Monday MLB Odds, Picks & Predictions: 4 Ways To Bet Tonight’s Games
Our Staff’s 4 Best Bets for Monday’s MLB Slate. Pictured: Donovan Solano and Brandon Crawford
- A couple of struggling offenses and some aces on the mound make for prime betting opportunities.
- Our staff has found angles on three games for Monday, with four total bets.
- Continue reading for our staff's best MLB bets for Monday.
There’s a surprising amount of games in MLB on Monday, which is usually a common off day for teams. There are 14 games on the slate, with one afternoon tilt and the rest taking place in the evening.
Our staff has found angles on three different games from the slate, with four total bets. They range from first five innings totals to a pair of moneyline favorites. Here are our best bets for Monday.
MLB Odds & Picks
|9:45 p.m. ET|
Texas Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Collin Whitchurch: Tyler Glasnow vs. Dane Dunning is an underrated pitching matchup that should produce a lot of strikeouts and very few runs for however long it should go.
Everyone knows Glasnow by now. The Rays’ ace during their run to the World Series a year ago is now the undisputed No. 1 in Tampa after the offseason trade of Blake Snell. He’s been as good as advertised through two starts, punching out 15 and allowing just one run in 12 combined innings against the Marlins and Red Sox.
Dunning is less familiar to the casual fan. The 26-year-old right-hander had a solid debut season with the White Sox a year ago before being shipped to Texas for Lance Lynn during the offseason. Still considered a rookie, Dunning punched out six, walked none and allowed just a solo home run in his first start with the Rangers last week against Toronto.
That’s been kind of the norm for Dunning in now eight career starts. He can hold down a lineup for a time or two through the order, but doesn’t yet have the stamina to go deep into games, which makes sense considering those eight starts have come after nearly two years away following Tommy John surgery in 2018.
Dunning is more than capable of keeping the Rays off the scoreboard for however long Chris Woodward sticks with him, and Glasnow should be able to do the same to the Texas hitters. Neither guy allows a lot of free passes, so this one should stay low scoring.
Because of bullpen uncertainty, we’re going to stay way from the full-game total and focus on the first five innings, playing under 3.5 runs at +114. I would play this down to +110.
Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Kenny Ducey: Stop me if you’ve heard this before: I’m fading the Cubs. There is a growing list of reasons as to why Chicago can’t be trusted, and in this matchup it grows even longer.
It’s hard to remember that Freddy Peralta is just 24 years old because he made his debut back in 2018, but he’s very much in the conversation as one of the most exciting young arms in baseball. Peralta has sparkled in his time in the bigs with a .201 career xBA, and this season he has yet to allow a run in two appearances, against the Twins and these same Cubs. Peralta’s affinity for swings and misses — ranking in the top-4% of the league in strikeout rate — will help him here against a whiff-happy team which ranks eighth in swinging strike rate so far.
Chicago lacks anything from the left side other than Ian Happ up top, and is a pretty weak matchup with a right-hander, particularly one as good as Peralta. Doubting this lineup has made you a lot of money already this season, and I see no reason that they should be such short underdogs here, particularly at home. And, while the Brewers have struggled to hit this year, Adbert Alzolay and his .335 xwOBA should help them out just a bit. I’d make the Brewers at least -150 and think you’re getting a bit of a discount here.
Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants
Brad Cunningham: San Francisco was one of the best lineups that nobody talked about last season. The Giants finished in the top 10 in batting average, wOBA, and wRC+ mainly to due to the fact that they crushed both left- and right-handed pitching. The Giants were third in wOBA and wRC+ against lefties in 2020 and hit a league-leading 32 home runs against them.
Wade Miley is now 34-years-old and has been struggling the last few seasons, as he has an xFIP over 4.50 in both 2019 and 2020. His main issue last season was with his control, as his BB/9 rate was all the way up at 5.56.
The Giants had one of the worst bullpens in MLB last season, but they made some significant upgrades in the offseason, bringing in guys like Jake McGee and Matt Wisler, who have already made a huge difference as the Giants are around the MLB average in ERA and xFIP so far.
Additionally, the Reds are projected to be one of the worst defensive teams in MLB, so the Giants will have the advantage in the field as well.
I have the Giants projected at -130, so I think there is some value on San Francisco at home at -115.
Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants
|9:45 p.m. ET|
Sean Zerillo: Consistent workhorses — like Jacob deGrom or Gerrit Cole — generate a ton of data year over year, which allows us to predict their outcomes with reasonable accuracy from start to start.
Conversely, there’s pitchers like Aaron Sanchez, who have had much more complicated careers, and who can vary in form from front-line potential to back-end fodder depending on their health status.
After a dominant 2016 season (15-2, 3.00 ERA, 3.55 xFIP) the power sinkerballer was one of the most feared arms in the American League, but injuries derailed his hype train, and eventually took away his command (12.4% K-BB% in 2016, to 7.8% in 2019).
Sanchez is no longer throwing as hard as he used to (fastball velocity down from 93.6 to 90.7 mph) after a capsule injury to his shoulder late in 2019, but perhaps missing the entire 2020 season was a blessing in disguise. After extended rehab, Sanchez was fully in command of his 2021 debut against the Padres (5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K) while mixing in his curvevall more frequently to give hitters a second pitch to bash into the ground (68.8% groundball rate in the start, vs. 52.8% career).
If Sanchez is able to maintain a 2.5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio with a 20% strikeout rate and a 55% groundball rate, he can still be a highly effective pitcher while living with a 90 mph sinker.
The Giants have overachieved during the Farhan Zaidi era by unlocking hidden value in post-hype prospects, and the one-year, $4-million deal they gave to Sanchez might prove to be another incredible bargain.
I projected San Francisco at -133 over the full game, and -131 for the first five innings on Monday. I would bet them in either market (or both) at -115 or better.
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