MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions: 5 Ways To Bet Rays vs. Yankees, Twins vs. Orioles & Padres vs. Cubs
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images. Pictured: Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks gets kudos from a teammate as catcher Willson Contreras looks on.
- Rays ace Tyler Glasnow takes on the rival Yankees on Tuesday night in the Bronx.
- Two of our MLB betting analysts are on that game, but find themselves on opposite sides.
- Read our picks for Rays-Yankees as well as Twins-Orioles, Marlins-Blue Jays and Padres-Cubs below.
Our experts have found five bets to recommend from four different games tonight, including a pair of dueling picks in the matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees.
Continue reading for our staff’s five best bets from Tuesday night’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees
Brad Cunningham: The Rays send their ace to the mound, and Tyler Glasnow is having another incredible season, posting a 2.64 xERA and 2.73 xFIP, both of which are better than the numbers he posted last season. He’s really improved his control because even though his K/9 rate is down from last season, he’s lowered his BB/9 and HR/9 considerably.
Glasnow has made a significant change to his pitch arsenal, adding a slider, which in turn has improved his fastball. Last season, opponents hit .246 with a .343 wOBA against his fastball, mainly due to the fact that he was throwing it more than 60% of the time. This year he’s reduced the amount of time he’s throwing is his fastball to 51.3% and now opponents are only hitting .179 against it with a .279 wOBA.
The Yankees’ lineup has really struggled versus right-handed pitching this season, hitting just .223 with a 97 wRC+. They also have the highest K% against right-handers, so Glasnow should be able to shut them down.
Domingo Germán has been pitching well this season, posting a 3.76 xERA and 4.09 xFIP, but he will be walking into the lion’s den tonight. The Rays’ lineup is red-hot right now and has been destroying right-handed pitching, ranking second in MLB with 113 wRC+ this season.
The Rays also are the fourth-best fastball hitting team in baseball, which is a problem for Germán since he’s allowing a wOBA of more than .400 on his fastball this season. Germán goes to his curveball more than any other pitch, but the Rays’ lineup is also sixth against curveballs, so this is a bad matchup for him.
I have the Rays projected at -151, so I think there is plenty of value on Tampa Bay at -120 and would play it up to -135.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees
Collin Wilson: There is nothing I love more than some Tyler Glasnow, especially with his new 2021 slider usage. A tough test awaits the Rays’ ace today, however, with the Yankees ranking in the top 10 in most offensive categories against right handlers. Glasnow relies on the four-seamer more than 50% of the time, a pitch Yankees hitters have a cumulative +10 run value against.
Although Domingo Germán’s pitch arsenal of four-seamer, change and curve are some of Tampa’s best run value, the Rays struggle against right-handed pitching. Tampa hitters are bottom-five in ISO and strikeout percentage.
Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles
Collin Wilson: Backing the Orioles isn’t a wager you want to make daily, but in this case against Michael Pineda, there is value. Pineda should be priced 20 cents lower.
Orioles hitters excel against right-handed pitching, ranking top 10 in wRC+, wOBA and strikeout rate. Pineda’s second pitch is the slider, which has been one of the most successful pitch types for Baltimore’s hitters.
The Twins’ bullpen has cost plenty of gamblers wagers on not just the side but totals. Minnesota is 25th in left-on-base percentage, which may factor into Orioles hitters getting our run line to the window.
Miami Marlins vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Sean Zerillo: To be clear, I think the Miami Marlins lose their game today against the Toronto Blue Jays — in Buffalo — more than 50% of the time. Still, I projected Miami’s chances at 49.7%, which makes it my most prominent projected moneyline edge of the 2021 season; and I set the Marlins’ odds for the first five innings (F5) at more than 52%.
Sandy Alcantara (2.87 xERA, 12th in MLB) has emerged as a true ace, with the highest average fastball velocity (94.7 mph) aside from Jacob deGrom, and the development of a plus-changeup, which he has deployed 27.5% of the time this season; a 17.4% increase over last year. On a per-pitch basis, Alcantara has flashed the sixth-best changeup in baseball this season.
Furthermore, the pitch has generated a 67% groundball rate, helping to drive Alcantara’s overall groundball rate (51.8%) to a career-high. And with a true out-pitch, he has increased his swinging strike rate by 35% over last year (from 10.4% to 14.1%).
Robbie Ray returned as an effective starting pitcher after a rough 2020 campaign, but there’s still a significant gap in expected ERA (4.57) relative to his opponent. Ray has allowed a career-high 50.7% hard-hit rate and has consequently surrendered 14 homers in nine starts on a career-worst 26% HR/FB rate.
Bet the Marlins’ F5 moneyline down to even money, and play their full game moneyline at +110 or better.
San Diego Padres vs. Chicago Cubs
Collin Whitchurch: Kyle Hendricks got off to a dreadful start this season. The normally steady veteran right-hander finished April with a 7.54 ERA and 10 home runs allowed. It was a drastic change for a pitcher who allowed just 10 home runs total during the shortened 2020 season and who’s only ever allowed as many as 20 home runs over a full season once in his entire career.
May brought us more of the Hendricks we’ve come to expect. While he allowed a trio of solo home runs his last time out against the Pirates, they were sprinkled throughout an otherwise quality start, and his numbers for the month were a more Hendricks-like 2.67 ERA with four home runs and three walks allowed.
It appears reports of Hendricks’ demise were greatly exaggerated.
On Tuesday, Hendricks faces Ryan Weathers and the Padres. The son of former Cub (and a lot of other teams) David Weathers has been steady for San Diego in his debut campaign. While Jayce Tingler and his staff have kept the training wheels on the 21-year-old, when he’s gotten the ball to start the game he’s averaged just a hair over four innings per start and never once allowed more than two earned runs, including three outings where he left the game with the shutout in tact.
While Weathers will be a factor on Tuesday at Wrigley, the weather will not. The wind isn’t expected to play a role and it’s expected to be in the 60s and overcast at game time. In other words, the ball won’t be flying out.
With Hendricks putting his season back together and Weathers being a sharp short starter for San Diego, I like the first five innings under 4 at +110 and would bet it to -110. You can also find some books with the total set at 4.5 with the under at around -130, and I would consider that, too, if the under 4 is not available.