MLB Odds, Picks & Previews: Tuesday’s 5 Best Bets, Including Astros vs. Rangers & Reds vs. Diamondbacks (June 14)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyler Mahle
- First 5s and totals are the theme of the day in our best bets for MLB.
- Our analysts are targeting a trio of teams through the first half of games, and two others are on totals.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of our picks, including analysis, from Tuesday in Major League Baseball.
We’ve got another busy Tuesday in Major League Baseball. The Pirates and Cardinals get us started with a doubleheader this afternoon, and in total we’ve got 16 games for our betting pleasure.
Our analysts are all over it, targeting four evening matchups, including a pair of picks on Guardians-Rockies. First five innings bets are the theme of the day, with three bets focused there.
Here are our five best bets from Tuesday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Anthony Dabbundo: Zach Eflin is in the midst of his best season as a starter with the lowest xERA of his career. The Phillies right-hander has a 2.76 xERA because he has allowed the lowest barrel and hard-hit rate of his career as well. He’s switched up his pitch mix quite a bit this year and has been throwing more curveballs, which hitters are managing just a .119 average with a .150 wOBA against.
He’s all but ditched the slider, which was a pitch that hurt him greatly in the 2021 campaign. His improved pitch arsenal has led to an increase in his swing-and-miss ability on pitches outside of the zone.
Trevor Rogers has mostly struggled in the 2022 campaign for Miami as he’s missing way fewer bats this year and has seen a significant drop-off in his stuff+ rating, per Eno Sarris of The Athletic.
His xERA sits all the way up at 4.85 and Philadelphia’s lineup projects solidly better against lefties than righties anyway, due to the excellent splits of Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm and Nick Castellanos against southpaws.
The Phillies should be bigger favorites in the first five innings and I’d play them up to -145 at home with the better starter and much better lineup.
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers
Jules Posner: No one is a bigger backer of Dane Dunning at home than I am, but even Dunning’s home magic may not be enough against the Astros Tuesday night.
The Astros have posted a 109 team wRC+ on the road against RHP over the past few weeks, but with a fully healthy offense, the Astros might be ready to take off as the summer heats up.
Dunning is as solid as they come at home, but he’s still good for at least two runs a start.
The main focus here, however, is going to be Jose Urquidy. He has really struggled on the road, posting a 6.61 ERA and a 5.10 FIP in seven road starts. He’s also given up four or more runs in four of those starts.
He’ll be taking on a Rangers’ offense that is also warming up. They have a 108 team wRC+ at home over the past few weeks, but they have posted a 118 wRC+ over the past week. Marcus Semien is the catalyst for this offense, and as long as he’s on a tear, runs will follow.
Both bullpens have been solid over the past few weeks, but the starters account for roughly six runs for the total based on their averages. With the total at 8.5 runs, the over seems very achievable considering how both offenses have been performing as of late.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Colorado Rockies
Sean Zerillo: After continually trying to bet against Shane Bieber early this season, I’ve come around to betting on him in recent starts.
Bieber’s velocity and spin rates remain at reduced levels, particularly in comparison to his 2020 Cy Young campaign when he dominated Central division competition over a limited sample.
Still, through 11 starts in 2022, he’s carrying solid ERA indicators (3.55 xERA, 3.25 xFIP, 3.37 SIERA), which align with his 2019 season (3.86 xERA, 3.23 xFIP, 3.36 SIERA). Bieber probably isn’t going to return to his Cy Young levels — with indicators in the low to mid 2s — however, he’s more effective than I would have expected after losing nearly three ticks off his fastball.
Bieber has modified his pitch mix this season, throwing his slider more than 40% of the time (25.3% career) — the fourth-highest rate among 116 qualified starters (min. 40 innings pitched). And the Rockies’ bats have struggled against that pitch (21st) more than any other offering.
Furthermore, this is a bet against Antonio Senzatela, who ranks 111th out of that same group of qualified starters in K-BB%. His strikeout total is 2.5% against a Guardians offense that whiffs and strikes out less frequently than any other team.
I expect the Guardians to put every ball in play against Senzatela and force the Rockies’ porous defense (22nd in Defensive Runs Saved, 28th in Outs Above Average) to make plays in the cavernous outfield of Coors Field.
Per both defensive metrics, the Rockies rank 29th in right field defense and 30th in center field.
I projected Cleveland’s F5 moneyline at -204 (67.1% implied) and would lay the juice up to -186 (65% implied) at a two percent edge compared to my number.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Colorado Rockies
DJ James: Both of these teams have struggled mightily against right-handed pitching over the last month. Yes, this game is going to be played in Coors Field, but that should not matter as much if neither team is getting strong contact.
These two teams rank in the bottom four in hard hit percentage and the bottom five in exit velocity. Since May 13, both of these teams hold sub-100 wRC+ off of right-handed pitching, ranking in the bottom ten in all of baseball.
The concern is how poorly Antonio Senzatela pitches. His egregious 6.86 xERA and 91.5 average exit velocity against could hand this Cleveland baseball team plenty of runs.
But Bieber has maintained a 2.91 ERA against a 3.55 xERA. This is definitely overachieving, but in two June starts he has looked more like his 2020 self. He will carve up a weak-hitting Colorado team.
Do not expect the Guardians to score 11 runs by themselves in this game. Both bullpens have enough pieces to keep the total in check.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Brad Cunningham: Tyler Mahle is a big time positive regression candidate. He’s been really unfortunate this season to have a 5.07 ERA because his xERA is only 3.70. His biggest problem is that he’s walking too many guys with a BB/9 rate at 4.11. However his HR/9 rate is below one and his K/9 rate is at 10.14, so if he cuts down on the walks he’ll turn back into what he was in 2021.
The Diamondbacks have been very below average against right-handed pitching with only 93 wRC+ on the season, which is 21st in MLB. Arizona will also have to deal with Mahle’s split finger, which is a pitch they haven’t seen that often this year, at only 2.1% of the total pitches seen.
Zach Davies has been much improved, but his xFIP is still sitting at 4.22. He’s improved his groundball rate, which is big considering his main two pitches of sinker and changeup are designed to produce groundballs. The Reds are starting to heat up with .326 wOBA over the past 30 days and .340 wOBA over the past two weeks. So, this is going to be a tricky matchup for Davies.
I have Mahle projected as a -118 favorite for the first five innings, so I like the value on him and the Reds at +100 and would play it down to -103.
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