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Best MLB Bets Today – Free (Tuesday 5/14)

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Let’s keep it rolling after our first three writeups of the 2024 MLB season cashed. We’ll head to Texas, as the Rangers are hosting the Guardians for a three-game set. While I do like Ben Lively and Cleveland’s chances to win at even money tonight, let’s isolate the Guardians offense against the 2021 second overall pick Jack Leiter and the Texas bullpen. 

Cleveland Guardians +100 @ Texas Rangers -120

Total 9 (Caesars)

Leiter is making his third MLB start, and the first two have certainly been tough on the rookie. The righty has yet to pitch into the fifth inning while rocking an ERA just below 13. It’s a small sample and Leiter obviously isn’t a 13.00 ERA guy, but his advanced stats show his struggles as well. His SIERA sits at 4.98, with a 7.61 xERA and 6.14 FIP. The rookie has only thrown 36.1 innings above AA ball and posted a 5.05 ERA in 205 minor league innings. He has an overall barrel rate of 15.2% and his fastball has been getting tattooed in the Show. Batters are hitting .364, and slugging .818 off Leiter’s fastball through two starts, a pitch he is featuring 49% of the time. Leiter has had trouble generating swings and misses at the big-league level with a below-average swinging strike percentage and a K-BB% of 7.1%. Here’s what the FTN MLB Model projects for Leiter Tuesday:

Once the former second overall pick departs, we’re looking at about five innings from the Rangers bullpen, which has been horrible in 2024. Their 5.35 ERA is the worst in MLB, their advanced stats aren’t much better, their FIP is fifth worst and their SIERA sits at sixth worst. Over the last 14 days, the Rangers bullpen has somehow been worse. Posting a 7.38 ERA, a 5.15 SIERA and the worst WHIP in MLB at 1.84. 

Overall the Guardians offense has been solid, ranking in the top-10 in runs per game at 4.81. The over on their team total has been the second-most profitable in baseball at 25-17. However, their offense has taken a recent dip with their leadoff man Steven Kwan hitting the injured list. They’re hitting around .200 for the last 14 days, while their 91 wRC+ ranks 18th against right-handed pitching. Cleveland ranks fourth in HR in that span with 13, one behind the Dodgers. Even without Kwan, opposing pitchers have had a tough time striking the Guardian hitters out, so we know they’re still able to put the ball in play. Leiter and the struggling Rangers pitching staff make this a solid bet even with Cleveland’s offense not being in ideal form. 

As always, be sure to use FTN’s Prop Shop to bet the best available lines. 

Best Bet

Guardians TT Over 4.5 -105 

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