Monday, April 17 MLB Best Bets

By Mike Rose

Last week started off on the wrong foot with Monday’s MLB Best Bets going 1-2 at BetRivers Sportsbook. The White Sox proved to be the lone winner after Dylan Cease threw five strong innings and the bullpen sealed the deal to earn Chicago the 4-3 win. The rest of the day was nothing short of embarrassing with both underdog positions on Kansas City and San Francisco immediately getting blown out of the water. The poor showing cast a dark cloud over the rest of the week. Now that we got that out of our system and the negative regression has run its course, how about we get back to our regularly scheduled programming of adding units to our bottom line - SLAM YOUR MAN!!


YTD: 12-11 ($272)

LW: 9-9 ($211)


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San Francisco Giants vs. Miami Marlins


We’ve been riding Jesus Luzardo ever since his season debut when he nearly logged the quality start against the Mets but was still good enough to protect a 1-0 lead to help us cash our first five innings wager. We backed him as a short home dog against the Twins with success in his next start, and then jumped back aboard the money train in his first road start at the Phillies last Tuesday. All in all, we’ve had our hand in the pot each and every team the filthy left-hander took to the starting bump.


That won’t change here to kick off a brand spanking new baseball betting week with the Giants in town. In case you live under a rock, it’s been made abundantly clear that San Francisco hasn’t a clue how to hit left-handed pitching. While some positive regression will inevitably take shape, I don’t foresee it happening in this spot. Only the Detroit Tigers sport a lower batting average against south paws (.200) and San Fran’s .513 OPS against LHP also clocks in at No. 29. My only concern is Luzardo’s 2.9 BB/9. San Francisco has shown to have a pretty decent batting eye ranking No. 12 overall at talking walks, but that shoots all the way down to No. 20 against left-handers. Yeah screw it - Lay the home chalk!!




Arizona Diamondbacks vs. St. Louis Cardinals


Jack Flaherty had a major issue walking batters through his first two starts issuing 13 through 10 combined innings. That issue rectified itself in Coors of all places where he ended up tossing 5.1 innings of 1 ER ball with six strikeouts. Most importantly, he only served up one walk much to the chagrin of my over ticket. There likely was a reason why however; the Rockies have taken the second fewest walks in all of baseball. There’s only been one team worse and it just so happens to be the Arizona Diamondbacks who own an embarrassing 5.1 percent walk rate.


That should allow Flaherty to confidently navigate through the D’backs lineup. So too should Merrill Kelly who enters his fourth start of the season 0-2 but with a 2.93 ERA and .196 batting average against. Walks have been the right-hander’s issue as well evidenced by a bloated 7.0 BB/9 average that clocked in at 2.7, 2.3, 1.4, and 1.4 his previous four seasons. Positive regression is likely to occur in that stat category, but not likely in this spot with St. Louis seeing righties extremely well (No. 7 OPS). Even so, Kelly was superb versus the Redbirds in 2022 in going 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over two starts while only issuing three walks through 13.0 combined innings. I think we have a sneaky pitcher’s duel on our hands early on with this one!




Chicago Cubs vs. Oakland A’s


While the data set to pull from is light, the Cubs have thrived when running up against starting left-handed pitching. In just two games, Chicago has plated an average of 7.5 runs to easily cash over tickets in both instances. For the season, David Ross’ squad ranks No. 12 in OPS and sports a .276 batting average against south paws (No. 11). Kyle Muller should have his hands full dealing with Patrick wisdom and Co. As such, Hayden Wesneski should once again get a good amount of run support in this his third start. Hopefully he can stick around past the second inning unlike he did last time out when Seattle raked him for five hits (1 HR) and seven runs (2 ER).


As unimpressive he’s been to date evidenced by a bloated 7.50 ERA and gross 2.833 WHIP, it’s very much so possible that Oakland goes off the board favored to win a game for the first time this season. That’s a trap linemakers will lay out that I’ll avoid at all costs! Chicago is the better of these two teams by a wide margin, and Wesneski is the better of these two pitchers as well. The advantage at the dish, on the starting bump as well as the bullpen has me excited to go to war with the Cubbies in the opener of this three-game Interleague set!




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