We ended up 2-1 and took a small loss at BetRivers Sportsbook with last Thursday’s MLB Best Bets. Our position on the Phillies unfortunately got pushed back to Friday due to rain. Zach Wheeler wasn’t great, but still helped lead Philly to the 5-2 win on Friday – hopefully you blindly backed him! Detroit owned a 3-2 lead through five innings, but then Spencer Torkelson turned into a pumpkin in the sixth and the Tigers lost 6-3. We got some of that unit back by cashing on both the F5 and FG MLB odds on the Dodgers which proved to be their lone win of the four-game series with the Snakes. Here’s to once again adding to the bottom line with another installment of MLB Best Bets – SLAM YOUR MAN!!
YTD: 12-11 ($272)
LW: 9-9 ($211)
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Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays
I am without a doubt a glutton for punishment. Having already taken a flier on the Red Sox to hand the Rays their first loss of the season on Hump Day, I’m firing right back Thursday with the BoSox and will pay up to see if Jeffrey Springs is every bit as good as his early season outputs suggest. While 2-0 with a nothing burger for an ERA and 19:4 K/BB ratio, Tampa Bay’s premiere left-hander has gotten the benefit of running up against two of the worst offenses in the Bigs in the forms of the Athletics and Tigers. I’m very curious to see how he performs against a batting lineup with a pulse.
That’s exactly what Boston brings to the table with it scoring an average of 5.6 runs per game (No. 8) while ranking No. 14 in OPS and launching 15 bombs into the cheap seats (No. 10). Rafael Devers and Co. have been pretty darn good against LHP as well in averaging 5.8 runs per game with 33 hits (3 HR) and 16 RBI over 136 total at-bats (3-2). Springs went 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in four starts and five appearances against the Red Sox last season. I don’t have much faith in Kluber, but will instead bank on the Red Sox offense and No. 7 ranked bullpen to see both of these investments all the way through.
BET THE RED SOX + OVER TEAM TOTAL
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds
We get an immediate starting pitching rematch with Nick Lodolo and the Reds squaring off against Bailey Falter and the Phillies. Only this time it’s in the GAB and the Reds will be out for revenge after dropping a tough 3-2 decision that ultimately led to losing the series 2-1. Cincy’s 25-year old southpaw phenom has gotten out to a tremendous start to his 2023 campaign. He’s 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA and insane 21:4 K/BB ratio through two starts and 12.0 combined innings pitched. Just last week, he tossed seven innings of shutout ball at the Phillies while racking up 12 K and only issuing a pair of free passes. The game went sideways for Cincinnati once he departed after the seventh inning.
Provided Lodolo is able to continue keeping the walks to a minimum, I think he’ll be in line to score win No. 2 in this spot against Philadelphia back in his home digs. While Philly ranks No. 9 in OPS versus LHP to date, it’s only scored an average of 2.3 runs per game when opposing a starting LHP. On the flipside, the Reds rank No. 16 against lefties with a .737 OPS but have averaged 5.0 runs per game when staring back at a left-handed starter. Bailey Falter has failed to pitch through the sixth inning in either of his first two starts and has served up 9.6 hits and 1.7 home runs per nine innings. Then there’s Philly’s league-worst bullpen backing him up! I expect the Redlegs to pepper him form the first forward and for Lodolo to dominate leading Cincy to the dub in the extended series opener.
BET THE REDS
Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Through two starts, Chris Bassitt has served up 12 hits and only struck out five through 9.1 total innings of work. Though it’s early, I simply can’t ignore the fact that he has just as many walks as Ks tallied and that five of his 12 hits allowed have reached the cheap seats. While highly evident Detroit can’t hit its way out of a paper bag right now (No. 30 OPS), this should be a good spot for the offense to hang a crooked number on the board provided Bassitt’s early season struggles continue in this his third start of the MLB betting season.
Making a play on the Tigers’ team total is also predicated on the early season struggles of Spencer Turnbull. The right-hander has been ripped for 13 hits and 12 ER through eight combined innings over two starts. Though only one of those hits have left the yard, his 14.6 hits per nine average paired with a sickening 5.6 BB/9 leads me to believe Toronto will be in line to also hang a crooked number with its .832 OPS versus RHP clocking in as the fourth best output in MLB. Should the BJs get out to a substantial early lead, it would only be natural for the pitching staff as a whole to loosen up and possibly allow the Tigers to add some cheap runs late.
BET OVER THE TIGERS TEAM TOTAL
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