MLB Expert Predictions for Tuesday: Our Staff’s 7 Favorite Bets, Including Giants vs. Rockies
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Donovan Solano (7) celebrates with shortstop Brandon Crawford (left) and right fielder Austin Slater (right)
- A full MLB slate has our experts finding value on seven different games Tuesday.
- Check out the plays they're making on matchups including Red Sox-Blue Jays, Mets-Twins and Giants-Rockies.
Mark Gallant: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
Ryan Carpenter (1-5, 8.36 ERA) vs. Zach Plesac (3-3, 4.00 ERA)
- Tigers Moneyline: +220
- Indians Moneyline: -245
- Over/Under: 10.5
- First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
There’s nothing more in life that I like more than betting on a pitcher with an ERA north of 8. Every time I get the chance to do that, I’m gonna do it.
Detroit’s Ryan Carpenter is checking in at 8.36 over 37.2 innings — a pretty big sample size for an ERA this high if we’re being honest. This can be attributed to his high home run rate and very low left-on-base rate of just 55.1%. Essentially half the guys who get on base against this chump score.
However, his crappy K/9 of 5.97 and crappy BB/9 of 2.87 rival Cleveland’s Zach Plesac, who has a 6.60 K/9 and 3.40 BB/9. He, on the other hand, has gotten very lucky this year. In 45 innings, he has a so-so ERA of 4.00 on the button, but has a BABIP of just .225 and has left over 80% of runners on base.
What I’m saying is both pitchers deserve to have terrible stats this year, but Carpenter’s look way, way worse. As a result, only 27% of bettors are taking him and the Tigers at +220. No chance am I laying -250 on Plesac and the Indians, who have the 25th-ranked wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this year.
The PICK: Tigers +220
Danny Donahue: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
Jacob Waguespack (1-0, 5.00 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (9-3, 3.83 ERA)
- Blue Jays Moneyline: +177
- Red Sox Moneyline: -188
- Over/Under: 11
- First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
The Jays check off just about every box of a standard profitable baseball bet. They’re divisional underdogs in a game with a high total, they’ve gotten a much lower percentage of bets while seeing the line move in their direction — in the second-most heavily bet game tonight — and that low bet percentage has generated a higher percentage of actual money wagered on the game.
The particular bet vs. money split in this game is especially intriguing because even with a substantial discrepancy (19% of tickets accounting for 31% of money), both figures are relatively low. With just 31% of money on a +177 team, sportsbooks will have to be rooting for Toronto, and the discrepancy of 12 percentage points means bigger bettors (probably sharps) are backing the Jays as well.
That’s a pair I’m happy to join.
The PICK: Blue Jays +177
Matt LaMarca: San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins
Logan Allen (2-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Jordan Yamamota (3-0, 1.24 ERA)
- Padres Moneyline: -123
- Marlins Moneyline: +112
- Over/Under: 8.0
- First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET
This is an intriguing matchup featuring two pitchers with little track record. They’ve combined to make just eight MLB starts, but both pitchers have been impressive in limited playing time.
Yamamoto in particular has been dominant, pitching to an elite 1.24 ERA over his first 29.0 innings. That said, don’t be surprised if he turns into a pumpkin soon. He was ranked as just the 25th-best Marlins prospect (per Fangraphs), and he pitched to a 4.19 FIP over 12 Double-A starts earlier this season. He’s not someone you’d expect to be an All-Star caliber starter moving forward.
Meanwhile, the Padres are a solid offensive team. They play half their games in the most pitcher-friendly environment in baseball, which keeps their overall numbers down, but they’ve fared well when playing on the road this season. They’ve averaged 5.12 runs per game outside of Petco Park, which is the 10th-highest mark in baseball. They have a lot of pop against right-handed pitchers, ranking sixth in ISO when playing on the road. Overall, the Padres have posted a 20-15 record when facing a right-handers away from home this season, good for a +25.5% return on investment.
On the other hand, the Marlins can’t hit at home, on the road, and possibly even on the moon. They’re averaging the fewest runs per game, including the third-fewest runs per game at home. They’ve struggled in particular against left-handers, ranking dead-last in wRC+.
Allen has been better than his traditional numbers indicate — he owns a 3.82 FIP at the MLB level — and he also has a rosier future outlook than Yamamoto. I like his chances of securing a win tonight.
The PICK: Padres -123
Sean Zerillo: Arizona Diamondbacks at Texas Rangers
Alex Young (2-0, 0.68 ERA) vs. Lance Lynn (12-4, 3.69 ERA)
- D-backs Moneyline: 147
- Rangers Moneyline: -159
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
The Texas Rangers have been the second-most profitable team in baseball for moneyline backers in 2019, generating a profit of $1,517 for a $100 bettor.
Though the Diamondbacks haven’t been quite as profitable for bettors, both teams have surprised in the 2019 standings to date with their .500 or better records and and positive run differentials.
However, the Rangers have a notable performance trend that tracks with their offensive splits. They rank 12th as a team, with a slightly above average wRC+ (101) vs. right-handed pitching, but fall to 26th (83 wRC+) vs. left-handed pitching.
When the opposing starter has been right-handed this season, the Rangers are 37-27, for a profit of +$1,709 and a return on investment of 26.7%. Against southpaw starters, the Rangers are just 13-17 (-$192), though they are 5-3 as a favorite.
This is to take nothing away from Lance Lynn, one of the most profitable starting pitchers in baseball in 2019 (13-6, +$654). The Diamondbacks are just priced too high in a good matchup for their young lefty Alex Young, who was pulled after six no-hit innings on July 7 against the Rockies.
I projected their fair odds for Tuesday at +127, so I still see 20 points of line value.
The PICK: D-backs +147
Evan Abrams: New York Mets at Minnesota Twins
Steven Matz (5-6, 4.89 ERA) vs. Michael Pineda (6-4, 4.56 ERA)
- Mets Moneyline: +140
- Twins Moneyline: -150
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
The Twins are coming off a 3-game series against the Indians in which they took two out of three games, but ended up losing their last game while going for the sweep. Minnesota failed to hit a home run in the 4-3 loss after hitting five in the first two games. On Tuesday, the Twins face Steven Matz and the Mets in the first game of their quick two-game set in Minnesota.
The Twins are averaging 1.86 home runs per game this season — the most in baseball — and since the break it hasn’t stopped with four different players homering in their first three games back. In 2019, Matz is allowing two home runs per nine innings, the highest rate of his career, including allowing opponents to slug .506 against him (also highest of his career).
The Mets moved Matz to the bullpen after his ERA rose to 4.95, but since, he has had two scoreless relief appearances and now New York has decided to start him in Minnesota against the best slugging team in baseball.
On the other side, Michael Pineda has basically been the same pitcher both at home and away this year, with a slight edge to his starts at Target Field. I’ll roll with the Twins, who will hopefully knock Matz around early on.
The PICKS: Twins -1 (-110) and -0.5 1st 5 innings (-110)
Collin Wilson: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
Dylan Cease (1-0, 5.40 ERA) vs. Glenn Sparkman (2-5, 5.18 ERA)
- White Sox Moneyline: -120
- Royals Moneyline: +111
- Over/Under: 10.5
- First pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET
To the naked eye, any total posted with Dylan Cease and Glenn Sparkman should encourage a bet to the over. Sparkman has an xFIP of 5.60 and a HR/9 ratio of 1.92. Cease is a high pitching prospect for the White Sox that left Triple-A with an ERA of 4.48. A closer examination of Cease’s long term minor league numbers show a double-digit number in K/9 with a propensity for ground balls. His initial start was smooth after first inning jitters against the Tigers.
The key to an under in Kauffman on Tuesday night is that both offenses struggle with right-handed pitching. We mentioned in yesterday’s writeup that since May 1st, the White Sox have the highest strikeout percentage and lowest walk percentage against righties. Compile that with Kansas City, which is 27th in walk percentage and ISO in the same time frame.
Ever since the early 1980s I’ve watched offenses struggle to clear the fence in Kauffman Stadium, and the 2019 Royals are no different, ranking last in HR/FB ratio. This ball shouldn’t leave the yard tonight and Dylan Cease should entice plenty of ground balls and strikeouts. With a little bullpen help, the under should get to the window.
The PICK: Under 10.5
John Ewing: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies
Drew Pomeranz (2-9, 6.42 ERA) vs. Peter Lambert (2-1, 6.67 ERA)
- Giants Moneyline: +120
- Rockies Moneyline: -130
- Over/Under: 14.5
- First pitch: 8:40 p.m. ET
The Rockies-Giants total is massive. Oddsmakers opened the over/under at 14 and it has since moved to 14.5 — tied for the second largest total since 2005 according to Bet Labs. History tells us that it has not been profitable to bet the over in high-total games, except at the extremes.
It is a small sample, but since 2005 when the total is 13 or more runs the over has gone 19-10-3 (65.6%). Of those games, 25 were played in Colorado with the over going 14-8-3 (63.6%).
Warm temperatures are expected — it should be in the 90s at first pitch — and the wind is forecasted to be blowing out to right field. This optimal weather scenario has generated a perfect 100 Weather Rating in FantasyLabs, which means it is a hitters paradise.
Plus, both starting pitchers have ERA’s north of 6.00. Life is too short to bet the under.
The PICK: Over 14.5