Fewer things are more exciting than Friday night baseball, and we get a full slate of MLB goodness with 15 games schedule for tonight.
While that means some fun in daily fantasy baseball leagues and good television watching, it could also make for some interesting MLB betting. Aside from your usual bets, this massive slate is going to tempt you to make some underdog picks, as well.
We’re here to point out the sleeper picks that may be worth targeting over the others. Here are our four favorite MLB upset picks for tonight, along with the betting odds:
Phillies Over Cardinals
The Cardinals open this one up as the favorite (-173), seeing as they’re the much better team on the year and have one of the best offenses in all of baseball. That roster going up against the very beatable Adam Morgan looks like a win on paper, which is why Vegas is so adamant that they’re the lock.
Game time: 6:05 PM CT
RHP Adam Wainwright vs. LHP Adam Morgan pic.twitter.com/x3nA8Gcutb
— The Birds On The Bat (@BirdsOnTheBat13) August 19, 2016
Perhaps it isn’t to be, however. There are two big things working against the Cards here. They’re on the road, for one, where the Phillies tend to be at their best in 2016.
They’re also shoving Adam Wainwright to the dogs yet again, and he’s been absolutely atrocious lately, giving up 19 earned runs on 31 hits over his last five outings. He’s 0-2 during that span and with Philadelphia’s better than advertised power, he could be in for another tough outing. Should the St. Louis bats not come to play, this one could tilt in the Phillies’ (+158) favor.
Marlins Over Pirates
Need a little more upside with your MLB underdog bet? Okay, how about the Marlins (+170) heading into Pittsburgh to try to take down the Pirates (-190)?
It doesn’t sound very logical at first glance, as these two teams are headed in opposite directions: Pirates are 7-3 in last 10 games and Marlins are 3-7 during same span. Miami also recently lost serious power with masher Giancarlo Stanton being lost for the year, so there is no denying their offense may be lacking their usual bite.
Of course, Miami still has a potential playoff spot to fight for, is surprisingly decent (31-31) on the road and could have the perfect matchup against a shaky Gerrit Cole. Once a franchise cornerstone, Cole has really been up and down throughout 2016, and he’s been especially sloppy lately. He’s just 1-2 in his last three starts and was horrific in his most recent trip to the mound, getting knocked around by the Dodgers to the tune of 12 hits and five earned runs.
Cole needs to be much better tonight at home, where he’s oddly been below average (2-4) on the season. It could be a great opportunity for the Marlins to start to get their groove back, and it could also be a fun spot for you to pile up some cash.
Rockies Over Cubs
Anytime good offenses stroll into Coors Field, we’re looking at a toss-up. The Cubs (-144) come in red hot after a mash-job over the Brewers last night, and there is little reason to think they’ll fall flat in a hitter’s park.
Of course, there are some things to consider here. Tyler Anderson certainly isn’t an elite arm, but he’s weirdly been really solid at home (4-1 with a respectable 3.04 ERA in eight starts). He’ll also be opposing a usually solid Kyle Hendricks that has been very average on the road and allowed three runs on eight hits the last time he faced these very Rockies (+134).
Colorado tends to elevate their play at home and Charlie Blackmon leads the way in the midst of one of the hottest hitting runs we’ve seen in some time. Chicago is understandably the favorite, but this park could give way to a ton of runs and it’s not like the Rockies are going up against Jake Arrieta here. They’re a fun underdog to roll with tonight.
Mets Over Giants
Johnny Cueto takes the mound for the Giants at home tonight, which guarantees the Giants get their 68th win of the year, right? Not so fast. The Giants have not really been themselves lately (4-6 over last 10 games) and have an interesting matchup with rookie Seth Lugo.
.@seth_lugo steps in to make his first career start tonight against San Fran.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 19, 2016
This marks Lugo’s first career start and puts both him and the Giants in uncharted territory. Logic does not suggest Lugo wins a duel with Cueto, but crazier things have happened and not knowing a pitcher is often just as bad as facing an elite one you do know. Even if Lugo doesn’t churn out a good game here, there is also the mysterious case of Cueto, who has not been elite lately.
Cueto has actually been bombing, as he’s failed to notch a win in any of his last six starts and has given up 19 runs during that span. Cueto has usually done enough to at least avoid a loss (0-2 during that six-game stretch), but he clearly isn’t in top form. If he doesn’t bring his A game tonight and Lugo merely hangs around, the Giants could be Friday’s upset special.
Love/hate our MLB upset picks? Got some of your own for Friday’s slate? Tell us all about it in the comments below!