MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, May 30th


MLB schedule today has 15 games

All 30 teams are in action and all 15 games are late as we look at the Tuesday betting board around Major League Baseball. The card features a handful of extremely large favorites, but the bulk of the slate looks to be rather competitive as we look at five games in the NL, five games in the AL, and five interleague matchups.


Does it feel like offense has ticked up now that it’s gotten a bit warmer? I haven’t run an update in a few days, but let’s examine the data quickly and see if there are any signs of an increase.

Season: .248/.320/.409, .318 wOBA, .297 BABIP, 22.7% K%, 8.7% BB%, 12.3% HR/FB%

Since May 20: .248/.319/.415, .319 wOBA, .297 BABIP, 22.9% K%, 8.6% BB%, 12.7% HR/FB%

Not really. We’re seeing a few more home runs, which is more of a May trend (12.5% HR/FB%) than anything else (12.2% HR/FB% in March/April). What I find really interesting is to not see many spikes with all the call-ups and depth starters that are playing a bigger role with all the injuries around the league.

Plenty of games to get to, so let’s get going with those and hopefully find some good bets to make.

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Tune in for a new edition of VSiN Daily Baseball Bets this afternoon.

Here are some thoughts on the May 30 card (odds from DraftKings): 

San Diego Padres at Miami Marlins (-135, 8.5)

Ryan Weathers and Sandy Alcantara get us started with this matchup down in South Florida, where a lot will be happening in the next couple weeks with both the NBA and NHL Finals. These two teams were idle on the Memorial Day holiday, as the Padres had to travel a long way and the Marlins were coming back from a three-city, 10-day road trip out west.

Weathers has made two starts since his recall and allowed nine runs on 10 hits in 11.2 innings of work. He has seven strikeouts against six walks and eight of the nine runs are earned. For the season, he has a 3.94 ERA with a 4.16 FIP in 29.2 innings of work across five starts and two relief efforts. He does well to limit hard contact, but he’s got such a bad K/BB ratio that his decreased margin for error often trips him up.

In this start, he draws a second straight top-10 offense against lefties and even the Dodgers are all the way up to 12th now, so it is another really tough assignment for him. The Marlins are fifth in wOBA at .347 and have a 119 wRC+ in that split. The interesting part to me is that they still have a .337 wOBA at home in a park that typically suppresses power, so that speaks to their prowess against lefties.

Alcantara has still been a bit hit or miss this season, but he’s back in the friendly confines of Marlins Park and he’s still generating swinging strikes at an elite rate with a SwStr% of 13.4%. Putting it all together consistently has been a challenge, but his 4.86 ERA with a 3.81 FIP suggests positive regression and his 4.25 xERA does the same, even if he hasn’t been nearly as sharp as the guy we saw last season.

One of the big problems for Alcantara has been a 61.5% LOB%, which is over 17% lower than where it was last season. The Padres rank 24th in wOBA against righties, even with a league-high 12.1% BB%. They likely won’t get the benefit of drawing walks against Alcantara, whose 7.6% BB% remains one of his better stats for this season. 

He has only allowed a .273 wOBA at home in 33.1 innings over 135 plate appearances this season after allowing a .236 wOBA in 121 IP and 458 PA last season at Marlins Park. I would anticipate a good effort from him and Weathers is a guy I can’t really trust against lineups that hit lefties well. 

The Padres still really aren’t scoring with 3.88 R/G in May and they rank 25th in wOBA this month and 19th over the last 14 days. I’ll take my chances with Alcantara against a lineup like that.

Pick: Marlins -135

Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets (-130, 8.5)

NL East rivals match up here with a battle between Ranger Suarez and Kodai Senga in Queens. This will be just the fourth start of the season for Suarez and, if the pattern holds, he’ll give up six runs. He’s allowed 3, 4, and 5 runs in his starts dating back to his May 13 return. He’s only given up one homer and has had a lot of bad luck with a .444 BABIP and a 48.5% LOB%. His Hard Hit% is only 29.7%, so the .444 BABIP really is a byproduct of a good bit of misfortune.

The Mets have a pretty pedestrian offense against lefties. While their 105 wRC+ is heavily park-adjusted, their .319 wOBA only ranks 19th. They’ve got a .282 BABIP in that split, which is definitely pulling their numbers down. If Suarez continues to have bad BABIP luck, then this could be a spot where things turn around a bit for the Mets offense.

Senga owns a 3.94 ERA with a 4.31 FIP in his 48 innings of work. The “box of chocolates” right-hander has allowed 21 runs on 42 hits with 61 strikeouts and 31 walks. I call him that because you never know what you’re going to get, as he’s got Game Scores at FanGraphs ranging from 74 to 30, as he doesn’t work deep into many games and has a lot of deep counts with the strikeouts and walks.

The Phillies haven’t seen him yet and that’s a bummer because I’m curious to see how teams do facing him a second time. Miami is the only team to do it and that happened on April 2 and 8. I’m curious how Senga and other debutants this season fare when facing a lineup for a second, third, or fourth time.

I don’t really like anything here. The way Suarez is pitching, this line might be a little cheap on the Mets. Also, the Phillies are ninth in wOBA against righties in what is decidedly their better offensive split, though their BABIP keeps falling and is down to .332. Tough game to handicap I think.

Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks (-250, 8.5)

Since his epic shutout streak ended on May 2, Zac Gallen has allowed 13 earned runs on 30 hits over 29 innings of work. He’s got a 4.03 ERA with a 2.56 FIP, but the more concerning part to me is that Gallen only has five strikeouts against six walks in his last two starts against the Pirates and Diamondbacks.

Gallen also has a 49.5% Hard Hit% in his five May starts, so the command profile is on the fritz a little bit heading into this start against the Rockies. His velocity looks fine and is actually up a bit during the month and it does look like the Diamondbacks possibly isolated a minor mechanical issue prior to his last start that led to increased spin rates across the board, including a nice spike on his cutter after hitting a season-low in rpm in that ugly start against the Pirates. He didn’t really generate more whiffs or anything, so we’ll see if he does here against the Rockies.

For the year, Gallen’s been great with a 2.97 ERA and a 2.10 FIP, but that stretch here in May is something to watch, especially when you consider that he had 51 strikeouts in 37.2 innings in March/April compared to just 24 in 29 innings this month.

Kyle Freeland is having a fine season with a 3.86 ERA and a 4.35 FIP in his 58.1 innings of work. His 4.15 xERA is solid for a low-strikeout pitcher and he’s done a good job of mostly limiting hard contact. The Diamondbacks are a top-five offense against righties, but rank 20th in wOBA against lefties, so Freeland has the chance to pitch pretty well in this outing. Arizona also has a .324 BABIP against lefties and still boasts just a 97 wRC+. They don’t walk much, which wouldn’t matter against Freeland anyway, but he could be in line for a good effort. He’s allowed 17 of his 30 runs in two of his 11 starts, with one at home against the Pirates and the other on the road against the Rangers.

Gallen’s prices are typically pretty high and there may very well be a bit of value in taking the Rockies here given the right-hander’s recent returns, but I’m not very eager to back Colorado on the road.

Pittsburgh Pirates at San Francisco Giants (-145, 8.5)

The Giants scored two touchdowns on Monday to bludgeon the Pirates by a 14-4 count for a decisive loser in the lone play of the day. This series continues with Johan Oviedo for the Buccos and John Brebbia as the opener for the Giants. With Tristan Beck optioned to the minors, we should see one or both of Sean Manaea or Jakob Junis here. Manaea threw 22 pitches on Thursday and Junis threw 45 pitches, so both guys are well-rested for bulk relief duties in this one.

This will be the fourth start for Brebbia, who actually went two innings in a relief appearance last time out. He, too, hasn’t pitched since the 25th, so maybe the Giants will look to get two frames out of him before turning it over to the other relievers. Brebbia has a 3.68 ERA with a 2.01 FIP in his 22 innings of work with 31 strikeouts against seven walks, so he’s been very solid this season.

Manaea has not been with a 6.61 ERA, 6.55 xERA, and a 5.80 FIP over 32.2 innings of work. He’s got a lot of strikeouts, but also a lot of walks, a lot of homers, and a lot of hard contact allowed. He’s allowed a 43% Hard Hit% and a 16.3% Barrel% across 86 batted ball events. He’s struck out 28.9% of opposing batters, but also walked 12.5% of them. 

Junis has a 4.13 ERA with a 4.93 xERA and a 4.84 FIP in 28.1 innings of work. He’s right-handed and Manaea is left-handed, so Gabe Kapler can just kind of plug and play where he wants to use them. Junis has really increased his strikeouts this season while also seeing a big uptick in fastball velocity, so he could be more of a weapon moving forward. He’s only allowed two earned runs over his last 12 innings.

Oviedo has a 4.70 ERA with a 3.88 xERA and a 4.11 FIP in his 53.2 innings of work for the Pirates. He’s walked way too many batters with a 10.1% BB% and hasn’t struck out enough hitters. After starting the season with five straight double-digit SwStr% games, Oviedo has five straight games in single digits and four of them are below 8%. In that span, Oviedo has also allowed a 50.6% Hard Hit% in starts against the Nationals, Blue Jays, Orioles, Diamondbacks, and Rangers. He allowed 14 runs on 19 hits in the first two starts in that stretch, but has only allowed five runs on 12 hits in the last three, despite a 46.9% Hard Hit%.

The Giants are actually 11-3 over their last 14 games, so they’re playing quite well, something I probably should have taken into account more yesterday. Collectively, the Giants bullpen has an 0.82 ERA with a 2.83 FIP over the last 14 days, so they’ve really figured out how to leverage those guys.

It’s a bit of a price to pay, but I like the Giants today. Their offense is very dangerous when they aren’t striking out and Oviedo’s early-season K% is not anything like what he has right now. His K% is down to 17.8% in May and just 15.9% in his last six starts. As long as the Giants are making contact, they’re doing damage.

The Pirates have scored 3.08 R/G this month and facing a variety of different arms today may not be what they need to improve.

Pick: Giants -145

Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers (-320, 9)

The Dodgers are an overwhelming favorite behind Tony Gonsolin in this one against the Nationals. They shook off a really tough situational spot yesterday to come away with an easy 6-1 dub and they’ll look for another no-sweat game in this one.

Gonsolin has a 1.82 ERA, but a 4.70 FIP and a 5.05 xFIP, so there are a lot of regression signs in the profile for him. His K% is only 19.7% and his BB% is elevated at 9.4%. He’s allowed a 36.6% Hard Hit% on the season. His 10.8% SwStr% does suggest a better K%, but the Nationals are one of the league’s top teams at avoiding strikeouts, so it may not happen today.

Jake Irvin battled his way through four innings, but it wasn’t pretty last time out. He walked four guys and gave up a couple of hits, including a homer. He’s allowed 14 runs on 13 hits and nine walks in his last three starts across 11.1 innings of work. He has a 5.32 ERA with a 5.92 FIP in 22 innings over with a 16% BB%. That’s probably not a great thing going into a matchup against the Dodgers.

Easy to just leave this one alone.

Texas Rangers (-130, 8.5) at Detroit Tigers

Martin Perez and Alex Faedo are the listed starters for this one as we work our way through the AL slate for this evening. Faedo has a 4.15 ERA with a 3.06 xERA and a 4.99 FIP on the season, as he’s given up six homers in four starts, but he’s racked up a spectacular 22/1 K/BB ratio in 21.2 innings of work. Faedo struck out 10 White Sox last time out in a game where I took the under instead of the Tigers and Lucas Giolito decided throwing strikes was optional.

The six barrels that Faedo has allowed obviously stand out given the six home runs, but he’s only allowed a 32.2% Hard Hit% on the season over 59 batted ball events. He’s given up three homers to lefties and three to righties, but he’s allowed just a .254 wOBA to lefties and a .262 wOBA to righties. This, though, is a big step up in class against the Rangers offense. He’s faced the Cardinals, Mariners, Nationals, and White Sox to this point.

Texas is third overall in wOBA and third in wOBA vs. RHP, however, the Rangers are only 20th in road wOBA vs. RHP. They lead the league at .367 at home, but have a .311 mark on the road. I would expect their offense to tumble a bit when the roof needs to be closed in Arlington every day because it’s so oppressively hot outside.

It would be cool if the Tigers offense had any redeeming qualities. They suck against righties and suck against lefties and it makes it very hard to bet on them, hence the Giolito fiasco last week. One thing that they do pretty effectively is draw walks, so we’ll see if they do that against Perez today. Among all the problems Perez has, issuing walks isn’t really one of them.

However, Perez is a big regression candidate in my eyes with a 3.83 ERA, 4.61 xERA, and 4.58 FIP on the year. His K% is down to 16.7%, yet he’s still running a 79.7% LOB%. His 37.4% Hard Hit% is up nearly 3% from last season and he’s got a .330 BABIP against, which seems quite fair. He had allowed eight homers in eight starts before shutting down the Rockies and Pirates in his last two efforts.

I got close to taking the Tigers, but their offensive upside is so low that it’s tough to trust them in a lot of situations. I’d have needed a bit better price, though I really do like Faedo.

Cleveland Guardians at Baltimore Orioles (-140, 9)

Cal Quantrill and Kyle Gibson square off in what could be one of the last starts for Quantrill, who I honestly think could be nasty in a pen role with a couple extra ticks on that cutter. With Aaron Civale and Triston McKenzie working their way back into the Cleveland rotation, Quantrill will be the second odd man out after Hunter Gaddis goes to the pen or Columbus. I’d honestly put Gaddis in there over James Karinchak right now, but you don’t care about my Guardians roster moves.

Quantrill just doesn’t miss enough bats right now to navigate lineups multiple times. His K% is down to 12.8%, leading to a 5.01 FIP with his 4.75 ERA. The right-hander only has 31 strikeouts against 18 walks in 55 innings of work. On the whole, Quantrill has been able to survive as a starter because he’s usually induced a lot of weak contact. This season, he’s up around league average and that isn’t good enough. He’s actually allowed more than that in his last three starts, so an Orioles offense that merely grades as average against righties could have success today.

His 6.8% SwStr% doesn’t produce enough margin for error and he’s actually walked more batters with men on base than he has struck out, so he’s created a lot of his own problems. What’s crazy is that he’s actually held opposing batters to a .293 wOBA in 30 innings this month, but has still struggled.

I certainly don’t like Gibson’s profile either, as he has a 3.82 ERA with a 4.74 xERA and a 4.18 FIP in his 66 innings of work. He, too, doesn’t miss a lot of bats and has a Hard Hit% higher than Quantrill’s at 40.7%. He’s allowed four or more runs in four of his 11 starts, but has also allowed one or fewer runs in four of them. His K% is a bit better at 16.2% than Quantrill’s, but this game is just going to feature a ton of balls in play and will feature a high-variance environment as a result.

Brutal game to try and bet. I can tell you that I’d trust Baltimore’s pen way more than Cleveland’s right now, especially with Yennier Cano and Felix Bautista rested.

Minnesota Twins (-115, 8.5) at Houston Astros

Joe Ryan and the Twins are short favorites over Brandon Bielak and the Astros for this Tuesday matchup in Houston. Ryan has been one of the AL’s top pitchers this season and Bielak shows a lot of negative regression signs, so it isn’t a big surprise to see this line where it is

Ryan has a 2.21 ERA with a 2.36 xERA and a 2.38 FIP, so his numbers are right where they should be based on his performance. He’s been stellar with a 28.9% K% and a 4.1% BB%. He’s allowed a little bit of hard contact with a 42.2% Hard Hit%, but he’s only allowed five barrels on the season. Ryan has allowed more than three runs just once in his 10 starts with a 70/10 K/BB ratio and only four homers allowed.

The one start with four runs came against the Astros and he allowed a Yordan Alvarez grand slam in the third inning. To this point, that home run represents nearly 27% of the earned runs he has allowed. The Astros are moving up the ranks offensively, so their full-season numbers don’t really tell the whole story. They are 22nd in wOBA against righties, but rank fourth in wOBA overall at .346 over the last 14 days.

Bielak has a 3.55 ERA with a 5.99 xERA and a 5.69 FIP in his 25.1 innings of work. He’s running a 91.5% LOB% to this point with a 20.2% K% in four starts and one relief appearance. He just gave up three homers last start against the Brewers and gave up four runs over 6.2 innings of work. He’s allowed 30 hits overall and a .333 BABIP, to go along with five homers that don’t count towards BABIP.

The other thing is that Bielak has allowed a 44.9% Hard Hit% and a 15.4% Barrel% in 78 batted ball events. Ironically, the appearance against the Brewers saw Bielak’s lowest HH% of the season at 38.1%, but those three barrels got him. The Twins are 12th in wOBA against righties at .322 and have a 106 wRC+.

This game basically hinges on whether or not Bielak can generate swings and misses and strikeouts. He’s got 22 K in 25.1 IP and a 10.7% SwStr%, disproportionately affected by the 19.3% SwStr% he had against the A’s on May 19. If the Twins make contact, they should hit plenty of balls hard. They are eighth in Hard Hit%, but also have the highest K% in MLB at 26.6%.

I’ll take a shot with Minnesota here. Bielak has some major Cluster Luck signs in the profile. The Astros bullpen has been worked extensively over the last few days, so Ryan Pressly and Hector Neris have worked three of the last four days and Bryan Abreu has thrown 48 pitches over the last two days.

Ryan hasn’t allowed a homer in his last six starts and I’ll trust that he’s able to keep the Astros at bay with an elite K/BB ratio and a higher ceiling than Bielak. Look for a better price here, as you can find Minnesota a few cents cheaper at places not named DraftKings.

Pick: Twins -115

Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox (-140, 9)

Tyler Anderson and Lucas Giolito meet in this one, where we’d usually see a substantial move towards the White Sox, but that is not the case. Anderson is left-handed and has pretty ugly numbers at that, but the betting markets are not in a rush to back the White Sox here. The Angels southpaw has a 4.81 ERA with a 5.53 FIP in his nine starts covering 48.2 innings. However, he’s allowed 10 earned runs over his last five starts with a 3.14 ERA, so it looks like he’s doing better.

But, dig a little deeper. Anderson has a 19/15 K/BB ratio over those 28.2 innings of work. He’s managed to run a 79.6% LOB% with a 14.8% K% and an 11.7% BB% in that sample. It’s still better than what we saw from him earlier in the season with 17 runs allowed in three of his first four starts, but it isn’t a profile that inspires a whole lot of confidence. Righties own a .372 wOBA with a .517 SLG against him in 164 PA this season.

Giolito walked seven guys last time out against the Tigers in just 3.2 innings of work. He had only issued 12 walks over his first 59.2 innings of work, so it was a huge detour from what we’ve seen from him this season. He also allowed a 94 mph average exit velocity on 11 batted ball events. It was one of those starts where he just didn’t have it in any capacity. 

The Angels are a borderline top-10 offense against righties, but their offensive numbers have been falling throughout the month, as they rank 13th overall in May in wOBA, but 18th at .315 over the last two weeks. No real interest in this game.

New York Yankees at Seattle Mariners (-140, 7)

Bryce Miller came back to earth yesterday as the Yankees came away with an easy 10-4 victory. Now let’s see what they can do against Logan Gilbert. Gilbert has a 3.60 ERA with a 2.88 xERA and a 2.79 FIP in 60 innings of work. His 66.5% LOB% is not at all warranted with a 29.6% K% and almost a 7/1 K/BB ratio. The right-hander has held opposing batters to a .202 average and a .264 BABIP, but he has had some bad luck at the most important times.

That said, Gilbert has allowed 13 barrels on the season and nine over his last four starts, so he may be building a bit towards a rough outing. He has a 40.3% Hard Hit% on the season, but two of his last three starts have been well above that and three of his last five. However, he does have a .210 wOBA against at home in 97 PA over 26.2 innings of work. It is a great pitcher’s park more often than not.

Nestor Cortes has a 5.30 ERA with a 3.69 xERA and a 4.78 FIP on the season over 54.1 innings of work. His 67.2% LOB% is a big part of the equation, but his problem is really obvious. Opposing batters have a .240 wOBA against him the first time through the order and a .270 wOBA the second time. He has a combined K/BB of 44/10 the first two times through the order.

Opposing batters have a .452/.500/1.048 slash with a .619 wOBA the third time through the order and his K/BB drops to 9/5 over 48 PA. Will a Mariners lineup that ranks 27th in wOBA at .294 be able to do what other teams have done to Cortes that third time through? Will the Yankees be more proactive and pull him earlier? The bullpen had a light day yesterday, so they have that luxury if they choose to use it.

This game is set up pretty nicely for live betting. I thought about taking the Yankees here, but it makes more sense to see how the game plays out and go from there. Gilbert is a tough customer, especially at home. Keep an eye on Cortes as he’s turning the lineup over. I think there are some things to look at as the game goes along, but a preflop play is tricky.

Milwaukee Brewers at Toronto Blue Jays (-155, 9)

Adrian Houser and Yusei Kikuchi are listed here, as the Jays line up as a big favorite behind Kikuchi. Given that he has a 4.56 ERA with a 5.23 xERA and a 5.84 FIP, it may seem like a really big line to a lot of people. The problem here is that the Brewers are the worst offense in baseball with a .274 wOBA and a 69 wRC+ against lefties. That’s anything but nice. They have struck out in over 30% of their plate appearances in that split.

Gambling on Kikuchi is a real gamble. He’s allowed five or more runs four times and one or fewer runs five times. You never really know what you’re going to get from him and laying a number of this size doesn’t even really feel like an option. He’s allowed a 48.4% Hard Hit% and an 11.5% Barrel%. It’s just a matter of whether or not the Brewers can make enough contact to make those numbers matter.

Generally speaking, I’m not a big Houser fan. He has a 2.25 ERA with a 3.14 FIP this season over 20 innings and four starts, but a career 3.90 ERA with a 4.19 FIP. His numbers aren’t bad, it’s just that he has an 18.7% K% for his career and it’s down at 16.9% this season. He’s subject to a lot of batted ball luck and variance and that isn’t the type of profile I want to invest in. He’s also had a BB% north of 10% each of the last two seasons.

It’s pretty easy to pass on games and pitchers like these.

Cincinnati Reds at Boston Red Sox (-175, 9.5)

The Red Sox are back at home and they’ll welcome the Cincinnati Reds for some interleague action. This will certainly be an interesting game because Ben Lively has not been a MLB-caliber pitcher for quite some time, but he’s allowed just five runs on 12 hits with 18 strikeouts in 17 innings for the Reds this season. In starts against the Cardinals and Yankees, Lively has allowed four runs on seven hits (three homers) with 16 strikeouts against three walks. Will he be able to keep the magic going at Fenway Park?

I’m also not entirely sure what we’ll get from Brayan Bello, who has a 4.08 ERA with a 4.96 xERA and a 4.96 FIP in his 35.1 innings of work. He’s got over a strikeout per inning, but has also allowed seven homers in seven starts and a 48.1% Hard Hit%. To his credit, he’s got a 59% GB%, so he’s kept the ball on the ground effectively. Over his last five starts, he has a 2.57 ERA, but a 4.61 FIP thanks to the homers. As we know, the Reds aren’t the same offense on the road, though they did just sweep the Cubs over the weekend at Wrigley, so they’re playing pretty well right now.

I don’t have much else to add here. The Red Sox offense is much better at Fenway, so we’ll see if they can get back on track. They haven’t scored a lot of runs lately and have hit for virtually no power.

Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals (-190, 9)

After giving up 16 runs on 29 hits in his first three starts of the season, Miles Mikolas has really settled in nicely. He has a 4.23 ERA with a 4.24 FIP in 61.2 innings of work, but a 2.47 ERA with a 3.81 FIP over his last 47.1 innings. He only has 33 strikeouts against 11 walks in that span, but he’s back to being the guy that we’re used to seeing with a 36.2% Hard Hit% and a 6.0% Barrel%.

The Royals still continue to be a mystery to me. They have been in the top five in Hard Hit% for a while, but a bottom-five offense in most categories, including batting average. They are better against lefties than righties, so maybe this matchup against Mikolas isn’t the best one, but I’ll be watching closely to see if we get another correction, even if it’s just temporary. If you remember, the Royals had a really nice run for a week or so in early May, but they haven’t been able to sustain any prolonged stretches of good offense.

Zack Greinke has a 4.55 ERA with a 4.59 FIP in his 57.1 innings of work. He’s only allowed eight earned runs over his last five starts with a 2.73 ERA and a 3.67 FIP. He’s only got 19 strikeouts over 26.1 innings in that span, but has only walked two guys and a 35.4% Hard Hit%. Still, with so many balls in play, this is a remarkably hard profile to buy into, not to mention the inconsistent offense and a really bad bullpen.

Tampa Bay Rays (-190, 8.5) at Chicago Cubs

Marcus Stroman’s complete game one-hitter provided a huge boost to the Cubs on Monday, but I’m not sure we’ll get anything close to that from Kyle Hendricks. I bought into the Hendricks return last time out and he did pitch better than his line would indicate. He gave up five runs, but only three were earned, and he only allowed a 28.6% Hard Hit%. He had some bad luck fall against him in that start. But, now, he takes on a way better offense.

Shane McClanahan has a 1.97 ERA with a 3.31 xERA and a 3.33 FIP. His 91.2% LOB% is definitely ripe for regression and the Cubs do have a top-five offense against lefties with a .349 wOBA and a 119 wRC+. Picking when to bet against aces is virtually impossible, though. McClanahan had been building towards a tough start, but made some adjustments and shut the Blue Jays down with a 27.8% Hard Hit% over seven innings of one-run ball last time out. He’s only allowed more than two runs in a start once.

Even though I think Mac is in line for a really rough start sometime soon, I’m just not sure when it will actually happen.

Atlanta Braves (-245, 8.5) at Oakland Athletics

Sigh. I am very tempted to take the A’s today, who won yesterday over the Braves to spoil Mike Soroka’s return to the big leagues. Bryce Elder gets the call today for the Braves and JP Sears goes for the A’s. Elder is a guy that has a 2.01 ERA with a 4.46 xERA and a 3.46 FIP in his 58.1 innings of work. He’s an extreme ground ball guy with a 56.6% GB% and he’s been able to work around a ton of hard contact as a result.

He’s only allowed six runs over his last five starts and comes into this one with a 48.2% Hard Hit% in his 166 batted ball events. He ranks in the 13th percentile in average exit velocity, 8th in Hard Hit%, 22nd in xBA, 42nd in xSLG, 38th in K%, 8th in fastball velo, 4th in fastball spin, a