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Free MLB Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (5/31/22)

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Considering we're coming off of a three-day weekend, should I wish a happy Monday to everyone? Even as you get back to work, consider this: the weather is warming up, baseball is heating up, and summertime is here! It's time for the best season of the year.

Welcome back, RotoBallers! In this article, I'll be providing my favorite betting picks for the MLB games on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, for the 16-game 1:10 PM EST slate. Personally, my approach stems a bit more on the analytical side; I utilize a projection model I created utilizing projections from THE BAT X and Fangraphs Depth Charts to estimate the true talent of each lineup and pitching staff, adjusting for the team's pitcher. Based on the expected run differential each team is supposed to have in a game, we can compare this to see how much a team should theoretically win by, which allows us to translate that into a win probability, which leads to an adjusted money-line. For game totals, the implied runs scored and runs allowed for each team (with today's starting pitcher) are used, along with Baseball Savant park factors. This is not the "end all be all," but having some objective system to identify potential sources of value can be extremely helpful!

Today, we will be looking at the best side and total bets for today's slate. Although there are 16 games today, we're a bit more limited on potential value opportunities than normal, making each one count more! What sides/totals should you have your eye on? Let's dive right into today's action!

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MLB Betting Projection Model Results

*NOTE: Negative Diff indicates that the home team is projected to win, and vice versa.


San Diego Padres @ St.Louis Cardinals

O/U: 8.5 | Moneyline: STL -132
SD: Blake Snell | STL: Adam Wainwright

The Padres may be 30-18, but man, they have been an absolute enigma this season. This remains a team with a lot of talent, and with Fernando Tatis Jr. eventually coming back into the fold, it will be exciting to see if they can sustain this hot start.

After a rough loss to open up this series, it will be up to Blake Snell to hold down the fort. After missing the first month of the season due to a groin injury, we don't have much of a sample size (two starts) to evaluate him, meaning we need to place a greater emphasis on statistics that stabilize the quickest. For instance, Eno Sarris' stuff+ model, which is significantly useful in evaluating pitchers without much of a sample size of production to go off of. With that in mind, it is exciting for Snell's stuff+ rating (117.2) to be much higher than it was last year (102.2), which is a great sign as he looks to get back to the pitcher he was in the second half of last season and before that.

Thus, it's not a surprise to see Snell miss bats (14.4% swinging-strike rate) at an expected high level, and the Cardinals offense is a good fit for him. See, as someone who lives out of the zone, he relies on chases, which is a big reason his walk rate spiked last year. The Cardinals have the second-highest outside-zone swing rate, as well as a slightly below-average walk rate and the third-lowest barrel rate in all of baseball. Thus, in terms of Snell's two major weaknesses – walks and home runs – he will be in a position for those to be minimized.

Adam Wainwright has been productive for the Cardinals with a 3.12 ERA in nine starts this season, though he's not missing bats at all with just a 5.9% swinging-strike rate, and it's only a matter of time before some of his quality of contact allowed numbers (20.3% line drive, 29.7% hard-hit) stabilize to expectations. Meanwhile, in terms of bullpen quality, the advantage here isn't even close; the Padres have been a top-five bullpen based on skill interactive ERA (SIERA), while the Cardinals rank comfortably in the bottom ten. If this game is indeed close, who are you trusting in the later innings? At plus money, ride with Slam Diego here.

Pick: San Diego ML (+110), FanDuel Sportsbook


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Atlanta Braves @ Arizona Diamondbacks

O/U: 9 | Moneyline: ATL -172
ATL: Charlie Morton | ARI: Humberto Castellanos

With a 23-26 record, it hasn't been an ideal season for the defending World Series champion Braves, who actually come into this game with a worse record than the Diamondbacks (24-26), who won a total of 52 games last season. However, consider this a course correction.

Although they have not performed up to expectations, the Braves still have all the talent you're looking for. At least eight of their nine hitters have above-average projected weighted-runs-created-plus (wRC+) from THE BAT X, while their average lineup projected wRC+ (119.7) would put them as the sixth-best offense in all of baseball. They now get to face Humberto Castellanos, who has a 4.97 projected ERA from Fangraphs Depth Chart projections, and historically has struggled (1.41 career HR/9, projected 1.47 HR/9) with the long ball. The Braves are a top-ten team based on isolated power (ISO) versus right-handed pitchers, and with the limited amount of ground balls (35.9%) he induces, it's only a matter of time before he allows more barrels (6.1%), as was the case in his last start against the Dodgers.

Remember, this is a pitcher with just a 7.7% swinging-strike rate that relies on called strikes, and now has to face an offense with the sixth-highest swing rate in the zone this season – not an ideal combination. It has been a rough season for Charlie Morton, but he has performed significantly better (26.5% K, 22.1% K-BB, 3.10 SIERA) in his last three starts, and the Braves possess a bullpen with the third-best SIERA in all of baseball. Arizona has the second-worst bullpen SIERA in all of baseball, and if this becomes a game where they have the use their lower-leverage relievers, Atlanta is in a good position to rout here. Hopefully, this can be the beginning of a hot start for the defending World Series champs.

Pick: Atlanta -1.5 (-108), FanDuel Sportsbook


Good luck, RotoBallers! Stay tuned for more great DFS and betting content throughout the week! For more betting/fantasy content, you can follow me at @talkmvp.

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