MLB Best Bets for Tuesday, June 18th

Welcome to my semi-weekly first five inning article! Twice a week throughout baseball season I’ll write up some of the more intriguing first five inning plays of the day. Handicapping pitchers is such a big part of betting baseball, and betting first fives is something I have gravitated to as a bettor.

As always, make sure to keep an eye out for Adam Burke’s columns which will appear daily. Adam is our primary baseball mind, and will be so once again throughout this season.


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Throughout the season I will be keeping track of the results of this article, which you can view here.

MLB Best Bets

St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins

Lance Lynn vs Roddery Muñoz

After a wild win in extras last night the Cardinals are 5-1 in their last six games. I’m hoping to capitalize on that form today when St. Louis takes on Roddery Muñoz. The Marlins’ 21st-ranked prospect has been all over the place this season, but the metrics paint a less than stellar picture.

Muñoz enters this contest with a 4.56 ERA and a 6.62 FIP in five starts. He has a solid fastball, but his command is lacking, evidenced by his 11.5% walk rate which ranks in the 16th percentile.

He also ranks in the first percentile in barrel rate this season (17.2%) and 50.0% of batted balls are considered hard-hit.

St. Louis has slowly crept above average in wRC+ over the last month-and-a-half (102) and they are 16th in wOBA (.310) over that span. The offense is hardly unstoppable, but it is competent enough to take advantage of a pitcher with the profile of Muñoz.

Lance Lynn gets the start opposite Muñoz, and Lynn is not in great form. He has pitched more than four innings just once in his last three starts and that one start was 4.1 innings. Lynn has allowed seven earned in his last two outings.

So, instead of trusting Lynn to hold down this Marlins lineup – which could happen seeing as Miami comes into this game 30th in both wRC+ (79) and wOBA (.279) – I’ll just trust this lineup to take it to Muñoz.

Play: Cardinals F5 TT OV 2.5 (+110)

Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Angels

Tobias Myers vs Griffin Canning

Tobias Myers has been mostly untouchable, but when he gets touched up it’s a big number. Myers has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his eight starts. He’s allowed four or more in his other three. 

Myers metrics point to a pitcher pitching on borrowed time, and I’m hoping that time runs out tonight.

The Brewers’ rookie sports a 3.76 ERA but a 4.62 xERA and 5.04 FIP. He ranks in the 51st percentile in chase rate (28.2%), but just the 15th percentile in whiff rate (20.2%). As a result, Myers has only struck out 22.0% of opposing hitters.

I always have trouble with guys like Myers who pitch to contact, but the Angels have been in a decent groove on offense recently. They are 8-5 in their last 13 games and up to 14th in wRC+ (107) over that span.

But this is not a play on Los Angeles. This is a play on offense.

Griffin Canning will start for Anaheim tonight. He is hardly the guy you want to rely on to hold onto a lead.

Canning ranks higher than the 46th percentile in just one of Baseball Savant’s major pitching statistics, and that one category is chase rate in which he only ranks in the 60th percentile (29.3%).

Milwaukee – the eighth-best lineup in the league in wRC+ (109) – certainly has enough to generate some offense early against Canning.

So, the play is on some run production from both teams tonight in SoCal.

Play: F5 OVER 4.5 (-115)