Monday is here. Can you think of a better way to kick your week off than sitting back and enjoying a dozen baseball games? That would be a resounding, ‘no’. “But Keith, I have a job” is what you’re thinking, and to that, I say, “That’s what your iPhone is for.”
Saturday was a good day, I hit 2/3 of my Wicked Wagers, and to top it off, the Dodgers won. They’re hotter than the sun so I’m going to keep rolling with them. I’ll also be paying special attention to the Astros/A’s divisional game and the match between the Guardians/Red Sox, since both teams are evenly matched.
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Wicked Wager is a term coined by our experts that refers to our best betting recommendation(s) for a specific game.
7:10PM EST Cleveland Guardians (-110) @ Boston Red Sox (-110)
Starting Pitchers: Zach Plesac (CLE) vs Nick Pivetta (BOS)
I mentioned that I thought these two teams were pretty evenly matched, and Vegas agrees with me. Both teams open at -110 to win. The Red Sox have lost five in a row and were just swept by the Toronto Blue Jays. They looked straight up awful. The Guardians, on the other hand, have been solid as of late, winning 6 out of their last 10 games. Will the Red Sox turn it around this series? I think so!
The two righties starting have very similar earned run averages. Zach Plesac is 2-7 with a 4.02 ERA while Nick Pivetta is 8-7 with a 4.50 ERA. If you dig deeper into their advanced stats, you’ll see more and more similarities. The only difference is that Pivetta has gotten better run support in his starts. This game might end up being a slugfest- Vegas has the total runs at 9.5. In the last 6 games, the Guardians and the opposing team have combined for at least 9 runs, but that streak ends tonight. We hardly ever see a total run line this high, which is why I’m betting the under.
Wicked Wagers – Full Game u9.5 Runs (-120) / Red Sox ML (-110)
9:40PM EST Houston Astros (-235) @ Oakland Athletics (+105)
Starting Pitchers: Jake Odorizzi (HOU) vs Adam Oller (OAK)
Houston opens this game as massive favorites at -235, which means there’s very little value on the moneyline. Even if Vegas (and I) are fairly certain they’ll pull out a win.
Through just under 100 games, the A’s have been bad, but they’ve played better baseball as of late. In their last 10 games, they’re 6-4. I bring up the ‘last 10 game’ stat line a lot. That’s because it’s a good way to gauge how a team has been playing recently. Baseball is such a long season, and teams are bound to get hot, but they’ll inevitably go through rough patches.
The A’s are at a clear disadvantage when it comes to starting pitching in tonight’s game. Adam Oller has an ERA of 8.56. No, that wasn’t a typo. I see him being used as an opener for one, or maybe 2 innings, max. This game could get out of hand quick if he’s left in for too long. Vegas also clearly believes he’ll be used as an opener considering the total run line is only set at 8. I could see it at 9 or 9.5 if he was expected to pitch 4-5 innings. Jake Odorizzi has been good for the Astros this year. He missed a month and a half due to a leg injury. He’s done a great job since returning from the Injured List. He’s 3-0 in his last 3 starts with a 2.31 ERA.
Wicked Wager – Houston Run Line -1.5 (-125)
10:10PM EST Washington Nationals (+250) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-320)
Starting Pitchers: Paolo Espino (WSH) vs Tony Gonsolin (LAD)
Brooms had to be brought out in LA yesterday, after the Dodgers completed a 4-game sweep. Sweeps are always nice, but they feel even better when it’s against a rival like the Giants. The Blue Crew have won eight straight and are playing like the best team in baseball over the last month. In that span, they are 18-4.
Washington, on the other hand, is one of the worst teams in the league. Easily in the bottom three. They’ve lost 8 out of their last 10 games and don’t have much going for them. This series will be especially fun because of the drama surrounding their star player Juan Soto. He wants out of D.C. and there is a slight chance he’s in a Dodger uniform next week.
Tony Gonsolin got shelled in the All-Star game last week. I was worried his performance would leak into the regular season, but the Nationals are the perfect team to face when your confidence is a little shaken. Paolo Espino will get touched up against a hot Dodger team. His season long ERA is okay at 3.57. He’s been hit hard recently and over his last 7 games has an ERA of 4.88.
Like the game in Oakland, I can see Espino pitching for just a couple of innings before he’s yanked.
Wicked Wager – Los Angeles Run Line -1.5 (-145) / Full Game u8.5 Runs (-110)
How to Bet Baseball
Unlike other popular sports, most wagers placed on MLB games do not involve a point spread. Instead, bettors typically wager on the moneyline, looking to predict the winner of the game straight-up.
The less-popular cousin of the moneyline bet in baseball is the runline wager. The betting favorite will be assigned a -1.5-run handicap, but oddsmakers will offer an appropriate amount of “juice” to make laying the 1.5 runs with the favorite more appealing.
Totals wagers in baseball work very much like totals wagers in other sports. Oddsmakers will assign an Over/Under figure to every game, leaving bettors to determine whether the game in question will be a home run derby or a pitcher’s duel. Totals of 8.5 runs are typical of MLB games, though totals as low as seven runs and as high as 10 runs will pop up throughout the season.