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Free MLB Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (5/18/23)

Jose Berrios - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

It's a small six-game MLB schedule so we better get to it! Let's check out the best MLB bets for Thursday, May 18, 2023, and see if we can pad those bankrolls!

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Feel free to give me a follow on Twitter @BKemp17 with any questions or comments or plain ol' baseball talk! Now, let's dive into Thursday's free MLB betting picks and see if we can get on the right side of the ledger!

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Today's MLB Betting Picks - New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays

O/U: 9 | Moneyline: TOR (-130)
NYY: Nestor Cortes | TOR: Jose Berrios

It's the fourth and final game of a four-game set between the Yankees and Blue Jays Thursday night in Toronto and what a series it has been.

The shenanigans died down in a 3-0, extra-inning win for the Blue Jays on Wednesday and it appears they have a good shot at earning the split 24 hours later. Jose Berrios hasn't been great in his Blue Jays tenure but he's largely been very good of late and should continue to improve moving forward.

Berrios has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five of his last six starts and while he still sports a 4.70 ERA on the season, his peripherals are calling for that mark to head south as the season moves along. Berrios owns a rock-solid 3.59 FIP and 3.78 SIERA on the season while sporting a quality 17.1% K-BB%. His control has been excellent via a 5.7% BB% while his 51.1% ground-ball rate would be a career high by a mile if the season ended today.

As for Yankees lefty Nestor Cortes, he's had a down season to this point with a 5.53 ERA across eight starts. Unlike Berrios, his peripheral figures aren't exactly encouraging as he boasts an identical 4.60 FIP and SIERA alongside a 1.49 HR/9. Cortes has also been far better at home as he owns a 7.20 ERA in 15 road innings on the season while his 4.31 ERA on the road for his career is nearly a full run worse than his 3.38 mark at home.

Add it up and the Blue Jays should be able to earn their split behind a starting pitching advantage on Thursday night in Toronto.

Pick: Blue Jays moneyline (-130, FanDuel Sportsbook)

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Today's MLB Betting Picks - Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

O/U: 8.5 | Moneyline: LAD (-152)
LAD: Julio Urias | STL: Adam Wainwright

The Dodgers and Cardinals collide tonight in St. Louis and there is actually a pair of bets that hold value in this matchup tonight.

Getting the nod for the Dodgers is left-hander Julio Urias who has turned in a 3.61 ERA on the season but also a 4.37 FIP and a 1.72 HR/9 which is quite honestly uncharacteristic for the southpaw. Now, his 19% K-BB% and 3.65 SIERA are solid even if his 8.8% barrel rate is well above his 5.6% career mark.

On the other side is 41-year-old Adam Wainwright who is making just his third start of the season. The long-time Cardinal has yielded four earned runs in each of his two outings on the season while working just five innings in each start. That equates to a 7.20 ERA while his 5.10 FIP, 4.74 SIERA, and two homers allowed in those 10 frames aren't exactly encouraging, either.

Not helping is the fact the Dodgers sit third in all of baseball with a .343 wOBA versus right-handed pitching. While the Cardinals have slipped into the middle of the pack against lefties, Urias owns a 6.10 ERA in 20 2/3 road innings this season versus a stellar 1.99 mark across 31 2/3 frames at home. His career splits are quite narrow but there's no doubt he has struggled outside of Dodger Stadium in 2023.

For his part, Wainwright owns a 2.88 ERA in his career at home versus a dead-even 4.00 mark on the road. At the same time, he's clearly rusty and is facing a dangerous Dodgers lineup.

What does this all mean? I see a high-scoring affair here. The Dodgers rake righties, Wainwright isn't in tip-top form and the Cardinals have plenty of bats that can crush left-handed pitching against Urias who is scuffling on the road.

At the same time, the Cardinals' run line value is solid at home. There's no doubt they've struggled this season but the Dodgers are just 11-9 on the road versus their superb 17-7 mark at home. Despite an 18-26 record on the season, the Cardinals boast a +9 run differential that equals a 23-21 expected record based on that figure.

I'll take a run and a half and grab the Cardinals on the run line tonight at home.

Picks: Over 8.5 (-118, FanDuel Sportsbook), Cardinals +1.5 run line (-128, FanDuel Sportsbook)

 

Good luck, folks!



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