Major League Baseball

From the Betting Window, 5/13/19 = Good Time to Fade Pirates off Cards Series?

From the Betting Window

Sunday 5/12/19 Picks & Results:

White Sox Moneyline (+105) = WIN (+1.05 Units)

Twins -1.5 Runline (+100) = LOSS (-1.0 Units)

Padres/Rockies Over 12(-105) = WIN (+1.0 Units)

What we learned on Sunday…

…that playing the runline can be profitable, even in losses. Allow me to explain: I liked the Twins over the Tigers yesterday. With Martin Perez squaring off against Daniel Norris in the starting pitching matchup, coupled with Detroit’s bullpen issues, I liked Minnesota in a rout. Had I played the Twins’ moneyline odds, all Minnesota had to do was win the game, but I would have laid odds of -175.  Lo and behold, both Perez and the Twins’ bats were off, the Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in an eventual 5-3 final.

Had I laid -175 on the Twins to win outright, then I would have only profited +0.30 units yesterday after the White Sox and the Padres/Rockies over cashed. Since I took the Twins on the runline, I only lost 1.0 units on my Minnesota play, as opposed to -1.75 units. The end result? I profited +1.05 units on Sunday even though my Twins play bombed.

The bottom line? It will be infuriating when you lay -1.5 runs on a team that wins by a run, but keep the long game in mind and stick with the fundamental rule of not laying odds on big moneyline favorites. Generally speaking, my cutoff is -150 for all sports.

Monday 5/13/19 Picks:

903 Pittsburgh Pirates at 904 Arizona Diamondbacks, 8:40 p.m. CT

This is a perfect spot to fade the Pirates, who will be coming down off the high of taking three of four from the Cards in St. Louis. Pittsburgh struggles against southpaws (they’re 0-4 in their last four games against a left-handed starter), ranking dead last in ISO and wOBA, so things set up perfectly for Arizona’s Robbie Ray to have a big night. Granted, Ray is one of the streakier pitchers in baseball but when he’s on, he’s unhittable. With the Diamondbacks’ moneyline odds sitting at -170, I’ll lay the -1.5 on the runline in order to get plus odds (+115).

I’m going to take this a step further because I love Arizona from all angles tonight. Nick Kingham will start for the Bucs because Chris Archer is out with an injury. Kingham is a good prospect but he’s been dreadful against lefties early in his career. He’s striking out left-handed batters only 15.7% of the time and that’s accompanied by a 11.2% walk rate.

The bottom half of Arizona’s lineup is all righties, but Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar are switch hitters and cleanup man David Peralta is a lefty. If they’re feeling frisky, the D-Backs could put another left-hander in their lineup in the struggling Jarrod Dyson in attempts to get him going. That would give them four potential left-handers to throw at Kingham and if his struggles against southpaws continue, then I like the Diamondbacks to get over their team total tonight as well.

The Pick: Diamondbacks -1.5 Runline +115 (1.00 units to win 1.15 units)


The Pick: Diamondbacks Team Total Over 4.5 Runs -125 (1.25 units to win 1.0 units)

905 Baltimore Orioles at 906 New York Yankees, 5:35 p.m. CT

When surveying which team totals I like on a given night, I like to target starting pitchers that allow a fair amount of home runs. David Hess certainly qualifies. The Orioles starter has allowed 10 home runs in his last 26 innings, which includes the two ding-dongs he surrendered to the Red Sox last Tuesday. The last time Hess faced the Yankees was on April 7, when he allowed four runs (all earned) on five hits over five innings of work. In that outing, Hess walked two, struck out two and served up three long balls, two of which came in the second inning. Even if he were to improve upon that start, the Orioles’ bullpen currently owns an xFIP of 4.62. Only the Tigers at 4.76 have a higher bullpen xFIP in baseball. The Yankees should feast.

Now, there are two potential problems with this pick and they’re both weather related. The first problem is that it’s supposed to rain all day in the Bronx. This game could get postponed well before the 6:35 p.m. ET start time. They could also start the game, get through five innings and then call it before the Orioles and Yankees complete nine. Thus, no matter how many runs the Yankees scored to that point, all wagers on team totals would result in a push (we experienced this last week with the Indians).

The other issue is that it’s expected to be windy tonight at Yankee Stadium. If potential home runs get knocked down by wind gusts, then it might not matter who is on the mound tonight for the Orioles.

Nevertheless, the slate is small tonight in baseball and the Yankees have more ways to score than just hitting home runs. I’ll risk it with the weather gods.

The Pick: Yankees Team Total Over 4.5 Runs -145 (1.45 units to win 1.0 units)

2019 Betting Results:

MLB: 20-16-4 (+3.20 units)