My MLB Best Bets ended up 1-2 at BetRivers Sportsbook for a net loss of $75 last Tuesday which forced us to dig out of an early hole to get back in the black for the week. While Kenta Maeda pitched his tail off (9K & 1 ER), Sandy Alcantara was simply better in tossing a shutout to lead the Marlins to the 1-0 win. The Orioles busted out the boom sticks upon Andrew Heaney early which allowed us to cash a nice +125 underdog ticket on the first five inning MLB odds, but the Cleveland Guardians sunk us by dropping a 4-3 decision to the A’s in the ninth inning as decided road chalk. Let’s see if we can get back to adding to the bottom line with Tuesday’s installment of MLB Best Bets – SLAM YOUR MAN!!
YTD: 12-11 ($272)
Bet Major League Baseball at BetRivers Sportsbook
Houston Astros vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Many will be quick to jump on the scorching hot Buccos in the second game of this series with the improving Mitch Keller on the bump, but I’ll zig when more novice MLB bettors are zagging. Keller has inarguably gotten out of the blocks impressively with the right-hander 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and .233 BAA through two starts against the Reds and Red Sox. So are we to believe 2023 is to be the 27-year old’s coming out party? It most definitely could with the Pirates youngster more than serviceable a season ago. That being said, he’s still giving up way too much contact for my taste (7.7 hits per nine) and his 4.6 walks per nine drowns out what’s been a stellar 11.6 K/9.
While struggling to get the offense going mostly due to some key cogs being out of the lineup, the Astros will present him with his toughest challenge of the young season. Houston has also been dominant with Christian Javier on the bump with the club 2-0 in his starts and the righty only allowing 4 ER and 1 BB to go along with 11 K and zero home runs allowed. I think Javier challenges for the AL Cy Young so I’ll lay the short price with the ‘Stros in this spot!
BET THE ASTROS
Miami Marlins vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Jesus Luzardo has been a moneymaker for us through his first two starts. Both bets were of the first five innings so as to keep Miami’s wretched bullpen out of the equation. Through 12.2 combined innings, the southpaw has only conceded seven hits and 1 ER while racking up 15 strikeouts and only issuing five free passes. In the process, he’s pitched to a 0.71 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and .163 BAA. This will however be his first start away from the comforts of LoanDepot Park, but the youngster was at his best in the visitor’s role last season and I expect more of the same in 2023.
He’ll be running up against Aaron Nola who was horrific in his first two starts at the Rangers and Yankees in allowing 11 hits (1 HR) and 8 ER with a 9:3 K/BB ratio over 9.2 combined innings. Philadelphia lost both games! Not good for the staff ace who should be locked in for his first CBP start where he thrived a season ago limiting the opposition to a .211 BAA while also pitching to a 0.96 WHIP. He dominated Miami last year only allowing 14 hits and 3 ER through 22.0 IP and owns a career 3.18 ERA against the division rivals. I expect both pitchers to come out determined and keep the scoring in check the first few times through the order - look for the scoreboard operators to by bystanders and not be involved early on!
BET THE UNDER FIRST 5 INNINGS
Detroit Tigers vs. Toronto Blue Jays
The Tigers’ offense has statistically and arguably been one of the worst offenses in the league to this point of the season. It ranks No. 27 in runs scored (3.00), No. 28 in batting average (.205), No. 30 in OPS (.553), No. 29 in home runs (5), and No. 20 in the stolen base department (4). Most importantly for this particular wager, Detroit has proven to be a free-swinging bunch with its 90 overall strikeouts clocking in as the seventh most in the game. Alek Manoah has largely been unimpressive through his first two starts. While he tossed seven innings of one-hit ball at the Royals last time out, he still allowed four walks and only registered 5 K. He also served up nine hits (2 HR) to the Cardinals in his season debut and failed to pitch through the fourth.
This looks to be a great get-right spot for the right-hander, and I expect him to dominate a Tigers offense that’s taken the third fewest walks (23) and struck out nearly 24 percent of the time against RHP. Manoah’s failed to surpass a 5.5 K prop both times he’s taken to the bump in 2023, but I expect the third time to be the charm in this plus matchup against an opponent he’s averaged just over a strikeout per inning pitched against lifetime. A same-game parlay of Toronto paired with the over of Manoah’s K prop is a go if you’re into that type of thing!
BET OVER ALEK MANOAH’S K PROP
Bet MLB at BetRivers Sportsbook