Best Bets of the Day – 5/14

Andrew Gould breaks down a trio of bets to place on Saturday.

Finally, a profitable Saturday. After an atrocious April, all of last weekend’s picks came to fruition. Now let’s try to erase that red at the bottom of the page and make back the rest of the opening month’s losses.

With the A’s and Angels playing a doubleheader, 16 games are on Saturday’s docket. While most are in the late afternoon or evening, giving bettors more time to monitor lineups and updated lines, the Giants and Cardinals will eat an early start at 2:15 p.m. ET.

 

San Diego at Atlanta: Moneyline

 

This hurts as someone who endearingly called Charlie Morton the pitching Nelson Cruz and targeted him as an undervalued SP3 in most 2022 fantasy drafts. Father Time has caught up to the 38-year-old, who has relinquished a 5.65 ERA with a dismal 4.5% K-BB rate. There’s not much we can latch onto to cry fluke. His FIP, xFIP, xERA, and SIERA are all over 5.00. Furthermore, his 7.9% swinging-strike rate and 81.6% contact rate are his worst marks since 2015, two years before his career renaissance in Houston.

Although he just held the Brewers scoreless through five frames, Sunday’s outing wasn’t enough to fully trust Morton again. He still issued three walks in five innings and surrendered seven hard hits in 11 batted-ball events.

There is a silver lining for him going into Saturday’s matchup; the Padres don’t have the potent lefty bats to truly make Morton suffer. Yet, San Diego is still a 21-12 underdog getting an MVP-caliber start from Manny Machado. The Friars have scored 21 runs in their last three games, including Friday night’s 11-6 win at Atlanta.

Sean Manaea is in far better early form than Morton, registering a 3.75 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 38 strikeouts in 36 innings. Their early-April acquisition has tossed six quality starts in seven tries, with the only exception coming against the Dodgers. While Atlanta has ample offensive firepower, especially with Ronald Acuña Jr. back in the mix, the team is collectively batting .228 with a 98 wRC+ this season.

Currently lined up at +120 on FanDuel and DraftKings, the Padres are a tempting pick as the hotter team with the stronger starting pitcher.

Pick: Padres (+120 on FanDuel and DraftKings)

 

Bruce Zimmermann: O/U 4.5 Strikeouts

 

Bruce Zimmermann has a 2.67 ERA and 2.57 FIP with a higher strikeout rate (24.0%) than Zack Wheeler, Shane Bieber, Robbie Ray, and Walker Buehler. Isn’t this a fun season?

OK, so maybe the Orioles southpaw isn’t a legitimate Cy Young Award contender just yet. He posted a 5.04 ERA last year, and his current 3.3% HR/FB rate won’t last all season. However, he’s still emerged into an interesting hurler. Although his velocity has declined, Zimmermann has elevated his swinging-strike rate to a healthy 12.0% while throwing more first-pitch strikes and getting opponents to chase off the plate. His four-seamer is atrocious, but his secondary offerings are firing on all cylinders.

All this aside, we’re only asking for five strikeouts against the Tigers. He’s averaging five punchouts per turn, hitting five twice, six twice, and four twice. Zimmermann should reach his median against a Tigers offense possessing a 24.1% K rate against lefties this season. He just posted five against the Royals, who have the third-lowest percentage at 18.0. FanDuel sees this as the probable outcome, but you can lock in +110 on DraftKings.

Pick: Over (+110 on DraftKings, -106 on FanDuel)

 

New York Yankees: Over 4.5 Runs and Win

 

It’s going to be a long night for Dallas Keuchel. Even after a strong start (6 IP, 2 ER) at Fenway Park, the 34-year-old has a while to go before repairing April 20’s 10-run calamity at Cleveland. The southpaw has ceded 21 runs (17 earned) in as many innings with 13 strikeouts and 12 walks. He has the worst WHIP (1.58) of any starter — minimum of 150 innings — since the start of 2021.

Oh yeah, Keuchel is also going up the two hottest hitters alive.

Giancarlo Stanton has gone 7-for-12 with four home runs and 11 RBI in his last three games. He’s now batting .284/.323/.552 with ten long balls this year. That still puts Stanton two homers behind Aaron Judge, who’s tallied an MLB-high 12. He’s also gone deep in back-to-back games. It’s hardly surprising to see Judge and Stanton place first and second in barrels while reversing places atop the exit velocity leaderboard.

Judge and Stanton are both on fire and get to face a vulnerable lefty. As a result, the Yankees should extend their winning streak to six while hitting or exceeding their average of 5.0 runs per game. Pair those outcomes for a reasonable return on DraftKings. I

t’s also not a terrible idea to put a small amount on a Stanton (+295) or Judge (+310) home run, but Stanton recording two or more bases (+100) is a more prudent player prop on FanDuel.

Pick: Yankees over 4.5 runs, and Yankees win (+105 on DraftKings)

 

Andrew Gould Overall Record: 6-8-1

Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): -$188.82

 

Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Andrew Gould

Andrew is Pitcher List's DFS Manager who also covers MLB and NFL for FantasyPros and Bleacher Report. He placed second in FantasyPros' MLB accuracy ratings in 2016 and fifth in 2018.

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