MLB Expert Predictions: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Monday, Including Nationals-Pirates
Photo credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Starling Marte
- Our experts give out their favorite bets for four games on Monday's MLB slate, including Nationals-Pirates (7:05 p.m. ET) and Brewers-Cardinals (7:45 p.m. ET).
Sean Zerillo: Washington Nationals at Pittsburgh Pirates
Joe Ross (3-3, 5.91 ERA) vs. Trevor Williams (5-5, 5.25 ERA)
- Nationals Moneyline: -115
- Pirates Moneyline: +107
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
Following their 7-1 loss to the Cubs on Sunday night in the Little League Classic, the Pirates are now 20 games below .500 since the All-Star break (7-27), losing by an average margin of 1.85 runs per game.
The over is 42-22-3 (65.6%, +18 units, 26.7% ROI) at PNC Park this season, the most-profitable park in 2019 for overs.
Both starting pitchers come into this contest with an ERA over 5.00, so naturally, the public has been pounding the over, with more than 70% of the tickets and 80% of the cash behind it as of writing.
And yet, the total hasn’t moved off the opening number of 10, thanks in part to four separate steam and reverse line movement signals on the under tracked by Sports Insights.
I projected the total in this game for 8.8 runs, so I see clear value betting on under 10. And that wager also lines up with a trend, as the Pirates come into tonight on a streak of three straight unders:
The above system is 111-86-6 in 2019, generating a profit of nearly 19 units with a 9.3% Return on Investment.
The PICK: Under 10
Evan Abrams: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals
Zach Davies (8-5, 3.74 ERA) vs. Dakota Hudson (11-6, 3.82 ERA)
- Brewers Moneyline: +110
- Cardinals Moneyline: -120
- Over/Under: 9.5
- First pitch: 7:45 p.m. ET
The Brewers sit two games back of the Cubs and Cardinals for the NL Central and the NL Wild Card spot entering Monday night. Milwaukee continues its road trip after allowing a whopping 30 total runs in its last two games against the Nationals.
St. Louis is starting Dakota Hudson tonight, and he leads all of baseball in FIP to ERA differential, which basically displays (in part) the luckiest and unluckiest starters in baseball. Hudson’s ERA is 3.82, while his FIP is 5.21. Further, in his two starts against the Brewers this season, Hudson has allowed nine earned runs, five home runs and 17 hits in just 11.1 innings pitched.
Zach Davies gets the start for the Brewers tonight, and he’s been better on the road (2.97 ERA, .422 opponent slugging) than at Miller Park (4.66 ERA, .474 opponent slugging). His last three starts have admittedly left a lot (I mean a lot) to be desired, as he allowed 17 earned runs against the Reds and Cubs in 13 innings pitched.
But all said, with the Cardinals coming home off a six-game road trip, there is value in the underdog Brewers on the road, especially considering this consistent, profitable Bet Labs trend:
The PICK: Brewers (+110) and Brewers Team Total Over 4.5 (-110)
John Ewing: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
Dillon Peters (3-1, 3.38 ERA) vs. Kolby Allard (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
- Angels Moneyline: -114
- Rangers Moneyline: +106
- Over/Under: 11.5
- First pitch: 8:05 p.m. ET
Last Friday, the Rangers were playing at home with the forecast calling for average wind speeds of 12 mph blowing in from center. I mentioned how it’s been historically profitable to bet the under when the wind is blowing in.
The wind can impact the trajectory of a batted ball. When the wind blows in, it can knock down home runs into long fly balls, which lowers scoring.
Betting the under when the wind is blowing in during Rangers home games has been even more profitable since 2005: 142-102-14 (58%), returning a profit of $3,233 for a $100 bettor.
Monday’s forecast calls for 10 mph winds blowing in from center. I bet Friday’s under; it won. I’ll be betting the under on Monday’s game as well.
The PICK: Under 11.5
Mark Gallant: Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros
Edwin Jackson (3-5, 8.62 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (11-4, 3.11 ERA)
- Tigers Moneyline: +340
- Astros Moneyline: -400
- Over/Under: 10
- First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
Time to bet another huge underdog. Unfortunately, the reverse runline isn’t quite juicy enough for me at a mere +500, so I’m going to do something I usually don’t and look to the F5 moneyline.
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again: Wade Miley just is not nearly as good as his 3.11 ERA suggests. Edwin Jackson, on the other hand, isn’t as bad as his 8.62 ERA suggests. Well, he might be darn close, but honestly no MLB-caliber pitcher would post an ERA that high over a large sample. Heck, he came out of nowhere with a 3.33 ERA for the A’s last year. He’s not that good, but he’s not this bad, either.
What I’m praying is that somehow the Tigers take advantage of Miley’s 2.44 K/BB ratio, which ranks 55th out of 68 qualified starters. Some luck will be needed, but if they can put the ball in play like most folks are able to against Miley, anything can happen. Of course, old Ed needs to hold his own for five innings against one of the best offenses in baseball, but that’s why we’re getting +368 odds.
The PICK: Tigers F5 +368