Raise your hand if you had the Colorado Rockies as having one of the best two records in baseball through five games. They are the only team in the majors currently with a four-game winning streak and continue to provide great returns as consistent moneyline underdogs. While we have not been on their side often, we hit a nice +178 underdog late last night when the Seattle Mariners rallied twice late for a 10-7 victory.
Seattle’s win sealed a fourth consecutive profitable day, and we look to make it five and a row on Thursday. With just ten games on the slate, we will have a smaller card than usual.
Here are my top MLB betting plays for Thursday (Odds courtesy FanDuel Sportsbook).
YTD: 13-7-1 (+5.67 units)
Chicago-Cincinnati OVER 9 runs (-110)
When Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel missed three games each due to illness, the Cincinnati Reds were a different team offensively. They announced their presence in the lineup in a big way yesterday, each hitting home runs and propelling the Reds to a much needed 12-7 over the Cubs. With the two of them back, the Reds possess one of the most relentless lineups in all of baseball.
While Cincinnati starter Luis Castillo had an outstanding season debut, certain Cubs have had tremendous success against him. Ian Happ is 5-10 with two doubles against him, while Kyle Schwarber has three home runs in 17 career at-bats versus Castillo. On the other side, Cubs starter Yu Darvish went 1-2 with a 4.60 ERA in five starts against Cincinnati last year. He labored through four innings in his first start, and handing the ball to the Cubs bullpen for that many innings is not a good recipe considering they have allowed seven home runs and posted a 9.64 ERA thus far.
In addition, the over is 33-14-5 in their last 52 meetings in Cincinnati and 5-2-1 in their last eight head-to-head meetings. I would bet this over/under all the way up to 10, but be sure to get on-side early as the total will likely rise throughout the day.
New York-Baltimore OVER 10 runs (-118)
Death. Taxes. The Yankees pound home runs at Camden Yards. It seems every time the Bronx Bombers play in Baltimore they do just that, bomb home runs from a litany of players. Last night they got solo shots from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge and a two-run blast from Aaron Hicks. It is only a matter of time before Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Orioles-killer Gleyber Torres get in on the fun.
When betting an over, one would like assurance that both sides can contribute enough offense. If the Orioles can score three runs off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, they can certainly do damage to Thursday’s starter JA Happ. Look for Happ to be somewhat rusty after the team’s odd scheduling circumstances this week pushed his season debut to tonight. In addition, Orioles starter John Means was rocked by the Yankees last year as a rookie, going 0-2 with a 12.27 ERA in two starts.
For those looking to play New York’s moneyline or runline, their dominance over the Orioles is almost historic at this point. The Yankees are two road wins over Baltimore shy of tying an 89-year old record with 18 consecutive road wins over one opponent.
Arizona ML (+124)
At first glance, these odds seem awfully low considering the Diamondbacks are welcoming the best team in the National League to Chase Field. However, if you know our betting tendencies you know we love lines that tend to seem “off.”
A novice bettor may be tempted to blindly bet on Los Angeles given their superior talent and reputation. However, a closer look at the numbers suggests Arizona is the right side in this contest. For all the success that the Dodgers had last year, they were just 4-6 at Chase Field. LA’s bullpen comes in a little taxed after playing 13 innings in Houston last night.
In addition, it is not often that a team has the pitching edge over the Dodgers, but Arizona does in this matchup. Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray is 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 20 career starts against the Dodgers. However, those numbers do not tell the whole story as his 161 strikeouts in 120 innings against them are his highest totals against any opponent. On the other side, Dodgers starter Ross Stripling has made just eight career starts against Arizona but appeared in 23 games through his time out of the bullpen. He is 1-4 with a 3.86 ERA against them.
The Diamondbacks are 4-0 in their last four home games against right-handed starters and are 5-0 in their last five home games overall. They are 4-1 in their last five at home overall against Los Angeles, so we are getting a good price for that trend to continue.
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