Welcome to the June 1 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.
6/1/19 MLB Betting Pick:
New York Yankees (37-19) vs. Boston Red Sox (29-28)
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Yankees -152 ML (o/u: 9)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Yankees -154 ML (o/u: 9)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Yankees -157 ML (o/u: 9)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Yankees -167 ML (o/u: 9.5)
The Yankees gained even more distance on their rivals with a 4-1 win on Friday night. And now they have the right pitcher going to earn another key win at home.
Domingo German leads the Majors with nine wins. He’s been solid across the board with a 3.94 K/BB ratio and 3.43 ERA this year. He’s been even better with a 1.69 ERA and .177 BAA over five home starts this season, including a 108-pitch gem against the league-leading Twins offense.
That performance is key because the strength of German’s opponents can otherwise be questioned. Facing the White Sox, Orioles, Tigers, and Royals at home helps, but it’s impressive to see a second-year RHP post a 0.68 HR/9 ratio with a 2.50 FIP at one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball.
German made a pair of relief appearances against Boston last year, allowing 1 ER over 4.1 total innings. He’s holding RHBs to a 17.1% LD Rate this season. That bodes well for his chances to contain the dangerous trio of Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, and Michael Chavis.
Rafael Devers is a prolific LHB to watch out for, however, and the Red Sox should throw Brock Holt into the lineup while moving Chavis over to 1B tonight. German is allowing a problematic 28.9% LD Rate to lefties, and Devers is posting a 41.1% hard contact rate against the platoon. Additionally, Andrew Benintendi owns a 43.8% hard contact rate on the road against RHP.
German has found success by utilizing a curveball that rates 7.1 runs above average per Brooks Baseball. He’s sacrificed some fastball velocity (averages 93.6 MPH) for location and has improved on the rating of his heater as well.
Boston is posting a -0.9 rating against curveballs this season. On the other hand, the Red Sox rank sixth with a 25.9 rating against fastballs. They’re actually dead last in the Majors with a collective 18.5% LD Rate against righties, so it could be feast or famine tonight for Boston’s offense against a RHP who’s shown little vulnerability against the long ball.
While Red Sox starter Rick Porcello has had success against the Yankees in the past, this is virtually a new lineup that he’ll face tonight. He’s 5-4 with a 2.56 ERA over his last 11 starts against the Yanks, but 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA and .301 BAA over his last three trips to Yankee Stadium.
This year, Porcello owns a rough 5.76 ERA and .297 BAA on the road. Notably, he’s coughing up a 3.75 HR/9 ratio and 29.4% HR/FB ratio on the road against righties.
The Yankees lineup is comprised almost exclusively of RHB right now and they lead the MLB in collective batting average (.283) and wOBA (.360) with a 20.2% HR/FB ratio in RvR matchups.
New staples Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, and Clint Frazier could all give Porcello trouble. Voit owns a 29.3% HR/FB ratio in RvR matchups, and Frazier has a .360 wOBA against RHP.
Urshela is hitting .337 against righties and .421 in high leverage situations. He also owns a 48% hard contact rate in home games.
While Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez are a combined 3-for-20 with 6 Ks in their careers against Porcello, both RHBs are red hot right now and capable of going deep in any at-bat.
Porcello has also struggled with a 6.13 xFIP and an 11.2% BB Rate against lefties. Brett Gardner (16-for-56, 2 HR) has had mixed results in a large sample against Porcello, while switch hitter Aaron Hicks (4-for-32, 2 HR, 8 Ks) has generally struggled.
While the Yankees rate -5.9 runs below average against sliders this year, Porcello has been unable to get that pitch working. His slider rates -2.0 runs below average, and his changeup is -3.0 runs below average. You can also note that Porcello’s ERA (4.64) was higher in night games last year. He has a 4.52 ERA in his career when pitching on five days of rest.
The Final Word
The Yankees pitching staff ranks third in ERA (3.04) at home and is fourth in bullpen ERA (3.63) this season. The Red Sox staff is struggling with a collective 4.45 ERA in road games.
On Friday, Yankees relievers combined to allow just three base runners over four scoreless innings, giving the Red Sox little chance of mounting a late comeback.
We expect the Yankees (-150 on DraftKings Sportsbook) to maintain that momentum after they likely get to Porcello early in this contest to build a lead.
However, Porcello is a boom-bust starter with the potential to go deep in the ball game. Therefore it makes sense to either take the Red Sox (+132 on BetStarsNJ) at plus odds or take the Yankees on the Run Line (1.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook) since they could open a sizable lead.
The Yankees entered this series a league-best 16-5 against the spread (ATS) in division games. The Red Sox entered this series 8-13 ATS in division games, which is the fourth-worst percentage in the MLB.
The Pick: Yankees (1.5 Runs)