Sunday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Staff’s 3 Best Bets, Including Athletics vs. Angels & Cubs vs. Cardinals (May 23)
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.
- All 30 teams are in action in MLB's 15-game slate on Sunday.
- Our staff is narrowing in on three, giving there best bets Brewers-Reds, Athletics-Angels and Cubs-Cardinals.
- See how our writers are betting, below.
We have another busy Major League Baseball schedule on deck, with a full slate of 15 games taking place Sunday across the landscape.
Our Action Network analysts have three best bets for you on the card, highlighted by a top pick in the Sunday Night Baseball matchup between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. Take a look at their picks below.
MLB Odds & Picks
Brewers vs. Reds
Matt Trebby: The resistible force meets the movable object on Sunday afternoon, when Luis Castillo starts against the Milwaukee Brewers’ lineup.
The Brewers got in the win column Saturday ahead of the series’ rubber game, although it was their second consecutive four-run game that didn’t inspire much confidence for the lineup moving forward.
In the victory, Milwaukee’s OPS for May rose all the way to .636. That is above only the Pirates and Mariners. The Brewers’ .209 batting average trails only Seattle, though.
Meanwhile, Castillo has been downright awful this season. The Reds are 1-8 when he starts because his ERA is a massive 7.44 to go with a 1.80 WHIP. The most confusing part of Castillo’s struggles is that he is giving up a staggering 13 hits per nine innings. With stuff like his, that shouldn’t be the case. Positive regression is bound to come, which his 4.30 xERA and 3.99 xFIP indicate.
What better way to turn your season around than by facing a lineup like the Brewers? Castillo has a 3.46 ERA against Milwaukee in his career, although the Brewers have a .651 OPS against him, which is below league average.
On the other side is Freddy Peralta, who’s breaking out this season with a 2.40 ERA, 2.07 xERA and 3.26 xFIP for the Brewers. He’s striking out 13.8 per nine innings and creating a stellar three-headed monster in the Brewers’ rotation with Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes.
Under 3.5 runs in the first five innings on Sunday between these teams is +117 odds. Peralta is thriving, while Castillo is in a great spot to turn things around. Sit back and root for two fantastic right-handers to thrive in Cincinnati.
Athletics vs. Angels
Kenny Ducey: Sean Manaea has been easy to pick off lately, but I think the struggling Angels lineup should be the one to buck that trend.
With a pedestrian 99 wRC+ against lefties this year, this was already a solid spot for an above-average southpaw, but looking at how the Halos have been hitting lately I think this is a bit of a smash spot. The Angels have hit just .208 over the last two weeks, and their wRC+ sits at 79.Â
The biggest thing here for me is that the Angels haven’t been walking at all, and have been striking out at an alarming rate, which are two departments Manaea can make you hurt in. I think this is a great price to capitalize on a lopsided matchup on this side.
On the other hand, we have a talented, but lost, Dylan Bundy who many are expecting to turn things around based on his ERA indicators and this line. He’s still allowing a .368 xwOBA on contact, which should spell trouble against an Oakland team that has been relentless at the plate over the last week.
I see an edge in the pitching matchup and with the Athletics lineup, and have no issues taking them up to -125 here.
Cubs vs. Cardinals
Collin Whitchurch: It’s Sunday Night Baseball and it’s Cubs-Cardinals. Like Yankees-Red Sox, this is a rivalry where any number of weird things can happen.
In order to stay away from the nationally televised chaos, I’m going to avoid picking a side. The Cardinals are understandably favored against Zach Davies, who has been dreadful this season, but I don’t want to mess with the potential that the Cubs’ bats gets hot against Adam Wainwright and/or the St. Louis bullpen that’s been overworked all season long by Mike Shildt.
That’s why I’m going to keep it simple and target the St. Louis team total.
Davies’ strikeout and walk numbers are cringe-worthy. He has just one more strikeout than walk this season. While that’s bad, St. Louis is bottom 10 in the league in walk rate. They’re also among the 10 toughest teams to strike out.
What does that mean? A lot of contact. BABIP Gods bless us, as a lot of contact should mean a lot of runs against a pitcher whose current four-start stretch of solid results has mostly been fueled by luck on balls in play.