MLB Expert Predictions for Monday Night: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets, Including Giants-Padres

MLB Expert Predictions for Monday Night: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets, Including Giants-Padres article feature image

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: San Diego Padres pitcher Logan Allen

  • There are five evening MLB games on tap for Monday.
  • Our experts detail their favorite bets of the night, including Orioles-Rays (7:10 p.m. ET) and Giants-Padres (10:10 p.m. ET).

Sean Zerillo: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

Tom Eshelman (MLB Debut) vs. Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.76 ERA)

  • Away Moneyline: +234
  • Home Moneyline: -265
  • Over/Under: 9
  • First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

The Rays have deployed Ryne Stanek as an opener more than 50 times since the beginning of the 2018 season, and as a team they have fared better against the first-five innings (F5) moneyline (32-15-6, 68%, +$1,206, 22.7% ROI) than they have against full-game moneyline (31-22, 58.5%, +$358, 6.8% ROI) in those starts.

I project the Rays to win the F5 portion of their game today vs. Tom Eshelman, who is making his major league debut for the Orioles, nearly 77% of the time — equating to fair odds of roughly -335 rather than the current -265.

I don’t typically lay a price over -160 for any single-game baseball wager. As a result, I want nothing to do with the Rays F5 spread with the juice set at -180.

However, I do think that the Rays F5 moneyline is a perfect first leg as part of a two-team parlay, particularly since it is a bet that can push.

Whether you leave that parlay open for Tuesday’s slate, or find your other favorite side on Monday to pair with (I chose San Diego’s game moneyline), I still see some value in this extremely heavy price.

The PICK: Tampa Bay Rays (-265) F5  Moneyline (as part of a two-leg parlay)

John Ewing: San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres

Jeff Samardzija (4-7, 4.52 ERA) vs. Logan Allen (2-0, 1.38 ERA)

  • Giants Moneyline: +149
  • Padres Moneyline: -165
  • Over/Under: 8
  • First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

The public is not interested in betting on the Giants. Less than 30% of moneyline tickets are on San Francisco as a road underdog. The Giants’ 36 wins are the second fewest in the National League and their -89 run differential is the worst in the league, which explains why casual bettors are fading the worst team in the NL West.

However, it has been profitable to bet against the public in baseball. A good spot to apply this strategy is when a team is coming off a big win (five or more runs):

The Giants closed their series with the Diamondbacks by beating Arizona, 10-4, on Sunday, which makes them a match for this betting system. Recreational gamblers are fading San Francisco based on early-season performance, but the team has been playing better lately, going 14-13 in the month of June.

Public perception has not caught up to the team’s recent form which makes the Giants a nice contrarian play on Monday.

The PICK: Giants (+149)

Collin Wilson: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Editor’s note: This article was published before news of Tyler Skaggs tragically passed away on Monday. The game has been cancelled.

Jose Suarez (2-1, 5.57 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (8-4, 2.40 ERA)

  • Away Moneyline: +129
  • Home Moneyline: -140
  • Over/Under: 10.5
  • First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET

This short slate may have some bettors looking to play on just name recognition alone. Mike Minor may have the best statistics of any starting pitcher on Monday, but this is not a good spot for the southpaw.

An ERA of 2.40 masks an xFIP of 4.31, a number that is gradually getting higher as the year goes on. Regression should come for Minor at some point this season, but on Monday it is clear that one roster can hit lefties and one cannot.

Since May 1, the Texas Rangers have posted the highest strikeout percentage (29.1%) in the league against left-handers. A BABIP rank of ninth against a wRC+ of 25th shows just how lucky this Rangers club has been. If regression is coming to Minor and the Texas sticks, the Angels may be the spot.

In the same time frame, Los Angeles is eighth in wRC+ and 29th in strikeout percentage against left-handers. Further, a top-10 walk rate and line drive percentage could equal plenty of long innings for Minor. Take the Angels and Jose Suarez, who should be able to dodge enough bullets against a Rangers offense that has been overly lucky against southpaws.

The PICK: Angels (+129)

Matt LaMarca: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

Jose Suarez (2-1, 5.57 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (8-4, 2.40 ERA)

  • Away Moneyline: +129
  • Home Moneyline: -140
  • Over/Under: 10.5
  • First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET

Most people are looking at this pitching matchup and can’t help but side with the Rangers. Minor has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, while Suarez has been roughed up through his first 21.0 MLB innings.

That said, Minor has been one of the luckiest pitchers in baseball. Batters have managed only a .268 BABIP against him this season, and only 10.5% of their fly balls have turned into home runs.

Minor has also stranded 88.3% of opposing baserunners. As a result, his 4.13 xFIP is nearly two full runs higher than his ERA. He’s a prime regression candidate moving forward. Overall, this pitching matchup is not nearly as lopsided as the traditional metrics indicate.

Suarez also has the better matchup between these two pitchers. The Rangers rank just 26th in wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this season, and they’ve struck out at the highest rate in the league.

I’m willing to roll the dice on Suarez and the Angels as contrarian underdogs.

The PICK: Angels (+129)

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