After two exciting winner-take-all Wild Card games, it is time to start playing some best-of-five series. Today brings us two Game 1 matchups, with the Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros in the late afternoon and the Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays in primetime. The stage is set, and the teams are ready to go. Using the Awesemo Sports Betting Model, we will identify the three of the best MLB bets today from the two matchups. Let’s take a look and see where all the profitability resides:
Best MLB Bets Today: Player Prop Odds & Betting Picks
Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros Over 7.5 Runs, -115, (DraftKings)
Although the game total is eight runs for most sportsbooks, DraftKings has this at 7.5. The Awesemo Sports Betting Model has the over on eight runs as the most likely outcome of the two games today, so getting a half run chopped off here is ideal.
White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn faced the Astros once this season, and it did not go well. On that day Lynn allowed eight hits and six runs over four innings, and the Astros won 7-3. Even in recent outings, Lynn had starts where he allowed six against Cleveland and seven against the Cubs. Astros right-hander Lance McCullers had two strong outings against the White Sox this season, allowing only four hits and three runs over 13 innings and striking out 14. Both teams did rank in the top 10 against right-handed pitching for most offensive advanced metrics. Look for home runs to be the determining factor in this matchup considering the Astros and White Sox have some of the most effective bats in baseball.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox Moneyline, +143 (Caesars)
According to the Awesemo Sports Betting Model, the underdog Red Sox are loaded with potential in this matchup. Their 11.8% expected return on investment is the largest of its kind by a wide margin. A lot of that has to do with the Rays and their struggles against left-handed pitching.
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Eduardo Rodriguez had a strong finish to the season, allowing only five earned runs in his last 22.1 innings of work. His last start at Tropicana Field yielded fantastic results, as he went six innings of shutout ball while striking out six. Tampa Bay got to Rodriguez in his very next start after that one, but he is a craft pitcher that can make the most out of his skillset. During the regular season the Rays had the third-highest strikeout rate (25.6%) against southpaws.
Right-hander Shane McClanahan gets the start for Tampa Bay before handing it off to the bullpen. McClanahan only lasted five innings in seven of his last eight starts, as the team lightened his workload down the stretch. The Rays are not shy about going to the bullpen at a moment’s notice, and that may play out in this scenario. The players are well rested, but the Red Sox just played an inspirational game on Tuesday night. In recent years the team with the long rest has struggled in the series opener against the Wild Card Game winner. According to the betting model, that is exactly what is going to happen tonight.
Xander Bogaerts: Over 0.5 Runs, +160 (DraftKings)
Bogaerts had himself quite a day in the AL Wild Card Game, going 1-for-2 with two walks and a first-inning two-run home run. Things really start to get optimistic when looking at his numbers against Tampa Bay this season. Bogaerts is 21-for-49 (.429/.517/.592 slash) with two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs against the Rays. He has also posted nine walks and 13 runs. All of the ways he can get on base make this a fantastic plus-odds opportunity, especially if the Red Sox are going to win tonight.