Thursday, April 20 MLB Best Bets

By Mike Rose

Last week’s rollercoaster betting the baseball odds over at BetRivers Sportsbook continued with Thursday’s MLB Best Bets producing 1-2-1 results. The day started with an annoying loss with the Red Sox and a push on their team total. They tallied three quick ones off Jeffrey Springs who left early due to injury, but failed to hold on for the win or surpass their 3-run team total. Nick Lodolo came through for us by tossing five innings of 2 ER ball at the Phillies with the bullpen closing out the 6-2 win as short GAB favs. The day closed out with another annoying defeat with the Tigers failing to exceed their 3.5 Team Total against Chris Bassitt and the Blue Jays bullpen. They cashed in as +221 road dogs by taking the finale 3-1 – FUN! Let’s see if we can’t get back in the black with Thursday’s installment of best bets – SLAM YOUR MAN!!


YTD: 24-23-2 ($217)

LW: 12-12-2 (-$55)


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Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Yankees


While the Yankees can hit the long ball (No. 3) and have power (No. 12 OPS) for days, it hasn’t amounted to many runs (No. 16) or a consistent batting average (No. 21). New York’s splits must also be taken into account. It’s peppering right-handed pitching to the tune of a .766 OPS (No. 9) and .312 on-base percentage, but only a .602 OPS (No. 26) with a .281 OBP against southpaws. This has seen Aaron Judge and Co. average nearly 5.0 runs per game against righties but only 2.5 runs per game against lefties; albeit in a small sample size.


Enter Patrick Sandoval and his 1.23 ERA with only 11 hits and 2 ER conceded through 14.2 innings over three starts. The lefty has taken no-decisions in his last two starts against the Blue Jays and Red Sox mostly due to elevated pitch counts. While his 3.7 BB/9 is in-line with his career average, his K/9 is down 3.0 from his career 9.1 average. The Yankees strikeout at the sixth highest rate in the league (25.2%), and I got a feeling they’ll be forced to come back in this one as readily able the Halos have been to crush left-handed pitching. While Nestor Cortes has been lights out through three starts (2.60 ERA), he’ll be forced to throw at Mike Trout and Co. who rake LHP at the best rate in the Bigs (.895 OPS). With LA likely to be installed sizeable road dogs for this finale, it’s imperative we take a stab and hope Sandoval’s penchant to get wild eludes him. If a start of quality is churned out, LA’s No. 10 ranked pen should lock down the win!





Cincinnati Reds vs. Pittsburgh Pirates


Graham Ashcraft is set to square off against Roansy Contreras in the opener of this extended four-game series between the NL Central rival Reds and Pirates. These teams already squared off in the GAB the opening series of the season, and it was the Reds that took two of three. One of those dubs was secured by Graham Ashcraft who tossed seven sterling innings at the Buccos and only surrendered four hits (1 HR) and 1 ER while racking up a 6:1 K/BB ratio. His cutter, slider, sinker usage resulted in 10 whiffs and 26 percent called + swinging strikes – not too shabby for a season debut! Since then, the right-hander has earned a no-decision and win against the Braves and Phillies respectively.


Now he gets the Buccos again in PNC where he was raked for nine hits and 3 ER through 6.2 innings in his lone career start last season. The opponent will by Roansy Contreras who at the ripe age of 23 possesses one of the nastiest spin rate sliders in the game per the folks at Pitcher List. He creates a whiff 19 percent of the time whenever he throws it which ranks out in the 75th percentile! Per Baseball Savant, Cincinnati only has three players – Wil Myers, Jake Fraley, and Stuart Fairchild – with a positive run value against that pitch type. Roansy’s made three career starts against the Redlegs and conceded nine hits (2 HR) and 4 ER with a 12:1 K/BB ratio. So long as both starters limit the free passes, I think runs will be tough to come by both early and late.




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