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MLB Picks for May 23: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook

Matt LaMarca gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Monday’s MLB betting card.

Monday is usually a light day for MLB, but we have plenty of games to choose from. There are 12 games currently on the docket, including an 10-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Let’s break down some of my favorite MLB wagers to target on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Toronto Blue Jays at St. Louis Cardinals:

The Pick: Under 7.5 runs (-120)

The Blue Jays and Cardinals both entered the year with big expectations, but so far, both teams have struggled offensively. The Cardinals are not struggling in the traditional sense of the word — they rank third in the league with an average of 4.88 runs per game — but they continue to make mediocre contact. They own the third-lowest average exit velocity and the third-lowest hard-hit rate, so they’re a strong regression candidate moving forward.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jays have been plagued by the bottom half of their lineup. Their top four hitters are as good as anyone’s, but the bottom five leave a lot to be desired. Guys like Matt Chapman, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Zack Collins have all graded out as below-average hitters in terms of wRC+.

Both of these squads will also have quality arms on the mound on Monday. Neither Jose Berrios nor Miles Mikolas are aces in the truest sense of the word, but they have been effective at keeping runs off the scoreboard.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that the under has been a popular option for the sharps on this slate. It has received 62% of the best and 71% of the dollars, which has caused this number to move from 8.0 to 7.5. I would have preferred to grab the under at the higher number, but there’s still some value at 7.5.

New York Mets at San Francisco Giants:

The Pick: Giants ML (-140)

On paper, the Mets have a significant pitching advantage in this contest. They’ll turn to David Peterson, who has pitched to a 1.89 ERA through his first 19 innings this season. The Giants will hand the ball to Alex Cobb, who has struggled to a 5.61 ERA through his 25 2/3 innings.

However, the advanced stats paint a different picture. Cobb has been quite effective at generating swings and misses, and his 11.22 K/9 is the best mark of his career. He’s been extremely unlucky, with batters posting a .394 batting average on balls in play. His numbers are also inflated by a disastrous start at Coors Field, but Monday’s matchup vs. the Mets will be in the friendly confines of Oracle Park. Cobb has pitched to an elite 2.41 FIP in San Francisco, so he’s a prime bounce-back candidate on Monday.

Meanwhile, Peterson’s advanced stats are much more mediocre. He owns a 3.72 xERA, and he’ll have to navigate an extremely tough Giants lineup. They rank second in the league in runs per game, and they’re eighth in xwOBA.

The Mets offense isn’t nearly as potent, ranking in the middle of the pack in terms of most expected-hitting metrics. They’ve made subpar contact for most of the season, but they’ve survived due to an abundance of infield singles and timely two-out, two-strike hitting.

Ultimately, the Giants should have the advantage on the mound and at the dish, so -140 feels like a bargain.

Cleveland Guardians at Houston Astros:

The Pick: Guardians ML (+165)

The Guardians have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season. They sold off most of their team over the past few seasons, but they’re hovering right around .500 for the year.

Triston McKenzie has been part of their success. The 24-year-old right-hander is off to an excellent start, posting a 2.97 ERA through his first 36 1/3 innings. His advanced metrics are also solid, suggesting we shouldn’t expect too much regression moving forward.

He’ll face a stiff test Monday vs. the Astros, who boast one of the top lineups in the league. Still, the idea of getting a quality pitcher like McKenzie at +165 is too appealing to pass up. The Guardians lineup also excels at putting the ball in play, and anything can happen in that scenario. They’re worth a dart throw.

Place your MLB bets at DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

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