Our 3 Best MLB Picks for Tuesday Night, Including Cubs vs. Reds, Diamondbacks vs. Rangers
Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Joey Gallo
- Our staff breaks down their three favorite MLB picks for Tuesday night.
- Find out why they like the Nationals over Blue Jays as well as two overs.
With a pair of cancellations in Major League Baseball again on Tuesday, bettors have 14 games from which to choose. And as our staff has broken down several games on tonight’s slate, we’ve also picked out our favorite spots.
Here are our the top plays from three of our baseball experts on Tuesday evening.
Odds current as of 12 p.m. ET.
Danny Donahue: Nationals (-140) vs. Blue Jays
Betting markets are a fickle thing early in sports seasons. I highly doubt, for example, that either the Rays (against the Braves) or Blue Jays (against the Nationals) would be the popular sides of their games tonight — both are receiving more than 50% of bets — had they not won last night.
But should one baseball game really affect how we judge the difference between two teams, especially given that each game is obviously seeing a brand new pitching matchup?
Oftentimes in such a case we end up with a line that we can take advantage of, and I think that’s what’s happening in tonight’s Blue Jays-Nats matchup.
Washington opened around -125, and despite receiving less than half of moneyline tickets to this point, the line has increased by about 10-15 cents. In other words, sharper bettors have been taking advantage of a soft line that was potentially a result of last night’s game.
Now, we did miss the best Nats number, but history says we’ll be okay.
Since 2005, unpopular favorites greater than -130 with more than five cents of movement in their direction have gone 435-222, winning 72.5 units for an 11% ROI. These spots will probably be a bit less common as the year rolls along so I’m going to ride them while I can.
Collin Wilson: Cubs/Reds Over 10 (-112)
The Cubs and Reds kicked the series off in Cincinnati with an offensive bang on Monday and more of the same is projected on Tuesday. Early in the season, Chicago is supporting a top-five wRC+ number against right-handed pitching.
Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle went 3-12 in 2019 and was a victim of the long ball, averaging 1.74 home runs per nine innings. Alec Mills does not have much service time with Chicago, but had a low strikeout rate and 1.47 home runs per nine for the Iowa Cubs.
Although the wind will not be as strong to straightaway center field as Monday evening, there may be help behind the plate. Larry Vanover looks to call the balls and strikes, and this umpire has a tendency to be in high-scoring games.
Vanover is 239-214-20 (53%, +18 units) since 2005 to the over, making him the seventh-most profitable “over ump” in our database.
BJ Cunningham: Diamondbacks/Rangers Over 9 (-110)
Merrill Kelly spent four seasons in the Korean Baseball League before joining the Diamondbacks last season. His first season in the desert wasn’t a great one, posting a 4.58 xFIP and a 42.7% hard-hit rate. And the latter doesn’t bode well for him as the Rangers had the fourth-highest hard-hit rate in the majors last season. He mainly uses a fastball/curve/slider combination, but really only his curveball was effective in 2019.
The Rangers project out right around average this season, but they should have no issues with Merrill.
Kyle Gibson joins the Rangers after spending the first seven years of his career in Minnesota. He is primarily a sinker ball guy, but it’s starting to lose its effectiveness. His wOBA average against his sinker has risen from .315 in 2018 to .357 in 2019.
His fastball has also completely fallen off a cliff, allowing a .424 wOBA against in 2019. He does have a very effective slider, but the Diamondbacks’ offense should have no trouble with it as it ranked seventh against sliders last season.
With two bad starting pitchers on the mound, two weak bullpens and two slightly above-average offenses, this game has Over written all over it.
I project 10.86 runs for this game, so I have no problem backing Over 9 at -110.