We’re back with another Sunday edition of MLB best bets. Last Sunday didn’t go as planned, as both the Marlins and Angels let us down. It was a disappointing follow-up to a 3-0 Sunday the week prior, but we’re here to get it all back today.
Two of our three first-inning under bets have cashed this year, and I’ve got one more on tap for this Sunday, along with a first five-inning wager on a struggling team who I like to jump out to an early lead.
YTD: 7-6 (+0.1u)
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
Los Angeles Dodgers F5 -0.5 (-120)
Saying the Dodgers have been reeling would be an understatement. Since starting the season with an incredible 13 wins in their first 15 games, Los Angeles is just 5-14 since and sits just two games above .500.
On Sunday, they’ll square off against the Angels’ Jose Quintana, who’s been anything but good this year, hasn’t given his team any length, and perhaps most importantly – struggles mightily against the Dodgers lineup.
Quintana holds an ugly 10.59 ERA across five starts this year, scattering 24 hits and 20 earned runs in just 17 innings of work. The Dodgers may be struggling, but facing someone struggling to the level Quintana is may be exactly what they need to wake up. The Angels lefty has completed four innings just once this year, and he’s allowed four or more runs in four of his five outings. He’s had a rough go of it, and I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario where he suddenly rights the ship on a whim. The Dodgers also historically give Quintana fits. Current Dodgers are hitting .325 with a .497 slugging percentage lifetime against him.
Trevor Bauer will take the hill for the Dodgers. He’s had a bit of an up-and-down year, but he’s given his team length in every start but his last, completing at least six innings of work in each of his first six outings of the year. That’s important for an F5 bet; it indicates Bauer’s been incredibly adept at keeping games within reach early on.
The odds are a little too steep to take the Dodgers moneyline in the first five innings, but I’m comfortable laying the half-run in hopes they do what many have already done to Quintana this year: rough him up and send him to the showers early.
Tampa Bay Rays / Oakland Athletics First Inning Under 0.5 (-110)
The Rays/A’s Sunday matchup features one of the most fun and interesting young pitching matchups of the afternoon.
Shane McClanahan and his 100-MPH fastball will take the ball for Tampa, and while he hasn’t exactly pitched deep into games, he’s wowed with his electric fastball from the left side. We don’t need him to give us any length for this bet to cash. We need him to have his best stuff early, which shouldn’t be an overwhelming ask against the 27th-ranked first-inning offense in Oakland. They average just 0.29 runs per first inning, just 0.07 runs per inning ahead of the league-worst Yankees.
Cole Irvin will get the start for Oakland. He’s been a pleasant surprise in the Bay Area this year, pitching to a 3.09 ERA across his first six starts, three of them wins. He’s been solid in the first inning and allowed a run just once so far this year.
The Rays sport the eighth-worst first-inning offense in baseball (0.41 runs per first inning) and have cracked the scoresheet in the first frame just once in May. I expect this inning to be quick for both sides, meaning a quick win for us.
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