MLB Picks, Odds, Predictions | Best Bets for Cubs vs Astros, Brewers vs Cardinals on May 15
Photo by Michael Owens/MLB Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Cody Bellinger.
- The MLB slate on Monday, May 15, features 12 games.
- Our baseball experts have three best bets -- two for Cubs vs. Astros and one for the Brewers vs. Cardinals NL Central tilt.
- Continue reading for expert picks and analysis for Monday in MLB.
A new week in Major League Baseball brings with it a 12-game Monday slate, with plenty of intriguing matchups.
Our MLB analysts have singled out a pair of games, with one pick on Brewers vs. Cardinals, and a pair of picks on Cubs vs. Astros, including one prop.
Here are our best bets from the MLB slate on Monday, May 15th.
Monday MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today’s slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Brewers vs. Cardinals
Jack Flaherty will be on the mound for the Cardinals and we are going on four years now where he has not only been outperforming his expected metrics, but he’s been above a 4.8 xERA pitcher.
This season, it’s been a complete disaster, as he has a 6.10 xERA because his BB/9 rate is up at 6.18 through eight starts. The Brewers are one of the most patient lineups, having the fifth highest BB% against right-handed pitching and the sixth lowest chase rate.
The Stuff+ for Flaherty is really concerning — only 92 through those eight starts and a 98 Pitching+ rating — both of which are the worst in the Cardinals rotation.
Freddy Peralta so far this season has been nasty, with a Stuff+ of 109 and Pitching+ of 105, which is only a slight improvement from last season when he was a 2.7 xERA pitcher. He just had a fantastic showing in his last outing, holding the Dodgers’ lineup to just one run on three hits over six innings of work.
The velocity, Stuff+, and spin rates are up significantly on those two pitches, which are pretty much all he throws, so he’s only going to get better as the season goes along and really gives the Brewers the advantage in the starting pitching matchup.
Plus, he’s already faced the Cardinals once this year, going six innings and giving up just one run on four hits with seven strikeouts. The Cardinals overall have been very average against right-handed fastballs and sliders, as they only have a +0.1 run value.
The Brewers have also been the best defensive team in baseball so far this season with +26 defensive runs saved, while the Cardinals have been very average this season.
So, I think it’s a little crazy that Peralta is only a pick’em essentially against Flaherty. I have Peralta and the Brewers projected at -147 for the first five innings so I love the value on them at -115.
Pick: Brewers F5 ML (-115)
Cubs vs. Astros
By Nick Shlain
Houston Astros ace pitcher Framber Valdez is pitching like he wants the American League Cy Young award at the end of the season.
Valdez has a 2.68 xFIP and 27% strikeout percentage entering play Monday. He doesn’t have a significant split when it comes to getting strikeouts, either, as he has a 26% strikeout percentage against right-handed batters and a 30% strikeout percentage against left-handed batters.
The Chicago Cubs lineup is mostly right-handed, but they strike out quite a bit. Chicago’s projected lineup has a combined 22% strikeout percentage against left-handed pitching this season. Four Cubs hitters have a strikeout percentage of at least 28% against left-handed pitching.
Valdez has gone over this number in four of his last five starts. He’s completed at least six innings in seven consecutive starts and pitching that deep into the game gives him a great chance at going over this number once again.
Pick: Framber Valdez Over 6.5 Strikeouts (-128)
Cubs vs. Astros
By Kenny Ducey
Most people will be drawn to Jameson Taillon’s 3.85 xERA heading into this start, but I’m looking even deeper than that. The right-hander owns a .238 expected batting average against him, which is eight points lower than his career mark of .246 and seven points better than league average.
His strikeout rate has also leapt from 20.7% last year to 28.1% this year, and his walk numbers have more or less fallen in line with what we’re accustomed to seeing from the veteran.
He’s really pitched quite well, just getting burned by a few untimely home runs in the last two starts. He likely doesn’t have to worry about those against an Astros team which owns a .112 ISO over the last two weeks and which has been a huge disappointment at the plate, ranking 28th in wRC+.
On the other side of this matchup, while big bad Framber Valdez owns an imposing 2.38 ERA, I’m not too scared of him here. His hard-hit rate is way up to 46% this year and his ground ball rate has fallen roughly four points and is now all the way down to 63.6% from 70.4% two seasons ago.
The Cubs are fifth in wRC+ to lefties and while they’re not a team which has hit a ton of fly balls this season, they’ve done so against lefties with 37.1% coming back into the air.
I think there’s plenty of reason to believe in Chicago as a huge underdog here after a couple of rough losses in recent days.
Pick: Cubs ML (+170)
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