An abbreviated slate is set to go down on Friday night with only a handful of games scheduled to have betting lines posted over at PointsBet Sportsbook. But just because the options are limited, it doesn’t mean there won’t be actionable scenarios to target in hopes of adding to the bottom line. Let’s see if we can’t do exactly just that with a pair of MLB best bets that hopefully gives us a little more to play with when attacking Saturday’s Final Four - Slam Your Man!
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New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins
So I think Max Scherzer helps lead the Mets to the Opening Day win over the Marlins which should have Miami eager to get back onto the playing field on Friday night looking to even the series up. Though Miami averaged a league-low 3.2 runs per game against LHP last season and David Peterson logged a healthy 23:5 K/BB ratio against them the three times he threw at them, I’ve got a feeling Jesus Luzardo shows up big in his 2023 debut. So much so that I think he keeps NY in check enough early on that I’m confident backing the home team with a first five innings wager. The Marlins lefty really came into his own a season ago which has many a fantasy baseballer of the belief a breakout campaign could be in the cards for 2023.
Remember, Luzardo was once a highly thought of prospect that was expected to be of the “can’t miss” variety. Injuries and bad video game etiquette have cost the youngster early on, but he really opened my eyes last season after only allowing 69 hits and 37 ER with a 120:35 K/BB ratio through 11 starts and 100.1 innings. NY peppered him for 5 ER and 1 HR through 3.1 innings in his lone home start against them last season, but he bounced back nicely in the second go-round by tossing six innings of four hit and 2 ER ball with 6 K and only one walk to log the quality start at Citi Field. Fingers crossed his 2023 debut plays out like the latter and the Marlins find a way to scratch out a few early runs to get us into the sixth with the lead.
BET THE MARLINS FIRST 5 INNINGS
I’m excited for the pitching matchup in the second game of the series between the D’backs and Dodgers with Merrill Kelly set to square off against Dustin May. The former churned out his best season in the Bigs a season ago by going 13-8 with a 3.37 ERA and 1.14 WHIP all the while limiting opposing batters to a .226 BAA and surpassing the 200+ inning threshold for the first time in his career. An interesting trend that developed last season was his ability to really show out when on the road. He shaved nearly 1.5 runs off his road ERA from the previous season that saw him accrue an 8-3 record and only allow 76 hits through 96.0 total innings. He did however have loads of issues with the Dodgers in going 0-5 with a bloated 8.25 ERA, but that should only have him hungrier to excel in his season debut knowing many will be fading him against one of LA’s most electric arms.
Speaking of which, MLB bettors finally get a full season of Dustin May in the starting rotation and I’m all in on the red head lighting things up right from the outset. Hopefully his surgically repaired arm is 100 percent which will allow us all to enjoy his elite spin rates and heavy heat that routinely finds opposing batters knocking worm burners into the dirt. Like Kelly, May had one of his worst showings of 2022 against the Snakes who got to him for seven hits and 5 ER through four innings in his only start against them. That should have the power righty determined to make amends in his season debut which has me buying into him shutting Arizona down in a start he likely won’t be asked to pitch past the fifth inning – dependent upon pitch count. Either way, both pitchers will take to the bump looking to set the tone for their respective campaigns. That leads me to believe runs will be extremely tough to come by the first few times through the order.
BET THE UNDER FIRST 5 INNINGS