The All-Star Break is almost upon us. It has been a wild first half to the start of the 2022 MLB season, to say the least. The Yankees and Mets have been more dominant than expected, while Toronto and the Chicago White Sox are amongst the biggest, surprise underachievers.
The slate for today, Saturday, July 16, was loaded with day games. For this article, we’ll be looking at matchups and finding betting value for the 5-game evening slate.
Here are our free expert picks and predictions for tonight’s Major League Baseball action.
Dodgers at Angels
Our friends at Ballpark Pal project the Dodgers to win 60% of the time, while the current moneyline hovering around -200 implies a 67% win probability. I hate backing heavy favorites, but am going to make an exception here.
— LAA has one of the worst offenses in baseball against LHPs. As a team, they rank 25th in wOBA (.290) and ISO (.121), and 26th in OPS (.653).
— The Halos are expected to get Mike Trout back in the lineup tonight, but the all-universe CF’s Achilles heel plays into LAD SP Julias Urias’s strengths. Heat maps show Urias loves pounding the top of the zone. Meanwhile, according to Baseball Savant, Trout has a .064 average in PAs ending with high FBs this season, managing just 3 singles in 47 ABs with 27 Ks. Trout is striking out at a career-high 29.8% rate this season (21.9% K% career average).
— It might come as a surprise, but the Dodgers offense grades out as quite average overall this season against LHPs. They get a soft southpaw tonight, though, when Jose Suarez (1-3, 4.79 ERA, 1.52 WHIP) takes the mound. Suarez has neutral platoon splits, allowing a.352 wOBA against RHBs and .349 wOBA against LHBs for his career.
— Urias (7-6, 3.01 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) projects for a Quality Start. His 4.09 FIP can be traced to his bloated 1.41 HR/9 (career 0.89 HR/9. Angels Stadium has an extremely hitter-friendly 118 HR Factor and 105 Park Factor overall, so he likely won’t escape unscathed. Suarez projects to get the shorter end of that stick, though. He has a career 1.65 HR/9.
With the ball carrying, look for the Dodgers to hang crooked numbers on the scoreboard in multiple innings and comfortably cover.
— LAD TT o5 (-108)
— LAD -1.5 (-125)
— Mookie Betts 2+ TBs (-140)
— Freddie Freeman 2+ TBs (-115)
— Trea Turner 2+ TBs (-130)
Red Sox @ Yankees
Last night’s 5-4 Boston victory in 11 innings was insane. If you missed it, give the play-by-play a read. These rivals seem to always beat each other up, and tonight should be no different.
— I’m going throw projections out the window and lean into my favorite “feel for the game” numbers: BvP. Multiple models project Red Sox SP Nick Pivetta (8-6, 4.08 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 4.15 xFIP) to have a serviceable start, but he has been absolutely lit up by the Bronx Bombers this year. In starts against the Yankees, Pivetta has allowed 10 ER, 12 H, 5 BB and 4 HR in just 9 IP. He’s a long shot for a Quality Start tonight.
— At home against RHPs, the Yankees have the 4th highest ISO (.191), 3rd highest BB% (10.3%) and 2nd highest HR/FB% (15.6%) in MLB. Pivetta is an extreme flyball pitcher, with a paltry 34.8% GB% on the season. Expect New York to do a fair amount of “elevating and celebrating.”
— NYY 5i TT o2.5 (-110)
— DJ LeMahieu 2+ TBs (+115)
— Giancarlo Stanton 2+ TBs (+105)
— Anthony Rizzo 2+ TBs (+125)
— JD Martinez 2+ TBs (+110)
— Rafael Devers 2+ TBs (-120)
— Matt Carpenter 2+ TBs (+135)
— Christian Vazquez 2+ TBs (+120)
Mets at Cubs -and- Diamondbacks at Padres
Both of these games are incredibly similar to the Dodgers-Angels matchup we broke down above. We have elite teams, who are huge betting favorites, both taking on National League cellar-dwellars.
Max Scherzer (6-1, 2.15 ERA, 0.83 WHIP) has been absolutely dominant since returning from the IL. Has only allowed 1 ER over 13 IPs, while striking out 20 and walking exactly nobody. He threw 93 pitches during his last outing and should be fully stretched out tonight. He projects as the top starting pitcher tonight and should dominate homer-prone LHP Drew Smyly (2-5, 4.43 ERA, 1.61 HR/9) and the Cubs.
Sean Manaea (4-4, 4.09 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.84 xFIP) and the Padres aren’t anywhere near the locks the Mets are. LHP Tyler Gilbert (0-3, 5.33 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 6.43 FIP) and the Diamondbacks travel to the pitcher-friendly Petco Park as rightful underdogs. Gilbert has had an extreme case of homeritis (7 HRs allowed in 25.1 IPs) but Petco has a 93 HR Factor and 94 Park Factor overall. Both teams also have below-average offenses against lefties.
Not all heavy favorites are built the same. Make your money on the Mets with confidence, but pick your spots with the Padres.
— NYM -1.5 (-125)
— Max Scherzer o8.5 Ks (+118)
— Pete Alonso 2+ TBs (+110)
— Manny Machado 2+ TBs (-115)
— SD-ARI u8.5 (-130)
— Sean Manaea to record a win (+120)
— SD -1.5 (+105)
— Ha-Seong Kim 2+ TBs (+150)
— Luke Voit 2+ TBs (+115)