MLB Betting Odds & Picks: 5 Best Bets for Yankees vs. Orioles, Rangers vs. Astros, Cardinals vs. Padres & More (Saturday, May 15)
Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: San Diego’s Ha-seong Kim tries to turn a double play in front of a sliding Paul Goldschmidt.
- There's a full slate of MLB games on the docket for Saturday, including plenty of night-time action that presents chances for bettors to thrive.
- Our team of betting analysts dug into the schedule for the day to find where they see the best value. Here are their five plays.
Our analysts have found angles on four games with five bets in total. Here are our five best bets from Saturday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles
Kenny Ducey: As someone who’s watched both of Jorge López;s outings against the Yankees this season, I can tell you that he’s navigated the order quite well. He allowed four earned runs in his first outing of the year against New York, but three of them came as part of a five-run fifth for the Yankees. Up until that point, they were stymied. Then, on April 28th, he allowed just two runs on four hits against the same lineup.
López’s stuff is sneaky good, and he’s been great to start games this year. In fact, he’s allowed just two runs all season long in the first two innings of games, getting victimized once hitters see enough of him in a game.
For that reason, I’m backing Baltimore to keep New York at bay early here. On the other hand, Domingo Germán’s only start this year against the Orioles saw him spin seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits in the process. Baltimore’s offense has been average at best, and shouldn’t be expected to drastically improve upon this.
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles
Jeff Hicks: The Yankees have scored five-plus runs against the Orioles in five of eight contests this season, including Friday night. New York also has the highest walk rate and is one of eight teams with an above-average wRC+ on the road against right-handed pitching. Positive regression is coming for the Yankees’ lineup — their BABIP is the lowest on the road against righties.
Orioles starter Jorge López has been a little unlucky (.256 BABIP), but his walk and home run rates are on par with his career averages. López has allowed six earned runs in 8 2/3 innings against the Yankees this season. He also has two of his worst walk games against the Bronx Bombers.
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros
Collin Whitchurch: The Rangers have been careful with Dane Dunning this season. It makes sense. Dunning was the prize acquisition in the deal that sent Lance Lynn to Chicago during the offseason and immediately became the most promising arm in the organization.
In his first six starts, Dunning didn’t once throw more than 76 pitches, and in five of those starts it was not due to ineffectiveness. The Rangers have most often used Dunning and another young arm — Taylor Hearn or someone else — in a tandem role. Just twice has Dunning pitched into the sixth inning.
This has been to his benefit from a production standpoint. Just twice this season has Dunning allowed more than two earned runs in a start, and he’s struck out five or more batters in every start but one.
Luis Garcia has been similarly limited by the Astros, but his role has been less clear, as he’s made two relief appearances in addition to his five starts. His last two outings were the most telling, however, as he was used in a more traditional starter role and went a combined 10 innings, allowing six earned runs, walking four and striking out 15.
Garcia’s bugaboo has been the home run. He’s allowed six in 30 innings and three in his last two starts. The sinkerballer Dunning has allowed just one in 33 1/3 innings all season, and it came in his first start all the way back on April 6.
All of this adds up to a solid opportunity to find value in an underdog across the first five innings. Dunning’s performance has been solid and predictable, and his ability to suppress the home run should serve him and the Rangers well here. The Texas bullpen scares the hell out of me, so I’m not touching the full game number, but I feel confident Dunning will best Garcia for five innings, so I’m taking that at +145 and would play it down to +135.
Washington Nationals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Sean Zerillo: Joe Ross has seemingly lived off the promise he showed as a rookie (3.64 ERA, 3.30 xERA, 3.62 xFIP, 3.66 SIERA) for the entirety of his tenure with the Nationals; his expected ERA indicators have trended north of 5.00 for each of the past three seasons.
Ross was more successful early in his career while throwing his slider at a higher frequency (36.5%, 39%, and 34.1% from 2015-2017) but the usage on that pitch has dropped below 30% for each of the past three seasons — and his effectiveness has fallen with it.
I cannot fully account for Diamondbacks starter Seth Frankoff, who has been hit hard in three MLB appearances on either side of a stint in Korea with the Doosan Bears. Frankoff had success in the KBO (245 K, 85 BB in 266 IP with a 3.11 FIP in 2019) and I think he can carry a sub 5.00 ERA at the MLB level.
I made the Diamondbacks a slight favorite (51.6%) in Saturday’s matchup, and I would bet their moneyline down to +102 at a two-percent edge.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. San Diego Padres
Matt Trebby: I’m going to call this pitching matchup about a draw. Adam Wainwright has rejuvenated his career since the start of 2019 and has a 3.80 ERA through seven starts this season. His 4.02 FIP indicates that he’s a solid yet unspectacular arm who will be reliable over the course of a 162-game season.
Chris Paddack, meanwhile, is apparently due for some positive regression. His 4.78 ERA and 3.03 FIP indicate he’s had some bad luck on balls in play this season through six starts. Also, he only pitched three innings in his return last Sunday after missing a turn in the rotation.
Assuming Paddack still is unable to go deep into games, the Friars are now without Drew Pomeranz, their best reliever,, who is on the injured list. San Diego’s relief corps is among the best in baseball, but it’s significantly weakened without its potentially All-Star setup man.
The big advantage comes in the form of the Cardinals’ lineup. St. Louis ranks 15th in MLB in OPS this season, while San Diego ranks 21st. The Padres, though, are without three regulars in Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers and Jurickson Profar. That bumps them down a bit for me.