Monday is one of the most unique days of the entire baseball season, at least when it comes to betting. Being the fifth day of the season, virtually every team is throwing out their fourth or fifth starter. Runs may be more plentiful than they have been the past few days, which saw the NHL outscore MLB on one occasion. There are 12 MLB games today across the league and the best SP going is… Alex Wood? Alek Manoah? It could be a long Monday for some bullpens and we’re here to tell you which teams to target.
Nationals @ Braves
The Bet: Braves Moneyline (-110)
Atlanta’s Huascar Ynoa was quietly pretty good last season. Ynoa, who turns 24 next month, started 17 times and compiled a 4.05 ERA, though his FIP was just 3.93 and his WHIP was 1.11.
Washington’s Anibal Sanchez was not-so-quietly very bad last season. Sanchez started 11 times, and had a 6.62 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP. Three seasons removed from starting a World Series game and throwing a gem in the NLCS, the wheels have completely fallen off for Sanchez, who is fifteen years older than Ynoa.
Washington snapped an eight game losing streak, dating back to last season, when they defeated the Mets yesterday, but they may be in danger of starting a new losing skid today.
Red Sox @ Tigers
The Bet: Red Sox Moneyline (-116, Bet Rivers)
Matt Manning vs. Michael Wacha is emblematic of why we are calling this Fifth Starter Monday.
Manning had a 5.80 ERA last season in 18 starts, with a WHIP of 1.51. Wacha, who was an all-star at the age of 23 in 2015, has struggled in recent seasons, posting an ERA above 5 in 124.2 IP last season.
Detroit lost two of three at home against the White Sox to open the season while the Boston Red Sox dropped two out of three in Yankee Stadium.
Both starters are suspect, but Manning is not really a major league caliber starter at this point. Boston might be on the road, but the crowd on a cold Monday night in Detroit should be sparse. Take the better team with the better starter, the Red Sox.
A’s @ Rays
The Bet: Rays -1.5 (-104, Unibet)
As far as MLB odds go, we’ve mostly been playing moneylines this season but the best number we can get for Tampa is -208 so it makes more sense to play the run line here.
Tampa Bay is sending Luis Patino to the hill today. Patino was effective last season in 77.1 IP, sporting a 4.31 ERA. He may serve as a de facto opener for the Rays today but the future is bright for the 22-year-old.
Oakland traded away two of its best pitchers this offseason and is sending Paul Blackburn to the hill today. Blackburn has pitched 30 times for Oakland over the past five seasons and carries a 5.74 lifetime ERA and a career 1.48 WHIP. No offense to Blackburn but he’s a AAA option and the Rays should roll today.