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.
MLB Picks For Monday, May 16
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Seattle Mariners At Toronto Blue Jays
I’m usually fading Chris Flexen every chance I get, but I just don’t see much difference between he and Yusei Kikuchi. Lineups with discipline that can wait out Kikuchi will get on base since he has been walking everyone. The Mariners rank seventh in walk rate and 11th in chase rate. They also hit lefties well (112 wRC+, eighth-best in MLB) and don’t hit many grounders, which is how Kikuchi does his best work. Given two shaky starters and a high-variance game, I’m happy to take a big price on the team with the far better bullpen that has also hit better so far.
Current best price: Mariners
Houston Astros At Boston Red Sox
I’m looking to fade Jake Odorizzi if the market gives him an ounce of credit for his 3.38 ERA. He has a 5.04 SIERA and his .328 xWOBA — as opposed to his .285 wOBA — tells us he’s been mighty lucky. He’s always thrived on weak fly ball contact, and more so than ever this year with the dead baseball, but a 20% pop-up rate and a 2.9% HR/FB rate won’t last. Odorizzi has historically struggled in Fenway with an .879 OPS allowed. Garrett Whitlock has been tremendous since moving into the rotation with a 2.97 FIP despite a tough slate of opponents (Toronto twice, Atlanta and LA Angels each once). I think they should be slightly bigger favorites and would play this up to -130.
Current best price: Red Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates At Chicago Cubs
Dillon Peters has done credible work as an opener type of arm for the Pirates, managing contact very well to the tune of a 2.99 xERA. Yes, a .109 BABIP won’t last, but his .294 xWOBA suggests he has legitimate contact management skills. The lefty should be able to keep the Pirates in it against fellow southpaw Wade Miley, who struggled in his first start of the year off the IL with 5 BB and just 1 K in 3 IP. I got a good price on the Pirates around +140 and wouldn’t play it much below that.
Current best price: Pirates
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.
- MLB futures bets from TheLines writers Eli Hershkovich and Mo Nuwwarah
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.
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