MLB Tuesday best bets: Orioles to pounce early on Cardinals
We started the week on a strong note Monday night, winning two of three bets and turning a profit.
We'll look to build on that with three more plays for Tuesday's full card.
We successfully backed the Orioles to lead through five innings on Monday night. It was so nice that we're going to do it twice.
The Orioles are as hot as they come. They've won eight of the past 10 games and are scoring at will against anyone and everyone right now. In fact, they lead the league - by far - with an average run output of 7.6 per game in September. Absurd numbers.
They're undoubtedly chomping at the bit to go up against Adam Wainwright. We've targeted him repeatedly this season with great success - and he's given us absolutely no reason to change that.
Among Tuesday's projected starters, Wainwright ranks dead last in strike rate, swinging strike rate, barrel rate, and xwOBA over the past month. He's also given up 24 earned runs.
The Cardinals are determined to let Wainwright go out under his own terms. With nothing to play for at this point, there's no need to change that - even as Wainwright struggles each and every time out.
I expect the Orioles to score early and often in this one, giving John Means all the run support he could possibly need in his season debut.
Even factoring in potential rust from Means, there's value in backing the Orioles to lead through five innings of play.
Bet: Orioles F5 -0.5 (-135)
Lance Lynn under 5.5 strikeouts
Lance Lynn is not it right now. He's gone under his strikeout line in four consecutive games, tallying a combined six Ks in that span. He isn't just failing to get the job done - he's not even coming close.
The Padres are not a team you want to deal with when you're not at the top of your game. They certainly don't make life any easier on opponents.
For one, the Padres are very disciplined. Just two of the last 10 right-handed starters they've faced have managed to over the strikeout total. Only one pitcher - Zack Wheeler, one of MLB's best - has recorded six or more. That's the task sitting in front of Lynn right now.
Making matters worse, the Padres are scorching hot at the dish. They've plated 6.2 runs per game in August, the fourth-highest output in the majors.
That's not ideal for a guy who, balls put in play aside, has missed the zone more than he's hit it over the last month. Lynn will likely fall behind in a lot of counts and have to go right at a strong Padres team.
Expect another disappointing outing for Lynn, whose role on the Dodgers' playoff roster is decreasing by the start.
Odds: -135 (playable to -145)
Justin Verlander under 1.5 walks
Sometimes Verlander has his best stuff. Sometimes he doesn't. But one thing he does consistently is hammer the zone with strikes.
Just 32.8% of his pitches over the past month were balls, which is noticeably better than the league average. When less than one of every three pitches is outside the zone, you're dealing with a lot of favorable counts and are well-positioned to limit walks.
A date with the Athletics should bring out the best in Verlander's command. They've only walked multiple times against the opposing starter twice over the last eight games.
Taking things a step further, only five teams have walked less frequently than the Athletics over the past month. They don't earn themselves many free passes and there's no reason to expect anything different against Verlander.
Odds: -105 (playable to -125)
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.
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