clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

MLB Picks for May 23: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

Matt LaMarca gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Tuesday’s MLB betting card.

MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

After a quiet day on Monday, baseball is back in full swing on Tuesday. All 30 teams are scheduled to take the field, with a 10-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into three of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Tuesday’s slate.

New York Mets at Chicago Cubs:

The Pick: Cubs ML (-110)

The Mets are officially back, baby! Well, kind of. They’ve managed to win five straight games, but this team still isn’t exactly firing on all cylinders. Each of those wins has come by exactly one run, and two of them have been walk-offs. The Mets have also trailed in all five of those contests, so there has been plenty of dramatics in their winning streak. While that has reinvigorated the fan base – and their futures odds – it’s not exactly the most sustainable formula for success.

The Mets have a very difficult matchup Tuesday vs. the Cubs, who will send left-hander Drew Smyly to the bump. Smyly has been excellent to start the year, pitching to a 2.86 ERA and 2.82 xERA across nine outings. He’s been a bit fortunate from a batted-ball perspective, but Smyly has done an excellent job at limiting hard contact. He ranks in the 91st percentile in average exit velocity and 85th percentile in hard-hit rate, so it’s ultimately not that surprising that his BABIP and HR/FB rate are lower than expected.

The Mets’ offense has also had its struggles against southpaws this season. New York ranks just 20th in wRC+ in that split, while they’re 10th vs. right-handers.

As much as Mets fans may want to believe that everything is back to normal with the team, there are still plenty of red flags. Getting a quality team like the Cubs at -110 at home is a good price tag.

Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays:

The Pick: Rays ML (-125)

Jose Berrios was one of the most overrated pitchers in baseball during his tenure with the Twins, and it’s all been falling apart since he arrived in Toronto. He was dreadful in 2022, pitching to a 5.23 ERA and a 5.11 xERA, and things haven’t been much better this season. His ERA is down slightly to 4.61, but his 5.08 xERA is nearly identical to last year’s mark.

Berrios did manage to shut down the Rays in their first meeting this year, but I don’t think he’ll be quite as fortunate this time around. The Rays aren’t just the best offensive team in baseball; they’re the best in baseball by a wide margin. They boast a 133 wRC+ vs. right-handers this season, while the Dodgers are second at 115. Ultimately, the gap between the Rays and Dodgers is larger than the gap between the Dodgers and the 18th-ranked Braves (99).

The Rays will also have one of the best pitching prospects in baseball on the mound in Taj Bradley. Bradley has impressed at the MLB level so far, posting a 3.54 ERA, 2.51 xERA, and 11.95 K/9 through 20 1/3 innings. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he’s already better than Berrios, and while Toronto’s lineup is formidable, they’re not nearly as impressive as the Rays.

The Rays have been the third-most profitable team in baseball this season, rewarding bettors with a +13.6% return on investment. This seems like a nice spot to take them at a slight discount.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves:

The Pick: Dodgers ML (+170)

Getting the Dodgers as massive underdogs is not something that happens every day. In fact, the last time the Dodgers were available at longer than +160 was all the way back in the 2018 World Series. The last time they’ve been priced above +150 or higher was 2019, and the Dodgers won that game 11-2. This simply is not a team that is disrespected by the sportsbooks very often.

That changes on Tuesday, and the Dodgers will have their hands full with Spencer Strider. Strider has taken MLB by storm, and he’s arguably the best pitcher in baseball in just his second full MLB season. He’s pitched to a 14.98 K/9 and a 2.96 ERA this season, and his 2.18 FIP suggests he’s been even better than his traditional metrics suggest.

Still, Strider is not infallible. Batters tend to make excellent contact against Strider when they do put the ball in play, with the ace pitcher ranking in the 34th percentile or worse in barrel rate, average exit velocity, and hard-hit rate. Strider also gave up four earned runs across five innings in his last outing, and he’s allowed multiple runs in four straight starts.

The Dodgers’ offense also remains one of the best in the business. They’re second in the league in wRC+ vs. right-handers, and they boast a below-average strikeout rate. They’re better equipped to deal with Strider than most, and the thought of passing on LA as massive dogs is too tempting to pass up.

Place your MLB bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.