MLB weekend best bets: Can McKenzie stifle struggling Tigers bats?

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We're back for more baseball bets ahead of this weekend's action, starting with a clear fade opportunity on one of MLB's worst teams:

Giants -1.5 (-125) @ Reds
May 27, 6:40 p.m. ET

It's not often a team scores 20 runs in an MLB game - let alone a club as bad as the Reds. Since 2004, 48 teams have scored 20 or more runs in a contest, and only 11 of them had a losing record before and after the game. So what does it mean for those teams' success in the following matchup?

As it turns out, virtually nothing. The previous 47 teams to do it went 22-25 in their next contest, netting a minus-$1,292 profit overall. The 11 squads with a losing record went 5-6 in their following game, including a loss by the Cubs in this very spot just a month ago.

It'll be tough for this Cincinnati lineup to get anything going against Cy Young contender Carlos Rodon, who held the Padres in check Saturday for his fifth quality start in eight tries with the Giants. Despite Thursday's shocking result in favor of the Reds, don't bet on an encore.

Brewers (-140) @ Cardinals
May 27, 8:15 p.m.

Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff is one of the best arms in baseball, but he didn't look like it over the first few weeks of the season when his ERA ballooned to a gaudy 5.97. Still, a 3.63 FIP and 37:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio through those first six starts suggested a turnaround loomed for the two-time All-Star.

Sure enough, Woodruff has looked sharp in two starts since, allowing a combined two earned runs with 12 strikeouts and two walks in 11 innings. Now he takes on a Cardinals lineup he already faced on April 14 when he threw a three-hitter over five scoreless frames in a 5-1 win.

We could see a similar result Friday, especially with how well Milwaukee is swinging the bat. The Brewers rank seventh in xwOBA (.342) and sixth in barrel rate (9.5%), and they plated four runs in the first four innings of Thursday's 4-3 win over St. Louis. Another hot start could be in order here.

Tigers team total under (TBD) vs. Guardians
May 28, 4:10 p.m.

The Triston McKenzie breakout has felt imminent for years now, but the Guardians righty seems to finally be putting it all together this year.

The 24-year-old owns one of baseball's best ERAs (2.70) and ranks sixth among qualified pitchers in WHIP (0.90) through his first eight starts. Perhaps the most impressive part has been his longevity. He's lasted seven innings in back-to-back starts for just the second time in his career and coaxed a combined 27 whiffs with just six hits and four runs allowed.

He should have little issue carving up this Tigers lineup, which ranks among MLB's worst in almost every metric and has scored a combined 19 runs in their last eight contests (2.4 per game). Detroit plated no more than one run in four of those and could be on pace for a similar showing Saturday.

C Jackson Cowart is a sports betting writer at theScore. You can follow him on Twitter (@CJacksonCowart) or email him at

MLB weekend best bets: Can McKenzie stifle struggling Tigers bats?
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