MLB Betting Guide: Thursday 5/26/22

The Yankees hit the road for a series opener with the Rays on Thursday. How does our model see that game playing out, and how can you gain an advantage in the betting market?

numberFire has built comprehensive algorithms to pinpoint the bets with the highest probability of returning money, whether you are betting on the total, a runline, 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 three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.

Using our model as a guide, let's take a look at the best bets to make at MLB odds.

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.

New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Over 7.5 Runs (+100): 2-Star Rating Out of 5

Nestor Cortes is going today for the New York Yankees, and he's been excellent thus far, dealing his way to a 2.68 SIERA and 32.4% strikeout rate.

It's just probably not going to last -- at least quite to this level.

ZiPS rest-of-season projections have Cortes posting a 26.9% strikeout rate and allowing 1.54 homers per nine, which is nearly double his current clip of 0.80 jacks per nine. The lower strikeout rate makes sense, as Cortes' 10.2% swinging-strike rate this campaign is almost identical to his 10.1% swinging-strike rate from 2021, when he finished with a 27.5% strikeout rate.

In short, Cortes should still be a good pitcher the rest of the way; he's just unlikely to maintain the elite-level numbers he's generated so far. That gives us a reason to be a little into the Tampa Bay Rays' offense today.

We should always be bullish on the offense of the Yankees. They'll see lefty Ryan Yarbrough. The owner of a 4.48 SIERA and 17.8% strikeout rate since the start of 2021, Yarbrough doesn't profile as someone who can shut down the likes of Aaron Judge and company.

We project the Yankees to win by a score of 4.26-4.12. That's 8.38 total runs, and we give the over -- which is currently at +100 -- a 56.9% chance to cash.

Cleveland Guardians at Detroit Tigers

Tigers Moneyline (-128): 1-Star Rating Out of 5

As long as the rain cooperates, the Detroit Tigers have a big advantage on the mound today as they turn to Tarik Skubal while the Cleveland Guardians have Konnor Pilkington starting.

Skubal was really good last season, putting up a 3.92 SIERA, 25.9% strikeout rate, 7.4% walk rate and 11.4% swinging-strike rate. He's made a leap in 2022, besting those numbers across the board. Through his first 44 2/3 frames of this year, the Tigers' southpaw sports a 2.76 SIERA, 28.4% strikeout rate, 4.5% walk rate and 12.1% swinging-strike rate.

He's pitching like an ace and is on fire at the moment, giving up zero earned runs over his last three appearances -- a span of 18 innings that includes five shutout frames versus Cleveland last time out.

Pilkington has just 8 2/3 MLB innings on his resume, and three of his four appearances have been out of the 'pen. While he put up some gaudy strikeout numbers in the minors, he's consistently had issues with walks, and FanGraphs ranked him as the Guardians' 38th-best prospect. It's not exactly the profile of someone who seems likely to plow through an MLB lineup, even a blah one like Detroit's.

We have Detroit winning 4.33-4.08 and give them win odds of 56.7%. While that's nearly exactly at the 56.1% implied odds of this -128 moneyline, I'm more into Skubal and the Tigers today than our model is. I like taking the Tigers on the moneyline tonight.