2022 MLB Picks: Betting Angles, Handicapping Thoughts For May 18

Written By Mo Nuwwarah on May 18, 2022 - Last Updated on June 21, 2022
MLB picks

The MLB schedule is a long journey lasting more than half of the year. While that makes it a grind, it also makes it a tremendous betting opportunity. It gives our MLB picks ample time to build a sample and hopefully overcome variance, and it provides the biggest menu of bets (and potential value) when compared to almost any other sport.

For the 2022 MLB season, bettors interested in following some daily betting angles can find write-ups here.

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MLB Picks For Wednesday, May 18

For ongoing discussion, betting adds, and other discourse around MLB bets, be sure to join our Discord. MLB picks will be posted there as they’re made (so you can potentially get better prices), and many other bettors can help provide various angles.

Atlanta Braves At Milwaukee Brewers

It’s a great time to fade the Brewers in general as their lineup has hit something of an injury wall. Willy Adames, probably their best hitter last season, just hit the IL with an ankle sprain, and Andrew McCutchen was already on the shelf. But this matchup in particular looks troubling as the Brewers have struggled against lefties with the 22nd-ranked wRC+ and get an elite one here in Max Fried. The struggles make sense with Kolten Wong and Rowdy Tellez, a pair of righty-mashers, helping anchor the top of the lineup. Yes, Corbin Burnes is awesome, but Fried isn’t too far behind. He has vastly increased his chase rate and is just doing everything right so far. Fellow TheLines staffer Eli Hershkovich was all over this one last night and I agree with him. I got a great price but think there’s still a tiny bit of room to play it at +120.

Current best price: Braves

LA Angels At Texas Rangers

Angels steam has come pouring in overnight so hopefully you are reading this early enough to pick off whatever value remains. Shohei Ohtani has been simply magnificent for the Angels. His early velocity surge has mostly stuck as he’s averaging over 97 with his heater. He has pulled off the tough trick of a massive jump in zone% (~53% to 60%) while also cutting his contact rate by about 8%. That’s not easy to do. Dane Dunning is a solid arm pitching around an average level but at a large deficit to Ohtani. Additionally, his xWOBA suggests he isn’t pitching that much better than he has in the past. I valued the Angels closer to -180 and the market looks to have been in agreement here. Hopefully, they don’t allow any bases-loaded singles to score four runs like they did yesterday when I had them.

Current best price: Angels

Chicago White Sox At Kansas City Royals

This one initially moved hugely in my favor, but some Wednesday morning steam absolutely hammered the Royals. I’m a bit baffled here because I see this as a pretty large pitching mismatch with Lucas Giolito missing bats at an elite level so far (15.5% swinging strikes), driven almost entirely by misses out of the zone. That bodes well against a Royals team that’s one of the more free-swinging bunches (10th in chase rate). Homers have dogged him a bit but shouldn’t be an issue in KC’s large park against a team 27th in ISO at .112. The White Sox also have the better offense and bullpen so I see them as pretty strong favorites here against Zack Greinke, who can’t get any whiffs at all and is running some ERA estimators around 5.0.

Current best price: White Sox

What to know about using MLB Picks

Generally, when looking over these MLB lines and breakdowns, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, it’s a long season. There will be hot and cold streaks. Swings of 20+ units will happen. While I’ve had multiple winning seasons, there’s no guarantee I’ll come out ahead this year or any other. Always bet responsibly, and always line shop using our MLB page to find the best lines available at legal sportsbooks in your state. That will give you the best chance of turning a profit.

Furthermore, note that because of the process I’ll be using (attacking overnight markets), lines may shift significantly by the time you read this if you’re checking it out on game day. Hopefully the lines have moved in my favor, and if that’s the case – use your best judgment as to whether you still think the bet is as good as the current line.

I’ll base my plays heavily on starting pitchers, like most any MLB bettor. If you want to learn more about baseball so you can do your own handicapping, start with these resources breaking down a variety of useful metrics:

If you prefer your MLB previews in video form, subscribe to the YouTube channel of TheLines‘ sister site, PlayPicks. We’ll go over daily breakdowns there with the Coast 2 Coast crew.

Editor’s note: No video today due to a scheduling conflict

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Mo Nuwwarah Avatar
Written by
Mo Nuwwarah

Mo Nuwwarah got his start in gambling early, making his first sports bet on his beloved Fab Five against the UNC Tar Heels in the 1993 NCAA tournament. He lost $5 to his dad and got back into sports betting years later during a 15-year run in the poker industry. A 2011 journalism graduate from Nebraska-Omaha, he combines those skills with his love of sports and statistics to help bettors make more informed decisions with a focus on pro football, baseball and basketball.

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