Since sweeping back-to-back Monday night MLB Best Bets cards, we’ve gone 1-1 and 0-2 each of the last two weeks at BetRivers Sportsbook which means I’ve got some work to do here tonight in hopes of getting off the schneid. The Cubs patient bats proved to be too much for Mackenzie Gore with the two walks and seven hits allowed forcing him to throw 102 pitches in only four innings of work. He threw nearly the same amount in his prior two starts and went six innings easily exceeding his K prop both times; didn’t happen Monday night. Then the night closed with the Toronto Blue Jays dropping a back-and-forth affair against Boston ultimately setting the tone for the extended series which the Red Sox would go on to sweep. Let’s see if we can’t get back to kicking butt and taking names to kick off the week with another installment of best bets for tonight’s slate - SLAM YOUR MAN!!
YTD: 46-40-3 ($545)
LW: 12-10 ($213)
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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs
Has there been a bigger tough-luck pitcher than that of the Cubs Marcus Stroman? The veteran right-hander has logged quality starts in all but one of his seven overall outings yet finds himself 2-2 with a sterling 2.18 ERA in allowing just 6.3 hits per game while averaging nearly 6.0 innings per start. His “MO” right now is one of an innings eater that is going to keep Chicago in the game throughout his stay on the bump. While not overpowering evidenced by near league average K percentages and whiff rates, he’s a professional worm burner with nearly 65 percent of the hits he allows staying on the ground. A drastically improved Chicago defense has made him extremely tough to get to early on.
Pray for Oliver Marmol if St. Louis enters this series losers of nine straight as that would mean they just got swept at home by the Detroit Tigers! Even if this is the series the Redbirds turn it around – so help me god if they do – I want absolutely nothing to do with Miles Mikolas right now. The righty has been serving up BP all season in allowing 53 hits (7 HR) and 24 ER through 37.1 innings over seven starts. While better on the road than at home, he’s been nothing short of hot trash under the lights where he’s been ripped for a 1.026 OPS and logged a 6.8 K/9. Lefties and righties are hitting him equally as hard which bodes well for Chicago’s heavy right-handed lineup. Though he’s fared extremely well against the Cubs in the past, this feels like a prime spot to fade him and the slumping Cardinals.
BET THE CUBS F5 & FG
Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Angels
Now a month into the season, it’s clear as day that the Astros will have their hands full in attempting to win a third straight AL West pennant as greatly improved the division looks to be overall; save for Oakland. Coming off what’s likely to be an intense three-game set in Seattle over the weekend, Dusty Baker’s squad will be forced to head to the Big A immediately after and run with a Halos outfit I think looks ripe to go on a season-changing run over the next three weeks with four of their next six series to be played at home against Texas, Houston, Minnesota, and Boston.
This is without a doubt put up or shut up time for Patrick Sandoval in the opener of this semi-crucial series as he squares off against what’s been a dominant Framber Valdez. The lefty is the owner of a 2.60 ERA and 3.32 FIP while allowing 8.4 hits per nine innings and averaging 4.5 K per walk. He went 1-1 with a 3.91 ERA and .238 BAA over four starts against Anaheim last year. The Angels have been frighteningly good against south paws to date teeing off for 5.2 runs per game (No. 10) and an .803 OPS. Though Houston has held its own against Southpaws as well (No. 14), I’ll press my luck here with only 17.9 percent of the balls hit off Sandoval of the hard contact variety (No. 10). The fact that LA owns one of the better pens in the game (No. 5) has me confident it can take over and seal the deal with Sandoval only pitching through the sixth in two of his six made starts. Pardon me while I stubbornly test my theory that LA is going streaking!
BET THE ANGELS
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