We’re now over a month into the MLB season, so we can focus more on 2021 data and trends rather than pulling from last season, making the betting side of baseball a lot more fun.
The difference in baseball compared to other sports is how the spreads (run lines) are measured. Unlike in other sports where the size of a spread can vary, baseball’s spreads are defaulted to 1.5 runs, with the odds being juiced one way or another. This makes targeting games before all the odds are up a bit easier, especially for the sake of these articles.
Below are two of my favorite bets for Wednesday, May 5.
Milwaukee Brewers @ Philadelphia Phillies
The pick: Brewers ML (-140, PointsBet)
It’s surprised me as much as anyone that the Brewers’ offense is sitting atop the NL Central, but here we are. The club recently welcomed Lorenzo Cain back into the lineup and have gotten the 2019 NL MVP back in Christian Yelich as well, making this a tougher lineup to crack. Chase Anderson doesn’t look like a pitcher who will have his way with this lineup, as his 7.9 strikeouts per nine-inning rate is his lowest since 2018, and should help mask the biggest weakness in this Brewers’ lineup -- swings and misses. His 1.431 WHIP so far indicates the Crew should have little trouble not only putting the ball in play but also getting on base and driving in runs. At -140, this money line is a bit too low for what should be a money line hovering around -180.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ San Diego Padres
The pick: Padres -1.5 (-105, PointsBet)
There’s no denying the San Diego offense has failed to live up to expectations so far this season, but it’s still incredibly hard to pass on the value here with an ace on the mound when the run-line is almost sitting at even odds. Pirates pitcher JT Brubaker has already struggled with the long ball this season, allowing four home runs in his 15 innings pitched while only recording 7.8 strikeouts per nine innings. While it’s unlikely he goes the length of a starter (given his 15 innings in five starts this season), he should still allow enough production to the talented Padres lineup to help them smash this run line before the Pirates’ bullpen takes over. As long as the offense steps up and Yu Darvish does his job, this feels like a great value.