MLB Expert Predictions for Tuesday: Can the Rangers Upset the Yankees Again?
Wendell Cruz, USA Today Sports. Pictured: James Paxton
- Our experts give out their favorite plays for Tuesday's MLB slate, including Dodgers vs. Rockies and Yankees vs. Rangers.
Danny Donahue: Houston Astros at Milwaukee Brewers
Zack Greinke (14-4, 2.99 ERA) vs. Jordan Lyles (9-8, 4.55 ERA)
- Astros Moneyline: -145
- Brewers Moneyline: +135
- Over/Under: 9.5
- First pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
The theory behind this pick is a simple one. The most common total score of a baseball game is 9 runs, so any line moves onto or off of that number hold a hair more weight than others. And when a line goes completely through the “key” number (from 8.5 to 9.5), it’s been profitable to trust oddsmakers’ initial instinct.
Since 2005, totals opening at 8.5 or less that have moved to 9.5 or more have gone under 58.1% of the time (86-62-1). That record has won 17.3 units for an 11.6% ROI.
The PICK: Under 9.5
Mark Gallant: Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers
Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-6, 8.07 ERA) vs. Julio Urias (4-3, 2.53 ERA)
- Rockies Moneyline: +260
- Dodgers Moneyline: -300
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET
The Rockies scored nine runs last night against Walker Buehler and the Dodgers. Congrats to everyone who took them at +300! Oh wait, they still lost by seven…
Tonight, they are big pooches once more against Julio Urias and co. and I will be betting on them. Fading elite teams late in the season has historically been a wise move and that is especially true when the team you’re betting on has a losing record.
Per Bet Labs, fading teams with at least a .600 winning percentage has yielded a +7.5% ROI in September and October. When you’re betting on a losing team, that ROI jumps up +11.4%.
There are actually, three matches for this system tonight – Blue Jays, Rangers and Rockies – but I like the Rox the most due to the divisional familiarity. Plus, I love betting on pitchers with an 0-6 record and ERA north of 8.
The PICK: Rockies +260
Zerillo: Seattle Mariners at Chicago Cubs
Felix Hernandez (1-4, 6.02 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (11-9, 4.37 ERA)
- Mariners Moneyline: +220
- Cubs Moneyline: -250
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
With a 6.02 ERA, 5.75 FIP and 4.89 xFIP in 10 starts this season, Felix Hernandez is having the worst year of his career.
So why am I backing him on the road, against a potentially playoff-bound Cubs team on Tuesday night? Some splits that favor the Mariners in this contest.
The Cubs are 27-20 since the All-Star break, but their offense ranks 21st in wRC+ (94) over that period – including 18th (96 wRC+) against righties.
The Mariners offense ranks 10th in wRC+ (103) against lefties in 2019, and they have improved to eighth since the All-Star break (112 wRC+).
Jon Lester excelled earlier in 2019, sporting a rolling 10-game FIP below 3.00 for much of May – but his metrics have spiked into below average territory as of late – and he currently has a 15-game rolling FIP of 4.89; and a five game FIP that is above 5.00.
At 39-19 (67.2%, +11.75 units), Lester is the fifth most profitable starter on the game moneyline since the start of the 2018 season – but I’ll gladly take a big number against him on Tuesday.
The PICK: Mariners +220
John Ewing: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees
Edinson Volquez (0-0, 6.23 ERA) vs. James Paxton (11-6, 4.39 ERA)
- Rangers Moneyline: +268
- Yankees Moneyline: 305
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 6:35 p.m. ET
The Rangers beat the Yankees 7-0 on Monday. It was the first time New York had been held scoreless in 220 games – second longest streak in baseball history.
The Bronx Bombers are second in the majors in home runs (256) and runs scored per game (5.77) this season. Bettors expect the Yanks offense to bounce back on Tuesday after being shutout.
77% of money line tickets are on New York -305. Historically, it has been profitable to bet unpopular teams after a blowout win like the Rangers.
It is not just history that points to value on Texas. We have tracked a steam move bet signal, an indication of sharp money, on the Rangers as well. Sean Zerillo’s MLB model makes New York a -227 favorite, not -305 that they are currently listed at.
The public assumes the Yankees will win, oddsmakers know this and have inflated the line for New York, which has created contrarian value betting the Rangers.
The PICK: Rangers +268