With a doubleheader taking place in the nation’s capital Tuesday, today’s MLB slate, like many this year, is overfilled, coming in with 16 games.
Of those 16, two have piqued the betting interest of our experts. Check out how we’re betting Cardinals vs. Royals and Athletics vs. Dodgers below.
Note: Odds as of 3 p.m. ET.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
Danny Donahue: Royals Moneyline (+105) vs. Cardinals
It’s almost impossible to ignore all the signs being sent by the betting market relating to this game.
It’s no surprise that bettors are taking a liking to Cardinals team with a better record (26-25 vs. 22-32) that still has a playoff life for which to fight. But even though 69% of moneyline tickets have landed on St. Louis, the Cards have fallen from a consensus -130 to -110. Why? Because big bets from sharps are going the other way.
Our new PRO Report makes it easy to see which side has landed the smart money, as both the Sharp Action and Big Money indicators are illuminated on the Royals.
It’s worth noting, too, that the Royals are not nearly as bad offensively when they face a lefty. Their 99 wRC+ against southpaws puts them right around the league average, as compared to a 25th ranking overall (90 wRC+). They’ve hit .260 against lefties vs. .238 against righties, and they’re facing a pitcher in Austin Gomber whose xFIP is way higher than his ERA (5.01 vs. 2.37), meaning he’s benefitted from some good luck in his 19 innings thus far.
I’ll back the “if the line looks too good to be true, it probably is” theory here, and grab KC at a bit of plus-money.
BJ Cunningham: Dodgers Moneyline (-167) vs. Athletics
Dustin May has electric stuff that leads off with a sinker/two-seam type pitch that can top out at 99 mph with crazy movement. He draws a lot of comparisons to Jacob deGrom and the reason is because of the insane combination of velocity and movement.
He’s been able to keep opposing hitters at bay with his sinker, allowing only a .263 average. He also has a sick cutter that he likes to use to go away from righties and in on lefties. He then has a drop-off-the-table curveball, which has generated a 37.1% whiff rate this year.
He’ll have a great matchup against an A’s offense that has been below average this season. Oakland has the 16th best wOBA (.315) and 15th best wRC+(102) in MLB this year. Oakland’s below-average offense has been in a big time slump this past week, as it’s hit for a measly .188 average and a .251 wOBA in its last five games. The A’s really miss their star third baseman Matt Chapman in the middle of their lineup and they haven’t been able to replace his kind of production offensively.
Frankie Montas started out 2020 on a tear, but has fallen off a cliff since. His ERA is 5.86 and his xFIP is all the way up at 4.66. Most of his issues have to do with his command, as his BB/9 rate is at 4.19 and his WHIP is 1.53. As far as his pitch arsenal is concerned, Montas is struggling with his sinker. He’s allowed a .313 average and .390 wOBA to opponents this season. His slider and fastball have been halfway decent, but since he throws his sinker almost 40% of the time, those two pitches haven’t been able to offset his struggles. He’s going to have a really tough matchup against a Dodgers lineup that is the second best team in baseball against right handed pitching and sinkers this year.
The Dodgers lineup has been on fire over the past two weeks, hitting 21 home runs, which has led to a .352 wOBA and 124 wRC+. Los Angeles has done most of its damage against right-handed pitching, with a .356 wOBA and 125 wRC+, which is the second-best mark in Major League Baseball. Mookie Betts and Corey Seager have been two of the best hitters in baseball this season, and have been crushing right-handed pitching, each boasting a wOBA over .415.
I have the Dodgers projected as -201 favorites, so I think there is plenty of value on Los Angeles at -167 tonight.