I was tempted to pull a George Costanza and quit while I’m ahead. After a long stretch of mixed results, all three of my picks hit for the second consecutive Sunday. Afraid of falling victim to gambler’s fallacy, I’m instead waiting for the betting gods to get their payback.
But it’s also important to stop and enjoy success, especially for those of us who fixate on every single setback and shortcoming. Let’s try to keep the heater going with another trio of bets for this Sunday’s MLB schedule.
Reds at Cardinals: Moneyline
John Gant has allowed nine earned runs (12 total) in 10 starts this season. His 1.60 ERA is the fifth-best mark among all starters with at least 50 innings pitched. He didn’t cede a single score in consecutive road outings against the Dodgers and White Sox, two of MLB’s top-five offenses in terms of runs and wOBA.
If stopping there, it would seem like blatant disrespect to only favor St. Louis at +115 at home. However, you don’t need an advanced degree in sabermetrics to forecast regression for Gant.
The 28-year-old righty has dominated despite a ghastly 34 walks to just 39 strikeouts in 50.2 innings. Only Zach Davies has a lower K-BB% than Gant’s 2.2% among starters with at least 50 innings pitched. Nobody else inside the bottom 10 has an ERA below 4.00. Looking at his 5.09 xERA and 5.66 SIERA, Gant’s forthcoming regression could be dire. A potent lineup fueled by Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker is well equipped to start the process.
On the other side, Wade Miley’s 3.26 ERA is backed by a more respectable 12.6 K-BB%, 3.77 XERA, and 3.83 SIERA. Stellar in his own right, the southpaw has a 1.93 ERA in eight starts outside of Coors Field, where the Rockies pounded him for eight runs on May 14. The Reds pack a more potent power punch than their division foes, and they have already taken the first three games of this series behind sensational pitching. Jump on them as underdogs to close out the sweep.
Pick: Over (+115 on DraftKings, +110 on FanDuel)
Cubs at Giants: Moneyline
The Giants paid off as a massive underdog when upsetting Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers last Sunday. Despite possessing the National League’s best record (37-21) following three triumphs over the Cubs, they’re getting even odds on FanDuel to take home the final game of the series.
That’s despite the Giants boasting an 18-8 home record compared to the Cubs’ 11-16 mark away from Wrigley Field. While the Cubs are the only NL Central squad with a positive run differential at plus-29, San Francisco’s plus-71 margin ranks fourth in MLB behind the White Sox, Dodgers, and Padres. The oddsmakers don’t seem to think it will last, but the Giants have been the superior squad.
Are the probable pitchers reversing that status? That would also be a mistake. Kyle Hendricks has recovered from a nightmarish April to post a 2.95 ERA in his past six starts. However, The Professor has also allowed five home runs in his past two turns, bringing his season tally to an MLB-worst 16. Hardly out of the woods yet, Hendricks still has a 5.51 FIP and his worst CSW (28.9%) since 2014. He’ll also oppose an offense not getting enough recognition for its power leap. As of Saturday night, the Giants tie the Blue Jays for baseball’s third-highest ISO (.187) behind the Braves and Red Sox.
Johnny Cueto, meanwhile, is doing what we expected from Hendricks. The unconventional 35-year-old has recorded a 3.45 ERA during a bounce-back campaign, issuing just six walks — three in his first start — and two homers in 44.1 innings. A favorable schedule has helped his cause, but Cueto also understandably got rocked against San Diego last month. San Francisco has won six of his eight starts, so this is once again a generous line for the underappreciated NL West squad.
Pick: Giants (+100 on FanDuel, -106 on DraftKings)
Total Runs by Yankees: O/U 4.5
I get it. They’re the Yankees, and they’re hosting the Red Sox at their hitter-friendly park in a rivalry that rarely skims on scoring. They’re not exactly facing an ace either. Garrett Richards has recorded a solid 3.75 ERA this season, but he’s issued 15 walks to just 18 strikeouts over his last four starts.
The Bronx Bombers’ bats are bound to improve eventually, so perhaps Sunday Night Baseball hosts their coming-out-party. Yet the cold-hard numbers suggest it’s most likely they tally four runs or fewer. After all, they’ve done so in 10 of their last 12 games.
Typically a hitting juggernaut, the Yankees have mustered 3.7 runs per game this season. While the patient lineup should occupy the basepaths if Richards’ control woes persist, they’re not guaranteed to capitalize. As of Saturday, New York ranks 26th in batting average against righties (.222) and 25th in slugging (.362) within the same handedness split. Giancarlo Stanton has gone six games without an extra-base hit since returning from the IL. He and Aaron Judge were last night’s only two starters slugging over .425 this season.
DraftKings is counting on brand recognition steering bettors to the over at -114 despite the Yankees’ recent turmoil. After plating seven runs in three games against their nemesis, they can still perform above their lackluster 2021 norms and fall short with four runs.
Pick: Under (-103 on DraftKings)
Andrew Gould Overall Record: 17-13
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): +$514.26
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)