MLB Odds, Betting Picks: 3 Best Bets From Thursday’s Slate, Including Tigers vs. Astros, Rays vs. Mariners (May 5)
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Jesus Luzardo
- Tigers-Astros- Rays-Mariners and Marlins-Padres highlight our top picks tonight.
- Our analysts are targeting bets on all of those games, including moneyline plays on underdogs, favorites, and a total as well.
- Continue reading for the full analysis and picks from Thursday's MLB slate.
It’s getaway day in Major League Baseball, and there are 10 games on the schedule including seven that start under the lights.
It’s that night slate that our analysts have their eyes on. We have picks on three games, including Tigers vs. Astros, Rays vs. Mariners and Marlins vs. Padres.
Here are our three best bets from Thursday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Detroit Tigers vs. Houston Astros
Tanner McGrath: There’s no reason to trust José Urquidy. His 5.95 ERA is backed up by higher expected stats (7.15 xERA, 4.63 xFIP) and a measly 5.95 K/9.
Maybe the most concerning Urquidy stat is his home run rate, which is up to 1.83 HR/9 from 1.43 HR/9 last season. That’s in a home run-impoverished environment while his HR/FB rate has remained steady.
Additionally, the Houston lineup hasn’t been lighting the world on fire like usual. Its 103 wRC+ is 16th in MLB so far, and the Astros’ .378 wOBA is paired with a .346 xwOBA, indicating potential regression.
I’d much rather look to youngster Tarik Skubal, who’s been inconsistent but flashed brilliance. I think he’s starting to put it all together this season, posting four starts of five-plus innings with a 3.05 ERA and a 2.73 xFIP.
And there’s been no luck involved. Skubal’s got a BABIP north of .335 and a strand rate south of 55%, both numbers that should positively regress.
The bullpen matchup is basically a wash, and while the Tigers are at a disadvantage from a hitting perspective, there’s enough value in the +145 number to take a shot with Detroit today.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners
Jules Posner: The Tampa Bay Rays are 7-3 over their last 10 games and they seem to be finding their footing after a choppy start.
With all the hype around the Yankees and Blue Jays, the Rays are still nipping at the heels of the AL East leaders.
On the other side, the Seattle Mariners are 3-7 in their last 10 games and have dropped below the .500 mark on the season.
The Mariners return home where they are 7-2 this season following a nine-game road trip where they only won two games.
Shane McClanahan takes the ball for the Rays and he was dominant in his lone road start this season. He’ll be taking on the top offense in terms of team wRC+ at home vs LHP. However, the Mariners are among teams with the fewest plate appearances against LHP at home, so they are a regression candidate.
Robbie Ray takes the hill for the Mariners and he’s been solid at home in his two starts. He’s given up two runs over six innings in each of his home starts so far in 2022. He’ll be taking on a Rays offense that is also a regression candidate as they have the second-fewest plate appearances vs LHP on the road.
This matchup may be decided by the bullpens as the Mariners’ bullpen has outpitched its peripherals so far this season. This gives the Rays the slight edge. Considering the Mariners’ recent struggles, the Rays’ moneyline looks like the play here and should be grabbed up to around the -150 threshold.
Miami Marlins vs. San Diego Padres
Kenny Ducey: With all due respect to the season Jesus Luzardo has put together, this line is a bit perplexing. Sure, the left-hander owns a 2.82 expected ERA and a robust 34.1% strikeout rate, but he can’t possibly bring this game under a low number all by himself.
There’s something to be said here for the way the Padres have hit this season. Their 107 wRC+ sits just inside the top 10 in the league and their 22.4% strikeout rate is slightly better than the median mark.
They haven’t necessarily gotten a hold of the ball, but they’ve put plenty in play — enough to get some traffic on the basepaths and perhaps a few runs on the board against Luzardo. The Marlins starter has also pitched to a 40% hard-hit rate, perhaps serving up some crushable balls for a contact-happy San Diego side.
I’m not really banking on Luzardo blowing up here, but I think he can do enough to help out the cause. Nick Martinez, on the other hand, may face a good deal of adversity. The Marlins have been very capable at the plate, ranking in the top 10 in wRC+ and fifth in walk rate. Martinez owns a 6.67 xERA with a poor 13.8% walk rate.
Both offenses — which have been surprisingly strong in the early going — should be well-equipped to get runs on the board here.
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