Brewers vs. Cardinals: Brewers +1.5 (-133) at BetMGM
- Brewers vs. Cardinals: Brewers +1.5 (-133) at BetMGM
- Diamondbacks vs. Athletics: Diamondbacks ML (-140) at Caesars Sportsbook
- Royals vs. Padres: Under 9 (-115) at Caesars Sportsbook
It isn’t officially summer yet, but it sure feels like it across much of North America. Temperatures are getting hot in the Gulf states, the Southwest, and the Pacific Northwest, and they’re likely to get hotter across the continent as we enter what appears to be a powerful El Nino phase.
In other words, if you think scoring is up now in baseball, you ain’t seen anything yet. As the mercury rises, the ball will travel faster and farther; make sure you take this into account when you’re making your MLB picks, especially totals.
We’ve got one total in Tuesday’s three-pack of computer-approved baseball picks, but we start with a familiar refrain: Bet the Milwaukee Brewers on the run line.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Tuesday, May 16, 2023 – 07:45 PM EDT at Busch Stadium
This is a similar pick to the one we made on Saturday, May 6 when we recommended Milwaukee +1.5 (-139) for their road game against the San Francisco Giants. Alas, the Giants won that game 4-1, as their bullpen gave up just the single run in relief of Alex Cobb.
The Cardinals (18-23 ATS, minus-6.74 betting units) don’t pose quite the same threat as San Francisco. They have a much better bullpen at No. 11 on the FanGraphs WAR charts, but Jordan Montgomery (4.01 xFIP) is Tuesday’s projected starter, and while he’s good, he’s no Alex Cobb (3.11 xFIP).
St. Louis also has slightly worse hitting than the Giants at No. 10 on the WAR charts, one spot behind San Fran and one ahead of Milwaukee (19-21 ATS, minus-0.85 units). If we call that a wash, that gives the Brewers a better chance of covering this week with Wade Miley due to take the mound instead of Colin Rea.
That’s if Miley (5.26 xFIP) can start getting some groundballs again. His 37.5% rate would be the lowest of his career by far, which we can partly blame on the shift, but also Miley’s small sample size of seven starts. In any event, FiveThirtyEight gives Miley a rolling Game Score of 50.7 compared to Rea at 46.3.
Granted, Montgomery is even better at 53.3, and the computers at OddsTrader have St. Louis winning Tuesday’s game 4.2 runs to 3. But that seems pessimistic towards Milwaukee; their hitters have a combined .293 BABIP (No. 16), while the Cardinals have been more fortunate at .306 (No. 10). Adding those 1.5 runs should help smooth over some of that variance.
MLB Pick: Brewers +1.5 (-133) at BetMGM
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Oakland Athletics
Tuesday, May 16, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at Oakland Coliseum
It’s time to beat up on the Athletics (9-33 SU, minus-17.35 units) again, this time on the moneyline, where they’ve been the least profitable team on the MLB odds. And the small-market Diamondbacks (23-18 SU, plus-6.77 units) are the right team for the job.
The A’s might actually have the pitching advantage in this matchup. Kyle Muller (5.44 xFIP) is penciled in to start for Oakland opposite Tommy Henry (6.24 xFIP) in a battle of unproven southpaws, but once you get past those two gentlemen, Arizona has the superior bullpen at No. 23 on the WAR charts to dead-last No. 30 for the home side.
The big difference is on the other side of the plate, where Arizona ranks fifth overall in hitting WAR and the A’s No. 21. Add it all up, and the OT computers have the Snakes winning 5.4 runs to 4.7; that winning margin makes ‘Zona the right call at -140 for a single-unit wager.
MLB Pick: Diamondbacks ML (-140) at Caesars Sportsbook
Kansas City Royals vs. San Diego Padres
Tuesday, May 16, 2023 – 09:40 PM EDT at Petco Park
As promised, here’s our total pick, and it takes us to Petco Park, where baseballs go to die. This stadium has a park factor of 88 for runs (No. 28 overall) according to Baseball Savant, and a hefty 105 (No. 6) for strikeouts.
In theory, talented Royals starter Brady Singer (4.43 xFIP) should help cash in the Under on the total of nine runs, but he’s been saddled by a .336 BABIP against with just 55.4% of runners stranded, inflating his ERA to 7.71. Regression incoming.
San Diego is sending Seth Lugo (3.79 xFIP) to the hill this Tuesday, and the weather report calls for temperatures in the mid-60s with light winds blowing down the third-base line, hardly the same torrid conditions they’re expecting elsewhere on the Left Coast.
The OT computers project the Padres to win 4.2 runs to 3.3, giving us ample room to slide below that 9-run total, although we’re going to suggest making this a slight lean for the Under to account for San Diego’s substandard bullpen (No. 21). Bet accordingly – the computers have spoken.
MLB Pick: Under 9 (-115) at Caesars Sportsbook