MLB Odds, Preview, Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Monday, Including Indians vs. Angels & Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers & More (May 17)
Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: The Dodgers’ Gavin Lux and Max Muncy.
- Giants-Reds. Indians-Angels. Diamondbacks-Dodgers. Our MLB analysts have plenty of action for Monday night.
- Continue reading for our best bets, including one underdog bet and two total plays.
There's a nine-game slate on Monday to get your week started, with a plethora of solid matchups across the league. Our MLB analysts have found angles on three of the games, with one underdog and a couple of total plays.
Below, you'll find our staff's three best bets from Monday's MLB schedule.
MLB Odds & Picks
San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds
Sean Zerillo: I wrote about Logan Webb last week, before his dominant performance against the Rangers (6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 10 K). The righty's ERA (4.74) still has a bit to go to catch up to his advanced indicators (3.43 xERA, 3.18 xFIP, 3.57 SIERA).
Webb made a substantial chance to his pitch mix this season, nearly doubling his sinker usage (31.7%) compared to last season (16.5%). His four-seam fastball went from his most commonly used pitch (31.9%) to his least (13.6%) year over year. Webb has produced the best swinging strike rate (11.2%) and groundball rates (57.8%) of his career, so I think the alteration has been extremely effective.
I'm not sure that there is a significant difference between Webb and Reds' starter Sonny Gray, who has been one of the most effective pitchers in baseball over thee past three seasons (3.42 xFIP). There are signs within Gray's batted ball metrics (3.45, 3.90, and 4.14 xERA since 2019) which indicate that this pitching matchup is extremely close.
I have the Giants projected as 49% underdogs for the first five innings (F5), and 48% for the full game on Monday. I would bet those lines down to +115 and +120, respectively.
Cleveland Indians vs. Los Angeles Angels
Collin Whitchurch: It makes sense that this line is set as high as it is. Sam Hentges vs. Patrick Sandoval isn't exactly Clemens-Pedro. I get it. But this line is inflated because of the pitching matchup and isn't properly factoring in how poorly these teams hit southpaws.
The Angels are a top-10 offense. They have Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon. But that 103 wRC+ drops down to 94 when they face lefties, and Hentges' main issue — the dinger — will be suppressed in Angel Stadium, which is just middle-of-the-road in terms of home run factor, compared to Hentges' home Progressive Field, which is sixth.
Sandoval has been dreadful over 83 1/3 career innings, including 7 1/3 this season in which he's walked five and already allowed three home runs. But the Cleveland offense has been equally dreadful against lefties, with a 76 wRC+ that ranks only ahead of Seattle and Detroit.
The bullpens shouldn't be an issue, either. Cleveland has an elite one, and while Los Angeles does not, I'm less concerned about Cleveland's anemic offense breaking through in the later innings.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Kenny Ducey: We’ve seen a gauntlet of mediocre lefties dominate the Dodgers over the years, so why should we expect anything different out of Madison Bumgarner? Los Angeles ranks 22nd with an 86 wRC+ within the split, with a .291 wOBA and microscopic .129 ISO. While the Dodgers have found success lately, it’s all come against right-handed pitching.
Bumgarner’s also been very good, and a lesson to all of you out there not to take one glance at Baseball Savant three weeks into the season, see a bunch of blue and make up your mind on a pitcher. The veteran has turned his season around, and brought his strikeout rate back up to 27.5%, heights not seen in five years. All the while he’s coupled that with a rock-solid 3.44 xERA and should make for a tough test for L.A.
On the other hand, Arizona is missing Asdrubal Cabrera, Ketel Marte, Kole Calhoun, Carson Kelly and Christian Walker, and can’t be trusted whatsoever to bother Walker Buehler, who’s striking out almost nine per start over his last four. He should push toward 10 once again against a team that’s just outside the top 10 in strikeout rate over the past two weeks, and this game should stay well under.