MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our 3 Best Bets, Including Nationals vs. Cubs & Reds vs. Phillies (Monday, Aug. 15)
Matt Dirksen/Getty Images. Pictured: Ian Happ.
- The start of a new week brings with it plenty of baseball betting value.
- Our staff found value on three bets for two games: Phillies vs. Reds and Cubs vs. Nationals.
- Check out all three best bets for Monday's MLB slate below.
Monday’s MLB schedule features a little more action than your average beginning-of-the-week slate.
There are 14 games on today’s schedule, bolstered by a doubleheader between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Guardians in the AL Central.
That’s not where our staff is focused, however.
Our MLB writers see value in three bets for two games: Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds.
Check out all three best bets for Monday’s MLB slate below, and be sure to check back tomorrow for even more action.
MLB Odds & Picks
Phillies vs. Reds
Doug Ziefel: The Phillies were red hot before they got shut down by the Mets’ pitching staff this past weekend. Fortunately for them — and us, for that matter — they’re in a prime spot to bounce back in Cincinnati.
They get to face Mike Minor, who has been knocked around quite a bit this season. He’ll enter this start with a 6.24 ERA, and I expect the Phillies to make it even higher tonight.
Minor has been battered by righties this season. He’s allowed them to hit .306 and slug .628 against him. He also has a 7.54 FIP against righties on the year. It just so happens that the Phillies’ hottest hitters are right-handed.
Alec Bohm has been on fire since July, as he’s hit .317 since July 2. In addition, Rhys Hoskins has gone on a power surge in early August, hitting four homers in 12 games and has a .939 OPS.
Last but certainly not least is JT Realmuto, who hit .358 with a 1.065 OPS in July. With each of those players getting at least two at-bats against Minor, I like their chances of leading halfway through this one.
Cubs vs. Nationals
On Monday, however, they will face Josiah Gray, who has been fairly sharp in preventing hard contact. He ranks in the 69th percentile in average exit velocity and in the top half of the league in hard-hit rate. He has been giving up runs consistently, though.
That said, the Cubs will start Marcus Stroman against the paltry Nationals offense, which holds an 87 wRC+ off of righties in the last month.
Stroman has had some issues with permitting hard contact. He ranks in just the sixth percentile in average exit velocity and the fourth percentile in hard-hit rate. Still, he has a 4.20 ERA against a 4.40 xERA. He rarely walks hitters, and the Nats are too weak of a lineup.
Lastly, the Cubs own a team xFIP of 3.92 out of the bullpen. The Nats come in at 4.66, so there could be some late inning runs for the Cubs.
Still, neither team jumps off of the page as offensive juggernauts. These starting pitchers are more than capable of holding their respective opponents to a low-scoring outing.
Take the under at 8.5 (-118), and play it to 8 (-130).
Cubs vs. Nationals
Jules Posner: The Cubs open a three game road series against the Nationals on Monday night. They bring a 23-32 road record into the matchup against the Nats’ 18-42 home record.
Marcus Stroman takes the mound for the Cubs, and he will be pitching in his more favorable 2022 split.
So far on the road, Stroman has posted a 2.26 ERA, 3.19 FIP and 3.65 xFIP this season. He’ll be taking on an aggressive and free-swinging Nats offense that has one of the lower walk percentages in MLB over the past couple of weeks.
Josiah Gray is on the mound for the Nats and he’s struggled at home this season. Gray has posted a 6.75 ERA, 6.41 FIP and 4.52 xFIP at home in a relatively large sample to this point.
The Cubs offense also has posted a 108 team wRC+ on the road over the past two weeks. Additionally, the Nats have one of the worst bullpens in MLB.
The Cubs’ moneyline opened closer to -150 but actually moved to -135 at some books overnight. I was expecting the opposite, but this actually means potential for a better payout if it remains this way.
If you can still snag it in the -140/-135 threshold, go for it. The Cubs’ moneyline should be played to -150 or better.