MLB Odds, Preview, Predictions: 4 Best Bets For Tuesday, Including Phillies vs. Marlins, Indians vs. Tigers & Rockies vs. Mets (May 25)
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: James McCann
MLB Odds & Picks
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Miami Marlins
Sean Zerillo: I expected the Marlins to be competitive this season thanks to a plethora of young, quality starting pitching. Despite the absence of popular Rookie of the Year pick Sixto Sánchez (rehabbing from injury), the Marlins still have three of the top-16 starters in baseball per expected ERA (or xERA).
The leader in that group is Sandy Alcantara (2.85, 10th), whose average fastball velocity (97.4 mph) ranks ahead of every starter this season except for Jacob deGrom. Alcantara has increased his swinging strike rate by four percent compared to last season while throwing more changeups (+17%) and fewer sinkers (-10%). However, he's been able to maintain a 49% groundball rate despite reduced sinker usage, and each of his expected indicators (3.57 FIP, 3.61 xFIP, 3.77 SIERA) sit at career-best marks.
Vince Velasquez (4.43, 4.36, and 4.66 xERA over the past three seasons) is a couple of tiers below Alcantara in terms of quality, and his average fastball velocity (93.2 mph) is sitting at a career low. His .227 BABIP and 93% strand rate are due for significant regression (career .313 and 73.1%).
I projected the Marlins around 60% for both the first five innings (F5) and full game on Tuesday, and I'm placing both bets up to -137.
Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers
Brad Cunningham: Aaron Civale has actually been really good so far this season. He has a 3.85 xERA and has been really effective with his top three pitches of fastball, cutter, curveball, as opponents are hitting under .220 against all three and all of them are also allowing a wOBA under .290. All three of those pitches are ones that the Tigers struggle against. because they are 27th against fastballs, last against cutters and 26th against curveballs.
Tarik Skubal has been getting shelled as he has a xERA of 6.47 and has given up 12 home runs already in only 38 innings. He's mainly a fastball pitcher, as he throws it more than 50% of the time, and he's been having all sorts of issues with it because opponents are tagging it for a .433 wOBA. So even though Cleveland has struggled against fastballs and lefties, they should be able to get to Skubal.
The bullpen matchup is a complete mismatch because Cleveland has been really solid, ranking in the top 10 in xFIP, while the Tigers are in the bottom five in xFIP at 4.53.
Cleveland Indians vs. Detroit Tigers
Jeff Hicks: This is as much about Tarik Skubal being below replacement level (-0.5 WAR) as it is Cleveland on a small offensive bender. Skubal is markedly worst on the road, but allowing a home run every six at-bats at home is less than ideal. He also allows a slash line of .271/.347/.482 at Comerica Park.
The Indians have a poor offense but are due for positive regression, including on the road against right-handed pitching. Cleveland has a .251 BABIP against righties on the road, 29th in baseball. The offense has progressed in road games in May and is now 22nd in wRC+ and just outside the top 10 in slugging away from the friendly confines.
I believe the books nailed the Indians run total. That is why Indians moneyline is my best bet. Aaron Civale has been Cleveland's second-best pitcher and has peripherals on par with his ERA, and Detroit is an offense to fade consistently. The juice is less than ideal, but Cleveland is in one of their better situations for a win. Bet the moneyline up to -150.
Colorado Rockies vs. New York Mets
Kenny Ducey: Are we sure any runs will be scored in this game? I mean, I guess technically there needs to be one run, but you could set this line at 4.5 runs and I think I still might take it.
We know the Rockies struggle away from Coors Field, but this year things have been exceptionally rough on the road. Colorado is 3-17 on the road, and is the owner of a 61 wRC+ in those games. For reference, wRC+ measures weighted runs against league average, which would be 100. That is absolutely staggering, how low that number is.
Anyway, the Rockies are already a target in road games, and now they need to face Jacob deGrom. I don’t like their chances of scoring a run for the majority of this game. On the other hand, the Mets are starting a lineup that the Rockies would be proud of.
New York is already a bad team against lefties with a .304 wOBA, and now features James McCann as one of the top bats in its lineup against Kyle Freeland. If it scratched out four hits against Austin Gomber, things could be even worse tonight. It’s hard to see either team scoring a single run, so I have no issues taking a total this low.