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The One Hitter: MLB game-by-game betting breakdown (5/26)

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Matt Kupferle

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Each day, we are going to try and give you a quick preview of today’s main slate and any interesting betting angles that we spot. Take a peek and let us know what your thoughts are around our new daily piece.

Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees

Blue Jays (+124), Yankees (-146)
Total: 9.5 runs
Alek Manoah (R) vs. Domingo Germán (R)

The story here will be focused completely on rookie Alek Manoah — while other prospects like Corbin Martin and Logan Gilbert haven’t exactly shined yet, the sparkle is bright for the young righty. However, the real story should be focused on the surge of the Yankees — and part of that is due to the excellent pitching from guys like Domingo Germán, who shut the Rangers out for seven innings last start.

Best bets: F5 Yankees. Making your debut in Yankee Stadium is pretty awesome, and yet quite the uphill battle at the same time. Expect the Yankees to blast the young arm.

Cincinnati Reds at Washington Nationals

Reds (+124), Nationals (-146)
Total: 10.0 runs
Jeff Hoffman (R) vs. Joe Ross (R)

I’ll be one of the first to admit it — I'm a numbers nerd with a background in finance and accounting. A day after a pitching duel, an over/under set at 10.0 runs shows that Vegas believes it’s going to be difficult to see the same result yet again. Peep Joe Ross — he held a low ERA in check, but a FIP near 6 belied some problems on the horizon — and he’s been hammered recently. Ross’s 42.2% ground-ball rate is nice, but the 10.2% walk rate is not.

Best bets: Nothing seems soft in this line, but I’d consider the over and even some home run props in this one.

Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays

Royals (+172), Rays (-205)
Total: 7.0 runs
Mike Minor (L) vs. Tyler Glasnow (R)

This one played out about how we expected it to on Tuesday — and if Tyler Glasnow, who was known to be tipping pitches in the playoffs and again last time out — can things figured out, this could be a spot to smash. Meanwhile, Mike Minor has pitched better than his ERA (5.14) would indicate — he’s got a stellar strikeout rate north of 25%, and he’s limiting the walks (8.1%).

Best bets: I’d expect a low-scoring affair here. The Rays strike out over 30% of the time against lefties, so either think about a Minor strikeout prop or the under.

Colorado Rockies at New York Mets

Rockies (+124), Mets (-146)
Total: 7.0 runs
Germán Márquez (R) vs. Marcus Stroman (R)

I know he’s not even pitching Wednesday, but do we even say any more about Jacob deGrom? Five innings pitched, and he still hit the over on 8.5 strikeouts Tuesday, limiting Colorado to a single hit. The dude is nasty. Now, Stroman takes his turn, and while his 20.6% strikeout rate is admittedly far below deGrom’s, he could keep the ball rolling.

Best bets: These two teams have combined for nine runs in the series. Take the under.

Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers

Indians (-134), Tigers (+114)
Total: 9.5 runs
Triston McKenzie (R) vs. José Ureña (R)

As if things weren’t going bad enough for Cleveland, who’s been no-hit twice this season, Zach Plesac (the notorious knucklehead who was demoted for violating COVID-19 protocols last season) will head to the IL for allegedly breaking his thumb removing his jersey. Ay-yi-yi. Well, now Triston McKenzie will get a full shot at the rotation, and let’s see what he can do with it. McKenzie is primarily a fastball pitcher (65% pitch mix), and the problem isn’t the 30.6% strikeout rate — it’s the 20.1% walk rate. 

Best bets: I think, like the series opener, runs will be scored. McKenzie has to work on his control and command, and Urena is playing with fire — a 55.9% ground-ball rate is gorgeous, but a 15.8% strikeout rate is just unheard of. 

Atlanta Braves at Boston Red Sox

Braves (+122), Red Sox (-144)
Total: 10.5 runs
Drew Smyly (L) vs. Nick Pivetta (R)

Two hot offenses were basically held silent Tuesday night, and I think it could happen yet again on Wednesday’s tilt between these two teams. Drew Smyly takes the bump for the Braves, and the southpaw has been really good in his last three starts — six innings in each, and four total earned runs over 18 innings. Similarly, Nick Pivetta has been really good as well — he is undefeated and has only a 3.59 ERA this season.

Best bets: Smash the UNDER. I was wrong Tuesday, and these two arms have been pretty impressive.

San Diego Padres at Milwaukee Brewers

Padres (-120), Brewers (+102)
Total: 8.0 runs
Chris Paddack (R) vs. Eric Lauer (L)

At this point, despite the trade for Willy Adames and the return of Christian Yelich, this Brewers offense is just totally and utterly lost. Now, interestingly, Chris Paddack is still a two-pitch pitcher — he throws a fastball or change-up 90% of the time. His 21.9% strikeout rate is below average, but he is throwing effectively. For the Brewers, after you get past the top two in the Brewers rotation, there are a lot of gaps to fill, and Eric Lauer is certainly not a stud in the making.

Best bets: There’s value here in a F5 Padres bet, or even a same-game parlay handling the Padres and a Paddack strikeout prop.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros

Dodgers (-148), Astros (+126)
Total: 8.0 runs
Trevor Bauer (R) vs. Luis García (R)

Cue all the fun memes and the anger from Dodgers fans as they line up with the Astros Wednesday. While it’s only a two-game set, the first one was a total wipeout — Clayton Kershaw did Clayton Kershaw things, and this one was a wrap. Now, can Trevor Bauer do the same? His 35.5% strikeout certainly should be stretched, and on the other side, Luis García has been brilliant — he owns a 28.7% strikeout rate over 40.1 innings pitched.

Best bets: With the Crawford boxes so close, many folks may assume this is a hitter-friendly park, but it’s not — it’s a pitcher’s paradise. Take the under.

San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks

Giants (-116), Diamondbacks (-114)
Total: 9.0 runs
Johnny Cueto (R) vs. Merrill Kelly (R)

In his age-35 season, Johnny Cueto has found a way to roll the clock back. Over 32.1 IP, Cueto has recorded a 2.89 FIP thanks to an impeccable 4.6% walk rate. That’s largely due to ditching his fastball and relying heavily on a slider and changeup. I wish we could say the same for Merrill Kelly, who’s been obliterated this season. I guess one superlative we could offer for Kelly is that he’s eaten innings — he’s thrown 51.2 so far — but his 5.05 ERA, inflated by 1.39 home runs per nine (HR/9) innings pitched has really hurt him.

Best bets: Cueto has been really good, so I’m unsure why this game is a coin flip. I’d make a F5 bet on the Giants or even a Giants moneyline bet.

(Get all my MLB betting picks here)

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