Tuesday MLB Picks: How We’re Betting Mariners vs. Rangers, Angels vs. A’s, More

Credit:

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Lewis.

  • Looking for some quick MLB betting picks for Tuesday? Our staff's got you covered with four best bets.
  • Our experts are looking to the west coast for juicy action on the moneyline, plus a sneaky Cubs first-five play.
  • Read on for a complete breakdown on each of our favorite Tuesday night MLB bets.

Save for a postponed Pirates-Cardinals game, we’ve got a full slate of baseball from which to pick out some bets on Tuesday night.

Our experts have done just that, coming up with four best bets for the following matchups:

  • Cubs vs. Indians (7:10 p.m. ET)
  • Diamondbacks vs. Rockies (8:40 p.m. ET)
  • Mariners vs. Rangers (9:05 p.m. ET)
  • Angels vs. A’s (9:40 p.m. ET)

Let’s take a look.


Advanced Stats Glossary

FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.

wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.

wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.


Odds as of 11:40 a.m. ET

BJ Cunningham: Cubs F5 Moneyline (-108) vs. Indians

Lester primarily goes between his fastball and cutter and has fantastic movement on both. However, he’s been getting shelled the past few years, allowing wOBAs well over .300 against both of those pitches. But even if Lester is on the back end of his career, he matches up well against the Indians on Tuesday.

The Cubs were hot before their season came to a halt over the weekend. They currently rank fourth in baseball with a .331 wOBA and 114 wRC+. They’ve been doing most of their damage against right-handed pitching too, hitting 16 of their 19 home runs against righties.

Adam Plutko is a really weak righty who has been going back and forth between the minors and majors for the last four years. He’s never had much success in the bigs as he has a 5.47 xFIP for his career.

His fastball has below-average velocity and hitters tagged it all over the park in 2019 to the tune of a .358 wOBA. He also is prone to giving up the long ball, with a 2.11 HR/9 for his career, which is the highest I’ve seen of someone who’s pitched almost 200 innings in the big leagues.

The Indians offense has been pretty anemic to begin the season, ranking 28th with a .279 wOBA and 76 wRC+. The biggest issue for the Indians has been the bottom of their lineup not producing. Their top four hitters have combined for 60 of their 97 hits for the season, which has led to the bottom of their lineup hitting .125 through their first 17 games.

Plutko opening as a -150 favorite against any team is insane in my opinion. Since the Cubs bullpen has been really shaky so far this season I am going to back the Cubs first-five-inning moneyline at -108.

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Stuckey Diamondbacks Moneyline (-102) vs. Rockies

Back to the ol’ unreliable Snakes. I’m not sure why more people aren’t throwing praise at Zach Gallen more often. He’s been nothing short of a rock in his short time in the bigs. In fact, in his last start he tied a National League record by joining Montreal’s Steve Rogers (1973-74) as the only pitchers in league history to allow three runs or fewer in each of their first 18 career starts. And his three starts this year have come against the Padres, Dodgers and Astros … not too shabby.

He can still deal with control issues for short periods but he undoubtedly has all of the pitches in his arsenal to become a future ace. And if you’re going to attack this Rockies lineup, I’d rather do it with a right-handed starter.

Meanwhile, Kyle Freeland has followed up a disastrous 2019 (after a stellar 2018) with some early promising bounce-back results. He’s 2-0 with a 2.41 ERA over his first three starts in 2020. However, if you dig a little deeper, I’m not sure we should be too impressed. His xFIP and FIP are both almost two full runs higher than his ERA, hinting at a great deal of fortune for the southpaw. Take a look at his very low .231 BABIP which indicates balls are finding gloves at an unsustainable rate.

He’s also only striking out a career low 5.3 batters per nine innings. That’s alarming even for a control pitcher. For reference, Gallen is more than double that number at 11.81.

Now there are reasons to be excited about a Freeland as a No. 3 starter. He’s completely changed his pitch mix by reducing his fastball usage and increasing the frequency of changeups and curveballs, giving him a more varied mix. But I still think he’s figuring some things out and the lack of strikeouts worry me against a lineup that can eat lefties alive.

And while the Snakes’ bats have been lifeless for most of the year, Coors has a way of waking up sleeping offenses as we saw last night with an Arizona offensive explosion.

I make Gallen -115 here so gladly took some plus-money and would bet as a small favorite.

Collin Wilson: Mariners Moneyline (+120) vs. Rangers

This game should be lined closer to a pick’em for a number of reasons. It was reported Mike Minor will be on a reduced pitch count for this start as he has struggled in three losses. The biggest issue in Minor’s stats is a left-on-base percentage of 44%. That is well below career norms, and shows that when runners get on base they are likely to score.

The Rangers cannot depend on pitching relief for Minor, either, ranking 25th in xFIP from the pen. And the name of the game in spacious Globe Life Park is ground balls, something in which Mariners hitters rank top five against southpaws.

The highlight reel may not have been kind to Marco Gonzales in his last start against the Angels, giving up three home runs. But those were the only hits against the Mariners lefty, as Gonzales had seven punch-outs in seven innings. That will play well against a Rangers lineup that is fourth in baseball in strikeout percentage against southpaws.

Gonzales is a fly-ball pitcher, something that works to his advantage in Globe Life Park which currently ranks dead last in home runs per Park Factors.

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Danny Donahue: Angels Moneyline (-152) vs. A’s

I’m sure I’m not going to regret this one …

The last-place, 6-11 Angels as fairly significant favorites over the only 12-win team in baseball doesn’t really make a ton of sense from an overhead view. I am aware that Dylan Bundy has been great for the Halos to start the year, but once again I’m more concerned with playing the betting market’s tells than analyzing the on-field matchup (mainly because I’m not good enough at that).

Los Angeles actually opened in the -120s when this line was first made available, so I’m a bit late to the punch already. But as almost two-thirds of bettors have taken the Athletics, history tells us that the line move toward the Angels puts them in a profitable spot.

In our database (since 2005), teams that have opened at -120 or higher, received less than 40% of moneyline bets and saw the line move at least 10 cents in their direction, have gone 98-34, winning 30.5 units for a 23.1% return on investment.

I won’t be watching this game.

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