Tuesday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our 6 Best Bets, Featuring Angels vs. Rays, Mariners vs. Phillies, More
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images. Pictured: Wander Franco.
- Welcome to another Tuesday full of MLB action and betting value.
- Our staff sees value on six games Tuesday, including Blue Jays vs. Yankees, Rays vs. Angels and Phillies vs. Mariners.
- Check out all six of our best bets for Tuesday's MLB games below.
Although games start at 1:10 p.m. ET Tuesday, we start seeing value at 7:05 p.m. ET when the Toronto Blue Jays take on the New York Yankees at the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
Then, when that game — plus two others — start to near the end, wrap up the night with some action in Rays vs. Angels, Marlins vs. Diamondbacks and Phillies vs. Mariners right around 9:40 p.m. ET.
Check out all six of our best bets for Tuesday below, and be sure to check back tomorrow for more action on Wednesday.
MLB Odds & Picks
Blue Jays vs. Yankees
Kenny Ducey: Let’s try this again. The contact-oriented left-hander with dastardly expected statistics will not defeat the exit velocity factory.
Yusei Kikuchi may have shoved against the Yankees in Toronto, allowing just a solo homer and two other hits with seven strikeouts over six frames. That will not happen again in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium on Tuesday.
You probably know the drill with Kikuchi by now, but if you don’t, he’s walking 15.1% of the batters he faces — which puts him in the bottom 8% of the league — and he’s allowing a hard-hit ball on roughly one out of every two batted balls he gives up.
All of that amounts to a .380 xwOBA and a 5.25 xERA. That’s bad, and if you’ll look back on his numbers last season, you’ll see that it’s not just a small sample size we’re dealing with here.
The Yankees lead the league in barrels per plate appearance and have two of the top four hitters in that category in Aaron Judge (the major-league leader) and Giancarlo Stanton. They also lead the league in hard-hit balls per swing, showing that they will not only crush the baseball but do so efficiently without too many swings and misses.
Red Sox vs. Braves
Sean Zerillo: Kyle Wright, the No. 5 overall pick in 2017, has proven to be one of 2022’s best breakout stories.
The righty shows improved velocity (up from 93.7 mph to 95.4 mph, year over year) and command (5.8% BB%; 12.4% career), alongside a new pitch mix:
Wright has mostly scrapped his slider (down from 27.1% in 2021 to 6.8% this season) while reinvesting in both his curveball (14.3% to 33%) and changeup (7.5% to 14%).
Moreover, Wright has made a concerted effort to locate his fastball at or above the top of the strike zone — a noticeable change from prior seasons:
Through five starts, the results are a 2.51 xERA, 2.59 xFIP and a 2.47 SIERA, making Wright one of the best starters in baseball with both his fastball (.161 xBA) and curveball (.190 xBA) dominating the opposition.
Garrett Whitlock (1.83 xERA, 2.10 xFIP, 1.87 SIERA) has been similarly dominant for the Red Sox, albeit spread across seven appearances between the bullpen and rotation.
Whitlock, a former Rule 5 selection, was a highly-effective reliever last season (2.94 xERA), and Boston has done well to stretch him out to five innings in his most recent outing.
His pitch mix is more simplistic (sinker/changeup/slider), but Whitlock can use his slider against righties (28.6% usage) and his changeup against lefties (33.6% usage) alongside the sinker, to get all types of hitters out.
He’s also throwing with a ton of confidence now that the transition to the rotation has been proven successful:
Garrett Whitlock, Blowing away the Side. ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/Luex9GuYGt
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 4, 2022
Quietly, Wright and Whitlock have emerged as the best pitchers on their respective teams.
While I don’t show value on either side of the moneyline (I need -120 to play Atlanta), I projected the F5 total at 3.43 and the full game total at 7.1. Bet the unders to 4 (-130) and 7.5 (-105), respectively.
Astros vs. Twins
Michael Arinze: Astros skipper Dusty Baker doesn’t get enough credit for his job since taking over since reports surfaced about Houston’s sign-stealing scandal.
Although such a scandal could disrupt whatever harmony that remained within the team, Baker was steadfast in guiding Houston back to the ALCS in his first year and a trip to the World Series the year after.
In his third year, the Astros look poised for another postseason run following a slow start to the year. Houston has rattled off seven straight victories to pull within one game of the Angels in the AL West.
After a day off, the Astros are back in action on Tuesday to take on the Twins on the road. Houston’s Justin Verlander will get the start, while Minnesota will counter with Joe Ryan.
The matchup on the mound should also be competitive as Verlander is 3-1 with a 1.93 ERA, while Ryan has gone 3-1 with a 1.63 ERA. Both teams are in solid form as Minnesota sits atop the AL Central at 18-11, riding a three-game winning streak.
Given the quality of both pitchers on the mound, it’s very likely that runs will be at a premium. As a result, it wouldn’t surprise me if the bullpens also played a vital role in the game.
Houston’s bullpen should have the edge as it ranks second with a 2.61 ERA, while Minnesota is sixth with a 3.03 ERA.
If anyone knows how to get the ball to his relievers, it’s Verlander. After missing essentially two seasons due to Tommy John surgery, Verlander’s already logged a quality start in four of his five starts this year. He completed eight innings of work and twice pitched into the seventh inning on one occasion.
I’m all about finding an optimal spot to fade a team on a winning streak, but the numbers don’t support that tactic in this spot. Our ActionLabs database, which dates back to 2005, shows that teams on a seven-game winning streak are 209-158 for 14.19 units. Moreover, the Astros are on a 5-0 run in this spot.
After shopping around, DraftKings has the best price with Houston at -140 odds. I’ll risk a half-unit of my bankroll on the road favorites, and I’d play them up to -145.
Rays vs. Angels
DJ James: Corey Kluber has had a solid resurgence. He will now throw for the Tampa Bay Rays against Reid Detmers and the Los Angeles Angels.
Kluber owns a solid 3.87 xERA and allows an average of 87.3 MPH off the bat. This ranks in the 73rd percentile, while Detmers gives up plenty of hard contact at over 90 MPH. His xERA is also slightly higher at 4.25.
The major difference in this game is that Tampa holds a 130 wRC+ against southpaws. Los Angeles has a 117 against righties. This may not be a massive discrepancy, but considering the differential between performances for the starters, Tampa has an edge.
Much of the Rays’ starting lineup has above a .360 xwOBA mark. Six starters are averaging at least 90 MPH off the bat as well.
Since Kluber has the propensity to go deeper into the game than Detmers and the Rays are stronger against lefties than the Angels are with righties, betting Tampa’s side is the right call here.
Marlins vs. Diamondbacks
Jules Posner: This is almost less about the teams playing and more about where the game is played, but Diamondbacks unders are 13-2-1 at home so far this season.
Madison Bumgarner takes the hill for the Diamondbacks and despite his scary peripherals, he continues to laugh in the face of danger and yell in the faces of umpires.
So far this season, he has posted a 1.38 ERA but owns a 4.23 FIP at home. It could be a product of dead baseballs in a spacious yard, but there’s no reason to believe that Bumgarner can’t continue to wiggle out of trouble.
The Marlins offense has been an above-average group on the road against LHP over the past few weeks, but considering the Arizona pitching coach Brent Strom’s voodoo magic, the Marlins may fall victim to the curse of Chase Field.
On the other side, Jesus Luzardo seems to be approaching his ceiling, and his stronger splits so far this year have been on the road. He has a 2.25 ERA and a 2.83 FIP over 16 road innings. He’ll also be taking on the worst home offense against LHP over the past few weeks.
The under is set at 8, and considering Chase Field’s record against the under this season, it would be cuckoo to bet the over, especially considering the pitching matchup.
The under is the play here to the 7.5 or -120 threshold.
Phillies vs. Mariners
Anthony Dabbundo: Philadelphia smashed Seattle on Monday night, and I’m expecting the Phillies to have success once again on Tuesday in the second game of their three-game series.
Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola has a strikeout rate above 30% and walk rate below 5% for the first time in his MLB career. His hard-hit rate is down, and while home runs have been an issue for Nola in the young season, they should be less of an issue in a huge pitcher’s park in Seattle.
Nola’s 2.61 xERA is an indicator of just how good he’s been, and now he’s facing a Mariners lineup that’s been vastly overrated in the betting market most of this season.
Nola is countered by Mariners lefty Robbie Ray. He won the Cy Young last year in Toronto, but his stuff+ rating is down to 93, per Eno Sarris of the Athletic, with 100 being average. His fastball velocity has dipped, he’s missing fewer bats in the zone and now faces a Philadelphia lineup that mashes left-handed pitching and ranks top-10 in barrel and hard-hit rate.
I’m choosing to avoid the Mariners’ clear bullpen edge by playing Philadelphia in the first five innings.
I expect the Phillies to have a bigger edge than the -124 currently offered at FanDuel, and I’d play it up to -130.