MLB Odds, Trends, Best Bets: April 16, 2019
Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees 6:35PM/EST
Chris Sale vs. James Paxton
Moneyline: Red Sox -115/Yankees -105
Spread: Red Sox -1.5 (+145)/Yankees +1.5 (-170)
Total Runs: Over 8.5 (+100)/Under 8.5 (-120)
The New York Yankees knew they had to do something in the offseason to help their starting pitching staff gain an identity. Fortunately, they were able to send three minor leaguers, one being top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield, to Seattle in exchange for James Paxton. The former Seattle ace set career highs in 2018 in innings pitched (160.1) and strike outs (208). Paxton’s last two outings were pretty awful. He logged 9.1 innings over the two contests and 9 earned runs. On top of that, the Red Sox torched him last season for 6 runs in 2.1 innings. The lights are far more bright in New York than Seattle. The Yankees sure hope the lefty figures it out soon.
The Red Sox claim that an illness had Chris Sale’s productivity down to start the season. His most recent start saw a slight increase in velocity, but not quite to his normal stature. Sale starts 2019 with a terrible 0-3 record in three starts, allowing 13 runs in 13 innings. It’s hard to assume that someone as dominant as Sale will continue to struggle. He threw 13.1 innings against New York last season and allowed one run on a solo homer.
The New York offense has bad lifetime numbers in limited at-bats against Sale. Brett Gardner is 4/18, Aaron Judge is 3/18, and Gleyber Torres is 0/3. The Boston offense has solid career numbers against Paxton, though. J.D. Martinez is 4/8, Mitch Moreland is 2/6, and Xander Bogaerts is 2/8 with a homer. Look for Boston to take this game.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Detroit Tigers 6:40PM/EST
Joe Musgrove vs. Matthew Boyd
Moneyline: Pirates -115/Tigers -105
Spread: Pirates -1.5 (+145)/Tigers +1.5 (-170)
Total Runs: Over 8 (+100)/Under 8 (-120)
Matthew Boyd has been a nice surprise for the Detroit Tigers to start 2019. He comes into this match sporting a 2.6 ERA in 17.1 innings while fanning a hefty 29 batters. Boyd’s breaking ball was an emphasis in the offseason and it appears to be much improved. He was particularly bad against Pittsburgh last season, but the only player currently in the Pirates’ lineup that has any experience against of him is Melky Cabrera (6/20). The Pittsburgh offense is averaging less than 4 runs per game in 2019 making the under a nice pick.
Joe Musgrove will look to continue his 2019 dominance against a Detroit offense that is last in runs scored in the AL, including a team batting average of .201. The Tigers’ offense has a total of 2 at-bats against Musgrove in their careers, which should be a nice advantage for the big righty. Musgrove has yet to allow an earned run this season in 15.1 innings. Look for Musgrove to continue his success in a close game. I’d expect the pesky Pirates to pull this one out.
San Francisco Giants @ Washington Nationals 7:05PM/EST
Dereck Rodriguez vs. Stephen Strasburg
Moneyline: Giants +170/Nationals -200
Spread: Giants +1.5 (-125)/Nationals -1.5 (+105)
Total Runs: Over 8 (-110)/Under 8 (-110)
The son of Pudge Rodriguez made quite an impression for the Giants in 2018. The youngster showed very good command last season and totaled a 2.81 ERA in 118.1 innings during his rookie season. The Giants think they have something special here and for good reason. Dereck Rodriguez was served some humble pie in his lone appearance against Washington last season, giving up 5 runs and lasting just 2.2 innings. His most recent start was a 7 inning gem where he allowed 2 runs on 4 hits to the Padres. He got the loss in that one, which isn’t much of a surprise to fans that have seen the offense struggle to score runs consistently over the years. It wouldn’t surprise me if Rodriguez threw well in this one given the lack of experience the Nationals have against him.
When Stephen Strasburg made his MLB debut in 2010 for Washington, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez was behind the dish catching for him. Things will come full circle in this one. Strasburg was hit hard in his last outing In Philadelphia, allowing 6 runs on 2 homers in 4 innings. He is usually a very sure pitcher, but he got hit hard by the Giants last season.
Brandon Crawford is 4/11 and Buster Posey is 7/15 in their careers off Strasburg. This has the makes of a low scorer, but I like the scrappy Giants in this one. San Francisco just took 3 of 4 from Colorado even though they only scored 9 runs, and one of those games lasted 18 innings.
Baltimore Orioles @ Tampa Bay Rays 7:10PM/EST
Dylan Bundy vs. Tyler Glasnow
Moneyline: Orioles +220/Rays -270
Spread: Orioles +1.5 (+110)/Rays -1.5 (-130)
Total Runs: Over 8 (-110)/Under 8 (-110)
The red hot Rays’ offense is taking the league by storm right now. They currently have the 3rd most runs scored in the AL. They have totaled a whopping 39 runs in their last 5 games, winning 4 of them. The Baltimore offense has actually been better than expected, ranking in the middle of the pack in runs scored in the AL. They are expected to finish the season near the bottom. The over seems like a decent bet in this one because of the recent success both offenses have had.
The Orioles once had high hopes for Dylan Bundy. He was a complete dumpster fire in 2018, making 31 starts and amassing a 5.45 ERA. He is already off to a blundering start this year with no progress in sight. He has allowed 12 runs in 12.1 innings in 2019. He simply cannot be trusted.
Tyler Glasnow is on the up and coming in the world of baseball. The tall righty has electric stuff and he’s been showing it off so far in 2019. He has allowed just 1 run on a homer in his 17 innings this season, along with collecting 3 wins in the process. He appears to be the real deal at the moment. The Rays are definitely favored to win this game.
St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers 7:40PM/EST
Jack Flaherty vs. Brandon Woodruff
Moneyline: Cardinals +105/Brewers -125
Spread: Cardinals +1.5 (-190)/Brewers -1.5 (+160)
Total Runs: Over 9 (-110)/Under 9 (-110)
The Cardinals’ young star Jack Flaherty will take the ball in a tough road start in Milwaukee. Flaherty has been as advertised after a spectacular rookie season. In 3 starts this year, he has a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings with 18 Ks. Flaherty also shut down the Brewers last season. He logged a 1.93 ERA in 4 starts (23.1 innings) with 34 Ks. He might just have the Brewers’ number.
Brandon Woodruff made the majority of his appearances out of the bullpen in 2018 for Milwaukee. He has a 6 ERA in 15 innings this season overall, but he was good enough to get the win against the Cardinals once already this year.
The Cardinals and Brewers are off to good starts in 2019. Both offenses are trending upward and currently in the middle of the NL pack in run production. Christian Yelich stole the show last night by launching 3 homers. The over is your best bet in this game.
Houston Astros @ Oakland A’s 10:07PM/EST
Collin McHugh vs. Marco Estrada
Moneyline: Astros -165/A’s +140
Spread: Astros -1.5 (+100)/A’s +1.5 (-120)
Total Runs: Over 8.5 (-120)/Under 8.5 (+100)
Marco Estrada has really struggled over the past two seasons. He posted a career high 5.64 ERA in 2018. The Houston offense is starting to wake up, and a lot of Astros have good numbers against Estrada. Michael Brantley is 2/6 with a homer, Alex Bregman is 4/9, and Josh Reddick is 4/7 with 2 homers. Jose Altuve just ended a 5-game home run streak, and the team is looking to win their tenth straight. The numbers suggest that Estrada is a loser in this one more times than a winner.
If you needed more assurance as to who to pick in this game, look no further. Collin McHugh could slow down this offensive juggernaut with an improved slider from the offseason. He was too good to be in Houston’s bullpen all of last season, and he’s supporting that with his strong 2019 start, going 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 17 innings. The A’s have some ugly lifetime numbers against McHugh, including Khris Davis’ 1/19. Both bullpens are solid, so the winner could be decided by the best starting pitcher.
Cleveland Indians @ Seattle Mariners 10:10PM/EST
Shane Bieber vs. Mike Leake
Moneyline: Indians -115/Mariners -105
Spread: Indians -1.5 (+145)/Mariners +1.5 (-170)
Total Runs: Over 8 (-110)/Under 8 (-110)
The Indians continue to weather the storm until they’re fully healthy. Regardless, they aren’t the force offensively that they once were. They currently find themselves near the bottom of the barrel in runs scored and team batting average. The young Shane Bieber is enjoying a nice start, going 1-0 with a 1.8 ERA in 15 innings. The Mariners never saw Bieber in his rookie season. I always give the pitcher the advantage when there is little history between a pitcher and a hitter.
The Seattle Mariners have lost 4 in a row, but still own a 13-6 record overall. Many wonder if or when the team will come back down to Earth. The Seattle offense has scored 7 runs total in their past 3 games. Mike Leake comes into the game 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA in 17.1 innings in 2019. Those numbers are almost identical to what he produced against Cleveland last season. Both offenses are all over the place, so taking the under may have a small edge with how the teams have performed of late.
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