Friday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Four Best Bets, Including Red Sox vs. Marlins & Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals (May 28)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: David Peralta.
- It's Memorial Day weekend, and our staff hopes to help kick it off on a high note with their four best MLB bets for Friday.
- Our experts picked four games -- Pirates vs. Rockies, Red Sox vs. Marlins, Dodgers vs. Astros, and Diamondbacks vs. Astros -- for their best bets.
- Check out each pick with a full betting breakdown below.
Memorial Day weekend is here, and there's no better way to kick it off than with some baseball betting.
Our MLB staff hand-picked four bets for Friday's games, ranging from Rockies vs. Padres at 6:35 p.m. ET to Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals at 9:40 p.m. ET.
Check out each pick, and feel free to use the table below to navigate to any of our experts' four games.
MLB Odds & Picks
Rockies vs. Pirates
Brad Cunningham: Jon Gray has made massive improvements this season, lowering his xERA to 3.52 and his xFIP to 4.04.
The biggest change he's made between 2020 and 2021 is he's lowered his hard contact percentage considerably. Over the previous three seasons, Gray was giving up over a 35% hard contact before lowering it all the way down to 27.8% this year. He'll have a fantastic matchup against the Pirates lineup that ranks dead last in hard contact percentage this season.
Mitch Keller has struggled in 2021, posting a 5.44 xERA and 4.96 xFIP through his first nine starts. He's having a lot of issues with his control, as he has a very high 5.02 BB/9 rate. He's mainly a fastball pitcher, throwing it over 57% of the time, and he's struggling with it because opponents have tagged it for a .375 wOBA so far this season.
That's going to be a problem against this Rockies lineup because fastballs are the one pitch they are having the most success against. They rank 13th in the league with 11.7 weighted fastball runs already this season, per FanGraphs.
Red Sox vs. Marlins
Kenny Ducey: I was stuck between wanting to bet on Cody Poteet at plus money but not wanting to bet on the Marlins’ offense. That, in turn, led me to take this under, which I think there’s a ton of value in.
Poteet has limited hitters to a .172 batting average on his fastball, which can get up there in the upper 90s. He’s been perfectly average in every department as it pertains to quality of contact and strikeouts, while limiting free passes is what he’s done best.
I’ve been particularly impressed with his ability to navigate some decent lineups in his first three outings, and he’s only been torched one time for a home run off the bat of Andrew Young in his first career start. Other than that, he’s been nails.
The Boston lineup he’s facing has cooled ever so slightly in recent weeks, checking in with a 112 wRC+, and Poteet should be more than up to the task here.
Should he limit the damage, I have the utmost confidence in Martin Perez to shut down a lineup with a 77 wRC+ over that same span and awful numbers against lefties.
If you want to have some fun, you can feel free to take the Marlins moneyline, but this team should continue to struggle at the plate. Few teams have hit the under more than Miami, which has been below the total in 55.3% of its games.
Astros vs. Padres
DJ James: It seems like an unusual angle to fade the Padres starting pitching staff, but this is the game to do so.
The Padres struggle against left-handed pitching, even if Framber Valdez returns from some time off for the Astros today. The Padres have posted an abysmal 91 wRC+ thus far while facing southpaws.
In contrast, Houston maintains 112 wRC+ against righties, so this plays into its hands against Dinelson Lamet tonight. Keep in mind that Lamet has faced only poor-hitting teams with only the St. Louis Cardinals being league average, so his traditional statistics are a bit overstated.
Otherwise, he has faced the 26th, 28th, 29th, and 30th-ranked offenses in the league in Seattle, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Colorado, respectively. The Astros have another caliber of sluggers.
Now, the Padres have had the most success with their bullpen this season, so the Astros need Valdez to go at least five innings in this one. Their most glaring weakness is the bullpen, but if they can post enough runs early and force Lamet into high-intensity innings, they should offset their largest hindrance for a victory.
Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals
Stuckey: Who doesn't want to bet on a team that has lost 11 straight? Couldn't be me.
But in all seriousness, Arizona hasn't been as bad as that 11-game losing streak looks on the surface. A handful of those games have come by one run, and it's had the bases loaded late a number of times with a chance to win. Lady Luck just hasn't been on its side.
That will happen over 10-to-11 game stretches in a baseball season. I think tonight is a great opportunity for that streak to end.
Madison Bumgarner takes the bump for the D-Backs, and he's looked fantastic this year thanks to a serious bump in velocity from his subpar 2020 season. He will be opposed by Oviedo, who I'm just not a fan of. His peripheral numbers are also not pretty, to put it kindly.