Friday MLB Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets, Including Reds-Indians, Padres-Giants & More (May 7)

Friday MLB Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets, Including Reds-Indians, Padres-Giants & More (May 7) article feature image
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Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Blake Snell

  • With a full 15 games to choose from on Friday, our analysts are zeroed in on two games in particular.
  • With five picks for three games, we also have a pair of bets on both the Cardinals and Giants.
  • Below you'll find our staff's full best bets from Friday's MLB slate.

There’s a full 15 games schedule in Major League Baseball on Friday, with one afternoon tilt between the Pirates and Cubs and the rest taking place under the lights.

That means there’s plenty of opportunities for action, and our analysts have found five bets to recommend. We have a totals, team totals, moneylines, run lines and more, including two bets apiece on Rockies-Cardinals and Padres-Giants. Continue reading for our staff’s five best bets from Friday’s MLB slate.

MLB Odds & Picks

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Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Indians
7:10 p.m. ET
Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals
8:15 p.m. ET
Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals
8:15 p.m. ET
San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants
9:45 p.m. ET
San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants
9:45 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Indians

Pick
Under 8 (+100)
Book
BetRivers
Pitchers
Wade Miley vs. Zach Plesac
First Pitch
7:10 p.m. ET

Jeff Hicks: The Cincinnati Reds have scored the fewest runs on the road one-plus month into the season and possess the lowest wRC+ away from home. They’re the only team not hitting at least .200 away from the friendly confines.

Cleveland is not much better offensively and has struggled at home against left-handed pitching. The Indians are one of five teams hitting below the Mendoza line and possess an abysmal .214 BABIP at home against southpaws. Positive regression will come, but not enough to help push this contest over eight runs.

It is also supposed to be a cold and potentially wet evening in Cleveland with a game-time temperature of 49 degrees and 39% chance of precipitation. Under 8 at plus money is the pick here.


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Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Pick
Cardinals Team Total Over 4.5 (+108)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Austin Gomber vs. Jack Flaherty
First Pitch
8:15 p.m. ET

Brad Cunningham: Austin Gomber, who is a former Cardinal, is struggling to start his career in Colorado, with an ERA and xFIP over 5 through his first six starts. The issue that plagued him with St. Louis last season has carried over into this season, which is his control. He’s already walked 20 batters in only 29 innings this season. He’s also really struggling with his fastball, as opponents have tagged it for a .368 wOBA and he’s only generating an 8.9% whiff percentage, which is shockingly low, since last season it was at 21.2%, per Baseball Savant.

It’s a really bad matchup for Gomber against his former team because St. Louis so far this season is eighth in walk % and fourth in wOBA against left-handed pitching. The Cardinals also have the third-best average against lefties at .282. St. Louis has been pretty average versus fastballs, but they should be able to get to Gomber’s weak fastball.

I have the Cardinals projected for 5.14 runs on Friday night, so I think there is plenty of value on their team total Over 4.5 runs at plus odds.


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Colorado Rockies vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Pick
Cardinals -1.5 (+108)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Austin Gomber vs. Jack Flaherty
First Pitch
8:15 p.m. ET

DJ James: Colorado is one of the weakest hitting teams in all of baseball and has to execute with Austin Gomber on the hill against Jack Flaherty. St. Louis is one of the more impatient teams in the MLB (7.9% walk rate), and Gomber ranks in the bottom eighth percentile in walks. The Cardinals also crush left-handed pitching (128 wRC+ and .829 OPS), so with their ace on the hill, there is very little reasoning to side with the Rockies in this one.

On the flip side, Jack Flaherty has carved up the weaker-hitting squads in the league this season. Look for more of the same with Colorado, since they only have a few sluggers in their lineup. Charlie Blackmon, the veteran of the team, has struggled early, so this places another mark on a subpar lineup.

The only way the Rockies will be able to cover is if they get to the St. Louis bullpen, which currently carries a league-worst xFIP of 4.98. Given how Colorado’s is 4.58 with a 5.42 combined ERA, the argument could also be made for the Cardinals to get to the Rockies’ bullpen. Take the spread here up to -120. The Cards should have an easy time tonight against the lefty.


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San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

Pick
Giants First Five (+120) and Moneyline (+128)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Blake Snell vs. Anthony DeSclafani
First Pitch
9:45 p.m. ET

Sean Zerillo: Since suffering an elbow injury in the middle of the 2019 season, there have been some concerning signs in Blake Snell’s profile.

The 2017 AL Cy Young winner has maintained a solid xFIP (3.16, 3.31, 3.06, 3.19) over the past four seasons, and his strikeout minus walk rate (22.4%, 24.3%, 22.2%, 18.8%) has held steady.

However, Snell has failed to toss six full innings in a regular-season contest since July of 2019. He’s also allowing significantly harder contact than ever before (expected batting average up from .202 to .253; expected slugging up from .341 to .460), and his expected ERA or xERA has risen from 3.20 in 2018 and 3.11 in 2019 to 4.16 last season and 4.69 over a small 2021 sample.

Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani has posted a career-best strikeout minus walk rate (17%), or K-BB% and xERA (3.21) over six starts this season after arriving from Cincinnati. The righty is generating groundballs (54.6%) at a significantly higher rate than his career average (54.6%) after ditching some four-seam fastballs (down from 33.1% to 24.%) for more sinkers (up from 18.3% to 24.5%) and changeups (+3% over career average).

These two teams are closer than you might realize. The Giants rank 13th in expected wOBA (xWOBA) on offense, while the Padres rank 18th. On the pitching side, the Giants rank fourth in xwOBA allowed, and the Padres rank sixth. Defensively, the Giants rank third per Outs Above Average (OAA), while the Padres rank 13th — though Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) would flip their rankings on defense.

I projected the Giants around 48.5% both for the first five innings (F5) and full game on Friday, and I would split a unit between both wagers at +120 (implied 45.5%) or better, more than a three-percent edge compared to either projection.


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San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

Pick
Giants +130
Book
William Hill
Pitchers
Blake Snell vs. Anthony DeSclafani
First Pitch
9:45 p.m. ET

Kenny Ducey: This will already be Blake Snell’s third time facing the Giants this season, if you can believe that. He’s yielded four runs in those two games, going just five innings in each and walking a whopping seven batters. Given how the rest of his season has gone to this point, I’m not sure things will get any better than that. If anything, they may get worse.

Snell’s walk rate has ballooned to 12.8% this year, and with it has come more hard contact as well. The lefty has already allowed seven barrels in just 25 ⅔ innings and his hard-hit rate is up to 39.1%, which is 7.1% higher than his career average. That’s why the ERA predictors out there would tell you Snell is actually lucky to have the 3.51 mark he has now; he’s pitched much worse.

This is a continuation of a few years of poor pitching from Snell, who continues to be overvalued by the market. I will continue fading him, and against a team that’s seen him twice already and ranks fourth in walk rate, I think the matchup is just right. Anthony DeSclafani is finally putting it all together at 31-years-old and should keep some slumping Padres bats at bay enough to get us a win here.

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