We swept a mini slate to cash both Best Bets over at PointsBet Sportsbook last Friday. Jesus Luzardo got it all started for us by tossing 5.2 innings of shutout baseball to help cash our first five innings ticket on the Marlins. He came through for us in his next start as well by spinning seven innings of 1 ER ball and struck out 10 Twins to cash another F5 ticket for us. Keep an eye on this kid – the breakout is here! Though Merrill Kelly’s season debut in Tinseltown was uninspiring, it was good enough to allow us to cash the under in the first five innings with Dustin May throwing bee-bees for the Dodgers. Here’s to raking in more profits with Friday’s edition of Best Bets – SLAM YOUR MAN!!
YTD: 3-2 ($61)
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Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Indians
We’ll open things up with a rematch between the M’s and Tribe that once again pits Logan Gilbert up against Aaron Civale. The latter got the best of the former in the first go-round after tossing seven innings of shutout ball while only giving up a pair of hits and issuing a single walk. The righty utilized his cutter and curveball to near perfection which helped generate a number of quick outs and have the Mariners flailing at his four-seamer when utilized.
As for Gilbert, he looked sharp in allowing just 1 ER and four hits (1 HR) while striking out seven and offering up a lone free pass. Seattle’s offense was largely to blame for the loss as well as the slow start to the season. Still, the Mariners are a solid baseball team that will enter this series highly motivated after dropping three of four to the Guardians at home just last week. I got Gilbert pegged as the more dominant starter and he’s backed by the better bullpen. After just getting silenced by Civale, look for Julio Rodriguez and Co. to have taken notes to make adjustments for this immediate shot at redemption that will result in the M’s first win away from T-Mobile Park.
BET THE MARINERS
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Many will look at the stat line of Jack Flaherty’s 2023 debut versus Toronto and come away impressed after his five innings of shutout ball helped lead the Redbirds to the 4-1 win. However, the right-hander issued seven walks – yes you read that correctly – and was topping out in the low 90s with his heater. His slide piece only produced three swing-and-misses on 37 attempts. Sorry, but the dude isn’t there yet. In fact, he’s far from it and I fully expect a white hot Brewers offense to give him a spanking he won’t soon forget.
It also helps that Brandon Woodruff is his opponent for the opener of this three-game set. The righty was excellent in his debut tossing six innings of three hit (1 HR) and 1 ER ball while sending eight Cubs down via the strikeout. He issued one free pass and was allotted 97 pitches in his 2023 debut which leads me to believe Craig Counsell will have an even longer leash in his second start. Woodruff was dominant versus the Redbirds a season ago in going 2-1 through three starts with a 1.20 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and .204 batting average against. Flaherty struggles again. Woodruff shines in his home debut and the Brew Crew extends the win streak to six!
BET THE BREW CREW
Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies
I came away extremely impressed with MacKenzie Gore in his first start of the season against Atlanta. While four walks were issued, the youngster only served up three hits and 1 ER while setting down six Braves via the strikeout. He attacked Atlanta with a three-pitch arsenal comprised of a fastball, slide piece, and curve ball that had the Braves guessing through his 5.1 innings of work.
Though start No. 2 in Coors leaves cause for concern, I fully expect Washington’s offense to give him some cushion to work with early on with Jeimer Candelario and Co. getting the benefit of staring back at the gas can otherwise known as Jose Urena. While the Rox starting rotation leaves much to be desired, the righty will soon find himself out of the mix if he continues to serve up batting practice the way he did in his season debut against San Diego who lit him up for five hits (1 HR) and 4 ER over 2.1 innings of work. Coming off a season in which he allowed 10.3 hits and issued 3.8 walks per nine innings, it’s a shame Colorado is forced to march this stiff to the bump every fifth day – let’s capitalize on their misfortune!
BET THE NATS FIRST 5 INNINGS
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