Cincinnati Reds @ Cleveland Guardians
Favorite: Guardians -130
Pitchers: Tyler Mahle (5.89 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) vs. Cal Quantrill (3.93 ERA, 1.28 WHIP)
Poor Cincinnati fans. From a team that could hit with the best of them last year with a decent pitching staff to a bottom dwelling 10-26 record, it’s been a tough few months for them. Mahle has struggled early on, though his expected numbers are above average and he should improve. Their bats have been better lately, ranking 12th in OPS this month. They’re out of their historic slump that began the season, but the truth is they still are not going to make any noise.
The Guardians are in a bit of a slump, losing 4 of 5 after winning 4 of 5. Their bats have been respectable recently behind Jose Ramirez and Ahmed Rosario having a big couple of weeks. Cal Quantrill has had an interesting year. On one side, he’s posted a respectable ERA with an average WHIP, but his advanced numbers are poor. I attribute this to having all but his first start against top tier offenses (Giants, Yankees, Angels, Padres, White Sox). I think he improves, and while he might not reach his 2.89 ERA of last year, he’ll be a solid pitcher for 2022.
Pick: Guardians F5 ML -125 (1u)
St Louis Cardinals @ New York Mets
Favorite: Mets -180
Pitchers: Dakota Hudson (3.06 ERA, 1.33 WHIP) vs. Chris Bassett (2.34 ERA, 1.02 WHIP)
It’s never good when a pitcher’s xERA is nearly double that of their actual ERA, and this is the case for Dakota Hudson. A 5.44 xERA with woeful numbers across the board, his ERA so far this season is as flukey as they come. He’s allowed only 3 runs in his last two starts, but in those, he’s allowed 10 hits and 6 walks. He’s a ticking time-bomb ready to explode and the Mets just might be the ones to do it.
Whether they do or not, they’re afforded the luxury of starting Chris Bassitt this afternoon, who is making his early case for the Cy Young. The Cardinals have swung a good bat in May, but come up against one of their toughest opponents yet. With that said, I think there are runs to be had in this game and the total is a bit low given Hudson’s inability to keep players off the basepaths and the Cardinals being solid batting as of late.
Pick: o7.5 -105 (1u)
Seattle Mariners @ Boston Red Sox
Favorite: Red Sox -120
Pitchers: George Kirby (0.90 ERA, 0.80 WHIP) vs. Rich Hill (2.89 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)
Let’s start this off by addressing Kirby’s stats. He’s only pitched 10 innings and while that ERA is still good, he’s getting hit hard like nobody’s business. Registering a 56.7% hard hit rate that puts him with the worst in the league, that puts the rookie in a spot due for regression against some of the best bats in baseball. It’s true, the Red Sox bats have struggled, but back-to-back series wins over the Rangers and Astros behind some exceptional hitting has them feeling good again.
Seattle comes back into the states as losers from their trip to Toronto. Their bats struggled in the series, only registering 7 runs in their 3 games. It doesn’t appear to get much better, as they’re a league worst 30th in OPS against lefties in May. Rich HIll will continue to throw his looping wiffle balls and create soft contact through ball-movement and sequences, and the Red Sox should cruise to a series-opening win today.
Pick: Boston F5 ML -120 (1.5u) & Mariners TT u4 -125 (0.5u)