Tuesday MLB Odds & Best Bets: Our Top 5 Picks, Including Angels vs. Astros, Phillies vs. Rockies and More (April 19)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Charlie Blackmon
- There's plenty of betting value on tonight's loaded MLB betting slate.
- Our analysts have keyed in on four games, including a pair of picks on the AL East clash between the Blue Jays and Red Sox.
- Continue reading for all of our best bets and a full breakdown of the slate from tonight in MLB.
Thanks to some inclement weather on Monday, Tuesday’s MLB slate is absolutely loaded with 17 games, including a pair of doubleheaders.
We’re staying away from the twin bills in our best bets for the day, instead focusing on several evening affairs, including games featuring aces like Gerrit Cole, Nathan Eovaldi and … uh … Kyle Gibson?
Anyway, here are our best bets from Tuesday night’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
|8:40 p.m. ET|
New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Sean Zerillo: MLB started cracking down on spider tack and other substances last June. Since that time, Gerrit Cole has been carrying a 4.26 ERA, 3.66 FIP and 3.31 xFIP.
Overall, the expected indicators aren’t far from his 2020 levels (3.38 xERA, 3.21 SIERA). However, as last season progressed, it was relatively evident that pitchers were figuring out a way to add substances back to the baseball.
After an initial drop last June, Cole steadily regained spin on his fastball. However, his limited two-start sample from this season indicates that he may never reach the heights from 2019 through early 2021 ever again:
Cole still rates as one of the better starting pitchers in the game, and even if I leave his model-weighted ERA (3.16) untouched, I still project value on Detroit for Tuesday.
Tyler Alexander (4.24 xERA, 4.39 FIP, 4.86 xFIP, 4.47 SIERA over 106 1/3 innings in 2021) is an effective mid-rotation starter with four average offerings (sinker, cutter, slider, changeup) and solid command. He’s a high-floor, low-ceiling pitcher who’s particularly effective against same-side hitters (career .259 wOBA vs. RHH; .352 vs. LHH).
While the Yankees possess several potent right-handed bats (Josh Donaldson, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and D.J. Lemahieu), their lineup used to crush left-handed pitching. Still, the additions of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo have neutralized their splits to a degree).
Compared to my projections, the Tigers offer value here both on the F5 moneyline (to +185) and the full game moneyline (to +169), though I’ll have a slightly larger wager on the full game bet.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
DJ James: Yusei Kikuchi has awful peripherals, and this has been a consistent theme for the last two seasons. Last year, he allowed an average exit velocity of 91.9 mph and a hard hit percentage of 47%. In his first outing this season, those numbers were 96.9 mph and 75%, respectively.
The Red Sox have not been very impressive early, but they do hold a 100 wRC+ against southpaws on the season. Last season, this was 102, so it is not far off from par. While facing lefties since the beginning of the 2021 season, the Red Sox have seven of 12 active batters with a .330+ xwOBA.
Nathan Eovaldi did not necessarily dazzle in his first two starts of the season, but he did get batters from the Tigers and Yankees to chase at a 39% clip. This number was around 30.3% for him last season and given how Toronto is chasing around 29.4% this season in the early going, he will be able to take advantage once again
Take the Red Sox first five run line at -105 and play to -125.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox
Kenny Ducey: Welcome to another edition of “Should I fade Yusei Kikuchi?” I’m your host, Kenny Ducey. Today, we have a Boston Red Sox team which was No. 1 in hard hit rate last year and top 10 in wRC+ against left-handed pitching.
The Sox have returned most of their order, specifically right-handed bats, with Trevor Story taking Hunter Renfroe’s place. They enter Tuesday in the top 10 in hard hit rate once more, and have been just slightly above average against lefties, though there’s still plenty of time for that to change.
So, should you fade Kikuchi? Well, that’s a foolish question. You should always fade Kikuchi. This is a specifically good spot, since you have a team which punishes the baseball and can hit lefties very well. Kikuchi posted a putrid 47% hard hit rate last year with a .423 xwOBA on contact, and though the sample is small, the 75% hard hit rate he registered in his first start in just 3 ⅓ innings coupled with the two walks would seem to indicate he’s the same guy he was last year.
Nathan Eovaldi has hardly been great this year, but he at least has a track record unlike Kikuchi and has 13 strikeouts and just five hits against him in 10 innings, even though he’s allowed five earned on four home runs.
This has the potential to be a high-scoring game given what I’ve laid out, but I think it’s clear who the better pitcher is.
Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros
Jules Posner: The Angels send Patrick Sandoval to the mound after he pitched well in his season debut at home against the Miami Marlins, striking out 6 in four innings and allowing no runs.
The Astros send de facto ace Framber Valdez to the hill, and he has posted a 0.93 ERA, but a 3.41 FIP over two starts. He pitched his way into and out of trouble in his last start in Arizona. He surrendered only one run, but he allowed five walks and only lasted three innings in a game the Astros would lose in extras.
Now that the Astros are finally home, they look to continue their dominance in the AL West with a win tonight.
Although the pitching match up seems favorable, Sandoval is due for some regression in a hostile environment against a lineup that has underachieved thus far. Inversely, the Astros’ offense should be due for a positive regression and after putting up eight runs in Monday night’s game, they could be moving in the right direction.
The books seem to agree as their ML is going in the -150 to -160 range and if it holds there, is still worth grabbing. With Mike Trout’s status uncertain and the Angels’ offense having struggles of their own, the ML seems like the play today.
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies
|8:40 p.m. ET|
Charlie DiSturco: The slumping Philadelphia Phillies look to right the ship after dropping the series opener in Coors Field. They’ve lost six of their last seven and have been quite Jekyll & Hyde at the plate.
Their lone win in that span came against southpaw Trevor Rogers, where they erupted for 10 runs, and now have another chance against a left-hander in Kyle Freeland on Tuesday night.
Last season, the Phillies had more success when facing lefties. That same success team has carried over into the early portion of 2022, hitting .279 and slugging .523 against left-handed pitching, as opposed to a measly .242 average and .379 slugging percentage versus righties.
Freeland doesn’t have the capabilities to put away strikeout-prone hitters like Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber, which doesn’t bode well in a hitter-friendly park like Coors Field. He’s already made two starts at home this season, giving up 10 runs on 14 hits over nine innings.
The Phillies turn to Kyle Gibson, who has yet to settle down since being traded to Philadelphia at the trade deadline last season, finishing the second half with a 5.09 ERA.
Gibson tends to pitch to contact and that’ll be a problem at a field like Coors. Tack on the fact he will likely have three minus defenders — Matt Vierling, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber — in a big outfield where the ball travels, and this could be a recipe for disaster. And I can’t forget to mention Alec Bohm and his defensive woes at third base.
Yes, the number is high, but it’s consistent with how Coors Field plays. I think we see plenty of offense in this matchup, as the Phillies get things going early against Freeland leading to a long bullpen game for the Rockies. Tack on Gibson’s mixed success and the Rockies swinging at hot bat at this point in time, and I like the over in this matchup.
I bet this number at 11 and while I said in my writeup to take up to a juiced 11, I still think we see well more than 12 runs scored in this Tuesday night matchup, and am OK with taking an 11.5 if you missed the line last night. Runs shouldn’t be a problem here.
Back the over in what should be a fun game with a lot of offense and minimal pitching success.
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