Welcome to Bets of the Day column for Tuesday. It’s early in the season, so tread carefully. No need to have action on every game, and in fact, I strongly suggest that you plant your flag on just 2-3 games per day. Also, keep your bets small for now, but sometimes we should go big. Don’t worry, you will know when you should push most, if not all, of your chips to the middle of the table.
So, how should we invest our money today? Check out the triple play action below.
Minnesota Twins Money Line (+120)
Right out of the gates, I am going with an underdog and against the World Series favorite. Before you write me off as a crackpot, hear me out. Are you aware of the Reverse Coors Effect? We all know that teams tend to rake when playing in the thin air of the Rocky Mountains. That John Denver definitely was not full of it. However, teams experience significant regression when they leave the lofty confines of Colorado for a venue at sea level. Just look at the home/away splits for the Colorado Rockies since they were established in 1995.
Same can be said for teams visiting Mile High. It really comes down to physics. Baseballs don’t just gain an extra 15-20 feet in thin air when approaching the warning tracks; they also don’t break that much when traveling from the pitcher’s mound to home plate. Blame that on the elevation. Hitters tend to swing away when playing in Colorado, since most pitches are simply coming down the middle of the plate. After 3-4 days of not experiencing much break in pitches, you can imagine the shock to their system when batters have to play at sea level the next day, where the pitches are breaking more than their short term memory can recall.
The data doesn’t lie. Teams struggle to hit the next game after leaving Colorado. The Dodgers are no strangers to this phenomenon. In 2017, the Dodgers left Colorado on April 9 after beating the Rockies 10-6 and played a game the next day in Chicago, losing 3-2 to the Cubs. A similar thing happened when L.A. left Colorado on May 14 later that season. They lost 8-4 to the Giants on May 15. Keep in mind that the Dodgers were a very good team in 2017 and should have won the World Series if not for Houston’s cheating ways. In 2018, the Dodgers went 1-2 in similar situations, and the Dodgers were very good that year as well.
Meanwhile, Minnesota has put together a nice roster this season, bringing in Carlos Correa, Gary Sanchez, Sonny Gray, and Chris Archer in the offseason, while keeping last year’s core of Bryan Buxton, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, and Miguel Sano intact. Archer will be on the mound today, and he is no slouch, having earned his keep as a solid strikeout pitcher for a good portion of his career. Don’t be surprised if the Dodgers whiff at least a dozen times. Money line Minnesota for a nice start to your evening.
Houston Astros Money Line (-140)
I don’t think I need to do as long of a writeup for Houston as I did for Minnesota. As we move from the Great Lakes to the Southwest, it’s painfully obvious that the Diamondbacks are nowhere in the same class as the Astros. Arizona had a 52-110 record last year and did absolutely nothing to bolster their roster this season. Houston, on the other hand, has made five straight trips to the ALCS and are poised to get back to the World Series to finally win a legitimate title. Let all of that information sink in for a little bit.
Arizona will be sending Madison Bumgarner to the hill on just four days of rest, and as much as I love Bumgarner for all he did for the San Francisco Giants in 2014, he is a mediocre pitcher at best. You can’t stay young forever. Luis Garcia, however, is a young pitcher who was brilliant in Game 6 of the ALCS last year, which clinched Houston a third AL title in five years. -140 is simply too good of a value to pass up between a championship contender facing a cellar dweller. Consider parlaying that line with Minnesota for an awesome 3x payday.
San Diego – San Francisco Under 7.5 Runs (-110)
By now you can probably tell I am a Giants fan, given my earlier statement about Bumgarner. 2010-2014 were some of the best years of my life. Those championship runs also took some years off my life with the Giants’ brand of “torture” baseball and the non-stop partying in the city during the month of October every even-numbered year. I don’t party as much these days (being a family man) but watching the Giants still has me on the edge of my seat given how close their games are. There is a good reason why games at Oracle Park are low-scoring with razor thin margins of victory: the weather.
While most places on the West Coast are enjoying spring break, San Francisco will barely crack a high of 60 degrees this week with nighttime temperatures in the 40s along with heavy winds. When it’s cold and windy, you don’t score. Plain and simple. Don’t be fooled by the wind blowing out towards the bleachers. Oracle Park has an expansive outfield and hard-hit balls tend to fade before they get close to the warning track. All of the Giants games thus far have been under seven runs except for the home opener, but that should have been a 4-2 Giants victory if not for Doval’s blowup in the top of the ninth inning. On the hill today will be Alex Cobb and Yu Darvish; both are excellent pitchers. Expect another pitcher’s duel as we finish off a successful night of MLB betting.
In summary, take Minnesota +120, Houston -140, and the under for San Diego-San Francisco -110. Parlaying all three will get you 6x value, or you can do a round robin if you wish to play it safe. Whatever betting strategy is, trust the data with this solid trio of picks. Good luck!
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)