- See the best bets in baseball on Monday, June 7, 2021
- Two rookies meet on the mound in San Diego when the Cubs visit the Padres
- Will arm talent override inexperience?
Mondays are usually the lightest day of the week for baseball, and June 7 is taking the schedule to new lows. There are just three games on tap today but still two bets I’m willing to make.
Pick #1: Marlins vs Red Sox – First Inning Under 0.5
|Team (Pitcher)||Moneyline||1st Inning Total|
|Marlins (Lopez)||+125||Over 0.5 (-124)|
|Red Sox (Pivetta)||-148||—>Under 0.5(-103)<—|
Odds as of June 7at DraftKings.
The trends say this is a bad bet. Nick Pivetta has given up a run in the first inning in three straight games. But here’s the thing: those three starts came against Houston, Toronto, and Atlanta – all top-ten offenses which are stacked at the top of the order. In his eight previous starts, he had pitched six scoreless first innings.
Miami is fifth-worst in the majors in runs scored (3.83 runs per game) and the top of their order doesn’t feature the likes of Vlad Guerrero Jr or Ronald Acuna Jr.
Pablo Lopez, meanwhile, has been absolutely filthy in the first inning. In 11 starts, he’s gotten out of the first cleanly in ten. He will certainly have the tougher task in terms of opponent – Boston is third in the league at 4.98 runs per game – but his dominance this year still justifies a wager at roughly even-money. He’s sporting a 2.82 ERA and that hasn’t been the product of luck. His BABIP (batting average on balls in-play) is .290, which is right around league average.
Pick #2: Cubs vs Padres – Under 7.5
|Cubs (Alzolay)||+105||Over 7.5 (-107)|
|Padres (Weathers)||-122||—>Under 7.5(-114)<—|
Odds as of June 6 at DraftKings.
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This isn’t exactly a pitchers’ duel between the Chicago Cubs (33-26) and San Diego Padres (36-25), though it might be a couple years from now, as both teams are sending promising rookies to hill.
Adbert Alzolay (3.62 ERA, 0.91 WHIP) has been solid if not spectacular for the North Siders. He’s pitched at least five innings in all but one of his ten starts, and he’s only given up more than three runs once, and that came in his season debut.
Fellow rookie Ryan Weathers (2.06 ERA, 0.94 WHIP) has astonishingly good numbers on the surface, but they’re a bit deceiving. He has functioned as something between an opener and a starter, pitching more than four innings just twice in 12 appearances.
There are three reasons I like the under here, despite the inexperience on the mound. The first is that Alzolay dominated the Padres less than a week ago. He pitched five shutout innings (three hits, one walk, seven strikeouts) en route to a 6-1 win.
Weathers didn’t fare so well in his first outing against the Cubs (four runs, seven hits, one walk in five innings) but that was by far his worst start, and he won’t be asked to pitch deep.
The second is the dominant bullpens both teams bring into Petco Park. The Padres and Cubs are second and fifth in league, respectively, in bullpen xFIP, per FanGraphs. If you like traditional stats better than advanced stats, they are first and second in bullpen ERA.
The third is Petco Park, itself, which always ranks near the bottom of the league in runs scored with its pitcher-friendly dimensions. Only Marlins Park is averaging fewer runs per game this season.