The aces are out on Friday, as bettors have a slew of top pitchers to back in a 15-game MLB slate. The biggest favorite is in Boston tonight, where Chris Sale and the league-leading Red Sox host the Twins. Last night Boston was shut down by Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson, but their offense should have more success against Lance Lynn.
Sale and Boston are the biggest moneyline favorite at -380 according to OddsShark, but there are multiple games tonight priced at -200 and above. Dallas Keuchel and the Astros are a -260 favorite over the Rangers, Scherzer is a 22-5 favorite over the Marlins, and the Aaron Judge-less Yankees are up at -285 over the struggling Royals. It could be an expensive night with that much juice, but some of these teams are in a great spot.
Clayton Kershaw is on the mound for the Dodgers, but he’s only -155 on the road against the Braves. Kershaw was on his first win streak since coming back from the DL before losing to the Brewers last week. Kershaw is letting more balls get into play than ever before, and that could be why his price is so low against a streaky Braves team. Atlanta was shut down by Rich Hill last night in an 8-2 Dodgers win.
Personally, I like betting against bad pitchers more than I like siding with expensive elite ones. With that in mind, here are some solid wagers for tonight’s action.
MLB Best Bets for Friday
Blue Jays over White Sox
Marcus Stroman takes the bump for the Jays tonight, and he’s been solid in his two outings sandwiched by a loss to Boston. That’s ok, because everyone is getting beat up by Boston, and Stroman has been mostly solid over the last month. Stroman’s won four of six, and ground balls have been a theme throughout. In each of the four wins he’s forced at least 12 ground balls, while the two losses have seen 14 combined. He’s favored tonight against the White Sox and Reynaldo Lopez, who has allowed at least four runs in four of his last six starts.
Diamondbacks over Padres
I didn’t include Greinke among the aces above, but he’s pitched like one over the last month. Greinke has a 1.69 ERA over the last 28 days, and he’s won five straight starts on the road. Tonight he gets the Padres, one of the worst hitting teams in baseball. The Padres have lost seven of eight games this year with Luis Perdomo as their starting pitcher.
Phillies/Reds Over 9
The Phillies hit seven homers and scored nine runs over the Reds last night. After a strong start to the season for Nick Pivetta, he’s been getting shelled for the better part of the last month. Six of Pivetta’s starts have seen a total of at least nine runs, and even though he shut down the Reds in April, it was so long ago that I don’t see a repeat performance. After getting lit up last night, the Reds are following things up with Anthony DeSclafani. If I wasn’t so concerned about Pivetta I’d be going big on the Phillies tonight, but the over seems like a safe bet.
Parlay: Yankees/Red Sox/Pirates ML
I’m not paying for the juice without a nice little payday at the end. The Yanks and Sox are overwhelming favorites tonight, as oddsmakers see no issue with Aaron Hicks replacing Judge in the Yankees lineup. The Royals are that bad. The Pirates are the third team for a bigger payday, as they take on the Mets with Jason Vargas coming off the DL. Vargas had some truly awful starts early in the season, and the Pirates will look to bounce back from last night’s blowout loss.