MLB Best Bets: 6 Top Picks From Tuesday’s Slate, Including Nationals vs. Dodgers
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Mitch White (Dodgers)
Here are our six best bets from Tuesday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Yankees vs. Mets
DJ James: Taijuan Walker has thrown well for the New York Mets this season with a 2.55 ERA, but his xERA is 3.61. He ranks in the bottom half of the league in hard hit rate and average exit velocity and will be taking on the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
The difference here is not necessarily that Jordan Montgomery is that much better (3.24 ERA, 4.07 xERA), but the Yankees crush righties and the Mets have been terrible with lefties. In fact, the Yanks boast a team wRC+ of 128 in the last month off of that side of the pitching rubber, while the Mets come in at 88.
The Yankees have three batters above a .400 xwOBA and two more above .330. This does not jump off the page for the bottom of the order, but they should have reasonable plate appearances.
The two teams also rank second and third in bullpen xFIP over the last month. The Yankees should get the edge with a better lineup and the Mets struggling with southpaws on the bump.
Yankees vs. Mets
Kenny Ducey: We knew Second Half Taijuan Walker to be a different man than First Half Taijuan Walker last season, and this summer should be no different. The right-hander has been stellar with a 2.55 ERA through 91 ⅔ innings this season, but he walks around with quite average — if not below average — numbers behind that ERA.
Walker’s largely pitched to contact with a strikeout rate roughly 2% below league average and with that has been pretty much right in the middle of the pack with a .243 expected batting average and 6.5% barrel rate while sitting in the bottom 27% of the league with a 41.4% hard-hit rate.
Walker’s fastball — his primary pitch — has been a nightmare with a .274 xBA, and he is about to face the second-best fastball-hitting team in the league. Not to mention, he surrendered five earned runs over six frames when he pitched against the Yankees last September with three walks allowed.
The Mets’ offense ranks 20th in wRC+ to left-handed pitching, which makes me feel a bit better about backing Jordan Montgomery in this spot despite some very mediocre-looking numbers. The lefty has been done in by some home runs in the last few outings, but that won’t be an issue against one of the weakest teams in the game in terms of power numbers.
Guardians vs. Red Sox
Sean Zerillo: The Guardians seem like an actionable underdog for Tuesday’s slate as a likely undervalued team using a bullpen day. I projected their moneyline closer to +117 (46% implied), and I would bet them down to +127 (44% implied) at a two percent edge compared to my number.
Cleveland is in their superior offensive split against a right-handed pitcher in Josh Winckowski (8th in wRC+ vs. righties, 29th vs. lefties), where they are exceedingly difficult to strike out (17.7% K% vs. RHP, 1st in MLB; 20.9% vs. LHP, 11th in MLB).
The Guardians also have the superior bullpen (9th in K-BB%, 8th in xFIP) as compared to Boston (17th and 21st, respectively), though I do show a smaller gap (3.75 to 3.98 Model Weighted ERA) for Tuesday’s contest.
While the teams are on neutral terms in Defensive Runs Saved (7th and 9th in Defensive Runs Saved), Outs Above Average ranks the Guardians as the superior defensive club (4th vs. 19th) — more in line with my model rankings.
White Sox vs. Rockies
Anthony Dabbundo: Michael Kopech had an impressive start to the 2022 season for the White Sox but he’s an extreme fly ball pitcher and the home run issues have started to catch up with him.
He didn’t allow a single homer in his first eight starts but has now allowed six in the last four starts. That home run issue has come at the same time as a drop off in his Stuff+ rating, per Eno Sarris’ model from The Athletic.
He’s never had good command, his walks have been on the rise too and a bunch of free bases and home run issues has potential disaster looming for him at Coors on Tuesday night.
Germán Marquez is a good long-term, buy-low candidate, but he too is allowing more hard contact than he ever has and has a career low strikeout rate. Marquez’s stuff just isn’t missing bats like it used to and that’s a major reason why his home ERA is 6.63 this season.
One underrated additional impact of Coors Field is that the Rockies have the largest outfield surface area in all of baseball. The Rockies and White Sox are two of the three worst outfield defenses by outs above average in all of MLB.
Nationals vs. Dodgers
Tony Sartori: After dropping the first game of this series, I expect the Dodgers to rebound and grab a victory as right-hander Mitch White is slated to take the mound.
White is coming off one of the best performances of his career as he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants. That performance was yet another strong outing from White as he continues to prove to be a valuable asset in the Los Angeles rotation.
His one outlier performance against the Cardinals has hampered White’s numbers this season as he allowed six earned runs on 10 hits in five innings. If you discard that poor outing, White has allowed just seven earned runs on 21 hits in his last 33 1/3 innings.
Following White is one of the league’s stronger bullpens. Since the beginning of June, the Dodgers’ relief pitching ranks 11th in the league in ERA, sixth in BA, seventh in SLG and seventh in wOBA.
Not only does Los Angeles possess a better starting pitcher, bullpen, and lineup than Washington, but all of the trends favor the Dodgers as well. Over their last 17 games, the Dodgers are an impeccable 15-2 (88%).
Of those 15 wins, the Dodgers have covered the run line 12 times (80%). Meanwhile, the Nationals have lost 17 of their last 21 games with 10 of those 17 losses coming by two or more runs (59%).
This play is certainly chalky, square, and whatever else you want to call It. But until Los Angeles’ insanely dominant stretch of baseball falls off the tracks, we are riding the train.
Rangers vs. Mariners
Jules Posner: If you haven’t been paying attention, the Texas Rangers have been one of the better road offenses over the past few weeks. While underachieving for the majority of the season, it seems the bats have finally started to get things going and they are taking on one of the better home offenses.
Additionally, the pitching matchup of Dane Dunning and George Kirby features two pitchers in their less-favorable pitching situation. Dunning has a 5.52 ERA and a 4.61 FIP on the road this season and Kirby has a 4.58 ERA with a 4.20 FIP at home.
Furthermore, the Rangers’ bullpen has been knocked around a fair amount over the past couple of weeks. This matchup has been flagged by Julesyboy Labs and Duane, myself, and our intern, Josie, believe the over of 8 should be the move tonight.