MLB Betting Guide for Friday 6/2/23: Will Lyles' Luck Turn Around in Kansas City?

Betting on baseball can be a grind that reaps an enormous reward.

Day-to-day outlooks can be vastly different due to starting pitchers, and a wealth of advanced stats can let us know an individual pitcher, a bullpen, or a team is due to positive -- or negative -- regression.

Which MLB lines from FanDuel Sportsbook are most appealing today?

Note: Lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All stats come from FanGraphs unless noted otherwise. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.

Toronto Blue Jays at New York Mets

Blue Jays ML (+116)

I'd favor Toronto here, so this number feels like a gift.

Justin Verlander just hasn't had it in 2023 yet with his new team. The 40-year-old's 4.80 ERA isn't heavily related to luck when he's got a 4.58 skill-interactive ERA (SIERA) behind it, and Verlander's 18.4% strikeout rate would be his lowest since 2014. Today, he'll face a Blue Jays lineup with a 114 wRC+ against righties (third-best in MLB), so it won't get easier.

The Mets will face Chris Bassitt in a revenge game for the former New York hurler. Bassitt's first year in Toronto was off to a rocky start, but his 3.80 ERA is an indication of how the storm has subsided. His SIERA (4.68) aligns with Verlander's, but the Mets' 105 wRC+ in this split isn't quite as potent.

As we head into the bullpens, the gap between these clubs should increase. Toronto's reliever xFIP (3.92) is considerably better than New York's (4.52). They're an excellent package for the number.

Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers

Mariners ML (-118)

Perhaps this is somewhat tied to my prior evaluations of these teams; I'd have taken Seattle's offense over Texas' to begin the year, but things obviously haven't played out that way.

Still, Luis Castillo has been significantly better than Jon Gray this year to the point where this number is very friendly for such an edge. Castillo's 2.69 ERA is well-supported by a 3.24 SIERA, and his 15.6% swinging-strike rate has led to plenty of swings and misses.

As for Gray, his 2.81 ERA is a bit of fool's gold. His SIERA (4.65) is much higher, and Gray's barrel rate allowed (8.0%) is actually even higher than last year's. Plus, his 19.9% strikeout rate in a full season would be the lowest of his entire career.

The pitching advantage also extended into the 'pen. The Mariners' bullpen xFIP is the best in the league (3.58), and the Rangers' is fourth-worst in baseball (4.62).

Yes, the Texas offense has been lethal against righties (113 wRC+), but I can't ignore the enormous gap in pitching in what is nearly a pick 'em.

Colorado Rockies at Kansas City Royals

Royals ML (-120)

The Royals are 0-11 in Jordan Lyles' starts this year, yet they're favored here. The contrarian in me likes to call that "primed for regression".

Realistically, Lyles has deserved better than his 7.30 ERA, per a 5.41 SIERA. He's been torched by a 15.1% HR/FB ratio that is well above the league average (11.7%), but his hard-hit rate allowed (33.3%) isn't astonishingly high. Over time, that rate -- and a whopping 2.53 HR/9 -- should drop.

Colorado's Chase Anderson is due for the opposite. Anderson's 1.31 ERA is a complete fib when he's rocking a 5.24 SIERA, and he's barely getting any whiffs (6.3% swinging-strike rate). Anderson's low hard-hit rate allowed (30.2%) has been his lone saving grace, yet a 4.3% HR/FB ratio is still primed to get smashed at some point.

Sticking with today's theme, Kansas City's bullpen (4.34 xFIP) has slightly outperformed the Rockies' (4.45).

By wRC+, these are both bottom-10 offenses against righties, but the universe should be sending these hurlers' ERAs in opposite directions soon. It could be as soon as tonight.