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MLB Friday best bets: Bats to shine in Cincinnati

Aaron Gash / Major League Baseball / Getty

Thursday was a night full of stingers on the diamond. The Guardians blew a 6-3 lead and lost in walk-off fashion, while Hunter Greene threw 109 pitches, scratching and clawing his way through 18 outs to ruin our under bet. What could've easily been another profitable night turned sideways.

We'll look to rebound with three plays for a full card of Friday baseball.

Brewers (-165) @ Reds (+135)

Corbin Burnes started the season in disastrous fashion, allowing 10 runs over his first couple of appearances.

He's since garnered a lot more Burnes-like results, conceding two runs or fewer in seven of his past nine starts. There are some red flags in the underlying numbers, however, that suggest some regression could be coming.

Over the past 30 days, Burnes owns a 3.30 ERA. Pretty good, right? The numbers under the hood tell a different story. His FIP is above 5.0 during that period, and he's given up fly balls at a near 50% clip.

The numbers suggest he could be taken advantage of, and it's not as if the Reds are a toothless offense. They rank 15th in wOBA against righties the past couple of weeks and play in a very hitter-friendly ballpark.

It's not out of the question that they can plate a few runs on Burnes, doing their part to get this game over the number.

The Brewers sure seem likely to have success against Brandon Williamson as well. He owns a 5.31 FIP over the past 30 days and is allowing hard contact 43% of the time. Not only is he being knocked around, but he's also having control issues. Williamson has walked more than 14% of opposing batters during this stretch, which is a high clip.

As a team, the Brew Crew haven't hit lefties all that well, but they have some notable individuals who have: William Contreras, Owen Miller, and Brian Anderson, among others. Not to mention, a struggling pitcher in a hitter-friendly park should help raise the ceiling of what they can provide as a team.

Even if the Brewers are somewhat underwhelming early, they should be able to make some noise against a bullpen that slots 23rd in FIP over the past couple of weeks.

Bet: Over 9.5 (-120)

Nolan Gorman over 1.5 total bases (+100)

Gorman has quietly destroyed right-handed pitching all season long. He owns a .381 wOBA - second only to Paul Goldschmidt on the Cardinals - and actually leads the team with a .268 ISO. He's getting on base consistently while also generating a lot of power.

He'll square off against a hittable righty today in Roansy Contreras. His FIP sits above 6.0 over the past month, and he's striking out only 11% of opposing batters. A lot of balls are being put in play, which is far from ideal, considering Contreras is inducing soft contact only 7% of the time. He's being hit often and hard.

Gorman has gone a little cold of late, recording a hit in only one of his past five games. This is a great matchup to get back on track.

Bryce Harper over 1.5 total bases (-115)

Harper has returned to MLB with a vengeance. He's teed off at the dish, particularly against righties. He's hitting a ridiculous .389 and sporting a wOBA approaching .500. While those numbers are probably going to dip over time, it's clear Harper remains one of the more potent bats in the league.

There's reason to believe his success should continue against Josiah Gray. He's pitched well this season, but - similar to Burnes - the ERA doesn't quite match up with the rest of his numbers of late. His FIP (4.72) is significantly higher than his ERA (2.89) over the past month, indicating he's benefited from some luck.

He's allowed line drives at a very high clip; they've just continued to find Nationals defenders. Harper is tearing the cover off the ball right now, generating line drives and hard contact at insanely high rates. If that continues against Gray, he should be able to find a gap and take a couple of bases.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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