MLB Betting Odds & Picks: 4 Best Bets for Monday, Including Giants vs. Phillies, Cardinals vs. Nationals & Brewers vs. Padres (April 19)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Woodruff
- It's not a full slate in MLB on Monday night, but that doesn't stop our staff of analysts from finding betting value.
- Check out the four games they have targeted, including a late-night matchup between the Brewers and Padres.
Nevertheless, our analysts have found four bets they recommend for Monday night’s action, including three moneylines and one First 5 Innings moneyline. Below, you will find our best bets for Monday.
MLB Odds & Picks
San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Kenny Ducey: There was once a time I thought Kevin Gausman was good. That was 2016. The fact of the matter is, he’s a perfectly fine back-end starter, but he’s hardly good, and certainly doesn’t deserve to be a favorite on the road against an above-average offense.
In 2021, the strikeouts have been down almost 8% for the right-hander, and the walk rate has crept back up toward his career average of 7%. He’s given up six barrels in three starts, ranking in the bottom 30% of the league in barrel rate and expected slugging percentage. Simply put, he’s fortunate to have the numbers he has, even if he’s faced some good lineups. We began to see some regression to the mean last time out against the Reds, and that should continue against a Phillies team that’s got Bryce Harper back in the lineup and ready to break back out.
On the other side of the coin, I’m not ready to buy in on a Giants offense that is 26th in the league against right-handed pitching with a 75 wRC+, even if they’re facing Chase Anderson. The righty has been burned by walks so far this year, but has been a master at limiting hard contact. The Giants are a decently high-contact team and should profile well for a guy who loves to pitch to contact. The Phillies are 7-2 at home this year, and it’s so hard to fade them in this spot as the underdog.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals
Brad Cunningham: This is a huge starting pitching mismatch. Jack Flaherty is one of the best pitchers in baseball, putting up an xFIP under 3.50 and a K/9 rate of almost 11 in 2020. He got shelled on Opening Day, but in his last two starts has pitched 11 innings of one run ball with 12 strikeouts. Even with that bad opening day start, opposing hitters are still only hitting .182 against him.
Joe Ross may have had two scoreless starts to begin 2021, but he’s on an unsustainable pace. He didn’t pitch at all in 2020 and in the three seasons before that his ERA and xFIP were over five and opposing hitters hit over .270 against him.
The Nationals have the better lineup in this matchup, but the Cardinals have a better starting pitchers, bullpen, and defense in the field. I have the Cardinals projected at -152, so I really like St. Louis all the way up to -135.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals
Sean Zerillo: Josh Fleming is an excellent example of the Rays’ extraordinary prospect depth. The former fifth-round pick is Tampa Bay’s No. 20 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline but would rank significantly higher in organizations that aren’t No. 1 overall in farm system rankings.
The southpaw has generated groundballs at an insane clip (63.7%) through his first 37 MLB innings, with better numbers against right-handed hitting (.261 wOBA) than lefties (.354) while utilizing a five-pitch mix, highlighted by a sinker/cutter/changeup combination.
We don’t have a ton of data on Fleming, but his indicators (.281 xwOBA, 3.86 xFIP) over his small MLB sample are promising, and the optics align with scouting reports.
We have a significantly larger data sample on Royals starter Danny Duffy. While he’s off to a hot start in 2021 (0.75 ERA, 3.35 FIP, .270 wOBA), Duffy’s expected metrics (4.27 xFIP, 4.68 xERA, .352 xWOBA) indicate that he’s likely going to regress towards career norms (4.54 xFIP, .322 xWOBA) over the remainder of the season.
There’s nothing notable about Duffy’s arsenal this year beyond a slight velocity increase, but he lived at this velocity level for the majority of the 2018 season (4.70 FIP, 4.92 xFIP 5.30 xERA) when his descent to a new performance plateau began.
Despite the Royals’ success against left-handed pitching (117 wRC+), Fleming has the pitch mix (and the support from a brilliant analytics staff) to form a proper plan of attack on Monday.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Diego Padres
Collin Whitchurch: Even if their records aren’t entirely different in these early weeks of the season, I have little doubt that the Padres are better than the Brewers. However, Brandon Woodruff isn’t getting nearly the respect he deserves in the Brewers being +142 underdogs on Monday night.
The San Diego offense is dangerous, and it’s true that two of Woodruff’s three starts this season have come against the moribund Cubs’ lineup. But nothing about Woodruff’s performance this season has been by accident, and he — along with teammate Corbin Burnes — is one of the most underappreciated starting pitchers in the game. While his DRA (2.86) is slightly higher than his ERA (2.12), it’s not so much as to worry that regression is coming. And FIP (1.94) actually thinks he’s been unlucky thus far.
The biggest concerns here are that Milwaukee flew into San Diego overnight while San Diego stayed home following a series with the Dodgers, plus the Brewers’ bullpen ate up five innings in Sunday’s 10-inning loss to the Pirates. Because of this, if you want to instead grab Brewers First 5 Innings (+128) I don’t blame you.
I’ll probably grab both, banking on Woodruff continuing his ascent into Cy Young contender and the Padres feeling a bit of a letdown following an exhausting series against Los Angeles. Grab the Brewers +142 and bet it down to +130.