MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Saturday, May 13th

By Adam Burke  ( 

May 13, 2023 10:16 AM

MLB schedule today has 15 games

A big, beautiful baseball card comes your way today with all 30 teams in action and games spread throughout the afternoon and evening. We’ve got a good mix of day games and night games, so there’s something for everybody on the May 13 slate. There are a lot of big favorites on the board in the NL, but some more competitive games on paper in the AL and in the interleague matchups.

With a lot of ground to cover on a Saturday, let’s get right to all the action. (Tracking sheet)

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

VSiN Daily Baseball Bets will be back on Monday, but you can catch up on what you missed this past week.

Here are some thoughts on the May 13 card (odds from DraftKings):

Cincinnati Reds at Miami Marlins (-230, 7.5)

It would appear that the Reds opted not to use Levi Stoudt yesterday because they’ll need him today. Nick Lodolo was scratched from his start against Sandy Alcantara, so it looks like the Reds will roll with another option and Stoudt is on the 40-man, along with being scratched from his start for Triple-A Louisville last night. Derek Law will open once again.

Stoudt went four innings in his MLB debut back on April 19 and allowed seven runs on nine hits to the Rays in what was a disastrous debut for the 25-year-old. He’s got a 5.09 ERA at the Triple-A level in 23 innings this season, as he’s had a couple of really rough outings to go with some useful starts. The thing for Stoudt is that he’s only gotten more than 12 outs just once at the Triple-A level this season, so even if he is effective today, he won’t work too deep into the game.

Alcantara has a 4.53 ERA with a 3.62 FIP in 43.2 innings of work this season and seems to possibly be rounding into form. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter last time out against the Cubs, though he did allow nine hits in that start. His LOB% is just 62.8%, hence the big gap between his ERA and FIP.

He just hasn’t been the same this year, with a 1.4% drop in K%, a 1% increase in BB%, a 36-point increase in BABIP, a 1.3% increase in Hard Hit%, and a 16% decrease in LOB%. But, I don’t think he’s quite as far off as his results seem, given that we’re looking at some nominal increases and decreases, except for the bad luck department.

We’ll see if he has success today. He should given the matchup.

New York Mets (-150, 9) at Washington Nationals

After seven stellar innings against the Giants in his triumphant MLB return, Joey Lucchesi has lost some of his luster in his last three starts. Lucchesi has allowed 10 runs on 14 hits in his last 13.1 innings of work with eight strikeouts against five walks. The left-hander has allowed four homers over those three starts, including an outing against the Nationals, but he’s also faced the Tigers and the Rockies (in NYC), so he really hasn’t faced a tough slate of opposing offenses.

Washington remains a quality bunch against lefties with a wOBA that ranks 10th. They’ve seen a few more of them recently and that matters a lot because right-handed platoon bats sometimes don’t get a lot of reps to be able to stay sharp. The Nationals have increased the frequency of lefties of late and their numbers have gone back up, after they leaked down towards the middle of the pack in this split.

Former Met Trevor Williams takes the hill for the Nats today and he’s got a 4.25 ERA with a 4.85 FIP in his 36 innings of work. He’s coming off of a rough outing against the Diamondbacks with a season-high five runs allowed and his shortest start of the year with just 4.1 innings of work. He gave up a couple homers in that start to match the total he had over his previous five starts combined.

The tough part for Williams is that he’s only allowed a 36.1% Hard Hit%, but out of his 43 hard-hit balls, 17 of them have been barrels, including three allowed in his last start against the Mets on April 27. I took a stab on Williams in that game and the Nationals did take a late lead on a grand slam from CJ Abrams, but ultimately couldn’t hold it. That price was +200. This one is much shorter. I wouldn’t be eager to take the Mets here, but I’m not in love with the Nationals either.

San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers (-150, 8.5)

Joe Musgrove and Julio Urias meet in Game 2 of this important three-game weekend set. The Dodgers drew first blood yesterday in front of 56,000 fans at Dodger Stadium and are favored to win today’s game behind Urias. The left-hander has been much better in his last two starts after a couple of rocky outings. He allowed 11 runs on 14 hits in road starts against the Cubs and Pirates, but has allowed three runs on nine hits with 13 strikeouts against two walks over 12.2 innings in his last two starts against the Phillies and Padres.

Urias is a guy that I was watching closely because he was dealing with some decreased velocity and some concerning trends with his release point, but it seems as though he’s figured out a way to make everything line up again. That being said, he only had a 5.8% SwStr% against the Padres last start, which was easily the lowest mark of the season for him. He tied a season high with three barrels allowed and also had a 42.9% Hard Hit%. His three strikeouts were a season low over 5.2 innings and he got fortunate to work around eight hits.

All of that for Urias was interesting to see because he had his best fastball velocity of the season in that start, but his second-lowest Swing & Miss% on his fastball and one of his lowest with the slurve. It seems like the Padres had a pretty good plan against him, but just couldn’t deliver the big hit.

With each passing start, Musgrove should get better. He’s allowed 11 runs on 15 hits in 13.1 innings, but seven of those runs and three of his four homers came in his Mexico City start against the Giants on April 29. He was pushed back a couple days and fired five innings of two-hit ball against the Dodgers last weekend with one unearned run allowed. He didn’t allow a hit until the fifth and gave up his only run in the sixth in an inning that started with a Juan Soto error.

This price looks a bit high on the Dodgers. I know their better split is against righties and Musgrove is a righty, but the Padres are also a top-10 offense against lefties with a 116 wRC+ and a .339 wOBA. It felt like the Padres were really close to busting it open against Urias, but just failed to get that key hit. Musgrove is a guy that keep improving and improving that command profile.

These two teams feel evenly matched still and I don’t see any reason for the Dodgers to be such a big favorite. Shop around on this one, as you should all lines.

Pick: Padres +130

San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks (-170, 7.5)

I will preface this by saying that the price on Zac Gallen looks a little bit high. That said, Gallen has a 2.36 ERA and a 1.66 FIP, so it is pretty difficult to step in front of him with how this season has gone. After allowing 10 runs in his first two starts, Gallen has allowed four runs in his last six starts, with all of them coming in his last two outings. He has a 64/6 K/BB ratio and has only given up two homers, which both came in his second start of the season.

Anthony DeSclafani has been really good this season as well. He has a 2.80 ERA with a 3.32 FIP. I wouldn’t call his performance Gallen-esque by any means, especially with a 33/4 K/BB ratio in 45 innings of work, but he’s really limited walks and has had a lot of good results. However, he gave up five runs on 10 hits over seven innings in his last start. All five runs came in the first inning of that game against the Nationals and he gave up 13 hard-hit balls for a 48.1% Hard Hit%.

Hard contact has been the major issue for Disco, as he’s got a 46.4% Hard Hit% for the season to go with a .254 BABIP against. It makes sense that he’d experience a correction with his BABIP and it partially came against the Nationals with a .370 mark in that start. He has more regression to come as a result of that kind of hard-hit rate, but he does keep the ball on the ground effectively with a 47.8% GB%.

Gallen is priced at the top of the market right now with regularity. If you want to stand on the tracks and hope the Zac Gallen Express doesn’t hit you, there’s probably some upside potential in that, but it’s a hard thing to do and not something I want to do today.

Philadelphia Phillies (-155, 11.5) at Colorado Rockies

Ranger Suarez will return to make his 2023 debut for the Phillies in this road game at Coors Field. That’s a pretty tough spot to be thrown into to say the least, but he’s healthy enough from his shoulder issue to return and looked fairly sharp in his minor league rehab starts with one run allowed on five hits over nine innings of work. He only struck out five of the 32 batters he faced and he maxed out at five innings on just 48 pitches.

The Phillies were hoping for 65 pitches per beat writer Matt Gelb, but Suarez was so efficient that he gave the Triple-A team five innings and was pulled. That means a lot of ground for the bullpen to cover tonight at Coors on a night where some of the top relievers might be unavailable. Craig Kimbrel and Seranthony Dominguez have each pitched three of the last four days, so I’m not sure that they’ll be options to work a second back-to-back in five days.

There are several rested guys in the pen, so the Phillies can cobble a plan together if Suarez does struggle and exits earlier than hoped. He had a 3.65 ERA with a 3.87 FIP in his 155.1 innings of work last season and is an extreme ground ball guy with a 56% career rate and a 55.4% rate last season. He did see a 6.1% drop in K% last season and nearly a 1% spike in BB%, so those are things worth watching at Coors, especially since he didn’t miss many bats in his rehab outings.

The Rockies will counter with Ryan Feltner, who has a 5.08 ERA with a 4.07 FIP on the season. He’s already made seven starts and only two of them have come at Coors. He has allowed five runs on 12 hits in 10.1 innings at home with six strikeouts against four walks. Given that he’s been able to avoid the thin air and the bad pitching conditions, yet still has an ERA over 5, I’m not sure he’s very trustworthy in home starts. He’s walked 21 guys already this season and hasn’t even had to contend with his home park all that much.

I wanted to fade Suarez in his return, but Feltner doesn’t strike me as the right guy to do it with, despite his good contact management numbers this season with a 35.1% Hard Hit% and a low 6.2% Barrel%.

Tampa Bay Rays (-140, 8) at New York Yankees

It is pretty rare these days to get a discount price on Shane McClanahan, but it seems as though that was the case for the opening line between the Rays and Yankees. This line was as low as -120 in the market, but has jumped up based on some action on the Rays. It will be Nestor Cortes on the other side for the Yankees.

McClanahan has a 1.76 ERA with a 3.21 FIP in his 46 innings of work. He’s been the winning pitcher in seven of his eight starts and has 58 strikeouts against 20 walks on the year. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his starts and has limited the opposition to a 34.6% Hard Hit% and a 6.5% Barrel%. He’s had some occasional walk trouble with four walks on three separate occasions, including last time out against the Orioles, but they haven’t really hurt him much.

Cortes hasn’t been the same guy this season that we saw last season. He’s got a 4.74 ERA with a 4.40 FIP in his 38 innings of work. He’s got 39 strikeouts against just 11 walks, but his command profile hasn’t been comparable to last year. That being said, he allowed seven runs to the Rangers in his April 30 start and has allowed 13 earned runs over his other six starts, so that outing has definitely had a major impact on his performance.

His BABIP is 62 points higher this season and his K% is down 2.3%. His Hard Hit% is up more than 5% and his LOB% is down nearly 13%. The reality is that he got really fortunate last season with sequencing and on batted balls and now an overcorrection has taken place in the stats. His true talent level lies somewhere in between, which can be seen by his 3.48 xERA. He’s not this bad, but he’s also not as good as what we saw last season.

Is that enough to keep up with McClanahan here? It certainly could be. I don’t see a big edge in this game, especially with bettors scooping what probably was a low line at the open.

Seattle Mariners (-180, 8.5) at Detroit Tigers

Bryce Miller and Alex Faedo are the listed starters for this one in Motown as the teams play an early game in Detroit. Miller’s MLB career is off to a roaring start with 15 strikeouts in 12 innings against just one walk. He’s allowed one run on four hits and has gotten a ton of chases outside the zone. He’s been extremely solid and very efficient in outings against the Athletics and Astros. Now he draws a Tigers lineup that will chase and will strike out.

The Tigers will send out former first-round pick Alex Faedo for his second start of the season and 14th of his career. He made 12 starts last season over 53.2 innings of work with a 5.53 ERA and a 4.62 FIP. He only had an 18% K% and a 10.2% BB% and gave up nearly a 10% Barrel%, so he had issues with both his command and control.

Faedo allowed three runs on three hits in 4.2 innings against the Cardinals in his first 2023 start with a couple of homers allowed. He only struck out one of the 18 batters that he faced. He’s made five starts at Triple-A this season with 19 strikeouts against four walks and allowed just five runs on 12 hits. He’s been limited to three and four-inning starts, though, so it’s hard to see him working too deep into his MLB appearances, at least at the outset.

This is a pretty easy pass with a big number on Seattle and a guy in Faedo who is a fringy MLB pitcher at best. The Mariners run line may be a consideration for some here, but their offense remains a concern to me.

Texas Rangers (-140, 9) at Oakland Athletics

I was a little bit surprised to see this line where it was this morning. I know that Jon Gray has struggled and JP Sears has some solid peripherals, but the difference between these teams is quite large at this point in time. I’ve professed that I like Sears at home way more than I do on the road as a fly ball guy who throws a lot of strikes and it makes sense to me to see that he has a 5.54 ERA with a 5.62 FIP because he’s made four starts on the road and has struggled in the majority of them.

In 16.2 innings at the Coliseum he’s got a 2.70 ERA with a 4.37 FIP. In 20.2 innings on the road, he’s got a 7.84 ERA with a 6.63 FIP. He’s allowed seven of his 10 homers on the road and has allowed a .570 SLG out of 88 plate appearances. Compare that to his home numbers with a .444 SLG against in 66 plate appearances. It still isn’t a great number, but Sears has a far better chance at surviving at home than he does on the road. We’ll see if today is another example of that against a Rangers offense that ranks sixth in wOBA against righties, but 20th in road wOBA against righties.

Gray has a 3.82 ERA with a 5.44 xERA and a 5.63 FIP, so there are certainly some regression signs in his profile. His K% is 8.4% lower this season compared to last season and his BB% is up 1.5%. A .248 BABIP and an 82.1% LOB% are doing a lot of heavy lifting on his ERA, but I’m more encouraged about him than the market and the metrics are. He’s given up a few homers, but he only has a 33% Hard Hit%. His SwStr% is right in line with the league average at 11.1% and he got a bunch of swings and misses last time out against the Mariners.

Gray went really slider-heavy last time out for 41.6% usage on the pitch and maybe a light came on with that strategy. It may just have been because of the opponent, but fewer fastballs and more of a pitch with some swing and miss upside makes a lot of sense in my opinion. There are some Cluster Luck elements that could lead to a correction in his numbers. He’s allowed a .358 wOBA with the bases empty, a .273 wOBA with men on base, and a .216 wOBA with RISP.

I think this is a complex handicap in a game that many may just throw away. I don’t see enough of an edge for a bet, even though I do like Sears at home, but I’d rather get a bigger underdog price and I don’t dislike Gray as much as the market seems to.

Los Angeles Angels (-125, 8) at Cleveland Guardians

Another really interesting pitching matchup here between Reid Detmers and Cal Quantrill. From a Stuff+ and Pitching+ standpoint, Detmers should be better according to Eno Sarris, who wrote about pitchers in line for a bump in performance based on their metrics ($). Let’s see if that comes to fruition in today’s game against a Cleveland lineup that can’t score.

The Guardians are 27th in wOBA against lefties at .283. They have a 77 wRC+ in that split and just don’t make enough quality contact against anybody, but their .265 BABIP against lefties and .348 SLG suggest that they really haven’t swung the bats well against southpaws. Detmers has allowed a .367 BABIP in his 30 innings of work. He’s only given up four homers, but has yielded a 42.2% Hard Hit%. The question here is whether or not Cleveland can take advantage and they haven’t taken advantage much against others.

What is a concern, though, is that Detmers has had subpar outings against the Mariners and Brewers this season, who both rank down near the Guardians in performance against lefties. He does have 38 strikeouts in those 30 innings, so generating whiffs hasn’t really been a problem. When you consider that he’s got a 61.3% LOB% despite a 27.9% K%, you can see why his ERA is 5.10 and his FIP is 3.99. There are definitely some positive regression signs in the profile and Cleveland is as good a matchup as any for those to show up.

The contrast between Detmers and Quantrill is so interesting. Quantrill has a 3.89 ERA with a 4.54 FIP, as he continues to outpitch his advanced metrics. He only has 21 strikeouts in 39.1 innings for a 12.4% K%, but his LOB% is 12.5% higher than Detmers and his BABIP is almost 100 points lower. In seven starts this season, Quantrill hasn’t struck out more than four batters. He’s allowed two runs on seven hits in his last 14.1 innings and has been brilliant at Progressive Field in his career. In 892 PA, opposing batters have a .236/.289/.367 slash and he has a 3.01 ERA over 221.1 innings of work.

I gave some thought to the under here because, well, it’s the Guardians and every game deserves consideration on the under. I’m just not convinced in Quantrill and it could ultimately be more than just bad luck for Detmers. I don’t think it is. I think he’s just in line for positive regression. I also thought about the Angels, but didn’t really want to lay the price here with how tight this game is likely to be and how it may swing on a handful of PA like yesterday’s game did.

Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox (-125, 8.5)

Dylan Cease’s problems continued and maybe even reached a fever pitch in his last start. He allowed seven runs on nine hits over five innings of work against the Royals. Cease now owns a 5.58 ERA with a 4.34 FIP in his 40.1 innings of work. He’s struck out 49 batters, but also issued 20 walks and has a .327 BABIP with a 61% LOB%. He’s only allowed five home runs, which is why FIP doesn’t punish him the way ERA does, but he has allowed a 53% Hard Hit% this season.

Cease is just allowing tons of hard contact and it doesn’t matter the opponent. He’s allowed a HH% of at least 45% in every single start. He’s allowed a HH% of 59.6% in his last three starts, including eight barrels. He’s not getting as many chases outside the zone this season and not getting a lot of swings and misses inside the zone. His SwStr% is down 2.9% from last season. His average exit velocity is up over 4 mph and his Hard Hit% is up 22%. 

This has nothing to do with velocity or spin rates. This has to do with location. He’s not locating his pitches well at all. His release point has been moving around on him and he alluded to some mechanical things that they may be working on during his postgame availability after that tough start against the Royals, but it is a really tough look to see 17 earned runs allowed over his last 14 innings.

Brandon Bielak makes this start for the Astros, as they’re trying to find any healthy arm they can find for the rotation. Bielak has allowed five runs on 12 hits in two appearances since getting recalled and now he’s been thrust into the starting five. He allowed 10 hits in 4.2 innings against the Mariners and failed to strike out any of the 24 batters he faced in his last appearance six days ago. He’s given up 16 hard-hit balls out of 30 batted ball events and doesn’t have a profile you’d want to invest in right now.

The over is obviously a consideration given where these two pitchers are at right now, but the White Sox and Astros are both bottom-10 offenses against righties and really borderline bottom-five, so I’m not eager to bet on either one of them.

Chicago Cubs at Minnesota Twins (-175, 7.5)

The Cubbies saved the day yesterday after a debacle from the Tigers against the Mariners. Chicago faces another hefty underdog role here with Hayden Wesneski on the bump against Joe Ryan. All of the sudden, Wesneski looks like a competent MLB pitcher. He’s got a 3.93 ERA with a 4.93 FIP, so there are some negative regression concerns in the profile, due in large part to only having 23 strikeouts in 34.1 innings of work.

Wesneski gave up 14 runs over his first four starts (12 earned), but he’s only allowed one run in each of his last three starts against the Padres, Nationals, and Marlins. He’s not missing many bats, but his Hard Hit% is only 35.1% and he’s been under 39% in six of his seven starts. He’s really done a good job of limiting hard contact. The Twins are only 21st in wOBA against righties, so this might be a chance for Wesneski to keep having success.

Ryan has been really good for the Twins this season. He has a 2.45 ERA with a 2.82 FIP in his 44 innings of work. He’s struck out 47 and walked six in 169 plate appearances and only allowed four homers with a 3.5% Barrel%. He has a Hard Hit% near 42%, but over a strikeout per inning and very few walks help if you’re going to allow some singles and doubles.

He does have a .243 BABIP and I think that’s something that will regress as we go forward. This will also be a much tougher test for him against a Cubs lineup that ranks sixth in wOBA against righties. He’s faced the Royals, Astros, Yankees twice, Red Sox, White Sox, and Guardians. Those teams rank 25th, 24th, 20th, 2nd, 26th, and 30th in wOBA against righties. That was the main reason why I looked at the Cubs yesterday against Sonny Gray. They didn’t do anything against Gray, but did get after the Twins bullpen.

Minnesota has played a pretty weak schedule to this point, especially in terms of the opposing offenses that they have faced. Like I mentioned above, the Twins are a bottom-10 offense against righties. Today’s game features a pretty stiff wind blowing in from left center, so that will give both pitchers a boost. 

I think the Cubs might have some value in this one, but Ryan’s been really good and Wesneski doesn’t miss a lot of bats.

Atlanta Braves at Toronto Blue Jays (-125, 9)

Bryce Elder and Jose Berrios are the listed starters here following yet another low-scoring game at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays won 3-0 yesterday behind a stellar Chris Bassitt performance against an excellent Atlanta lineup. It sure seemed to come out of nowhere. Let’s see if Berrios can repeat that feat.

I’m not so sure. Berrios has a 4.91 ERA with a 5.03 xERA, but his 3.22 FIP is attractive to the advanced metrics crowd. He’s struck out 41 and walked only eight, while giving up just four home runs. Berrios has cut his Hard Hit% way down with a 36.8% mark on the season, which is a huge improvement from last season’s 43.4% mark. His Barrel% is on par with last season, so that hasn’t improved, but he is getting a lot more ground balls this season than the previous seasons.

Berrios’s K% is also up almost 5%, which provides a huge lift for him as well, especially with the concerning command profile. It is better, yet I still find myself having a hard time buying in. I guess today will be a huge test with Atlanta’s lineup, which makes so much hard contact and barrels up a lot of balls.

Elder has a 1.74 ERA with a 3.66 FIP in his 41.1 innings of work. He’s struck out 36 and walked 13 in 167 plate appearances on the season for a respectable 21.6% K% and a 7.8% BB%. Elder has a .268 BABIP against and an 89.3% LOB%, though, so there are some pretty clear regression signs to his name. That’s especially true when you consider a 49.6% Hard Hit% as well.

Fading Berrios is something I still find myself wanting to do, but not here. Also, this total is up near 10, so I think it’s an accurate representation of these two offenses and the potential they have in this matchup, even though Rogers Centre has been very stingy.

St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox (-135, 10)

Steven Matz and Chris Sale line it up at Fenway Park in this one, as we’ll see the Cardinals and Red Sox go at it again after an exciting back-and-forth affair yesterday. The Cardinals prevailed by an 8-6 count in a game that flew over the total. Is today going to feature more of the same?

It very well could. Matz comes into this one with a 5.70 ERA and a 5.22 FIP in his 36.1 innings of work. As bad as the peripherals are, with a .336 BABIP and seven homers allowed, he’s still managed to limit damage in a lot of his outings. It doesn’t sound great, but he’s allowed four runs three times, six runs once, and then has three starts with two or fewer runs allowed. To get to a total of 10, it would be nice to see him really get shelled a little more often.

That being said, he’s only made three starts on the road and they’ve been in Colorado (6 ER), Seattle, and San Francisco. The last two are pitcher’s parks against offenses that can’t hit lefties and he hasn’t performed very well. Busch Stadium tends to be a really good pitcher’s park and he’s been better there than he has been on the road.

He’s allowed a 41.2% Hard Hit% and that even includes back-to-back starts under 30% against the Angels and Tigers. It’s possible that he’s been fixed to some degree. The Angels are a borderline top-five lineup against lefties and they didn’t hit him that hard. He probably wasn’t going to continue to be as bad as he was, but I’m very skeptical.

Sale has some interesting stats going into this one. He’s got a 6.37 ERA with a 3.95 FIP. He’s struck out 45 against 11 walks and only allowed five home runs, but he’s got a .372 BABIP against and a 61.2% LOB%. He’s only allowed a 34.3% Hard Hit% on the season, which definitely shouldn’t lead to a .372 BABIP. He’s got over a strikeout per inning, which doesn’t lead to a 61.2% LOB%. 

The Cardinals are 12th in wOBA against lefties and the Red Sox are 13th, so these two offenses are pretty close to equal in that split. St. Louis is actually 16th in road wOBA vs. lefties, while Boston is third in home wOBA against lefties. I actually think Sale is worth a bet at this price. He has a lot of positive regression signs and his three worst starts have come against the Orioles and Rays, who are elite offenses against lefties. The Cardinals aren’t on their usual levels in that split.

I don’t like the idea of Matz at Fenway Park at all and feel like the Red Sox offense has a much higher ceiling and more upside here.

Pick: Red Sox -135

Pittsburgh Pirates at Baltimore Orioles (-165, 8.5)

Roansy Contreras and Tyler Wells are the listed starters in this one as the Pirates and Orioles square off. The Pirates dropped to 1-9 in May, as they’re going in reverse at a breakneck pace with a tougher schedule. Contreras has allowed 20 runs on 40 hits in 38 innings of work with a 4.74 ERA and a 3.93 FIP. He’s got a .336 BABIP against and a 69.9% LOB%, which explains the gap between his ERA and FIP.

Contreras has only allowed two homers, which is another reason why his FIP sits where it does. He has allowed nine runs on 15 hits in his last 10.1 innings with starts against the Rays and Jays. He also has a 7/7 K/BB ratio in that split. His contact management numbers look fine, but he, like his team, has had a hard time with the AL East. As great as the Orioles are against lefties, though, they are just a little better than league average against righties.

Wells heads into this start against a Pirates lineup that has only scored 16 runs in 10 games this month. That should be a good thing for Wells, who has a 3.15 ERA and a 4.94 FIP. He’s running a ridiculously low .155 BABIP with an 86.5% LOB%, so there are some massive regression signs in his profile. He’s given up eight homers this season in six starts and one extended relief appearance and those don’t count towards BABIP, but they certainly count towards FIP.

The right-hander has a 40.5% Hard Hit% and a 9.9% Barrel%, but he’s doing that well from a BABIP standpoint and stranding a bunch of runners. Also, he only has 31 K in 40 innings, so the high LOB% seems really unsustainable given that note. I think the 28-year-old has a really bad outing coming sometime soon, if not today.

Both teams have faced tough schedules this month and one has handled it better, but the Pirates are 15th in Hard Hit%, but 29th in batting average. Baltimore is 13th in HH%, but 14th in BA. I think Contreras has some upside facing a lineup that isn’t quite Toronto or Tampa, especially with how the Orioles dominate lefties, but aren’t on the same level against righties. Wells is sitting on a boatload of regression and the Pirates offense, while not as good as what we saw in April, isn’t nearly as bad as what we’ve seen in May.

I’ll take a shot on the underdog Pirates tonight. There are much better prices than this at shops other than DraftKings, so shop around, but I use DK odds in the article and the tracking sheet.

Pick: Pirates +140

Kansas City Royals at Milwaukee Brewers (-155, 9)

This is a game that has some serious offensive potential on the surface. This will be Adrian Houser’s second start back off the IL. He allowed two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk in 4.2 innings of work against the Giants. He allowed a 46.7% Hard Hit% in that start. In four rehab starts at Triple-A, he allowed five runs on 17 hits in 14.2 innings of work.

But Houser is a guy who had a 4.72 ERA with a 4.21 FIP last season. He had a 3.22 ERA in 2021, but that came with a 4.33 FIP. He generally doesn’t miss a lot of bats and will walk a lot of guys, so he winds up in a lot of bad counts. He’s a ground ball guy but he allowed a 41.5% Hard Hit% last season. I’m not a huge believer in the profile and the Royals are a team that makes a lot of hard contact.

Kansas City’s problem is striking out, which they do at a 24.3% clip against righties. However, Houser isn’t a big swing and miss guy. This is a Royals lineup that is up to third in Hard Hit% this season. I like their offensive upside in this game.

Zack Greinke has a 5.18 ERA with a 5.00 FIP. Of course I ran into the only good start he’s made in a while when he went five shutout innings on May 3 against the Orioles, but that’s been the exception for him. He’s allowed at least four runs in five of his last six starts otherwise. He only has 27 strikeouts in 41.2 innings of work. He’s given up eight homers and allowed a 40.8% Hard Hit%.

As horrible as the Brewers are against lefties, they are 10th in wOBA against righties. They are ninth in home wOBA at .339. They should put a ton of balls in play off of Greinke and that should lead to some offensive chances.

The bullpen also concern me here. The Brewers may be 10th in ERA at 3.59, but they have a 4.81 FIP and I’m not sure Houser will work too deep into this one. The Royals are 27th in ERA at 5.11 and Greinke is a guy that doesn’t really pitch past the fifth inning. We should see some offense in this game.

Pick: Over 9 (-110)

TL;DR Recap

Padres +130

Red Sox -135

Pirates +140

KC/MIL Over 9 (-110)

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