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April 23: MLB Best Bets, Odds & Trends

 

Miami Marlins @ Cleveland Indians 6:10PM/EDT

Pablo Lopez vs. Carlos Carrasco

Moneyline: Marlins +200/Indians -250

Spread: Marlins +1.5 (-105)/Indians -1.5 (-115)

Total Runs: Over 8 (+100)/Under 8 (-120)

 

The buzz around baseball has been in Cleveland surrounding the “struggling” Indians, even though they’ve managed a 12-9 start. This negativity hones in on their offensive woes as they have accumulated the second worst offensive production in the AL. Help is officially here with the activation of Francisco Lindor from the IL over the weekend. Lindor mashed 38 homers last season and his presence could help Jose Ramirez out of his slump. The duo finished third and sixth in AL MVP voting in 2018 with Ramirez garnering more votes; they also earned Silver Slugger Awards. Look for the Cleveland offense to start putting together more consistent scoring outputs.

 

The depleted Miami offense has been as advertised in 2019. The combination of veterans and youth have managed to push 60 runs across the plate in 22 games. Even a novice would agree that averaging less than three runs per game should prove to be detrimental. They currently sit at 6-16 at the bottom of the MLB. Pablo Lopez has been poor overall, but is coming off his best start of the season going 5 innings and allowing 2 runs against the Cubs. He still got handed a loss in that one. Betting against Miami will be safe all season, but the payoffs won’t be anything crazy.

 

Carlos Carrasco is fresh off a 7 inning gem against the hot Mariners, striking out 12 and allowing no runs off just 3 hits. He was hit hard in his previous outing, getting rocked for 6 runs and accounted for just two outs before departing against Kansas City. Carrasco has struck out double digits in two of his four outings now and this matchup feels as safe as any.

Atlanta Braves @ Cincinatti Reds 6:40PM/EDT

Kevin Gausman vs. Sonny Gray

Moneyline: Braves -110/Reds -110

Spread: Braves +1.5 (-220)/Reds -1.5 (+180)

Total Runs: Over 9 (-110)/Under 9 (-110)

 

The Reds won three of their last four and are now 8-13 on the season. Joey Votto has missed a couple of games with back stiffness and is day-to-day. This last week, Reds’ manager David Bell moved Votto to lead off to try and spark the struggling offense. Cincinnati is tied with San Francisco for the second best team ERA in the NL, so the majority of their wins can be credited to their excellent pitching efforts thus far.

 

Despite pitching very well, Sonny Gray is 0-3 to start 2019. In 19.1 innings he has allowed just 12 hits and a 2.79 ERA with 22 Ks. One of his outings was cut short after 4 innings of work when rain hit Cincinnati. Kevin Gausman is enjoying a solid start to the season, working 19.2 innings to the tune of a 2.75 ERA. He was very successful with Atlanta last season and it’s transferring over to 2019.

 

The Atlanta offense ranked fifth in the NL last season, and if Josh Donaldson can perform they could top that. This could be a pitching duel, but expect Atlanta to come out ahead.

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Pittsburgh Pirates 7:05PM/EDT

Luke Weaver vs. Trevor Williams

Moneyline: Diamondbacks +110/Pirates -130

Spread: Diamondbacks +1.5 (-195)/Pirates -1.5 (+165)

Total Runs: Over 7.5 (-115)/Under 7.5 (-105)

 

Luke Weaver had a couple of very positive outings recently that should encourage the Arizona fanbase. He has a 3.92 ERA overall in 2019, but has allowed just 2 runs in 11.2 innings in his past two starts. He also has a 17/1 K/BB ratio in his last two games. Pittsburgh hasn’t hit the ball particularly well this season and this match doesn’t appear to be a good one for them with the way Weaver has thrown lately.

 

The 12-8 Pirates are off to a tremendous start, leading NL pitching in team ERA. Their starting five of Chris Archer, Joe Musgrove, Trevor Williams, Jameson Taillon, and Jordan Lyles have been one of the best rotations in 2019. Trevor Williams will get the start today and through four outings he has a 2.59 ERA in 24 innings. He made 12 starts after the all-star break last season and dominated hitters to go 7-3 with a 1.38 ERA in 71.2 innings during that span. The Arizona offense has been better than expected considering the major hits they took in the offseason. I expect this to be a low scoring affair.

 

San Francisco Giants @ Toronto Blue Jays 7:07PM/EDT

Jeff Samardzija vs. Trent Thornton

Moneyline: Giants +105/Blue Jays -125

Spread: Giants +1.5 (-190)/Blue Jays -1.5 (+160)

Total Runs: Over 8 (-115)/Under 8 (-105)

 

The speculation for this series is that top MLB prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could get the call up to join the Blue Jays, which would send all of Canada into an absolute frenzy. Guerrero Jr. turned 20 in March. He logged 357 at-bats in four levels of the minors for the Toronto organization in 2018, hitting .381 and slugging 20 homers and 78 RBI. The Toronto offense in 2019 has a cumulative .232 batting average and could absolutely use Guerrero Jr. as their 3-hitter. This kid is going to be special whenever he gets the call.

 

Rookie Trent Thornton will make his fifth career start against a struggling San Francisco offense. Thornton allowed a total of 9 runs in his last 7.2 innings against the overachieving Rays and Twins. He was great in his other two starts against worse offenses, going 10.2 collective innings against Detroit and Cleveland and allowing 2 runs.

 

Jeff Samardzija has been up and down in 2019 just like his opponent. He has two great starts and two bad, managing a surprising 2.91 ERA in 21.2 innings. Samardzija really struggled on the road last season, but expect a decent outing against a subpar offense. The aging Giants’ offense ranks only above Miami in the NL. Buster Posey clubbed his first homer in 237 at-bats dating back to last season, the longest homer-less streak of his career. The under and Giants seem like the best bets in this game. Toronto should enjoy hosting Kevin Pillar once again.

Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets 7:10PM/EDT

Zach Eflin vs. Zack Wheeler

Moneyline: Phillies +120/Mets -140

Spread: Phillies +1.5 (-180)/Mets -1.5 (+150)

Total Runs: Over 8.5 (-110)/Under 8.5 (-110)

 

Zack Wheeler’s last start was in Philadelphia and he allowed 3 runs off 2 homers in 7 innings. He finds himself struggling through four starts this season after having a very successful 2018. He has logged 22.2 innings in 2019 with a 6.35 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. Wheeler has been able to keep Bryce Harper in check by holding him to 4/23 lifetime against him. However, the Phillies racked up 7 runs off him in 11.2 innings last season without Harper. Wheeler’s walk total has been high and he will be hard to trust until he strings together a couple of good outings.

 

Zach Eflin will make his fifth start of 2019, fourth on the road. Eflin has been reliable this season, having three quality outings and one ugly. He held the Rockies to 2 runs through 6 innings at Coors Field most recently, and a start prior allowed 6 runs in 4 innings in Miami. The Mets knocked Eflin around last season, totaling 13 runs in 19.2 innings off him. Eflin managed to go 2-1 in those 4 starts against the Mets in 2018. The Philadelphia offense is a powerhouse and the Mets have proved to be over average early on. Take the over and if you really want to pick a team, take the Phillies. Along with betting data we can also provide you with the highest level of daily fantasy data. Our MLB lineup optimizer will help you build dozens of winning DFS lineups and point you in the right way of optimizing your lineups.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs 8:05PM/EDT

Kenta Maeda vs. Jose Quintana

Moneyline: Dodgers -105/Cubs -115

Spread: Dodgers (+1.5)/Cubs  (-1.5)

Total Runs: Over 8 (-110)/Under 8 (-110)

 

The 15-9 Los Angeles Dodgers continue their short road trip to Chicago after taking three of four games in Milwaukee. Their NL top ranked offense continues to get the job done. Cody Bellinger is second in the MLB in homers (11) and RBIs (28), and leads the pack with a .424 batting average. Kenta Maeda is throwing on additional rest in this one. He has a career 3.66 ERA in 20 starts on six days of rest. Maeda is 3-1 with a 3.8 ERA in four starts this season. It’s hard to bet against the Dodgers right now.

 

Jose Quintana is coming off two brilliant starts where he logged 14 shut out innings, 18 Ks, and 1 BB. He picked up wins against Pittsburgh and Miami, two of the lowest performing offenses in the NL right now. In Quintana’s lone start against the Dodgers last season he gave up 3 runs on 7 hits, including a homer to Max Muncy, and lasted 5.1 innings. I wouldn’t anticipate either starter going beyond 6 innings.

 

Texas Rangers @ Oakland A’s 10:07PM/EDT

Lance Lynn vs. Frankie Montas

Moneyline: Rangers +120/A’s -140

Spread: Rangers +1.5 (-170)/A’s -1.5 (+145)

Total Runs: Over 8 (-115)/Under 8 (-105)

 

The Texas Rangers’ offense has been carrying them to a 12-9 record early in 2019. Their offense ranks second in production in the AL right now with Elvis Andrus and Joey Gallo appearing primed for big campaigns. The problem in this one will be Lance Lynn. The veteran righty had a tough 2018 bouncing around from the Twins to the Yankees, compiling a 4.77 ERA collectively in 156.2 innings. Things haven’t been any better this season for Lynn, allowing 12 runs in 24.1 innings. He’s 2-1 thanks to the Texas offense picking him up.

 

Frankie Montas spent a part of his offseason developing a new pitch and it’s worked wonders for his repertoire in 2019. The splitter has given the hard thrower a new dimension. Montas is 3-1 this season with a 2.7 ERA in 23.1 innings. He has been tough for opponents to make contact with, allowing just 16 hits. The A’s hope this is the leaping point for Montas. The struggling A’s offense hasn’t shown up lately and they have lost five of their last seven. They’re still 12-13 overall, but their offensive production is drifting towards the middle of the AL pack at the moment. I like Montas in this game and I also like the over.

 

Seattle Mariners @ San Diego Padres 7:10PM/EDT

Erik Swanson vs. Nick Margevicius

Moneyline: Mariners +125/Padres -145

Spread: Mariners +1.5 (-180)/Padres -1.5 (+150)

Total Runs: Over 8 (-110)/Under 8 (-110)

 

The San Diego offense has yet to find their stride, scoring a total of 13 runs in their last 6 games. They’re still 12-11 overall, but semi slow starts from Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer have their offense underachieving a bit. Nick Margevicius will make his fifth start at the MLB level. He has a 3.6 ERA in 20 innings overall, but the Rockies recently tagged him for 5 runs in 4 innings. The soft tossing lefty relies on command, which isn’t very exciting against the AL top ranked offense.

 

Erik Swanson will make his second career start in this one. He has one start and one relief appearance in 2019, totaling a 3.38 ERA in 8 innings. Swanson was one of the pieces that Seattle got back in the James Paxton deal, so he isn’t exactly a nobody, but both starters are very raw. This should be an early bullpen battle, and I’d expect the odds to favor the over.

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