MLB Betting Guide: Monday 4/18/22
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For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet. For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.
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Over 8.5 (-104): 4-Star Rating Out of 5
As long as the weather holds off and allows this game to play, we like the offenses to win out Monday night in the nation's capital.
Gray has really had a tough time with walks and fly balls in his brief MLB career, and that's not a good combination. Gray issued a 10.7% walk rate in 70 2/3 innings last season, and he's handed out five free passes in nine frames so far in 2022 (13.2% walk rate). He surrendered a sky-high 53.7% fly-ball rate a year ago, which resulted in Gray giving up 2.42 jacks per nine.
Bumgarner is off to a brutal start -- much worse than his 2.25 ERA would have you believe. He's got a 10.8% strikeout rate and 16.2% walk rate, and he's been tagged for a 65.4% fly-ball rate.
We're dealing with small samples for this year, of course, but MadBum finished 2021 with a 45.0% fly-ball rate and gave up 1.48 taters per nine. Since the start of 2020 (196 innings), Bumgarner owns a 4.83 SIERA and 18.8% strikeout rate while conceding 1.74 homers per nine.
We have Washington winning 5.64-5.08. That's 10.72 total runs -- well over the posted total of 8.5. Our algorithm projects the over to win out 68.4% of the time.
Over 7.5 (-114): 3-Star Rating Out of 5
Rays -1.5 (+122): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
The Rays will be taking on Kyle Hendricks, and we expect Tampa Bay's bats to win this matchup -- which creates value on the total and the runline.
Hendricks is coming off a miserable 2021 in which he set career-worst marks in a few categories, including SIERA (4.70) and homers per nine (1.54). His 16.7% strikeout rate was his lowest clip since his rookie year.
In his first start of 2022, Hendricks looked like he might be embarking on a bounce-back campaign, fanning seven over 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball versus the Milwaukee Brewers. But then in his second turn -- his last time out -- Hendricks was rocked for six earned runs in 3 2/3 frames by a very meh Pittsburgh Pirates offense.
Getting the ball for Tampa Bay is Shane McClanahan, who has been nothing short of outstanding so far in his MLB career. The lefty has pitched to a 3.55 SIERA, 28.1% strikeout rate and 15.0% swinging-strike rate in 132 1/3 career innings. McClanahan got up to 85 pitches in his last start -- 17 more than the 68 he threw in his season debut -- so he should be close to a full workload today.
Also, the Rays have an edge when it comes to travel and rest. Tampa Bay has been in Chicago since midweek last week as they just wrapped up a series against the Chicago White Sox. The Cubs, meanwhile, flew in last night after the completion of their series in Denver versus the Colorado Rockies.
All in all, we project the Rays to win by a score of 5.62-3.86.
While temps in the 30s won't aid the offenses, the wind is forecasted to be howling out to right (17 MPH), so that could help offset things a bit. With Tampa Bay's offense expected to do the heavy lifting, we give the over a 66.0% chance to hit.
If the miserable weather scares you away from the over, I get it. You can turn to the Rays on the runline. We think the Rays cover as 1.5-run favorites 55.3% of the time, and that's an enticing bet with the price at +122.
Oakland -1.5 (+108): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
In 57 2/3 career MLB innings, Watkins has struggled mightily, posting a 5.48 SIERA, 13.3% strikeout rate and 6.8% swinging-strike rate. He's also permitted a 40.0% fly-ball rate, which has led to an unsightly 2.18 dingers per nine. Yikes.
Montas gives the Oakland Athletics the clear edge on the bump in this series opener. The righty is coming off the best year of his career as he recorded a 3.79 SIERA, 26.6% strikeout rate and 13.7% swinging-strike rate across 187 innings in 2021.
Montas should overpower the Baltimore Orioles' offense. The O's sport the sixth-worst wOBA (.280) and second-highest strikeout rate (29.0%) thus far, and FanGraphs' rest-of-season projections peg Baltimore to be the third-worst offense.
We project this game to be a 5.32-3.32 win for the A's, and we give them 56.1% odds of covering as 1.5-run favorites.