MLB Betting Guide: Wednesday 4/24/19
numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a line, or moneyline. 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 3-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.
Using our models as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets for today.
Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information.
Under 9.5 (-118): 2-Star Rating out of 5
If Zack Wheeler hadn't decided to be both an offensive powerhouse last night, the under would have hit. As it stands, Wheeler somehow went 2-for-3 with a three-run bomb, pushing the New York Mets to nine runs, half a run over last night's total. Ouch. Fortunately for those betting the under again Mighty Zack is headed back to the bench tonight when the Mets look to finish a sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Velasquez has been money so far this year, allowing two or fewer runs in each of his three starts. He enters tonight's division battle with a .203 BAA, 0.96 WHIP, and 4.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio. This comes despite a start against the hot-hitting Washington Nationals and a start at Coors Field.
Vargas has two decent outings on the season, but he sandwiched those with two four-run outings in which he lasted an inning or less in each. Ouch. Fortunately, he'll be at home tonight, where last year he sported a 3.92 ERA compared to an abysmal 7.13 ERA on the road.
Our models see Velasquez continuing to pitch well and Vargas to finally settle down and allow a projected 2.3 runs in 5.5 innings of work. We give the teams a 63.3% chance of scoring fewer than 9.5 runs and mark the under as a solid two-star play.
Yankees +1.5 (-215): 1-Star Rating out of 5
Yankees Moneyline (-104): 1-Star Rating out of 5
The New York Yankees may have started off the season on a poor note, but they certainly haven't been playing that way over the past couple of weeks. They've won five straight and eight of 10 to move to second place in the American League East.
They've done it largely with solid pitching, starting that 8-2 run with a shutout win against the Chicago White Sox on April 13. CC Sabathia was on the mound for five strong innings in that game, and he'll be on the mound once again tonight when the team takes on the Los Angeles Angels.
Sabathia followed up his win over the Sox with another five-inning, zero-earned run outing against the Kansas City Royals in a 6-2 win on April 19. He's allowed just four hits so far, and he'll look to continue his solid pitching against LA tonight. The Angels are actually favorites this evening, a rarity when facing Sabathia. They've faced Sabathia 12 times (including the postseason) as a Yankee and have been favored in only three of those, going 1-2 straight up and against the runline.
The Angels will start fourth-year pitcher Felix Pena against the Yankees tonight. He's started off well on some accounts with a .206 BAA and a 1.15 WHIP, but he's not striking guys out at a solid clip, and -- much worse -- he's not keeping the ball in the park. He's allowed four homers in just 17.1 innings across four starts, which doesn't bode well against a team who uses the long ball better than most.
We give the Yankees a slight edge in this one. If you want to play it safe, bet the Yankees runline, though the payout won't be as good as the moneyline should they win, of course. Taking everything into account, we have the expected return of both bets right around the same value and have both marked as one-star plays.
Pirates Moneyline (-114): 1-Star Rating out of 5
Jordan Lyles has never been a great Major League pitcher. Heck, he's hardly ever been good. In the league since 2011, Lyles has only produced two seasons with ERAs below 5.00, and batters are hitting .279 against him during his career. Last year's league average, by comparison, was .248.
This season has been a completely different story for Lyles, however. He's given up four or fewer hits in each of his starts, has 18 strikeouts to just five walks, and has given up just one run in 17 inning of work, good for a 0.53 ERA. He'll look to let the good times roll when he takes the mound against the Arizona Cardinals tonight.
The Cardinals will send Merrill Kelly to the mound tonight, a pitcher who looked solid in his first two outings but has since gone downhill, allowing seven runs in 8.2 innings of work over his past two starts. This is Kelly's rookie year, though he's been playing professional ball since 2010. After spending five years in the Rays' farm system, Kelly spent the past four seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he had a 7.9 K/9 rate and a 3.86 ERA.
While the Pittsburgh batters might need to get used to his pitching style in their first at bats tonight, our models don't see that potential confusion as being enough to overcome Lyles' strong pitching. We give the Pirates a 56.4% chance of winning tonight and mark their moneyline bet as a one-star play.
To read all premium content, upgrade to a Premium account with numberFire
If you're not a Premium subscriber, it takes just a few seconds to sign up. You'll get access to all of our insider information, game projections, handicapping advice, DFS tools, advanced statistics, and more.