season (12.1%) with a decrease in Z-Contact% that suggests his stuff is actually playing quite well.

All in all, I’m not too concerned, aside from maybe some fatigue after throwing 228.2 innings last season. I think he’s a positive regression candidate and will find better fortunes as the LOB% increases.

DeSclafani has only walked five batters in his 50 innings of work across 196 plate appearances. He also only has 35 strikeouts, but he’s running a .258 BABIP with a 43.9% Hard Hit%, so there are some negative regression signs in his profile. He’s allowed eight runs on 15 hits in his last 12 innings, so it does appear that some of them have crept into the picture. 

Alcantara has allowed a .346 wOBA on the road compared to a .273 wOBA at home, so I can’t fire on the Marlins here, even though I think DeSclafani is a good fade candidate. Oracle Park plays a lot like an outdoor Marlins Park, so that could help Alcantara here, but I don’t have a burning reason to play on him. Plus, an already weak Marlins offense will be missing Jazz Chisholm Jr. for a while again.

Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays (-155, 9.5)

Toronto’s offensive woes at the Rogers Centre continued, as they’ve now scored 84 runs in 19 games compared to 120 runs in 25 games on the road. They were stymied by Nestor Cortes in a 4-2 loss to drop three of four to the Yankees. Now they draw another tough division customer in the Orioles.

Kyle Gibson gets the call for the O’s today with a 4.67 ERA and a 4.39 FIP in his 52 innings of work. He’s only struck out 36 batters and has given up six homers with a 40.7% Hard Hit%. He gave up four runs on seven hits to the Pirates last time out, which is like giving up eight runs to any other team. Gibson has faced some pretty bad offenses for a while now, with the clear exception being the Rays, who he held to two runs on six hits back on May 8.

Gibson’s nine starts this season (rank in wOBA vs. RHP) are against the Red Sox (2nd), Rangers (8th), A’s (26th), White Sox (22nd), Tigers x2 (30th), Royals (28th), Rays (1st), and Pirates (21st). That makes a Toronto offense that ranks 11th one of the better ones that Gibson has faced this season.  

As we know, the Orioles are swinging it very well against lefties this season, as they rank fifth in both wOBA and wRC+ at .349 and 123, respectively. Yusei Kikuchi is not only left-handed, but also a regression candidate. The southpaw has a 3.89 ERA with a 5.46 FIP in his 41.2 innings of work, as he’s allowed 11 home runs, including five in his last two starts against real offenses (Braves, Red Sox). He shut out the Pirates for 6.1 innings in between, but gave up five runs to the offenses that rank first and eighth in wOBA against lefties. So, the Orioles fit right in the middle.

Kikuchi has allowed an obscene 47.6% Hard Hit% on the year. The Braves just had a 53.3% HH% and the Red Sox had a 63.2% HH% in those respective games with Kikuchi’s two highest average exit velocities of the season. Not only that, but the Orioles are second in road wOBA vs. lefties at .383 and have a 146 wRC+ where Mount Walltimore at the redesigned Oriole Park at Camden Yards isn’t a factor in suppressing offense.

I spent a lot of time this morning deciding between the O’s or the 1st 5 over. Yennier Cano and Felix Bautista are both available if Gibson can navigate and the O’s lineup can hit. Then I figured I’d split the difference and go with Orioles Over 4.5 runs at +110. I think they hit Kikuchi, but I have no idea about Gibson, who has a 24.2% K% at home and a 9.9% K% on the road, plus he’s allowed a .377 wOBA on the road and has an ERA north of 6. It’s a small sample size, but Oriole Park is now a pitcher’s park and that’s definitely not true of all road venues.

Pick: Orioles Team Total Over 4.5 (+110)

Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros (-250, 9.5)

The big story here is that Jose Altuve will return for the Astros and get his first hacks of the season against Ken Waldichuk. Altuve was hit by a pitch in the WBC and missed the first month and a half of the season. He had just two hits in 22 trips to the plate in the minors leagues with four strikeouts and zero walks, so we’ll see if he can swing it better at the big-league level and spark an offense that has been really dormant by its standards.

Waldichuk has a 7.02 ERA with a 7.25 FIP in his 41 innings of work. He’s given up 12 homers, albeit only five in his last six starts. He’s got a 36/23 K/BB ratio and has walked 11 guys in his last two starts over 10 innings. He’s given up at least three runs in seven of his eight starts and could potentially have been sent to the minors by any other team, but the A’s aren’t playing for anything.

Brandon Bielak danced around eight hits from the White Sox over five innings last time out with one run allowed and four strikeouts. Bielak has allowed 18 hits in his two starts across 9.2 innings, but has managed to only allow three earned runs in that span. He’s running a 48.9% Hard Hit% and a 17% Barrel%. The A’s are fourth in wOBA at .334 and tied for third in wRC+ at 112 against right-handed pitchers on the road. Overall, this is the sixth-best offense by wOBA on the road.

Houston, meanwhile, ranks 25th in wOBA at home and 19th in wOBA against lefties. Altuve’s presence will help long-term, but he wasn’t really swinging it all that well in the minors and didn’t draw any walks if the goal was to take some pitches and get his timing back.

As crazy as it sounds, I gave legitimate thought to Oakland at this balloon number today, but then saw that Waldichuk has allowed a .322/.402/.616 slash to righties with a .430 wOBA. In 78 plate appearances on the road against righties, he’s allowed a .328/.410/.746 slash and a .476 wOBA. He’s given up 21 extra-base hits, including 11 homers, in 169 plate appearances against righties and eight of those 11 homers have been on the road. Houston will have at least seven righties in the lineup and the lefties will be Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker.

There was not a single total of 9.5 at Minute Maid Park last season and there were only six such games in 2021. It’s not the most optimal of offensive venues, but, man, there’s a lot to look at here with the potential for a boatload of runs.

Pick: Over 9.5 (+100)

Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox (-130, 9)

Here’s another game that has some potential for offense on the surface. It will be the Royals and White Sox, as Zack Greinke gets the call for Kansas City and Michael Kopech goes for Chicago. Greinke has allowed at least four runs in five of his nine starts this season, but I’ve picked two of them when he hasn’t and lost bets both times. He’s got a 5.01 ERA with a 4.95 FIP and really no reasons to be excited about betting him.

He’s given up nine homers in 46.2 innings of work and doesn’t really strike guys out anymore. He has allowed a league average 39% Hard Hit% and has actually located better in his last three starts, holding the Orioles, White Sox, and Brewers to a collective 29.8% Hard Hit%. Maybe he can ride that wave into this matchup against the White Sox, who scored four runs off of him over 5.2 innings back on May 8.

The Royals offense has done a disappearing act once again, but they could reappear in a big way against Kopech, who has a 5.74 ERA with a 7.31 FIP in his 42.1 innings of work. He’s allowed 12 homers and 28 walks to go with his 41 strikeouts and he’s allowed a ton of hard contact with a 51.3% Hard Hit% and an 18.5% Barrel%.

He’s been a bit better of late, as he allowed 17 barrels in his first six starts and has allowed five in three starts since, though he did give up four homers to the Reds two starts ago. He only gave up two runs to the Astros in 4.2 innings last time out, but walked six guys. There aren’t many redeeming qualities to his profile and there aren’t many for Greinke either. I’m passing on this game.

Minnesota Twins (-125, 8) at Los Angeles Angels

A quality pitching matchup here features Joe Ryan and Reid Detmers, as the Twins begin the second half of the LA Double. They lost two of three to the Dodgers and then went from Los Angeles to Anaheim to take on an Angels team that wrapped up a seven-game road trip with a split in Baltimore. It was a rocky trip for the Angels with a couple of bullpen melts in Cleveland.

Ryan has been one of the top starters in the AL this season with a 2.16 ERA and a 2.54 FIP in eight starts covering 50 innings of work. He struck out 10 Cubs over six innings last time out for his third double-digit strikeout game of the season. Not only has he missed a lot of bats, but he’s missed a lot of barrels. He has only allowed four barrels this season and zero in his last four starts. His Hard Hit% in his last four starts against the Yankees, White Sox, Guardians, and Cubs is just 30.3%. He’s been outstanding in all facets this season.

Detmers has not been, but the underlying stats show a lot of positives. He’s got a 4.89 ERA with a 3.90 FIP in his 35 innings of work, but a 63.5% LOB% and a .372 BABIP are the root causes. He’s actually struck out 41 batters in his 35 innings, but he’s had some really bad luck on the batted ball and sequencing sides. His Hard Hit% of 42.9% is a little bit on the high side, but still not .372 BABIP-worthy. 

In seven starts, Detmers has only allowed more than three earned runs twice. He’s allowed five unearned runs, as the defense hasn’t helped him out very much. Among 124 pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched, Detmers ranks 35th in the Stuff+ metric of Eno Sarris and friends, while Ryan is 19th. This should be a good pitcher’s duel, but I’m not sure there’s a big betting edge to be had.

Milwaukee Brewers at Tampa Bay Rays (-265, 8)

This is about the worst-case scenario kind of game for the Brewers. Milwaukee is awful against lefties and draws one of the game’s best in Shane McClanahan, so Tampa Bay looks to deserve such an inflated moneyline price in this one. In fact, this line has even jumped up a good 30 cents at some shops.

McClanahan is coming off of a rare bad outing against the Yankees, as he allowed four runs on five hits, including two homers, and walked four against just three strikeouts. Prior to that, McClanahan had allowed nine runs total in his first eight starts. He has a 61/24 K/BB ratio in 50 innings pitched and there are some negative regression signs in the profile with a 2.34 ERA and a 3.86 FIP. His 91.3% LOB% is doing some heavy lifting with his ERA and FIP is not a huge fan of his 11.7% BB%, as he’s walked four batters in four separate games.

The biggest problem for Milwaukee is that Mac strikes out almost 30% of batters and they have a 30.6% K% against lefties on the season. The Brewers are 29th in wOBA at .285 and 28th in wRC+ at 76. McClanahan’s K prop is likely pretty boosted and maybe even at a premium, but this should be a good lineup for that very thing.

Adrian Houser makes his third start of the season for the Brewers. He’s allowed five runs on 15 hits with a 7/2 K/BB ratio in 8.2 innings of work. He’s given up a 48.5% Hard Hit% and allowed three barrels last time out against the Royals. He draws the best lineup in baseball against righties here.

Stranger things have happened, but it’s really difficult to see Tampa Bay losing this game. Many will have them in moneyline parlays or cut down the vig with a “TB wins + [insert player prop here]” type of parlay. I can’t find much fault with that.

New York Yankees (-170, 10.5) at Cincinnati Reds

Rain threatens the late innings of this one between the Yankees and the Reds. I never like seeing rain late in the forecast because sometimes teams will rush to beat the rain and that can lead to a low-scoring game when it looks like it shouldn’t be one. The last thing that teams want to do is wait out a long delay and turn a 7 p.m. game into one that finishes at or after midnight.

That could be a thing here because a matchup between Clarke Schmidt and Ben Lively would seem to have the potential for offense. Schmidt owns a 6.30 ERA with a 4.70 FIP and a 3.94 xFIP, as his 17.4% HR/FB% sticks out in a pretty big way. He’s allowed eight long balls in nine starts, but that’s far from the only issue that he’s had. He has a 48.8% Hard Hit% and a 12.2% Barrel% leading to a .383 BABIP against. His 61.6% LOB% is a bit low given that he has 48 strikeouts in 40 innings of work, but he’s had 66 baserunners via hit or walk in 40 innings and gives up missiles all over the yard.

Bad command is usually very penal in Cincinnati, though it’ll be worse in a month or so when it’s in the 80s and humid every day and night. It’ll be thick tonight with the rain chances, but the breeze is blowing in and it’ll be in the mid-70s.

Lively has worked twice as a bulk reliever and allowed one run on five hits in 5.1 innings of work. He signed with the Reds in 2022 after spending the 2020 season in the KBO. He’s had stops all over the place, but in 125.1 MLB innings, he has a 4.67 ERA with a 4.92 FIP in 20 starts and eight relief appearances. He’ll get the straight start here, but he’s maxed out at 48 pitches at the MLB level thus far, so I’m thinking we get maybe 60-65 from him today.

No play on this one.

Detroit Tigers at Washington Nationals (-110, 8.5)

The Tigers and Nationals line it up for some interleague action today with a battle between Matthew Boyd and Jake Irvin. Boyd is left-handed, which is of note with the Nationals, given that they are now up to sixth in wOBA against southpaws on the season at .344. They have just a 16.8% K% in that split and Boyd is a guy who needs strikeouts to be effective.

He’s got a 6.47 ERA with a 4.92 FIP in his 32 innings of work. He’s got 29 strikeouts against 15 walks and has given up five homers. He does have a 31.4% Hard Hit%, so credit to him for that, but it hasn’t exactly paid dividends recently. He’s allowed 15 runs on 18 hits in his last three starts against the Orioles, Cardinals, and Mariners. 

While the Nationals are sixth in wOBA against lefties and draw one today, the Tigers are 30th in wOBA against righties at .281 and get one today in Irvin, who is coming off of a very ugly start against the Mets with six runs allowed on six hits. Prior to that, Irvin held the Cubs and Giants in check with one run on six hits, though he did have an 8/7 K/BB ratio. The big 6-foot-6 right-hander has some deception in his profile that limited hard contact in his first two starts, but the Mets were able to jump on him in his third start. That said, three of the runs scored as inherited runners off of Mason Thompson, who allowed four straight guys to reach.

He doesn’t miss a lot of bats and doesn’t get a lot of chases outside the zone, so it makes sense that he’d be susceptible to one of those types of starts. Irvin had his highest fastball usage to date in that start and the Mets jumped on it, especially the third time through the lineup. The Tigers are the worst offense in baseball against changeups, so it will be interesting to see if the Nationals make an adjustment against a team that does swing and miss a ton.

One other wrinkle here is that Joey Meneses was placed on the paternity list two days ago, so I don’t know if he’ll be back for this one. Given that the game is back at home, I wouldn’t be shocked if he does return to the lineup.

I’ll take a shot with the Nationals here and trust them against lefties. They’re fifth in wOBA at home against lefties and Irvin should have the ability to bounce back against a much weaker lineup here. Remember, the Nationals are also one of those teams I talked about yesterday that was 25th in runs per game, while being top 10 in baserunners.

Like the Dodgers game, this is another one where DK has one of the worst prices in the market. You can find -105 or better most other shops.

Pick: Nationals -110

Cleveland Guardians at New York Mets (-150, 8.5)

Cal Quantrill and the Guardians face an old friend here in Carlos Carrasco, as the teams fire up an interleague set at Citi Field. Quantrill is a pitch-to-contact right-hander who can sometimes have really limited margin of error, while Carrasco is a guy that seems to be just trying to hang on at this stage of the game.

Carrasco has an 8.56 ERA with a 7.59 xERA and a 7.40 FIP in three starts across 13.2 innings of work. He has the same number of walks as strikeouts and has allowed a boatload of hard contact with decreased velocity and continued injury risk. This will be his first MLB start since April 15 after dealing with more elbow discomfort. He threw the ball well in two rehab starts with one run allowed on five hits over seven innings of work.

Quantrill, meanwhile, is a pretty clear regression candidate with a 3.97 ERA, 5.31 xERA and a 4.84 FIP in his 45.1 innings of work. The thing about Quantrill is that he does profile as a guy who can outpitch his advanced metrics from an ERA standpoint because he often allows a lot of weak contact and limits walks. He just doesn’t generate a lot of strikeouts. With only four counting stats that compose the FIP formula, lagging in one of them can be a major problem. He hasn’t struck out more than four batters in a start this season.

It’s a pretty big number for a guy coming back off of the IL with questionable MLB command, but this Guardians offense is still putrid and I don’t know if either Jose Ramirez will be back from the paternity list or if Josh Naylor will play.

Seattle Mariners at Atlanta Braves (-150, 8.5)

I know we talk about teams like the Rays, Guardians, and Astros as having pitching factories, but for the Mariners to have Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, and now Bryce Miller in the span of a few seasons is really impressive. Miller has dazzled to this point, but he does draw a Braves lineup that is more potent than what he’s seen to this point. Miller has an 0.47 ERA with a 2.66 xERA and a 1.56 FIP in three starts against the Athletics, Astros, and Tigers.

He’s struck out 18 and only walked two in his three starts and really works effectively up in the zone with his fastball. Only 17.8% of balls in play have been ground balls to this point, so let’s see how that pairs with a Braves lineup that hits for a tremendous amount of power. I think it’s a really fascinating test. If he passes it, we’re not going to see prices like we see today on him.

As much as the Braves obliterate lefties, they are a much more neutral offense against righties that ranks 12th in wOBA at .322 and a 10.3% BB% is doing a lot of the work there. They actually have a 99 wRC+ when you take in adjustments for park factor, so this has been a below average offense against righties.

The Mariners are 20th in wOBA against righties, but have a 98 wRC+ with their park factor adjustments in the equation. Seattle has a 25.1% K% against RHP, second only to Oakland. However Elder hasn’t been a big strikeout guy this season. He’s got a 1.94 ERA with a 4.59 xERA and a 3.56 FIP, so there are some regression signs in the profile. His 86.6% LOB% is the most notable one, along with a .271 BABIP with a 48.5% Hard Hit%. Elder does not have a profile that I want to bet on anytime soon.

He does keep the ball on the ground with a 56.8% GB%, which is how he’s been able to navigate all that hard contact. This is a profile building up a really bad start, though. I’m not sure when it will happen, but we have the low BABIP with the high Hard Hit% and also Cluster Luck, with a .329 wOBA with the bases empty, a .223 with men on base, and a .174 with RISP.

It might be today and I’ll be upset if it is with a strong pitcher like Miller at a +130 price tag, but I can’t get there and make the bet.

Colorado Rockies at Texas Rangers (-230, 9)

We’ve got another MLB debut and this time it is Karl Kauffmann. The Rockies will throw the 25-year-old in the opening game of this set against the Rangers and Martin Perez. The Martin Perez Regression Tour has been in full swing, as he’s up to a 4.25 ERA with a 5.49 xERA and a 5.28 FIP In his 42.1 innings of work. I talked about him being a guy to watch and a guy to fade and that has come to fruition in his recent outings.

Perez has allowed 11 runs on 16 hits in his last 8.2 with road starts against the Angels and A’s. He gave up three homers to the A’s, which really stands out given how bad they’ve been at home and how good they’ve been on the road. Perez only has 31 strikeouts on the season and 24 in his last seven starts. His Hard Hit% is up to 39.6%. Everything is going in reverse, which is not a big surprise to me at all.

The question is whether or not the road Rockies can continue the trend. Colorado is 25th in wOBA overall against lefties and dead last in wRC+. They are 29th in road wOBA vs. lefties and have a 66 wRC+. My hope is that Perez bounces back here and maybe we can fade him again soon.

Kauffmann comes to the big leagues with a 7.78 ERA and a 5.55 FIP in eight starts across 37 innings in Triple-A. He pitched at Double-A and Triple-A last season with an ERA north of 5 and ugly peripherals. This is not a very good profile for a call-up. He was the 26th-ranked Rockies prospect as of the 2022 list and is a guy that doesn’t miss a lot of bats and projects to be a ground ball guy with marginal command. I’m not sure how well that works here. If I had any more faith in the Rockies offense, the over would be a play here.

Boston Red Sox at San Diego Padres (-145, 8)

We finish with a battle of southpaws here, as James Paxton and the Red Sox visit Blake Snell and the Padres. Both teams were idle yesterday, as the Padres have lost nine of their last 11 and seven of their last eight, while the Red Sox snapped a string of six losses in seven games by taking the last two against the Mariners before hitting the road.

To this point, Boston has not gone any further west than Milwaukee, so this is a long trip and just their sixth road game since April 26. Their offensive numbers have been propped up quite a bit by Fenway Park and I can’t help but wonder if we should be looking to bet against Boston with more road games on the ledger moving forward. The Red Sox have played 26 games at home (6 R/G) and 18 games on the road (5.1 R/G).

Paxton’s first MLB start since 2021 was a good one, all things considered. He struck out nine of the 20 batters he faced and allowed two runs on four hits. He didn’t allow a lot of balls in play, but did allow a 94.4 mph average exit velocity on the ones that he did. He also only had a 10.3% SwStr% and a 14.3% O-Swing% per Statcast, so he got lots of swings and misses in the zone. I’m not sure what exactly that says going into this start, but there looked to be some life on his pitches and he sat 96 with the fastball.

The Padres are struggling to score runs and now Manny Machado is dealing with a fractured hand, so his chances of getting back on track are slimmer than they previously were. I’d like to think that this offense hits at some point with all of that talent, but who knows. I’m sure Snell would like to see that as well. He has a 4.61 ERA with a 5.25 FIP in his 41 innings of work. He’s struck out 43, but also walked 25 and given up seven homers.

As bad as the peripherals and the profile look, he’s only allowed more than three earned runs once in eight starts and that was against an Atlanta lineup that buries lefties. Boston has a strong lineup in a lot of facets as well, but Snell has faced a lot of quality groups so far.

I have no idea what happens in this game. Snell is a guy I try to fade a lot, but have also lost a lot doing that. I won’t do it today.

TL;DR Recap

Cubs +110

Dodgers -120

BAL Team Total Over 4.5 (+110)

OAK/HOU Over 9.5 (+100)

Nationals -110

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