MLB Odds & Betting Picks: 4 Top Picks From Monday’s Slate, Including Astros vs. Rangers, Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks & More
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Walker and Ketel Marte
- A small slate just means you get more bang for your buck when it comes to betting MLB.
- We have four bets to recommend from tonight's seven-game MLB schedule.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of all of our favorite picks.
Monday’s MLB slate is thin, with just seven games spread out across the evening.
A small slate doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunities to find value, however, and our analysts have identified more some in more than half of the games on the docket, including matchups featuring such ace-level talents as Framber Valdez, Shane Bieber and Walker Buehler.
Here are our four best bets from Monday night’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|9:40 p.m. ET|
Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies
DJ James: Kyle Freeland has yet to get it going this season, ranking in the lower half of the league in nearly every peripheral metric. Most notably, he allows hard contact at a 46% clip this season with an average exit velocity of 89.5 mph.
The Phillies feasts on lefties. They rank second in wRC+ in the early going of this season at 164. They have four hitters with a .500+ xwOBA when facing southpaws this season along with five who hold a 90+ mph average exit velocity.
The Rockies also have a bit of a shaky bullpen. They have a 4.34 ERA and 4.11 xFIP. While they might be getting a little unlucky so far, the Phillies can piece together some late inning runs given the powerful bats in this lineup.
Take the Phillies team total over 5 (+100) and up to 5.5 (-110). They should light up the scoreboard and the -185 consensus moneyline is too steep to take.
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers
Jules Posner: The Houston Astros haven’t won a series since their season opening series against the Los Angeles Angels.
Framber Valdez is on the mound for the Astros in this one and he has been dicey to start the year.
Valdez has a deceptively low ERA on the road so far this season. His 0.93 road ERA is exponentially better than his 3.40 FIP and 3.53 xFIP would indicate.
In his last road start he labored through three innings while walking five against a bottom-five offense in the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Last year, Valdez was actually stronger on the road and with only one rough home start that remains the case in 2021.
However, the Astros seem mortal this year as they head into this series with a 7-8 record, their offense is in the bottom third of the league in team wRC+ (22nd) and they are 27th in the league in runs scored, heading into spacious Globe Life Park.
On the other side, the Texas Rangers are only 1-5 at home so far this season, but who was on the mound for that one win? That’s right. Your boy Dane Dunning.
Although Dunning’s last home start was less-than-stellar, historically, Dunning loves pitching in his home park.
In 2021, Dunning posted a 3.09 ERA and an even better 2.72 FIP and 3.18 xFIP while also posted an over 9 (9.54) K/9.
Hopefully Dunning can take advantage of the Astros’ struggling offense and avoid his own struggling bullpen.
That’s why I’m fading the Astros in this one and taking the Rangers’ ML. They opened as +120 underdogs and the value is good considering the matchup.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Los Angeles Angels
Kenny Ducey: It turns out that the Cleveland Guardians are, in fact, a vulnerable offensive team. They have scored just seven runs in the past three games, and ride into this series with the Angels on a three-game losing streak. To make matters worse, they’ve been made to fly across the country and might be the slightest bit out of it on Monday night.
That’s only making me more interested in fading Cleveland. The Angels will be trotting out Michael Lorenzen, who is once again experiencing some bad luck according to the indicators. The former Cincinnati do-it-all reliever has a 3.12 xERA clashing with a 4.82 ERA through two starts and that makes it three straight years now that his expected ERA has come in at least a full run below his real-life number.
While there’s more to life (and baseball) than xERA, Lorenzen is pretty good. His strikeout numbers have always been above league average, and while his fastball has lost the slightest bit, his newfound reliance on the sinker has made him a hard pitcher to solve. On top of that, he’s cut down walks so far to just 5.4% through two starts.
I think Lorenzen can get the Angels off to a good start here, and I’m willing to back them even against Shane Bieber considering how great they’ve been hitting the ball.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
|Diamondbacks First Five Innings +155|
|9:40 p.m. ET|
Collin Whitchurch: Consider me a believer in the Merrill Kelly Renaissance.
The 33-year-old right-hander, debuted in the majors at 30 after spending several year in Korea, has looked like a frontline starter since the latter stages of 2021. He’s off to a great start this year, shutting down such vaunted offenses as the Padres and Astros.
Early season stats can be misleading, but what’s been most promising about Kelly is that he’s suppressing offense despite no BABIP luck. He’s allowed a .325 BABIP this season, which would actually be the highest of his career over a full season. And yet … he’s succeeding.
Kelly’s velo bump from late 2021 and early 2022 has slowly ticked down across his three starts this season, but he’s inducing more grounders than ever, his spin rate remains above average, and hitters haven’t yet figured out his changeup, which he’s throwing more than ever before in his career.
Kelly and the Snakes face the sternest test imaginable against Walker Buehler and the Dodgers, but given that LA will be favored in potentially every game this season, it’s important to look for opportunities to fade the juggernaut, and this is it.
My favorite bet is Diamondbacks first five innings at +155 or better, but I also like the full game ML (+170 or better), and if you want to hedge a bit, you can take them on the run line at plus money (+105 or better) as well.
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