Major League Baseball

From the Betting Window, 4/29/19: Braves, Astros & Rays to have big nights?

Season’s Results: I didn’t get a chance to write over the weekend, but my hope is to start posting every day from here on out. Since the return of “FTBW,” I am 10-3 (all MLB) for +6.85 units.

Last Friday I went with three team totals – Blue Jays (over 4.5), Twins (over 5.5), Mariners (over 4.5) – and went 2-1, with Toronto coming up a half-run short of a perfect sweep. Granted, had Texas not scored in the top of the ninth to tie the game 4-4 and subsequently offer the Mariners a chance to add another run in extra innings, I would have finished 1-2. So, I wouldn’t dare complain about the Blue Jays coming up short.

We’re still dealing with a small sample, but I’m having some success in the early going identifying offenses with great matchups. Thus, I’m sticking with team totals again for Monday night. Here are three more overs that I like ahead of tonight’s games:

905 San Diego Padres at 906 Atlanta Braves, 6:20 p.m. CT

The Braves are one of the better left handed-hitting offenses in baseball. Their 18.4% strikeout rate is the fourth-lowest against lefties in 2019 and their projected lineup tonight has flashed plenty of power against southpaws as well. Nick Margevicius has been solid to start the season, but I envision him having a rough night in Atlanta. He throws his fastball over 50-percent of the time and this Braves lineup feasts on fastballs. Furthermore, the temperature tonight in Atlanta is expected to be in the 80s. The matchup and the weather are perfect for the ball to fly out of SunTrust Park tonight.

The Pick: Braves Team Total OVER 4.5 -135 (1.35 units to win 1.0 units)

913 Houston Astros at 914 Minnesota Twins, 6:40 p.m. ET

Local product Jake Odorizzi allowed only two runs last week in Houston but also surrendered eight hits while registering just two strikeouts. Odorizzi is a fly-ball pitcher with a low strikeout rate and a high walk rate. The potential for a big inning is there tonight for the Astros, who mash right-handed pitching and usually put the ball in play (they have only a 17% strikeout rate against RHP). Seeing as how Odorizzi has only allowed two home runs, there is some risk here with Houston. That said, he also owns a 36.7-percent hard-hit rate and again, he’s allowing a ton of fly balls. At some point those fly balls will start traveling over the fence.

The Pick: Astros Team Total OVER 4.5 -125 (1.25 Units to win 1.0 units)

917 Tampa Bay Rays at 918 Kansas City Royals, 7:15 p.m. ET

The Rays have a more dangerous offense this year than they did a year ago and they’re off to a great start, posting an 18-9 record that is no fluke. Kansas City will start Brad Keller tonight and after he posted one great start against the Indians (he struck out 10 batters over 6-plus innings), he has otherwise struggled with walks and doesn’t strike out a bunch of batters. Granted, he does keep the ball on the ground, which has limited the damage that opponents have caused. Still, his .228 BABIP and 5.30 SIERA point to regression. Given Keller’s profile, the Rays will put the ball in play a lot tonight. If they can’t generate walks and string together hits, then they won’t sniff five runs. If they do, things will get out of hand early for Keller and the Royals don’t have a great bullpen. Plus, with the Rays playing on the road, we’re guaranteed ninth-inning at bats.

The Pick: Rays Team Total OVER 4.5 Runs -120 (1.20 units to win 1.0 units) 

2019 Results

MLB: 10-3 (+6.85 units)