This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Last week 1-2; Overall 3-3
Monday's Slate Overview
Giants at Phillies 7:05 pm
Opened Anderson -110/8.5, Now Gausman -110/8.5
Slight line move towards Gausman
Cardinals at Nationals 7:05 pm
Opened -110 Even/8, Now Flaherty -110/8
Slight line move towards Flaherty
Rays at Royals 8:10 pm
Opened Duffy -115/7.5, Now -124/7.5
Slight line move towards Duffy
Rangers at Angels 9:38 pm
Opened Bundy -210/9, Now -220/8
Huge line move on the total down 1 run from 9 to 8
Anthony Rendon is OUT
Brewers at Padres 10:10 pm
Opened Musgrove -135/7, Now -145/6.5
Dodgers at Mariners 10:10 pm
Opened May -215/8.5, Now -200/8.5
Slight line move on Sheffield, Cody Bellinger is OUT
Overall with just six games, we have four relatively close matchups and two big favorites in the Angels at home and the Dodgers on the road. Totals are low also with some moving down which could be oddsmakers adjusting for the lower scoring so far this year.
Here is my thought process
1. When you have relatively close lines, look to play the dog if they are truly the better team and the pitchers are even.
2. When you have a huge favorite, look at the run line and then the strikeout prop
3. Make note of any interleague games and the impact (Dodgers go to AL, so May doesn't face a pitcher, but it's about the same park effect)
4. Are there any key hitters that are injured or out for COVID, is that reflected in the line?
5. If two strong starting pitchers with a low total, look at the 1st 5 innings total for the game
BET - Dustin May over 5.5 strikeouts +105 vs. Seattle 1 RW buck
May has been great in two starts this season with 14 strikeouts in 10 innings. The key here is making sure he goes five innings which should net at least six strikeouts or more. While he does not get the benefit of the pitcher in the National League, this Mariners lineup and the ballpark help to negate that. May just has nasty stuff and should be working with a lead against Justus Sheffield. The Mariners are eighth-worst in strikeout rate at 26.2% and 25.7% vs right-handed pitchers.
Using the new Rotowire player props plus projections tool, I was able to target Soto at just 0.5 total bases total albeit at -175. The RW projection has him at 1.8 while his per game average is 1.6.
Looking at his box scores this year, Soto has played thirteen games and reached base in 11 of them – good for an 85% hit rate. While Flaherty is a strong pitcher, I do not put him in the elite tier so the matchup does not worry me. He has not looked great in his first 3 outings this year, either.
*Always look for total bases instead of hits when doing player props.
BET – Rays/Royals under 8 runs -140 1 RW buck
Double dipping on the RW player props projection tool, we find Josh Fleming with a +32.4% edge with 1.9 earned runs projected vs. the line of 2.5. While I am not using Fleming as a solo play, it does lead me to look into the game total because of what the Royals have done recently.
The Royals have gone under the run total in nine out of their last eleven games and are 7-4 in those games as well. The total runs bet in those eleven games has only exceeded eight twice.
I was high on the Royals coming into the season as an over play on the win total and a long shot to even with the AL Central or snag a wild card. We get two decent middle-tier pitchers with Josh Fleming vs. Danny Duffy in a pitchers' park, two teams not really known for power, and average bullpens. Duffy has looked strong in both outings this year allowing just one earned run over two starts.
I went up from 7.5 to 8 on the bet and -115 vs. -140 as means of insurance in case it does land on eight runs.