Most of our picks in our daily column this year have been moneyline or over/under wagers, but occasionally we will dabble into team totals that we feel present great value. Though we have not advised many bets on player props, that is not to suggest that one should never wager on them, as they too can often present great value.
One such instance today that I would be curious about when oddsmakers reveal those odds is on Cincinnati Reds slugger Nick Castellanos. Castellanos is currently in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak, and he is 3-for-5 with a home run in his career against today’s opposing pitcher, Joe Ross. Sportsbooks will often offer odds on a player’s total hits and total bases, so bettors can decide if Castellanos’s lines are too inflated or if there is value still to be had. To give an idea of how hot he has been at the plate, look at the tweet from High Heat Stats on his recent numbers entering Tuesday.
Nick Castellanos has an 11-game hitting streak right now, which includes 21 hits in 41 at-bats (.512 batting average).
In those 11 game, he also has more walks (9) than strikeouts (8) and 8 extra-base hits.@Reds
— High Heat Stats (@HighHeatStats) May 24, 2021
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Wednesday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
YTD: 64-46-3 (+12.74 units)
Cubs-Pirates OVER 8.5 runs (-118)
The Cubs and Pirates have played many low-scoring games of late, as the under is 11-3-1 in their last 15 meetings. Both teams have also been profitable to the under this year. The Cubs have an under record of 25-19-3, and the Pirates’ under record is 24-20-3. These trends make the over more intriguing, especially given the starting pitching matchup on tap for tonight.
Chicago’s Trevor Williams (2-2, 5.97 ERA) and Pittsburgh’s Wil Crowe (0-2, 4.91 ERA) have faced the opposition twice this year. Williams has allowed seven earned runs in 7.1 combined innings to the Pirates, while Crowe has allowed three earned runs in 6.2 combined innings to the Cubs.
Regardless of these pitchers’ successes or failures against the opposition, the fact that the opposing lineups will see them for the third time in less than two months should give the advantage to the hitters. The Cubs have averaged 4.8 runs per game over their last 11 games, while the Pirates have allowed at least six runs in four of their previous six games. Those stats alone suggest ignoring their recent head-to-head history and focus on how they have been hitting and pitching over the last two weeks.
Colorado Rockies ML (+114)
The Colorado Rockies have already won as many road games in their current series with the New York Mets as they have in the entire month of May. That is not saying much, considering their road win in the series opener was just their third road win of the season. However, a pick against the favored Mets tonight has everything to do with the state of their lineup. Thus, they are ripe for the picking by even the worst of road teams.
Entering this series, the Mets had averaged the second-least amount of runs per game (3.41) in the entire Major Leagues. Their bats have not woken up in the two games against the poor Rockies pitching staff thus far, as they have totaled just five runs and 13 hits through the first two games. New York misses Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil in the middle of the lineup. Instead, the Mets have been relying on players like Patrick Mazeika and Wilfredo Tovar, who would not be close to seeing the field this early if the team was fully healthy.
Rockies starter German Marquez (3-4, 4.82 ERA) has pitched more like the ace of the staff that Colorado expected, with a 2.37 ERA and two wins in his last three starts. German is 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in four career starts against the Mets. Though German has lost all three of his road starts this year, his road ERA is 4.60 compared to 4.91 at home. His K:BB ratio is a sensational 9:1 on the road, and plenty more punchouts should be in store against an injury-ravaged Mets lineup.
Marcus Stroman’s numbers (3-4, 2.75 ERA) are outstanding this season, but his ERA in four May starts is a full two runs higher than the 1.86 ERA that he ended April with. Stroman’s OBA is a .264 in May compared to .204 in April, and his WHIP and K:BB ratio are all higher as well. He will face a resurgent Charlie Blackmon, who is batting .306 with a .417 slugging percentage in May after struggling for most of April.
While Stroman is more than capable of a solid start tonight, do not count on much run support from his offense, which means the Mets are an overvalued favorite.
Anybody want to suit up?
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) May 25, 2021
Giants-Diamondbacks UNDER 8.5 runs (+102)
Giants starter Johnny Cueto (3-1, 3.34 ERA) has owned the Diamondbacks in his career. Cueto is 11-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 18 starts against Arizona, along with an 8-1 record with a 3.30 ERA at Chase Field. He now faces a Diamondbacks lineup that has averaged less than two runs per game in their previous nine games, so another successful outing should be in store.
Though Arizona’s Merrill Kelly (2-5, 5.05 ERA) has lost three consecutive starts, his 3.79 ERA and 22 strikeouts over that span suggest he is pitching much better than his record indicates. In four career starts against the Giants, he has pitched to a 2.45 ERA. Kelly is coming off a career-high 12 strikeouts against the Dodgers, which should give him confidence when facing a Giants lineup that has struck out the seventh-most of any team in baseball.
The under is 10-2 in the last 12 meetings between the Giants and Diamondbacks, and another low-scoring battle should ensue tonight.
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