Monday’s MLB slate is on the smaller side, with just a nine-game main slate starting at 6:35 p.m. ET. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to look for value in the betting market.
Athletics ML (+105)
This matchup features two of the most anemic offenses in the league. The A’s have struggled to put the ball in play this season, with their strikeout rate of 27% serving as the worst mark in baseball. The Tigers haven’t been much better in that department — they own the fourth-worst strikeout rate — and their Statcast data when they do make contact is dreadful. Their hard-hit rate of 34% is tied for the second-worst mark in the league.
With two dreadful offenses, this matchup figures to come down to pitching, and the A’s have a significant edge in that department. They’ll turn to Paul Blackburn, who has quietly dominated to start the year. He’s pitched to a 2.22 ERA, 2.89 xERA, and 2.09 FIP through his first five outings. His average fastball velocity is up approximately 1.5 miles per hour faster compared to last year, which has given him significantly more strikeout upside, as well.
The Tigers will give the ball to veteran Michael Pineda. He’s posted a 3.77 ERA through his first three starts, but his advanced metrics suggest that production is not sustainable. He’s managed just 5.02 strikeouts per nine innings, and he’s gotten luckier than expected on balls in play. His 5.91 xERA means regression could be coming, so I’m happy to grab the A’s as small road underdogs.
Rays ML (+115)
Every year, the Rays are disrespected in the betting market, and every year, they make the oddsmakers look foolish. They’re off to another excellent start in 2022, jumping out to an 18-11 record in the very tough AL East. They’re also 7-3 over their past 10 games, and they’ve gone 9-4 away from home.
They’ll be on the road Monday vs. the Angels, and they get a matchup vs. Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard was once one of the most feared pitchers in baseball, but he’s not nearly the same player at this point in his career. His average fastball velocity is down to just 95.1 miles per hour this season, which is a far cry from his career mark of 98. He’s also managed a paltry 5.25 strikeouts per nine innings. Syndergaard has still managed solid numbers despite relying on balls in play, but I’m skeptical that success will continue. The Rays rank sixth in wRC+ vs. right-handers this season, so this is a tough matchup for Syndergaard, as well.
The Rays will turn to their bullpen in this contest, and that’s not a bad thing for bettors. They own the fifth-best bullpen ERA in baseball, and opener Jeffrey Springs has pitched to a dominant 0.69 ERA over 13 innings. The Rays won Springs’ only other “start” this season, and they’re a perfect 4-0 in games where he’s pitched more than one inning. I love the Rays as underdogs in this spot.
Under 7 runs (-120)
The Giants will have one of the most underrated pitchers in all of baseball on the mound on Monday. Carlos Rodon might’ve won the AL Cy Young award last year if not for a late-season injury, and his first year with the Giants is off to a fantastic start. He’s pitched to a 1.55 ERA and a 1.38 FIP while striking out a career-best 12.72 batters per nine innings. He’s also been nearly unhittable at home, posting a 17.18 K/9 and a 0.35 FIP in two starts in San Francisco.
He should have no problems powering through the Rockies lineup, which remains a below-average unit outside of Coors Field. They rank 22nd in wRC+ on the road, and they’ll be without arguably their best player in Kris Bryant.
You could just take the Giants in this spot, but they’re listed as massive -255 moneyline favorites. I still don’t mind using them in moneyline parlays — if you’re into that sort of thing — but I’ll take my chances on under seven runs. Even if the Giants can do some damage against Austin Gomber, I don’t think the Rockies will be able to hold up their end of the bargain. You can also grab the Rockies under 0.5 runs in the first five innings at +145 if you’re feeling frisky.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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