MLB Odds & Best Bets: Our 3 Top Picks, Including Pirates vs. Reds, Orioles vs. Red Sox & Giants vs. Rangers (Monday, May 10)
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Wood
- Just because the schedule is light, doesn't mean there isn't betting value to be found on Monday's MLB slate.
- Our analysts found three bets to recommend from Monday's six-game slate.
- Continue reading for our best bets, with eyes on three different totals.
It’s a light night in Major League Baseball, with just six games in total and all of them taking place under the lights. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for action.
Our analysts have found three bets to recommend on three different games, and the focus is all on the totals. We have a team total, a full game total, and a first five innings prop, from Pittsburgh to Baltimore and out west to San Francisco. These are our three best bets from Monday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Brad Cunningham: Mitch Keller has been struggling to begin 2021, posting a 6.29 ERA and a 5.00 xFIP. His main issue is he’s walking too many guys, as his BB/9 rate is all the way up at 5.55. Keller is mainly a fastball pitcher, throwing it more than 57% of the time and having some success with it this season, allowing only a .313 wOBA against it. However, he has a terrible matchup against the Reds tonight.
Cincinnati’s offense is third in MLB against right handed pitching with a .336 wOBA and the second most home runs at 37. The Reds also are the best team in baseball against fastballs, accumulating 21.3 weighted runs against them so far this season, and they have four guys in their lineup with wOBAs over .420 against fastballs.
Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles
Tanner McGrath: The Red Sox bats have been out-of-control hot. The 2-through-5 hitters are batting a combined .324 with a .957 OPS, both numbers that lead the majors. Within that group, J.D. Martinez leads baseball in both home runs (10) and RBI (31), Xander Bogaerts is hitting .349 and leads the league in hits (45), and Rafael Devers has a 1.038 OPS and 10 RBI over his last 10 games.
And I think the Boston hitters have a great matchup today. While Baltimore starter Jorge López already has a 6.50 ERA, he’s even more vulnerable because he relies on his sinker. The Red Sox are third in the majors in weighted sinker runs created this season (2.6). Plus, whenever López exits, the Baltimore ‘pen is spread thin as it has covered nearly 16 innings in the past three games.
On the other hand, I think Baltimore will knock Boston starter Martín Pérez around a bit. Pérez is having a fine season, but the Orioles have the fifth best wOBA (.360) and wRC+ (135) against southpaws over the past two weeks. Plus, Pérez’s most-used pitch is the cutter, and the Orioles are third in MLB in weighted cutter runs created (4.4).
I’m looking for Boston’s bats to stay hot in a good matchup while Baltimore snags a few runs on a susceptible Pérez. I’m playing the over 9 runs at -115 on DraftKings. But, if this number sneaks up to 9.5, I’d probably stay away.
Texas Rangers vs. San Francisco Giants
Collin Whitchurch: If you haven’t been paying attention to the Rangers or Giants this season, you might look at the Kyle Gibson vs. Alex Wood pitching matchup and be confused. Yes, it’s true: Gibson’s ERA is 2.40 and Wood’s is 1.96. These two veterans have been among the most surprisingly successful pitchers if the first month-plus of the MLB season.
Time will tell if those successes will hold up over the grind of the full season, but count on it happening for at least one more day.
In his first start of the season, Gibson gave up five first-inning runs to the Kansas City Royals. Since then, he’s given up a total of four runs in the first five innings — including zeroes in the second, third and fourth innings. Chris Woodward has smartly limited his action the third time through the lineup, but the first two times through the order, batters are hardly breaking the Mendoza line against him.
Wood has maybe been even more impressive, and homer suppression has been one of the keys to his success. On Monday, a bet in Wood’s favor, though, has more to do with his opposing offense, as the Rangers are below-average (98 wRC+) against left-handed pitching, a far cry from their seventh-ranked offense (again, by wRC+) otherwise.
Under 3.5 seems unnaturally low, but we’re getting a good number here at even money via bet365, as other books have it around -105 or -110. Let’s not mess with either bullpen and assume Gibson and Wood continue their good fortunes for one more night. It’ll be a pitchers’ duel through five innings on Monday night by the bay. Bet under 3.5 at +100 and do so to -105.