There are some exciting pitchers on deck today from a betting perspective. In one contest we have one of the best pitchers in baseball providing the biggest favorite of the day. In another, we have a strong starter backed by an even stronger offense. And last, but certainly not least, we have what could be the makings of a pitcher’s duel. This provides strong line based value.
We will take a look at three different plays that can be used for individual bets or parlays. Run lines in baseball are often not a very attractive option for full-game wagering, so we will be looking at money lines. Today’s picks are driven by strong starting pitching options, as judging offense alone often does not provide an accurate enough picture.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants
The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to do battle with their NL West division rivals, the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers will be deploying the underrated Ross Stripling while the Giants will counter with Derek Holland. Stripling had a strong start to the season against the Arizona Diamondbacks, pitching 5.1 innings and allowing zero runs. Holland is also a talented pitcher but has more control issues. In his first start of the season, Holland allowed three runs over four innings to the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers hold the edge in the runs scored department, dwarfing the Giants 8.33 to 2.33. The Dodgers are, and currently look like, the stronger team.
There are some intriguing trends to consider when evaluating this match-up. The Dodgers are 6-2 in their last eight contests against teams with a losing record. They are also 4-1 in Stripling’s last five starts following a team loss in the prior game played. However, they are 0-7 in their last seven tries against a left-handed starting pitcher. As for the Giants, they are 0-4 in Derek Holland’s last four starts against teams with a winning record. They are 1-5 in his last six starts overall. The Dodgers are the better team and the recent trends support them as a strong play.
The line on this contest indicates a clear favorite. The Dodgers are listed at -207, while the Giants sit at +177. Vegas has made the Giants attractive enough for underdog chasers to take a chance on, but do not be fooled. The Dodgers have both form and trends behind them and are still the smart play here. With a late start, this line is bound to change by game time, especially as the last game on Wednesday’s schedule.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Washington Nationals
The Philadelphia Phillies will square off with their division rivals, the Washington Nationals. The Phillies currently sit atop the NL East at 4-0, while the Nationals find themselves in the basement at 1-3. Philadelphia will see Aaron Nola take the mound, while Anibal Sanchez will get the call for Washington. They are both good pitchers meaning this game could turn into a low-scoring pitcher’s duel for the first five to six innings. The Phillies hold an advantage in the runs scored department edging the Nationals 7.75 to 4.00 runs per game. The Phillies look like the much better team at this point of the season and hold an edge in the form department.
There are a lot of trends that support the Phillies as an overwhelming favorite. The Phillies are 5-0 in their last five contests against the National League East. They also hold a 4-1 record against the last five teams they faced with a winning percentage under the .400 mark. Aside from Aaron Nola being the superior starting pitcher, the Phillies are 14-2 in his last 16 starts against a team with a losing record. They are also 5-1 in his last six road starts against a team with a losing record. If that was not enough, they are 4-1 in his last five starts in game two of a series.
The Nationals also have some positive trends to suggest they at least have a chance in this one with Sanchez on the mound. Most notably they are 5-2 in their last seven outings against a right-handed pitcher. However, they are a disappointing 1-5 in their last six games against teams with a winning percentage over .600. The Phillies are the clear favorites in this contest and the trends support that position.
This is arguably the most attractive value on the board today. The Phillies currently sit at -150, with the Nationals at only +130. The line here suggests the sharps in Vegas believe the Nationals have more than just a puncher’s chance in this contest with Sanchez on the mound. Eighty percent of the public is currently on the Phillies, and for good reason. The low line should cause some trepidation, however, so be vigilant about the number of units you lay on a single-game wager.
New York Mets vs. Miami Marlins
The New York Mets are set to face off against the Miami Marlins in the second NL East battle we have featured today. Jacob deGrom will take the hill for the Mets, while some guy named Trevor Richards will get the start for the Marlins. All kidding aside, based on starting pitchers alone, this is no contest, despite the fact that Richards is considered a young arm with upside.
The Mets find themselves in second place in the East at 4-1, while the Marlins are in third at 2-4. The Marlins being third has as much to do with the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals playing poorly as it has to do with their own success. Another category the Mets have the Marlins beat in is runs scored. The Mets are averaging 6.20 runs per game, while the Marlins are mired at only 3.66 per contest. The Mets are, and are currently playing like, the better team at this point of the season.
There are some interesting trends in support of the Mets in this contest. They are 7-1 in their last eight Wednesday games and are a surprising 5-1 in their last six against the NL East. They have also been strong against teams with a losing record, going 6-2 in their last eight games. Finally, the Mets are 4-1 in deGrom’s last five starts against the NL East.
Ready for a shocking trend? The Marlins are 4-1 in their last five games against a right-handed starter. That, however, is where the good news ends for the Marlins. They are 1-5 in Richards’ last six starts against the NL East, as well as during his last six starts in game three of a series. They are 1-7 in his last eight starts following a quality start in his prior appearance. The trends here clearly support the Mets as the runaway favorites in this contest.
The line has spoken. The New York Mets are the day’s largest favorite. They sit at -220, while the Marlins sit at +190. It should be no surprise that the better team trotting out one of the best arms in baseball would be an overwhelming favorite. This is the type of contest to target with a single bet if you can stomach the juice. Seventy percent of the betting public is currently on the Mets, and I expect this number to rise by the 6:10 P.M., game time.
Pick: New York Mets
This parlay pays +259.52. This is a tremendous value for a one-unit bet on what looks like three overwhelming favorites. The Phillies are the key to the parlay here and make this ticket as far as payout is concerned. Betting to win on favorites in baseball can often be cost prohibitive, especially if you are chasing a full unit return. As such, parlays are often the preferred way to lay action on a group of favorites. The goal is to increase the payout to at least +100. In this case, we achieved that target. All of these contests are attractive single-game betting options but provide an intriguing parlay combination as well. Roll with the parlay if surrendering multiple units for a single-unit payout is not your style.