MLB Betting Value Plays for Friday, April 19

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh

MLB Betting Value Plays

[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 8 – Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
BOS: Eduardo Rodriguez – L (1-2, 7.98 ERA)
TB: Ryne Stanek – R (0-0, 1.93 ERA)

We talked about it the other day, but these Rays’ bullpens games have become a real burden on opposing offenses over the last couple of seasons. Ryne Stanek will “start” his fifth game of the season, second this week, but only go one or two innings before handing it off the bullpen with the fourth-best ERA (3.56) in the American League.

It will be interesting, though, to see how that Tampa Bay bullpen comes back one night after losing the finale of its three-game series against Baltimore. The Rays had a bullpen game on Thursday and wound up using six different relievers in the loss. Luckily, the Red Sox offense has been uncharacteristically stagnant this week, scoring a total of eight runs over the last four games.

Eduardo Rodriguez takes the mound for Boston, and he’s coming off his best start of the season. The young lefty has been roughed up in two road starts to open the 2019 campaign, but everyone is well-aware that Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL in basically Fenway Park South. Not to mention, it’s an indoor environment that pitchers absolutely love.

The key here is the Implied Run Totals (IRT) for the two teams, which have both decreased by -0.3 each. When a decrease of that magnitude happens for both sides, it’s usually a great sign for the pitchers. It’s also worth noting that each of the last four Boston games has landed under the total.

* Final Score Prediction: Boston Red Sox: 4 – Tampa Bay Rays: 2 *

[7:10 p.m. EST] Over 8.5 – Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers
CHW: Carlos Rodon – L (2-2, 3.57 ERA)
DET: Jordan Zimmermann (0-2, 4.29 ERA)

Temperatures will be in the low 40s tonight in Detroit, but the wind will be blowing out to right-center field at a whopping 19 mph during the game. I’ve got nothing but love for conditions like that and Vegas has already taken notice, jumping the IRT up for both teams (White Sox: +0.4, Tigers: +0.6) and the game total an entire run, from 7.5 to 8.5. All the trends we look for on a daily basis are right there for the taking, and we’ll do exactly that.

It also helps that the White Sox have hit Jordan Zimmermann very well of the course of time, with their current roster owning a collective .311 batting average and .896 OPS against him.

* Final Score Prediction: Chicago White Sox: 8 – Detroit Tigers: 4 *

[7:10 p.m. EST] Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins (+104)
WSH: Anibal Sanchez – R (0-1, 4.86 ERA)
MIA: Caleb Smith – L (1-0, 2.65 ERA)

I’m going with the upset here, even though Vegas doesn’t think that it’ll be much of one. Miami’s moneyline had an increase of +21 (+125 to +104) and Washington’s had a decrease of -23 (-135 to -112) – respectively, two of the highest shifts on tonight’s slate, in separate directions.

Caleb Smith takes the hill for the Marlins, and he has been outstanding this season against stiff NL East competition. The dazzling lefty owns a 0.88 WHIP and has yet to allow a home run at Marlins Park in 11 innings of work.

Miami hasn’t been winning a lot of games but tonight’s moneyline odds are the best it has seen all season. Usually, that’s a good sign of things to come. Not to mention, Washington’s bullpen ranks dead-last in all of MLB – more than about 1.5 runs worse than Baltimore. Yikes!

Fish for the upset!

* Final Score Prediction: Miami Marlins: 4 – Washington Nationals: 1 *

[8:05 p.m. EST] Houston Astros (-1.5, -140/-225 ML) at Texas Rangers
HOU: Justin Verlander – R (2-0, 3.52 ERA)
TEX: Drew Smyly – L (0-1, 7.15 ERA)

Last, but certainly not least, Justin Verlander is up to his usual shtick. The veteran righty owns a 1.04 WHIP and 30 strikeouts over 23 innings of work. Tonight, Verlander faces a Rangers team whose current roster owns a collective .286 on-base percentage and 31.8% K-rate against him.

Drew Smyly goes for the Rangers, and he’ll have his hands full against a very heavy right-handed lineup that can rip the ball all over Globe Life Park – one of the best yards for hitters in all of MLB. The Astros just had their 10-game winning streak snapped, in which they had a run differential of +29 in that span, with five of those last six victories coming by more than one run. You do get some relief by taking them as favorites on the 1.5-run line, as opposed to laying -225 on the moneyline.

I’d look for Houston to get back on the good foot tonight, especially with the pitching matchup having such a wide gap of credibility.

* Final Score Prediction: Houston Astros: 7 – Texas Rangers: 2 *