MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Picks, Expert Projections for Monday, May 8

MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Picks, Expert Projections for Monday, May 8 article feature image

Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Freeland and Jake Irvin

Welcome to Opening Pitch, my column that you'll find daily throughout the 2023 MLB season.

My goal for Opening Pitch is to highlight my top daily projection edges for MLB moneylines and totals, share my favorite bets and provide some betting notes and analysis, mainly as I react to opening and overnight lines while using my baseball betting model.

I will look to release a new version of Opening Pitch daily between midnight and 3 a.m. ET; after I enter my overnight bets in the Action Network App and update the MLB projections. Hopefully, you will use it as your morning betting guide to get ahead of the baseball markets.

You can find my projections for every MLB game in the Action App (on both the PRO Projections tab and the game pages) and our Projections Hub (which you can bookmark).

You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.

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Expert Picks for Monday, May 8

Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Guardians

Joey Wentz vs. Tanner Bibee
First Pitch: 6:10 p.m. ET

We should have decent pitching weather on Monday in Cleveland with temperatures in the low 60s and nine mph winds blowing in from right field.

Both offenses are situated in their weaker split. Since the start of the 2022 season, the Guardians rank 29th against lefties (83 wRC+), while the Tigers rank 30th against righties (75 wRC+), compared to 18th for either team in their more robust split.

Joey Wentz (4.82 xERA) projects as a back-end starter and doesn't inspire much confidence to bet an under, but he does have the benefit of surprise. Wentz has yet to face Cleveland in 13 career starts.

Bibee will take the ball for just his third Major League start, but he's looked dominant in his first two MLB outings (combined 11 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 13 K), and the Tigers represent the easiest start he might have for the remainder of the season.

Tanner Bibee 5 Strikeouts vs Yankees

— Guardians Pitching Highlights (@GuardsPitching) May 3, 2023

After accounting for the weather and the offensive splits, I projected Monday's total at 7.19; bet under 8 to -118 or under 7.5 to +100.

Pick: Under 8 (-110 | bet to -118)

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Colorado Rockies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Kyle Freeland vs. Mitch Keller
First Pitch: 6:35 p.m. ET

I have been one of the most optimistic supporters of Mitch Keller for the past two seasons, and I'm thrilled to see his 2023 breakout (3.32 ERA, 3.50 xERA). However, the total for Monday's contest in Pittsburgh is too low after moving down from 8.5.

Kyle Freeland (3.76 ERA, 3.92 xERA) has stifled me at every turn this season, but the Pirates and Rockies should see relatively neutral hitting weather on Monday (72 degrees at first pitch, light three mph breeze blowing out), and I have the total set at 8.83.

You can bet over 8 to -121 or over 8.5 to -103.

Quietly, PNC Park typically favors hitters (101 Park Factor; 102 Run Scoring Factor in the past three seasons), and since I don't see the type of weather to adjust my total downward, I'm surprised that the market moved in that direction.

Pick: Over 8 (-115 | bet to -121)

Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants

Jake Irvin vs. Anthony DeSclafani
First Pitch: 9:45 p.m. ET

We backed Jake Irvin in his first career start against the Cubs even though he projects as a replacement-level pitcher (projected FIP range 4.66 to 5.35) who hasn't met the optimistic command grades in his scouting report (15 walks in 26 2/3 MLB and Triple-A innings this season).

Coming off of a down 2022 (6.63 ERA, 5.49 xERA), Anthony DeSclafani has had an excellent start to the 2023 campaign (2.13 ERA, 3.92 xERA). His underlying indicators align very closely to his '21 season (3.17 ERA, 3.89 xERA, 3.95 xFIP). I have upgraded Desclafani closer to that level and continue to project Irvin as a significantly worse arm. Still, I see value in betting on the Nationals on Monday.

I projected Washinton's moneyline at +170 (bet it down to +185). Let's hope the Nats get into another high-variance bullpen battle as they did in Arizona.

Pick: Nationals ML (+198 | bet to +185)

Zerillo's Bets for Monday, May 8

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  • Baltimore Orioles (+160, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +155)
  • Cleveland Guardians / Detroit Tigers, Under 8 (-115, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -118 or 7.5, +100)
  • Colorado Rockies / Pittsburgh Pirates, Over 8 (-115, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -121 or 8.5, -103)
  • Parlay (+148, 0.5u) at FanDuel: Cleveland Guardians F5 (-178) & Pittsburgh Pirates F5 (-170), parlay to -190 and -175 or straight bet to -180 and -166
  • Parlay (+152 0.5u) at FanDuel: Arizona Diamondbacks (-194) & Seattle Mariners (-152), parlay to -195 and -155 or straight bet to -185 and -148
  • Washington Nationals (+195, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to +185)

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