Welcome to the Tuesday, April 16 edition of the MLB Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one MLB bet for tonight I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
Season to Date:
Over/Under: 1-0 (.1000)
4/16/19 MLB Betting Pick:
NY Mets (10-6) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (9-6)
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -120 ML (o/u: 9)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -120 ML (o/u: 9)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -124 ML (o/u: 9)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -120 ML (o/u: 9)
Starting Pitchers: Mets: LHP Steven Matz (1-0, 1.65 ERA)/ Phillies: RHP Nick Pivetta (1-1, 9.45 ERA)
As is the track record for both clubs thus far this season, the first 2019 installment of Mets-Phillies on Monday went well over the projected run total of 7.5. And that was with two pitchers with a reputation for limiting damage in Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Nola on the mound. Tuesday, we see a bump in that projected number, but one that may still not be sufficient to account for the damage two hot-hitting teams with suspect bullpens could inflict. That holds true even with a Mets starter in Steven Matz that has started the season off in stellar fashion.
Matz boasts a 1-0 record, 1.65 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 19:5 K:BB over 16.1 innings through three appearances. What’s more, two of his first trips to the mound have been on the road, as is Tuesday’s start. The rest of Matz’s impressive 2019 resume includes a 29.2 percent strikeout rate, .200 BAA and 84.5 percent strand rate. However, he runs into a group of hitters Tuesday that have given him some trouble in the past.
Current Phillies hitters own a collective .264/.396/.402 line against the southpaw. That includes six extra-base hits (three doubles, three home runs) and 16 walks. Over three starts in Citizens Bank Park last season, Matz posted a 3.75 ERA and handed out 10 free passes over just 12 innings. The first number is respectable, but the second is simply inviting trouble. As noted yesterday, the Phillies’ home park is far from the best stadium to be putting extra runners on in. CBP checks in with the 15th-highest run factor (1.028), second-highest triple factor (2.500) and 11th-highest home-run factor (1.231).
Phillies starter Nick Pivetta doesn’t inspire much confidence in a modest run total, either. The right-hander has struggled out of the gate, allowing a 9.45 ERA and 2.18 WHIP across 13.1 innings over three starts. He’s allowed no fewer than four runs in any of those outings and has already surrendered three home runs. Pivetta has gotten himself into plenty of sticky situations with a 3.38 BB/9 and meager 56.5 percent strand rate.
Then, Pivetta’s track record against the Mets sports plenty of blemishes as well. He was rocked for six earned runs on eight hits and a walk over 3.2 innings in his one encounter with New York in 2018. Zoom out over a three-season sample and Pivetta has allowed a 6.39 ERA and .295 BAA to New York across five starts. Current Mets hitters boast an excellent .326/.367/.581 line lifetime against Pivetta. And that doesn’t even take into account some of newer bats that Pivetta has yet to face, but that carry plenty of potential for damage — Pete Alonso, Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos.
Finally, as we did for Monday night’s game, a look at each team’s shaky relief corps is in order when evaluating the possibility of the Over hitting. The bullpen for both teams saw plenty of work in Monday night’s 11-inning affair. Mets relievers worked a combined six innings, while the Phillies’ pen put in seven innings of work. New York utilized five relievers, while Philadelphia sent four of their bullpen arms to the mound.
New York’s pen is allowing a .384 wOBA and 6.00 ERA through 60 innings thus far this season. They’ve already allowed 27 extra-base hits (14 doubles, one triple, 12 home runs) and a .296/.392/.506 line. Philadelphia relievers have been slightly better, but they may be close to running on fumes at this point. No pen has worked more in the last week of play. Philadelphia relievers have toiled to the tune of an MLB-high 34 innings during that span, allowing 11 extra-base hits (six doubles, one triple, four home runs) while stranding only 65.2 percent of runners.
By The Numbers
The Over is 12-3-1 (MLB-best 80.0 percent) in the Mets’ games this season. That includes a 8-2-1 mark (80.0 percent) in New York’s away games. The Over is also 6-2-1 (MLB-high 75.0 percent) in games following a Mets’ win and 10-3-1 (76.9 percent) in New York’s division games.
Then, the Over is 10-5 (66.7 percent) in the Phillies’ games this season. That includes a 6-4 mark (60.0 percent) in Philadelphia’s home games. The Over is also 3-2 (60.0 percent) in games following a Phillies’ loss and 9-3 (75.0 percent) in Philadelphia’s division games.
The Final Word
The oddsmakers have bumped up the run total over Monday’s modest 7.5, but not far enough in my view. The two teams’ bullpens, already suspect, will be even more fatigued after working a combined 13 innings in the extra-inning affair. Then, Pivetta in particular has put together three straight disturbing performances to open the season. Even factoring in Matz’s strong start to 2019, several Phillies have successful track records against him. The combination of all factors lead me to project the run total to be exceeded for a second straight night Tuesday.
The Pick: Over 9 runs