Much to the chagrin of Best Bets, the Angels snapped their 14-game losing streak last night with a 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox to win the final game of their four-game series.
Now that they got a win out of the way, can they go on a run under their interim manager like the Phillies have since firing Joe Girardi?
Under interim skipper Rob Thompson, Philadelphia has gone 7-0, including a three-game sweep at NL Central-leading Milwaukee.
The Angels will have to deal with the NL East-leading Mets starting tonight, and the Mets are looking at two of the hottest teams in baseball in their rear-view mirror in Philadelphia and Atlanta, both of which haven’t lost in over a week.
Several new series get underway this evening, so let’s take a look at what stands out with our MLB Best Bets for this Friday night in baseball.
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves
The Bet: Atlanta -1.5, +100 (Caesar’s Sportsbook)
The Braves have won eight in a row by taking advantage of a soft part of their schedule, sweeping the Rockies and A’s before beating the Pirates in the first of a four-game series on Thursday night.
Atlanta is hitting and pitching brilliantly, outscoring teams by 29 runs in their last 10 games. They send Spencer Strider to the mound for this third start of the season, and he’s being stretched out and could go five or six innings with a decent outing tonight. Strider has a 2.76 ERA on the season and had a rough first start at Arizona but bounced back to allow just one run in four innings of work on Saturday at Colorado. He allowed just two hits, but his outing was shortened by giving up five walks. Better control tonight will make for a better outcome against a light-hitting Pirates team.
The Pirates counter with Roansy Contreras, who is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA. He’s made three starts on the year, going five innings in each, and kept Pittsburgh in the game in each one–Pittsburgh is 1-2 in his starts with the two losses coming in extra innings.
Atlanta, however, has scored at least six runs in six of their last nine games, and their offense is humming. Getting them to win by more than a run at even odds is great value, and we’re jumping on it.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies
The Bet: Under 8.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Phillies are on a roll, having won seven-straight games and knocked around some good Brewers pitchers this week. They face an Arizona team that took the final two games of a four-game series at Cincinnati this week, and the Diamondbacks are pitching their ace tonight.
Zac Gallen is 4-1 with a 2.40 ERA. He’s allowed more than two runs in just one of his 10 starts this season. In addition, seven of those 10 starts saw the games account for eight or fewer runs.
Kyle Gibson goes for the Phillies. He’s sitting with a 4.40 ERA but faces a Diamondbacks team that’s last in the National League in hitting with a .216 average and has injuries to several key players. Gibson was roughed up last Sunday for five runs in 3.1 innings pitched against the Angels, but had allowed just two runs in each of his last three starts prior to that.
Looking at trends, five of Arizona’s last six games have gone under the over-under total, and Philadelphia has kept teams to three runs or fewer in five of the seven games in this winning streak, so we like a lower-scoring contest this evening.
Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals
The Bet: St. Louis -140 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
The Cardinals had a rough week in Florida, where they were swept by the Rays. St. Louis, however, could’ve easily won two of the three games–they had Tampa Bay down to their final out before giving up a walk-off home run on Tuesday and then lost 2-1 yesterday despite Miles Mikolas throwing a complete game.
The last-place Reds come into town tonight with the Cardinals in need of a win to get back on track. Luis Castillo pitches for the Reds, who is 1-2 but has a 2.65 ERA on the road. His last outing at home against Washington, Castillo was touched up for five runs in 6.1 innings, but he was pitching better in three outings prior to that. Last year, he was 1-3 against St. Louis but hasn’t faced the Cardinals this season.
Andre Pallante is 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA on the season but is making just his second start. Last weekend in Chicago, he held the Cubs to one run in four innings of work. He also pitched three innings against San Diego and Milwaukee prior to that and was successful in each outing.
With St. Louis being 16-11 at home and Cincy being 8-20 on the road, having the Cardinals at -140 isn’t laying down a huge amount of cash for a win, so we like St. Louis here.