OddsTrader’s Best Bet: Rays-Yankees Under 8.5 (-105) at Bet365
It’s awfully quiet around here. Thursday is one of the two “travel” days in Major League Baseball, Monday being the other; we’ve only got six games to work with for our latest batch of MLB computer picks, and two of those don’t have betting lines attached as we go to press, thanks to undecided starters.
Fewer games means you’re less likely to find any 5-star deadbolt locks to put in your baseball picks. With the help of the computers at OddsTrader, we’ve uncovered three total bets that we’d classify as slight leans, but still worth betting at least a token amount on – especially if you package them with a higher-margin player prop from the same game.
- Rays-Yankees Under 8.5 (-105) at Bet365
- Giants-Diamondbacks Over 9 (-115) at WynnBET
- White Sox-Royals Over 9.5 (-108) at SBK
Thursday, May 11, 2023 – 07:05 PM EDT at Yankee Stadium
If you’re worried about betting the Under because of the increase in run production across the majors, don’t be: The market has already caught up. The Over is only the slimmest margin ahead at 264-263 on the season, and 47-46 the past seven days.
This game in particular, which you can see live on the MLB Network, has a lot of what we need. The OddsTrader computers have the Rays winning 4.2 runs to 3.6, taking us more than a half-run below the 8.5-run total at Bet365.
Drew Rasmussen (3.34 xFIP) is starting for Tampa Bay; he’s got the Under at 3-2-2 this year, and his most recent start was this past Saturday against these same Yankees, where Rasmussen pitched 5.2 shutout innings in an eventual 3-2 loss for the Rays (Under 7.5).
His opposite number that day: Domingo German (3.81 xFIP), who will take the mound again this Thursday at Yankee Stadium. German allowed two earned runs in five innings when they last met at the Trop, good enough to leave the Under at 6-1 in his seven starts thus far.
It’s Always Sunny in NY City
Thursday’s weather report calls for sunny skies in the Bronx and temperatures in the mid-70s, with light breezes blowing out to that short porch in right field, so again, don’t bet the farm on this one.
However, this stadium does have a park factor of 98 for runs according to Baseball Savant, the Yankees have a quality bullpen at No. 7 on the FanGraphs WAR charts, and Bet365 has -105 juice attached to the Under at press time.
MLB Pick: Under 8.5 (-105) at Bet365
Thursday, May 11 – 09:40 PM EDT at Chase Field
Now we can grab a sliver of value on the Over. Chase Field is more hitter-friendly, with a park factor of 102 for runs (No. 11 overall). That’s partly because they’re in the desert; it’ll be in the high-80s this Thursday under clear Phoenix skies, and the team has already confirmed the roof will be open for this two-game series.
Also hitter-friendly: Tommy Henry (5.33 career xFIP), at least at this stage of his young career. The second-year southpaw will be making just his 13th big-league start for the Snakes and his fourth this season.
Henry has the Over at 2-1 this year after cashing in back-to-back games versus Colorado and Washington by a combined score of 19-11.
Cobb On the Mound
The Giants have just made it official: Alex Cobb (2.98 xFIP) will get the nod after pitching seven shutout innings in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Milwaukee (Under 8.5). That’s four straight Unders for Cobb and five in seven starts, but the OT computers have Arizona winning 5.7 runs to 4.9 in this heat, clearing Thursday’s total by 1.6 runs.
MLB Pick: Over 9 (-115) at WynnBET
Thursday, May 11 – 02:10 PM EDT at Kauffman Stadium
This isn’t the sexiest pick on the calendar, but the -108 juice at SBK helps everything look better, and the computers say the Royals are going to beat the White Sox 5.2 runs to 4.8. That’s exactly 10 runs if we’re doing the math right, a half-run higher than what’s on the MLB totals at press time.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
We’ve got an Over-friendly matchup between Mike Clevinger (5.28 xFIP) for Chicago and Brady Singer (4.40 xFIP) for Kansas City, although both pitchers have shown promise in the past. Too bad the weather’s decidedly unfriendly, with an 80% chance of rain over Kauffman Stadium (104 park factor for runs, No. 7) and winds up to 15 mph blowing down the first-base line.
Temper your bet size accordingly, and enjoy the games.
MLB Pick: Over 9.5 (-108) at SBK