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MLB Picks for May 5: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

Garion Thorne gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Friday’s MLB betting card.

Los Angeles Angels v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

It is not my intention to use this space simply to complain about bad beats, but my goodness, I’m never putting money on the White Sox ever again. Chicago lost to Minnesota in an 11-inning contest on Thursday, but had the winning run on third base with less than two outs multiple times. Heck, Hanser Alberto got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded — but swung. Truly mind-boggling stuff.

Anyway, we’re 16-12 on article plays for the season. Let’s get back on track.

Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Guardians

Twins ML (-120)

It’s unclear if any team is actually “good” in the American League Central, but purely by default, these two clubs are the best of the bunch, with Minnesota currently leading Cleveland by 3.5 games in the standings. For both the season, and specifically tonight, I’m of the belief that the Twins are the better organization. The Guardians have dropped six of their last eight contests at home and send Peyton Battenfield to the mound on Friday. He’s young, and it’s a small sample, but a 14.5% walk rate and a 7.43 xERA are very underwhelming marks.

Things aren’t much better when assessing Cleveland’s bats. The Guardians own a .272 wOBA and a 70 wRC+ over the past two weeks — both the second-worst figure in all of baseball within that span. For the season as a whole, Cleveland also sports an anemic .106 ISO against right-handed pitching, which is, you guessed it, the lowest mark in the AL. Bailey Ober is right-handed. Ober has a career 3.66 ERA and 3.87 FIP in his 33 career starts at the MLB level, too. He’s solid. That should be enough in this spot to pick up a win for his team.

Milwaukee Brewers at San Francisco Giants

Brewers ML (-120)

I am perplexed by this line, as this might be the biggest pitching mismatch on the whole slate. Corbin Burnes had a pair of rough outings to open 2023, but has clearly been looking like his old self again the past few weeks, registering a sterling 1.85 ERA and 0.90 WHIP over his last four starts. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, either. We’re talking about someone who posted a 2.62 ERA and a 2.40 FIP from 2020 to 2022. That’s a span of 428.2 innings. Burnes is arguably the best pitcher in baseball. He’s that special.

Sean Manaea is at the other end of the spectrum. Frankly, the lefty just looks cooked. Manaea enters Friday’s action sitting in the third percentile of qualified pitchers in xERA (8.23), the second percentile in opponent expected slugging percentage (.588) and the first percentile in opponent barrel rate (17.6%). On batted ball events induced, Manaea is surrendering a massive .516 wOBA, which is an issue, because he’s also walking 12.8% of the hitters he’s facing. The Brewers have been terrible at hitting southpaws this season, but if they can’t Manaea, the franchise should disband.

Baltimore Orioles at Atlanta Braves

Max Fried Under 5.5 Strikeouts (+115)

It’s a little unfair to say that Fried has failed to go over this prop in three of his four starts in 2023, as he was forced to leave Opening Day due to injury. Still, it would be fair to suggest that Fried has never been an elite strikeout arm. For his career, he’s averaged just under a strikeout per inning (8.76 K/9), and that’s carried over to this season, with the lefty having registered 18 punchouts in his 20.0 innings of work.

However, my lean towards the under has less to do with Fried and more to do with his opponent. The Orioles simply do not strikeout. Across the last 14 days, Baltimore owns MLB’s lowest strikeout rate at a microscopic 17.3%. In that same two-week stretch, the Orioles are also one of only four teams with an overall contact rate of at least 80.0%. In general, Baltimore’s lineup is at it’s best when facing a left-handed pitcher, with the team’s 128 wRC+ within the split representing the third-highest mark in the league. They won’t be scared of Fried tonight.

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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 theglt13) 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.