There is no proof of the following, but I know it to be true that many sports bettors abide by a certain credo. They refuse to bet an under in a game because you have to wait a full nine innings for it to hit, while technically you can win an over bet after the first inning.
That thought popped up in my head as two of yesterday’s bets seemed to go up in flames early. The Detroit Tigers pounded four home runs in the first inning alone and effectively ended our chances at that under. In addition, Cincinnati’s three-run first inning made it almost mathematically impossible to hit the Brewers-under parlay.
However, those type of beats should not influence any bettor from playing what they think is right. We minimized the damage by going 2-3 and losing less than one unit on the day. Undeterred, we are back with more unders and a slew of other plays.
Here are my MLB betting plays for Sunday (Odds courtesy FanDuel Sportsbook).
YTD: 29-19-1 (+10.35 units)
New York Mets -1.5 runs (-112)
The New York Mets finally put a halt to the Miami Marlins’ hot streak in an 8-4 victory last night. New York’s offense woke up from a mini-slump in which they had failed to score more than three runs in five of their prior six games. That lack of run support is what today’s starter Jacob deGrom has been used to his entire Mets career. However, we are encouraged by what we saw yesterday as the Mets 3-4-5 hitters combined to go 4-9 with 8 RBIs.
deGrom has been sensational no matter the situation in his career. However, as good as he has been, there is still a startling difference between his day and night game starts. deGrom is 25-11 with a 1.83 ERA in 55 career day starts and is 42-38 with a 2.97 ERA in 119 starts when pitching at night. Seeing how this game starts at 1:10 ET, we love deGrom’s chances to limit a Marlins lineup that has been playing over its heads all season. While much of the value is taken away with steep moneyline odds, we will side with the Mets runline and say a rejuvenated offense will provide deGrom with enough support to cover the 1.5 runs.
Tampa Bay -1.5 runs (+176)
Coming into this series, there were some concerning trends surrounding the Yankees when facing the Rays. The Yankees are 1-6 in their last seven meetings with the Rays in Tampa. In addition, their bats seem to go quiet in the Sunshine State as the under (in non-seven inning games) is 5-2 in the last seven meetings. While the Yankees were able to salvage a split of yesterday’s doubleheader, their lone win thus far in three games in this series came with ace Gerrit Cole on the mound. However, he did not look as invincible as he normally does. The Rays lineup was patient and made Cole labor through 4 2/3 tough innings.
An already shortened Yankees bullpen is taxed from 14 innings yesterday, and that is not a good sign when sending James Paxton to the mound. Paxton has yet to pitch past the third inning in his prior two starts. He is opposed by Charlie Morton who is 2-0 with a 0.77 ERA in two starts in Tampa against New York. The Rays have the feel of a team that is gaining momentum and is ready to finish this four-game series against their rivals with a convincing win.
Los Angeles-Texas UNDER 8 runs (-110)
To this point, the Texas Rangers have arguably been one of the more disappointing teams in baseball. However, does two straight wins over the Angels mean they are ready to right the ship? Today’s starter Lance Lynn gives the Rangers an excellent chance to make it three in a row. Lynn has been sensational in his three starts, going 1-0 with a 0.49 ERA. He began the season with 18 consecutive scoreless innings and has gone deep into the game in all of his starts. Lynn is holding opposing hitters to just a .100 BAA. Lynn is 2-2 with a 3.96 ERA in six career starts against the Angels.
It is a slight bit concerning that Angels slugger Mike Trout has two home runs in 18 career at-bats against Lynn. However, Lynn has had success against the rest of the lineup and is savvy enough to know how to pitch around Trout if needed. Meanwhile, Angels starter Andrew Heaney has also been great to start the season. He is 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in 15 1/3 innings. With two games that totaled seven and two runs respectively to start the series, we like our chances with Heaney and Lynn on the mound to produce another low-scoring affair.
Oakland ML (-162)
If it ain’t broke, do not fix it. We loved Oakland’s chances with Frankie Montas on the mound yesterday, and we love them just as much with Jesus Luzardo toeing the rubber. The rookie has yet to record a decision in the young season but has pitched to a 2.31 ERA. He has a 3.00 ERA in his career against the Astros. Oakland is looking for a major-league best ninth straight win in this contest, and have opened up a 4.5 game lead over Houston in the AL West. We do believe in a fellow rookie Cristian Javier to halt Oakland’s momentum. Mired in a four-game losing streak, the A’s are a solid bet to add to the Astros woes and make it a fifth-straight loss.
Cleveland ML (-130)
Avid readers of this column know that I love me some Shane Bieber. Our preseason pick to win the AL Cy Young award, you did not think I was going to let one of his starts go by without picking the Indians, did you?
Shane Bieber is 3-0 with a 0.83 ERA in his first three starts. He leads the majors with 35 strikeouts, which is also the third-most ever through a pitcher’s first three starts.
Runs may be at a premium tonight as Bieber is opposed by Chicago’s ace Lucas Giolito. However, the reason for picking the Indians tonight and not the under is the fact that Cleveland’s lineup just faced Giolito on July 29th. Even though they were held scoreless in Giolito’s six innings of work, that familiarity with seeing him so recently should give them an edge. In addition, Cleveland’s offense has exploded for seven and 13 runs in two of their last three games so we would rather not risk another good performance by their lineup ruining the over. Instead, trust in Bieber to continue his amazing 2020 campaign.
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