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MLB Picks for May 16: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

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

MLB: Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday features another solid slate of MLB action. All 30 teams are scheduled to take the field, including a 12-game main slate starting at 7:07 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into three of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Tuesday’s slate.

Tampa Bay Rays at New York Mets:

The Pick: Rays Moneyline (+135)

The Mets have been nothing short of a disaster recently. They’ve gone just 6-15 over their past 21 games, and they’ve had major issues with their starting pitching and their offense. That’s a tough combination to overcome, and things don’t figure to get any easier for them against the team with the best record in baseball.

The Mets will have their best starter on the mound in Justin Verlander on Tuesday, who has pitched to a 2.25 ERA through his first two starts. However, his advanced metrics aren’t nearly as impressive. His xERA, FIP, and xFIP are all at least 4.21, which suggests that Verlander has been a bit fortunate through his first two outings. Specifically, his .185 BABIP is well below his career norm, while he’s stranded 97.2% of opposing baserunners.

That could spell trouble vs. the Rays, who boast the best offense in the league against right-handed pitchers. They own a 137 wRC+ in that split, which is nearly 20 points higher than the second-place Dodgers. Ultimately, the gap between the Rays and Dodgers is higher than the gap between the Dodgers and the 15th-place Yankees. That’s how good Tampa has been against right-handers this season.

Yonny Chirinos is expected to handle the bulk of the innings for the Rays, and he’s pitched to a 2.22 ERA across 24 1/3 innings this season. Ultimately, grabbing the Rays at +135 is too good to pass up.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Detroit Tigers:

The Pick: Pirates Moneyline (+105)

While the Mets’ offense has been slumping, the Pirates’ offense has been downright plagued. After jumping out to one of the best starts of the year, the Pirates have lost 11 of their past 13 games. They’ve scored three runs or fewer in 12 of those contests, and they’ve averaged just 1.69 runs per game in those contests. That’s so bad it’s almost impressive.

However, they did show some signs of life in their last series, particularly in their last game. Their four runs weren’t anything to write home about, but it’s an outburst compared to what they’ve been doing recently.

Fortunately, they’re taking on a team that might be even more inept offensively on Tuesday. The Tigers rank dead-last in wRC+ vs. right-handers this season, while the Pirates are still 19th in that department. Both teams will send right-handers to the mound on Tuesday, with the Pirates opting for Luis Ortiz and the Tigers going with Michael Lorenzen.

Ortiz is clearly the superior option of the two, entering the league with a big pedigree. He was the No. 78 prospect per FanGraphs in 2023, and he lit up Triple-A with a 2.23 ERA in seven starts this season. He allowed two runs across five innings in his first MLB start of the year, and he should be set up for success against the Tigers.

This feels like a great opportunity to buy low on Pittsburgh.

Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins:

The Pick: Under 7.5 runs (-105)

This matchup features two former top prospects who are starting to come into their own. The Marlins will send Jesus Luzardo to the mound, who was considered a can’t-miss pitcher during his time in Oakland. He’s always had electric stuff, resulting in plenty of strikeouts, but he’s struggled at times with control. However, he started to figure things out last season, posting a 3.32 ERA with solid advanced metrics, and he has a 3.38 ERA through eight starts in 2023.

The Nationals will turn to Josiah Gray, who was the centerpiece of the deal that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to Los Angeles. Gray was FanGraph’s No. 17 prospect in 2021, but he struggled to an ERA above five in his first two professional seasons.

That said, he’s dipped his ERA all the way to 2.96 through his first eight starts in 2023. His advanced metrics aren’t quite as impressive, but Gray was always someone who seemed destined for success in the majors. It’s ultimately not that surprising that he’s started to pitch well.

Both pitchers should be able to limit the offenses in this matchup. The Marlins rank just 25th in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers, while the Nationals are 24th in runs per game. The Nats have been much better against southpaws than right-handers, but Luzardo pitched to a 3.00 ERA in his only matchup vs. Washington last year. Expect runs to be at a premium.

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

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.