MLB Expert Predictions: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Rays-Padres, 4 Other Monday Games

MLB Expert Predictions: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for Rays-Padres, 4 Other Monday Games article feature image
Credit:

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joey Lucchesi.

  • Our experts give out their favorite plays for Monday's MLB slate, including the Reds at Nationals (7:05 p.m. ET) and Rays at Padres (10:10 p.m. ET).

Collin Wilson: Pirates at Angels

Mitch Keller (0-1, 10.50 ERA) vs. Jose Suarez (2-3, 6.22 ERA)

  • Pirates Moneyline: +131
  • Angels Moneyline: -141
  • Over/Under: 10
  • First pitch: 10:07 p.m. ET

A look at the ERA’s on these starting pitchers screams to the over.

In the case of Keller, the Pirates’ pitcher has just 12 innings of service in the big leagues after piecing together over 100 innings with a 3.56 ERA in Triple-A. Most importantly, Keller has been able to maintain a K/9 rate of 10.68 in that time.

While the Angels did not strikeout against righties through the initial portion of the season, Los Angeles has had an increase to 23.7% strikeout rate since July 1.

The Pirates have had issues with left-handed pitching all season. Since May 1, Pittsburgh is dead last in wRC+, wOBA and walk percentage in the major leagues against southpaws.

Throw in the fact the Bucs are on travel from a weekend series in St. Louis and we may find a flat spot for the Pirates.

The PICK: Under 10

Danny Donahue: Reds at Nationals

Anthony DeSclafani (7-6, 4.20 ERA) vs. Erick Fedde (2-2, 4.20 ERA)

  • Reds Moneyline: -109
  • Nationals Moneyline: -101
  • Over/Under: 10.5
  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

I’m simply following the lead of sharp bettors with this play. The Reds have been the biggest movers on tonight’s slate, going from an opening number as high as +127 across the fence to -109 favorites. A significant move like that (44.1% to 52.2% implied probability) is always noteworthy, but even more so when it comes on the side getting the minority of bets.

In this case, Cincy is getting just 44% of bets, but those bets are generating more than 70% of actual money being wagered on the moneyline. Obviously that means bigger bettors are taking the Reds, which is significant considering those players are much more likely to be sharps.

On top of that, the Reds have drawn three Sports Insights Bet Signals — triggered by sharp-action induced line moves — to further explain the big shift in price.

The PICK: Reds -109

Evan Abrams: Rays at Padres

Diego Castillo (2-5, 4.12 ERA) vs. Joey Lucchesi (6-6, 4.19 ERA)

  • Rays Moneyline: +115
  • Padres Moneyline: -125
  • Over/Under: 8
  • First pitch: 10:10 p.m. ET

The Rays continue their six-game road trip in San Diego after sweeping the Mariners in Seattle over the weekend.

On Friday and Saturday, the Rays went pretty deep into their bullpen having to use multiple guys both nights.

On Sunday, Ryan Yarbrough gave Tampa 8 2/3 innings and let their bullpen rest. On Monday, Tampa will go to reliever Diego Castillo for an Opener and I see some value with the Padres early on.

San Diego will throw Joey Lucchesi, who is pretty Jekkyl and Hyde at home and on the road this season.

The Padres are 1-3 in Lucchesi’s last four home starts, with Joey allowing five earned runs and just a single home run in his last 23 1/3 innings pitched at Petco.

I am going to look at the first five innings for my bet, hoping Lucchesi keeps San Diego in the game early and its offense can tack a few runs off Tampa’s bullpen.

The PICK: Padres -0.5 first 5 innings (+100)

John Ewing: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees

Ty Blach (0-0, 14.21 ERA) vs. Home Pitcher (Undecided)

  • Away Moneyline: +272
  • Home Moneyline: -310
  • Over/Under: 11.5
  • First pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

The Yankees and Orioles are playing a doubleheader on Monday. There are many factors to consider when betting on a doubleheader such as starting pitchers, lineups and bullpen usage.

Oddsmakers will set a line that accounts for these factors. If a team is expected to win the second game it is because of a clear advantage in the matchup. The data shows that the chalk has been a profitable play in Game 2:

Since 2005, favorites in Game 2 of a doubleheader have gone 227-140, +21.68 units.

The Yanks have scored the most runs in baseball and face Ty Blach who was claimed off waivers last week from the Giants. Over the past two seasons, Blach has a 4.75 ERA in 39 starts for San Francisco.

A plus matchup and history point to betting on New York.

The PICK: Yankees -310

Mark Gallant: Astros at White Sox

Editor’s note: This article was published before Monday’s Astros-White Sox game was postponed. Any bets placed will be graded as No Action.

Zack Greinke (11-4, 3.08 ERA) vs. Dylan Cease (2-4, 6.00 ERA)

  • Astros Moneyline: -285
  • Home Moneyline: +255
  • Over/Under: 9
  • First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET

The Astros lost to the Orioles yesterday, they have to win today against the White Sox, right?! How could they possibly lose two in a row? They’re a wagon!

While this thought may be going through many folks’ minds, you should resist the urge to take them up near -300. Instead, play chess while everyone else is playing checkers and bet on the White Sox…on the runline.

Chicago is getting a measly 12% of moneyline tickets and not much more when it comes to the runline at 18%. If the ChiSox can keep it close and lose by a run (or win), bettors will be rewarded with a juicy payout. Historically, taking teams +1.5 with a +140 juice or higher has yielded a 15.5% ROI! What a simple trend to blindly have faith in.

For a while, these type of numbers were a rarity, as there were just 65 matches from 2005-2017. However, there have already been 76 over the past two seasons, including 34 this year with a 17-17 record.

The PICK: White Sox +1.5 (+160)

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