MLB Picks Monday | Expert Predictions for Astros vs Mariners, More

MLB Picks Monday | Expert Predictions for Astros vs Mariners, More article feature image

Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryce Miller.

Welcome to Opening Pitch, our daily column that you'll find throughout the 2024 MLB season.

The goal for Opening Pitch is to highlight top daily projection edges for MLB moneylines and totals, share favorite bets and provide some betting notes and analysis.

As a reminder, you can find all of my bets in the Action Network App and get live alerts every time I log a new bet.

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

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

Here are my favorite bets for Monday, May 27.

Dodgers vs. Mets

MLB Picks Monday | Expert Predictions for Astros vs Mariners, More

Dodgers vs. Mets

Monday, May 27
4:10 p.m. ET
MLB Network
Dodgers Odds
-122o / -100u
Mets Odds
-122o / -100u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Gavin Stone (LAD) vs. Tylor Megill (NYM)

Editor's Note: This game was postponed and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

Through two appearances in 2024, Tylor Megill's fastball velocity (95.9 mph) is closer to his 2022 level (95.8 mph, 4.31 xERA, 19% K-BB%) than his 2023 form (95 mph, 5.85 xERA, 8.3% K-BB%). His pitch modeling metrics (113 Stuff+ vs. 90 in 2023 and 106 in 2022) have bounced back in a significant way after a discouraging 2023 season.

Megill also has a new pitch mix — incorporating a cutter (12.8%, 123 Stuff+) and a splitter (11%, 97 Stuff+) — that has led to greater diversity in velocity among his offerings. His fastball (120 Stuff+) playing like a plus pitch only makes his secondary offerings more effective.

The strikeout stuff is there. If Megill can harness his command and maintain this velocity level, his new mix has significant upside.

Gavin Stone (4.37 xERA, 8.1% K-BB%, 95 Stuff+, 100 Location+) has a significantly lower ceiling than Megill.

Stone has a plus slider (129 Stuff+) and has limited hard contact to date (88th percentile in hard-hit rate) but he otherwise projects as a below-average arm, with a below-average strikeout rate (15.5% career vs. 22.3% MLB average) and average command (8.3% career walk rate vs. 8.5% MLB average).

Shohei Ohtani has been struggling (7-for-35, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 SB) at the plate since sustaining a hamstring injury last week. Problematic given the Dodgers rely on the top of their order for production (.968 and 1.035 OPS from their top two lineup spots this season). Their 7-9 hitters have combined for a putrid .188/.257/.291 slash line (.548 OPS).

The Mets split Sunday's game between Sean Manaea and Adrian Houser — giving their key relievers a much-needed break, more mentally than physically – after blowing late-game leads in three consecutive contests.

On the season, Mets relievers rank first in Stuff+ (111) but are tied for last in Location+ (96) — and the total package (99 Pitching+) ranks 23rd. They rank first in strikeout rate (27.9%) and 28th in walk rate (11.7%) but have produced top-10 rankings in both K-BB% (4th) and xFIP (9th).

I make this game just about a coin flip in both halves.

Bets: Mets F5 Moneyline (+110 or better) | Mets Full-Game Moneyline (+115 or better) 

Phillies vs. Giants

Monday, May 27
5:05 p.m. ET
Phillies Odds
-128o / 104u
Giants Odds
-128o / 104u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Taijuan Walker (PHI) vs. Blake Snell (SF)

Taijuan Walker began the 2024 season on the IL with a throwing-shoulder impingement, and his results to date (6.42 xERA, 9.6% K-BB%, 91.2 mph fastball, 87 Stuff+, 96 Location+) indicate that he still may not be healthy.

Walker's fastball velocity is down 2.3 mph (93.5 mph in 2022, 93.8 career) over two years, and his Stuff+ rating has declined from 110 to 96 to 87 over the same span.

Walker has modified his pitch mix this season, opting for his cutter (32% usage rate) more often than ever before (17.5% in 2023, 9.6% career) at the expense of his splitter (17% vs. 33.2% last season). However, his ERA is still north of five despite an 81% strand rate — estimators (xERA and xFIP) say things could be worse than they have been to date.

Blake Snell (11.4 ERA, 4.31 xERA, 99 Pitching+) hasn't found his form in 2024 after missing spring training due to contract negotiations and taking an IL stint with a left adductor strain. Pitch modeling metrics (107 Stuff+, 95 Location+, 99 Pitching+) have him at the same level as last season.

Snell has been incredibly unlucky (.417 BABIP, 44.5% strand rate vs. .291 and 77.3% career), but his K-BB% (10.4%) is also at its lowest point since 2017. That said, Snell goes through Jekyll and Hyde stretches, and it is important to remember his struggles through the first six weeks of last season (5.40 ERA, 5.52 FIP, 4.69 xFIP) with an identical 10.4% K-BB% to that point (as he has in 2024).

From then on, Snell bullied his way to the NL Cy Young award (1.20 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 21.1% K-BB%) over his final 23 starts.

I've downgraded both pitchers relative to the start of the season, but the worst version of Snell is still more effective than the best version of Walker.

Bets: Giants F5 Moneyline (-120 or better) | Giants Full-Game Moneyline (-114 or better)

Zerillo's Bets for Monday, May 27

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  • Atlanta Braves F5 (-175, 0.25u) at DraftKings (small to -185)
  • Cleveland Guardians F5 (-115, 0.25u) at Caesars (small to -115)
  • Cleveland Guardians / Colorado Rockies, Over 10 (-115, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to 10.5, +100)
  • Houston Astros / Seattle Mariners, Under 7.5 (-105, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -114)
  • New York Mets F5 (+115, 0.25u) at BetMGM (bet to +110)
  • New York Mets (+132, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +115)
  • San Francisco Giants F5 (-110, 0.25u) at DraftKings (small to -120)
  • San Francisco Giants (+100, 0.5u) at ESPNBet (bet to -114)

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