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MLB Computer Picks for May 19: Phade Cubs, Take Philly Instead

Ranger Suarez Philadelphia Phillies San Diego Padres
Ranger Suarez 55 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates after the Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres Mike EhrmannGetty ImagesAFP

Picks Summary

Thank the baseball gods: It’s Friday. Major League Baseball has another full schedule of games waiting for us to bet on, and as always, the computers at OddsTraders have projected the winners – not just the winners, but final scores as well, down to a tenth of a run.

Some baseball games are easier to project than others. We’ve applied some old-school handicapping logic to Friday’s schedule, and hand-selected the following three games for our latest trio of computer-approved MLB picks.


Chicago Cubs vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Friday, May 19, 2023 – 07:05 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park



One of these struggling teams is going to bounce back with a victory this Friday, and the OT computers say it’ll be the Phillies (20-23, minus-6.45 betting units) prevailing 4.3 runs to four, an entirely reasonable projection that gives Philly at least a sliver of betting value at -125 betting odds or longer.

While Philadelphia is coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the San Francisco Giants, the Cubs (19-24, minus-4.36 units) also dropped three straight to the defending champion Houston Astros – and five of their previous seven before that.

Is Bellinger Playing?

If that weren’t bad enough, Chicago OF Cody Bellinger (.830 OPS) is listed as day-to-day after hyperextending his left knee this past Monday in Houston. Reports suggest Bellinger is likely to play Friday. The Cubs are third overall in hitting WAR according to FanGraphs, so they’ve got plenty of firepower with or without him.

Chicago’s pitching has been pretty good this year (No. 9 in WAR), and they’ll be at the top of their rotation with Marcus Stroman (3.49 xFIP), who has held the current Phillies to a combined .521 lifetime OPS with just one home run in 116 at-bats.

Watch out for Ranger Suarez (3.75 lifetime xFIP), though. Philly’s promising young gun will be making his second start this year, and he’s been pretty effective himself versus the Cubs, allowing a .626 OPS while striking out 20 of the 54 batters he faced.

Philadelphia’s bullpen (No. 7 in WAR) has also outperformed Chicago’s (No. 14) thus far, so even though they’re only No. 19 in the majors in hitting value with Stroman due up, we’re content to recommend the Phillies for a small bet at home.

MLB Pick: Phillies ML (-125) at WynnBet


Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Friday, May 19, 2023 – 08:15 PM EDT at Busch Stadium



This is a repeat of Thursday’s baseball picks, where the computers liked these two same teams to go Under 8.5. That game has yet to begin as we go to press, but Friday’s projections are already in, and they have the Dodgers (Over 23-20-1) beating St. Louis (Over 22-21-1) 4.3 runs to 3.1.

Friday’s total is also half a run higher than Thursday’s, although there’s -120 juice attached this time.

The pitching matchup is a bit less impressive with Tony Gonsolin (4.57 xFIP) taking the mound for L.A. opposite Steven Matz (4.13 xFIP). The Cardinals have a .818 combined OPS off Gonsolin, although in just 33 at-bats, while Matz has held the Dodgers to a .638 OPS in 94 at-bats, with only two home runs allowed.

We’re dealing with two decent bullpens here, with Los Angeles ninth in WAR and the Cards at No. 10, and there should be light winds blowing down the third-base line to help keep the ball from leaving Busch Stadium (117 park factor for runs, No. 4 overall at Baseball Savant) despite the forecast calling for sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s.

MLB Pick: Under 9 (-120) at Caesars Sportsbook


Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels

Friday, May 19, 2023 – 09:38 PM EDT at Angel Stadium



We had the Angels (Over 21-20-3) in Thursday’s MLB totals as well, but that was against the Baltimore Orioles, who lost 6-5 to fulfill the prophecy and cash in the Over. Now the computers have the Halos going Under 8.5 versus the Twins (Under 22-19-3), who were idle Thursday.

There’s a catch, though; said computers have each team scoring 4.2 runs. There’s a non-zero chance extra innings will spoil our wager, and the rested Twins may have some value at -120 on the moneyline, but we’re willing to recommend the Under for a small bet thanks to the -104 deal on vigorish at SBK.

It helps to have Joe Ryan (3.13 xFIP) on the hill for Minnesota, and Reid Detmers (4.20 xFIP) shows a lot of promise for Los Angeles. However, winds around 10 mph will be blowing straight out to center, and Angel Stadium has a park factor of 114 (No. 6 overall) for runs this year.

Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken.

MLB Pick: Under 8.5 (-104) at SBK


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