MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for May 14, 2023

Luis Arraez of the Miami Marlins bats against the New York Mets at loanDepot Park.
MIAMI, FL - MARCH 31: Luis Arraez #3 of the Miami Marlins bats against the New York Mets at loanDepot park on March 31, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/Getty Images)

We had a nice sweep yesterday! The Reds vs. Marlins total was seven and ended on 11 runs. The Pirates vs. Orioles total was 8.5, finishing with two runs. Happy Mother’s Day to all; let’s continue to win today. It’s a smaller card, but we have some winners.

2023 Straight Plays Record: 60-47 (+8.83 U)

PrizePicks Record: -1.4 U

I’m using BetMGM lines only this year. Here’s a link to get started with a risk-free $1000 bet. You can also use code “JBFANS” if you’re betting on MLB. Wager $10 on any MLB moneyline and receive $100 once the bet is settled.

All prop entries will be on PrizePicks: Here’s a link to get a 100% deposit match.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Miami Marlins @ 1:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Luke Weaver vs. Braxton Garrett

I’m not a fan of either of these two pitchers. Considering that the Reds had a bullpen game yesterday, using plenty of their best options, this game should soar over the total.

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Luke Weaver is allowing an alarming level of hard contact. He’s limiting the walks at an above-average level, and his strikeout rate is average, but when a pitcher posts a 52.2% Hard-Hit rate, it’s hard to pitch effectively. He isn’t as bad as his 7.36 ERA says he is, but his 5.72 xERA doesn’t tell me he’s due to turn it around much.

The Marlins have been hitting the ball hard. They rank ninth in baseball in Hard-Hit rate in May against right-handed pitching. Over the entire season, they rank 13th in Hard-Hit rate against right-handed pitching. They can do damage against a pitcher who leaves plenty of meatballs over the middle of the plate.

The Reds are facing a lefty! They haven’t been as prolific against lefties as we are used to, but they still have many right-handed bats with a clear better split against southpaws. They are also going up against Braxton Garrett, who looks nothing like he did last season.

It’s one thing to have a 5.97 ERA, but a 6.36 xERA is incredibly concerning. His strikeout rate is below 20%, the lowest of his career. He’s doing a great job limiting the walks, but a 49.1% Hard-Hit rate has him in the ninth percentile in Major League Baseball. He’s throwing a sinker more than last year, and it’s getting crushed to a .415 opponent batting average. The quality of contact against his four-seamer is absurd, a .453 xwOBA. His slider is supposed to be the calling card, but it’s surrendered a .399 xwOBA. He doesn’t have major league stuff to get out batters right now.

While these two offenses aren’t great, we do have defense on our side. These are two poor defensive teams, ranking 26th and 27th in OAA. Some of those balls that strong defensive teams would scoop up are finding holes with the Reds and Marlins. It’s another edge we can add.

Another edge is in the bullpen. The Reds have had an above-average bullpen all season, but the usage is getting to them. Alexis Diaz, Buck Farmer, and Ian Gibaut have been the go-to guys, but they all threw 20+ pitches yesterday. Diaz and Gibaut have thrown back-to-back days, so we’ll unlikely see them. After the studs, the bullpen looks much worse than the overall stats tell you.

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The Marlins bullpen is relatively well-rested, but it’s not very good. They rank 22nd in bullpen ERA at 4.42, 24th in FIP at 4.74, and 17th in xFIP. It’s not a bullpen I’m afraid of. The model has this at nine runs, so play this up to 8.5 (-110).

The Pick: Reds vs. Marlins Over 8 (-115) 1.15 U to win 1 U

PrizePicks Entry ($25 Promotion)

First Leg: Juan Soto Over 8 Fantasy Score

It’s hard to find a hotter hitter on the planet now than Juan Soto. He’s seeing the ball incredibly well, rocking a 241 wRC+ in May. Today, he’ll go up against Tony Gonsolin, who he’s had success against before. He’s 3-7 in his career against Gonsolin with a double and a triple. Soto will see a heavy dosage of fastballs and splitters today from Gonsolin. Soto destroys fastballs, but it’s the splitter that’s interesting. Soto’s favorite pitch to hit this season is the changeup. He stays on it so well, extends his hands, and generates a ton of power. The splitter and changeup aren’t so different in shape and velocity. I expect Soto to continue his hot streak with a total of 9.5.

Second Leg: Miles Mikolas Over 6 Hits

Mikolas has not looked great all year, but this is another Cardinals pitcher who doesn’t have great stuff and has been struggling against left-handed bats this season. I was going through all the Red Sox hitters I like, whether that’s Devers, Verdugo, Yoshida, Casas, or Durran, but then I thought, why not just take the hits prop? My model has him at 6.6 hits, which is often conservative, and the line on books is 6.5. I think these lefties have a field day with Mikolas, with a total of 10 for the whole game.

Third Leg: Joel Embid Over 0.5 Points.

I’m not a basketball guy, but the MVP should score one point, right? PrizePicks has a free square on the board tonight, so I’m taking advantage. If you want to take advantage, use code “JustBaseball” for a 100% deposit match on PrizePicks.