Major League Baseball

Thursday From the Betting Window, 5/9/19: Wind Blowing Straight out at Wrigley

From the Betting Window

Monday’s 5.6/19 Picks & Results:

Red Sox/Orioles Over 9.5 -110 = LOSS (-1.10 units)

Nationals/Brewers Under 7.5 -105 = LOSS (-1.05 units)


  • One mistake that I made on Monday was assuming the Red Sox would stay hot offensively even though Orioles starter John Means has been excellent this season. I glossed over Means’ sub-3.00 ERA and excellent hard-hit rate because he pitches for Baltimore. What’s the takeaway? If the numbers suggest a lineup could struggle, even if that lineup is as talented as Boston’s, believe the numbers. I assumed the Red Sox would score 10 runs just by throwing their bats on the field. While I was right that the Orioles’ offense was undervalued (they scored four runs, which is all I was hoping for out of Baltimore), I overvalued the Red Sox’ offense and paid the price in a game that produced only five runs. Again, trust the numbers.
  • The only takeaway I had from the Nationals-Brewers pick was not accounting more for Washington’s struggling bullpen. With Milwaukee up 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, the Nationals’ pen allowed the Brewers to score another run in that half-inning to blow the under in a 5-3 final. That said, it’s not as if the two teams combined for 15 runs and I totally whiffed on my projection. When a total is sitting under 8 runs, your margin for error is slim. Winning or losing by a half-run happens.

Thursday’s 5/9/19 Picks:

911 Chicago White Sox at 912 Cleveland Indians, 12:10 p.m. CT

This game has an early start time so be aware of that if you’re following my advice. White Sox starter Manny Banuelos got off to a respectable start this season, but he was hammered by the Red Sox in his last outing. He allowed nine runs over just 2 2/3 innings, surrendering three home runs in the process. His walk rate is a bloated 11.0% and he’s a fly-ball pitcher that gives up plenty of hard contact to right-handed hitters. While the Indians fare much better against right-handed pitchers than lefties, this is still an exploitable matchup. After hitting a two-run home run in walk-off fashion last night for the Tribe, perhaps Jose Ramirez is finally ready to break out of his season-long slump. With 14 mph winds projected to be blowing out to dead center today at Progressive Field, I like the Indians’ (team total) over, which offers us plus odds*.

The Pick: Indians Team Total Over 5.5 Runs +110 (1.0 units to win 1.10 units)

913 Los Angeles Angels at 914 Detroit Tigers, 12:10 p.m. CT

The Tigers called up Ryan Carpenter to make today’s start against the Angels and in six outings at the Triple-A level, he posted a 4.79 FIP with a strikeout rate of only 20% (that’s low). The Angels don’t strike out much and they hit left-handed pitching well. The Tigers also have one of the worst bullpens in baseball, so even if Carpenter keeps Detroit in the game early, Ron Gardenhire’s pen should help the Halos score late. On the other side, Luke Bard will be the opener for the Angels today, but Felix Pena will pitch the bulk of the innings (assuming he pitches well, that is). Pena struggles against left-handers but has good strikeout and ground ball rates versus righties. Good thing the Tigers’ projected lineup lacks impactful lefties. I like the Halos today in Detroit.

The Pick: Angels Money Line -135 (1.35 units to win 1.0 units)

901 Miami Marlins at 902 Chicago Cubs, 1:20 p.m. CT

As my partners in “The Turn” chided me for last week, I always look at which direction the wind is blowing at Wrigley to determine if there’s value in the total that day. When Jamie Rivers, Dan Bettlach and Mike Rider mocked me for my “wind report” last week, that was the day Kyle Hendricks pitched a complete game shut out against Cardinals. As Cards fans unfortunately remember, the Cubs won 4-0 as the wind kept the offenses in check (save for Anthony Rizzo, who hit a three-run home run off Jack Flaherty). The situation is the opposite today at Wrigley, with 13 mph winds projected to blow out to dead center. The Marlins couldn’t hit their way out of a wet paper bag, but Yu Darvish is on the mound for the Cubs today and he has struggled mightily with walks and keeping the ball in the yard. Chicago’s struggling bullpen has also blown multiple leads in this series so even if we can get four runs out of Miami’s offense today, it should be enough to hit the over. Meanwhile, Marlins’ starter Trevor Richards has been okay this year but I doubt he keeps Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and the rest of the Cubs offense in check with the wind blowing out. Let’s hope the bad Yu Darvish shows up today at Wrigley and this is game turns into a shootout.

The Pick: Marlins/Cubs Over 10 -110 (1.10 units to win 1.0 units)

2019 Betting Results

MLB: 15-13 (+1.25 units)

*When I refer to getting “plus odds” I mean that oddsmakers will give us a bigger return in our investment if we win. For example, if a team’s odds are +110 and we bet $100.00, we’ll receive $110.00 back if we win.