MLB Predictions Today | Friday Best Bets for Dodgers vs Cardinals, Twins vs Angels, More

MLB Predictions Today | Friday Best Bets for Dodgers vs Cardinals, Twins vs Angels, More article feature image

Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Joe Ryan.

  • Eight of the 15 MLB games on Friday, May 19, are of the Interleague variety.
  • Action Network’s baseball experts have five best bets, with Rockies vs. Rangers, Dodgers vs. Cardinals and Twins vs. Angels highlighting the evening games.
  • Check out their picks and analyses below.

Ladies and gentlemen, the weekend.

After a relatively quiet Thursday, Friday gets the weekend started with a bang. All 30 teams are in action with 15 games spread throughout the evening.

Our analysts are all over it, with five picks, including Tigers vs. Nationals, Guardians vs. Mets, Rockies vs. Rangers, Dodgers vs. Cardinals and Twins vs. Angels.

Here are our best bets from the MLB slate on Friday, May 19th.

Friday 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 of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

7:05 p.m. ET
Nationals Team Total Over 4 (-120)
7:10 p.m. ET
Under 9 (-115)
8:05 p.m. ET
Martin Perez Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-145)
8:15 p.m. ET
Cardinals Moneyline (+112)
9:38 p.m. ET
First 5 Innings Under 4.5 (-130)
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.

Tigers vs. Nationals

Friday, May 19
7:05 p.m. ET
Nationals Team Total Over 4 (-120)

By D.J. James

Matthew Boyd has been unlucky this season with a 6.47 ERA against a 4.32 xERA. That said, he is still allowing an Average Exit Velocity of 88.9 mph while striking out fewer than 20% of hitters and walking more than 10%.

He will be facing the Washington Nationals on Friday, who have surprisingly hit left-handed pitching well for a while now. In the month of May, they carry a 9.3% walk rate, 18.7% strikeout rate, 126 wRC+ and .824 OPS against southpaws. They should take care of business against Boyd and any lefty reliever the Tigers throw out.

Victor Robles is on the injured list, but the rest of the team is healthy, and the Nationals have six hitters with a .325+ xwOBA this season.

Detroit’s bullpen ranks in the bottom half of the league at a 4.34 xFIP and 71% LOB percentage. The Nats should be able to scrape across a run or two late in the game, as well.

Take the Nationals team total over 4 (-120) and play to 4.5 (-125).

Pick: Nationals Team Total Over 4 (-120)

Guardians vs. Mets

Friday, May 19
7:10 p.m. ET
Under 9 (-115)

By Anthony Dabbundo

The weather conditions are not suitable for offense at Citi Field on Friday night, even though the starting pitchers for both sides are not particularly good. Home runs have been Carlos Carrasco's biggest problem for the last two seasons, but now he gets to face a Guardians lineup that ranks in the bottom three in wRC+, bottom two in isolated power and is unlikely to have José Ramirez back in the heart of the order on Friday after he temporarily left the club and was placed on the bereavement list.

Carrasco had seen a dip in his velocity prior to the injury, but the stuff looked considerably better in his last rehab start now that the elbow is healthier again. Carrasco is opposed by Guardians right-hander Cal Quantrill, who also has mediocre underlying numbers but also gets to face a lineup that is severely lacking power.

Even though the Mets have the current MLB home run leader with Pete Alonso, they sit seventh worst in isolated power and are a league average offense (101 wRC+) overall. There's a slight wind out to center tonight, but it's not nearly as impactful as the temperatures in the mid-50s, which is unseasonably cool and has a dampening effect on the run environment.

I'd bet the under 9 at -120 or better and look to play a live under once the starters depart from this game too. Both bullpens project as above average groups with the Guardians bordering on elite.

Pick: Under 9 (-115)

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Rockies vs. Rangers

Friday, May 19
8:05 p.m. ET
Martin Perez Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-145)

By Nick Shlain

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez is in his 12th major-league season and has never been known as a big time strikeout pitcher. Perez has a 16% strikeout percentage this year and that’s in line with his 16% strikeout percentage over the course of his big league career.

I have Perez projected for a 17% strikeout percentage for the rest of this season, which is just a small uptick, but we're getting great value on his strikeout prop tonight.

Perez may not be a big-time strikeout pitcher, as he’s gone over this number just three times in eight starts this season, but the matchup is just too good for him tonight.

Perez is facing the Colorado Rockies at home, outside of Coors Field. Colorado is 25th in the league averaging 3.86 runs per game on the road this season.

The Rockies also strike out quite a bit against left-handed pitching this season. Colorado’s projected lineup tonight has a combined 24% strikeout percentage against left-handed pitching this season. Four hitters in the Rockies projected lineup have at least a 28% strikeout percentage against left-handed pitching this season.

Perez should cruise to the over here.

Pick: Martin Perez Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-145)

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Dodgers vs. Cardinals

Friday, May 19
8:15 p.m. ET
Cardinals Moneyline (+112)

By Tanner McGrath

Once again, I invoke one of my top baseball-betting rules:

If you’re going to fade the Dodgers, do so against a lefty.

The Dodgers have been worse against southpaws for three straight seasons. Their platoon splits are even more pronounced this year, where they’re third in wRC+ against right-handed pitching (115) and 20th against left-handed pitching (98).

Enter the Cardinals’ left-handed starting pitcher, Steven Matz. His metrics are poor, and I’m worried about another potential injury, but he’s been unlucky (.355 BABIP) while his sinker still forces a relatively high whiff rate (25.1% this year, 31.5% a year ago).

Meanwhile, Dodgers starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin has been lucky (1.42 ERA, 3.32 xERA, .196 BABIP) and is facing a Cardinals team that has launched right-handed pitching. Sure, they project/profile better against lefties, but the Redbirds are second in wRC+ against the other side in 2023 (116).

Plus, the Cardinals might be slightly undervalued overall. Many factors went into their horrendous start, but the lineup is wide awake (48 runs over past five games), and they’re starting to pull themselves out of the basement (9-2 over past 11).

Since we opened the voicemail line for Cardinals fans, St. Louis is 9-5 (3rd best record in MLB), they lead MLB in batting average (.281), 2nd in OBP (.352), 1st in SLG (.522), 1st in OPS (.874), 1st in HR (31), 1st in XBH (58), 1st in runs (101). Next closest team has 83 runs.

— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) May 19, 2023

Both bullpens are relatively rested, and the Cardinals’ unit has actually been better from an xFIP perspective (fourth in MLB), even if they’ve been misused or given up runs at the wrong time (second-to-last in WPA, last in Clutch).

Either way, I’m ready to back the upstart Cardinals while fading the southpaw-struggling Dodgers. I’ll be on St. Louis at any plus-money number.

Pick: Cardinals Moneyline (+112)

Twins vs. Angels

Friday, May 19
9:38 p.m. ET
First 5 Innings Under 4.5 (-130)

By Charlie DiSturco

Joe Ryan looks to continue his dominant start to the season on Friday night, drawing a matchup with southpaw Reid Detmers. This is a perfect spot to back both young pitchers, one of which has rolled while the other has underperformed expectations.

Let’s start with Ryan. The right-hander has surged up the Cy Young odds board and has a 2.14 xERA, .203 xBA and one of the best K-BB rates in baseball. His arsenal is as well-rounded as anyone’s and he ranks in the 99th percentile in chase rate, all while trimming his barrel rate to 3.1%.

Opposite him is Detmers, who has taken a huge step alongside Ryan as far as Stuff+ goes year over year. The left-hander’s success hasn’t come, rather he’s been a bit unlucky to begin the season.

Expected metrics for Detmers sits in the low 4s — his actual ERA is 4.89 — and he’s been BABIP’d to death (.372) despite a .257 xBA and decrease in barrel rate. His LOB% is an unsustainable 63.5, a number that should positively regress for the southpaw.

Control can become an issue for the left-hander at times, but all signs point toward Detmers turning a corner. Minnesota also finds itself in a worse split, ranking 26th in wRC+ against left-handed pitching.

Rather than trusting the bullpens here, I expect both Ryan and Detmers to turn in strong outings on Friday night. Back the first five under between two plus pitchers.

I would take the under 4.5 (-130) at FanDuel but am not against an under 4 through (-110).

Pick: First 5 Innings Under 4.5 (-130)

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