MLB Best Bets: 4 Picks From Tuesday’s Slate, Including Guardians vs. Astros, Rangers vs. Angels
Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images. Pictured: Noah Syndergaard (Angels)
- It's another full Tuesday in Major League Baseball with plenty of betting opportunities.
- Phillies-Braves, Guardians-Astros, Rangers-Angels and Brewers-Padres have in particular caught the eyes of our MLB analysts.
- Continue reading for all of our picks and full analysis of these games.
Our analysts have keyed in on four games from the slate, starting this evening with Phillies–Braves and wrapping up with a pair of games on the West Coast, including the nationally televised affair between Corbin Burnes and Blake Snell in San Diego.
Here are our four best bets from Tuesday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves
Anthony Dabbundo: Phillies right-hander Kyle Gibson is one of just a handful of pitchers in MLB with a groundball rate above 50% this season. His expected indicators like xERA and SIERA rate him as a much improved pitcher the last two seasons compared to years past. His xERA is currently sitting at 3.51.
The Phillies lineup has also been top 10 in both barrel rate and hard hit rate and projects much better against left-handed pitching than right. Philadelphia has also hit much better away from its home ballpark this year.
Gibson is opposed by Max Fried, who hasn’t quite been able to find his form from his elite 2020 season. He’s been improved after a brutal start to this 2022 season, but his xERA still sits up above 3.50 and there’s not much difference between the two starting pitchers in terms of ERA projections.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Houston Astros
Kenny Ducey: Rejoice, bettors, for Zach Plesac pitches today.
The troubled right-hander will face one of the very best offenses in baseball on the road in Houston, and fireworks should ensue. The Astros are fourth in wRC++ on the year, fourth in expected wOBA and third in expected batting average, according to Statcast. Though they haven’t made the most noise at the plate with solid contact, they’re still ninth in barrels per plate appearance.
That ranking just may rise with Plesac on the bump for Cleveland. The 27-year-old is striking out a very concerning 13.8% of hitters, and his entire arsenal is getting taken to the woodshed. He’s allowed a .314 xBA on his fastball and .318 xBA on his changeup, and ranks in the bottom 10% in general expected batting average. He’s also got exit velocity numbers in the bottom 20% of the league.
Simply put, this is going to be a nightmare for Plesac. His offense isn’t likely to help him much, either, considering the Guardians are in the bottom five in wRC+ against lefties this season. Not only does Framber Valdez throw with his left hand, he’s also incredible at pitching to contact and is red-hot at the moment.
Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels
The market is still pricing Syndergaard closer to his peak self (career 3.21 xFIP and 3.40 SIERA). Still, his velocity has fallen off dramatically since his last full season in 2019 (down from 97.7 mph to 94.1 mph). He hasn’t returned to anywhere near peak form after Tommy John surgery (like Justin Verlander has, for instance).
Batters aren’t chasing Syndergaard’s pitches outside of the strike zone nearly as often as they used to (29.6% vs. 34.6% career), and he’s not generating swinging strikes as often either (11.8%, vs. 13.1% career).
Thor’s stuff has moved closer to average — rather than the elite tier — and unless we see that upper-90s velocity return to his fastball, I’ll continue to find ways to bet against him.
I projected Texas around +135 (42.5% implied) for this matchup and would bet their moneyline to about +146 (40.5% implied) at roughly a two percent edge.
Otherwise, play the Over 8 (up to -118) or 8.5 (to +100) at a similar edge compared to my total projection (8.75).
Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Diego Padres
DJ James: The Atlanta Braves touched up Corbin Burnes a bit in his last outing, but the Padres have struggled against right-handed pitching in the month of May. Thus far, they rank 27th in the MLB with a 78 wRC+ mark, only ahead of Oakland, Detroit and Toronto.
Burnes does not give free passes. His walk rate is 4.1%, and his strikeout rate is 31.5%. The Padres may not typically chase all that much (28.1% on the season), but Burnes is elite in this metric at 34.9%.
On the flip side, Blake Snell was abysmal in his one start this season, and I’m expecting similar form until he works his way fully back from the injury that cost him the beginning of the season.
Against left-handed pitching this season, Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Renfroe both boast .400+ xwOBA. The Brewers also have six other batters over .340.