We’ve got 13 games on Monday’s Major League Baseball slate, including the highly-anticipated debut of the new-look New York Mets. The Mets’ opening weekend series in Washington was postponed, but New York will be in action in Philadelphia tonight against the 3-0 Phillies.
The only other two unbeaten teams left in baseball, the 4-0 Astros and 3-0 Orioles, will also be in action. Houston will begin a two-game series in Anaheim tonight after sweeping Oakland over the weekend. The O’s, meanwhile, will play three games against the Yankees in the Bronx starting this afternoon.
With so many games on the schedule, there are MLB betting options galore today. The following are the five best bets on Monday’s docket.
Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels (Over 9.5 Runs)
The Astros made history over the weekend in Oakland. Not only did they win all four games over the defending AL West champions, but they did so in style. Houston became the fourth team since 1900 to score at least eight runs in each of their first four games of the season. The Astros outscored the A’s 35-9 over the course of the series, as well.
Dusty Baker’s squad will look to keep it going on Monday night in Orange County. Jose Quintana will make his regular-season debut for the Angels, while the ‘Stros will counter with right-hander Luis Garcia. Quintana has been a serviceable pitcher over the course of his career, but he’s in a difficult spot tonight.
The Astros’ lineup may have lost a big bat in George Springer this winter, but there is still plenty of firepower here. Houston’s projected lineup has a collective .204 ISO with a .356 wOBA against left-handed pitching over the last two seasons. The Astros also put the ball in the play as well as anyone against left-handed pitching. Houston has struck out at a low 16.7 percent clip vs. LHP dating back to 2020. When the ball is put in play, good things tend to happen for this offense.
Astros complete an impressive 4-game sweep of the A’s in Oakland with a 9-2 win, never trailing in the series.
The Astros outscored the A’s, 35-9, becoming fourth team in history to score at least 8 runs in first 4 games, joining the 2003 Yankees, 1995 Red Sox & 1978 Brewers.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) April 4, 2021
The Angels shouldn’t be overlooked, either. Los Angeles won three of four over the weekend against a White Sox team may have pegged to compete for a World Series. Garcia pitched well in a limited stint last season with the Astros, but he’s still a largely unproven commodity at this level. Garcia struck out just over 18 percent of the hitters he faced a season ago while walking over 10 percent. The Halos are another low-strikeout offense (17.7 percent vs. RHP) with plenty of power of their own (.222 ISO).
These should be two of the better offensive teams in the American League this season. Both teams are playing their fifth games of the new campaign, which means they have reached the end of their respective starting rotations. With a couple of fairly weak pitchers on the mound, we should see some offensive fireworks in this one. Bet the over on 9.5 runs in Angels-Astros.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds (-145)
The Cincinnati Reds took two of their three games in a fiery series against the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend. Cincy was pounded 11-6 on Opening Day before bouncing back with 9-6 and 12-1 victories of their own. The Pittsburgh Pirates, meanwhile, dropped back-to-back games in Chicago after beating Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs on Opening Day last Thursday.
The NL Central foes will meet each other tonight in Cincy.
Former Dodgers prospect Jose de Leon gets the ball for the Reds, while the Pirates will counter with JT Brubaker. De Leon posted an ERA of 18.00 in five bullpen appearances for the Reds a season ago, but this year he has managed to earn a rotation spot out of spring training. Brubaker went 1-3 with a 4.94 ERA across 11 games, including nine starts, for the Buccos last season.
De Leon has struggled as a big-leaguer to this point, but he finds himself in a favorable matchup in this one. The Pirates were forced to put their best hitter, Ke’Bryan Hayes, on the injured list over the weekend. Pittsburgh already had the worst lineup in the majors even with Hayes in it. What’s left is a group that posted a collective ISO of just .152 and a dreadful .279 wOBA against right-handed pitching a season ago.
On the flip side, the Reds’ projected lineup posted a massive .258 ISO with a .353 wOBA against right-handers last season. Brubaker isn’t a gas can by any means, but he’s also a fairly average big league right-hander. We saw over the weekend how explosive this offense can be, and the Reds should be able to keep that momentum going tonight. Cincinnati feels like a solid value to win the game outright at home at -145 on the moneyline.
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees (-1.5, -110)
The Orioles swept the Red Sox at Fenway over the weekend, but Boston finishing near the cellar of the AL East wouldn’t be much of a surprise this season. The O’s could be in for a rude awakening when they head to New York for a three-game series starting today.
Jordan Montgomery struggled for the Yankees last season, but he seems to be in much better shape in 2021. Monty reportedly lost 15 pounds over the winter, and his numbers during spring training were outstanding. The lefty posted a microscopic 0.90 ERA across 10 spring innings. Injuries have hampered Montgomery’s development over the past few years, but he should be able to improve upon the 5.11 ERA he posted last year.
Last time the Yankees gave Monty the ball, he stepped up in a big way. Stakes are not *quite* as high this time (Game 4 of 162 instead of ALDS Game 4), but hopefully Gumby delivers again tonight pic.twitter.com/6WZoLVT8Gs
— Stanzo (@ncostanzo24) April 5, 2021
The Orioles will have Jorge Lopez on the mound. Lopez is a well-traveled right-hander that hasn’t been able to find much success at any of his previous stops. He has a career ERA of 6.03 in the majors with the Orioles, Royals, and Brewers dating back to 2015. Any low-strikeout pitcher is going to have a rough time at Yankee Stadium. Lopez’ career K-rate of just 16.1 percent certainly leaves plenty to be desired.
The O’s have shown some fight early in the season, but the Yankees are a far more daunting foe than the Red Sox were. If the spring version of Montgomery translates to the regular season, New York is a good bet to win this game easily. Bet the Yankees to cover the -1.5 runline here.
Chicago White Sox (-118) at Seattle Mariners
The White Sox had a rough go of things in Anaheim over the weekend, but they didn’t play as poorly as their 1-3 record indicates. Chicago was in every game, but the Halos benefited from some late-game heroics on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tony La Russa’s crew will be looking for a fresh start on Monday night in Seattle.
The Mariners, who took two of three from the Giants over the weekend, will have Justus Sheffield on the mound in this one. The young lefty posted a solid 3.58 ERA across 10 outings for Seattle last season. The White Sox will start a left-hander of their own in Carlos Rodon. Rodon went 0-2 with an 8.22 in four injury-riddled games last season.
The White Sox may be without Eloy Jimenez right now, but this lineup has historically had an awful lot of success against left-handed pitching.
Chicago went a perfect 14-0 in games against left-handed starters last season, and they’re 1-0 in such games so far in 2021. The Sox battered Angels lefty Andrew Heaney on their way to a 12-run outburst in Friday’s win.
Over the last two years, the Sox’ numbers against southpaws are just silly. Chicago’s projected lineup has a .443 ISO with a .492 wOBA against lefties since the start of 2020. Those numbers are a bit bloated by the relatively small sample size, but this lineup was built to crush left-handed pitching. Sheffield could be in for a rough one here, which is why I think the White Sox are a solid moneyline value to win outright at -118 on the road.
New York Mets (-1.5, -115) at Philadelphia Phillies
As mentioned, the Mets will finally make their season debut tonight in Philadelphia. Jacob deGrom will take the mound for New York opposite lefty Matt Moore. Moore may have gotten his career back on track with a stint in Japan last season, but this guy was quite a terrible pitcher when we last saw him in the big leagues.
DeGrom, conversely, is the best pitcher in the game. The right-hander posted a career-best 38.8 percent K-rate last year next to a 6.7 percent walk rate. His 2.38 SIERA was among the best in the NL, and he puts his team in a position to win every time he takes the mound. The Phillies have a tough offense on the other side, but there is still little reason to expect deGrom to struggle at all in this spot.
The biggest extensions handed out in Mets history:
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 1, 2021
Moore’s career got off to a good start with the Rays back in 2011, but it’s been all downhill ever since. Over his last four full MLB seasons, he has ERAs of 5.43, 4.08, 5.52, and 6.79. The Mets bolstered their lineup this winter with the additions of Francisco Lindor and James McCann, who should fit in quite nicely alongside the likes of Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil.
Assuming Moore hasn’t completely transformed himself over the past year, the Mets should have no problem putting runs on the board in this one. I would expect the opposite to be true of the Phillies against deGrom, which makes the Mets look like a solid bet to cover the runline on the road at -115.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu …