MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Sunday, May 19, 2024

Jason Foley
CLEVELAND, OHIO - AUGUST 19, 2023: Jason Foley #68 and Jake Rogers #34 of the Detroit Tigers celebrate the team's 4-3 win over the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on August 19, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by George Kubas/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Yesterday was frustrating. Not because we lost anything, but both of our picks got rained out. I knew the game would bring rain, but no weather report said there was a high chance of a rainout.

We had two player props: Yu Darvish under pitching outs and Bryce Elder under strikeouts. I went to bet them again, but the lines were completely different. Darvish’s line moved 40 cents, and Elder’s line moved 35 cents. There is no value anymore.

We move to today. Sundays are the most challenging days of the week for cap baseball. Lines are sharp, and chaos often ensues. I’m going with a pick that I think is priced incorrectly.

These picks are available on BetMGM. Code “JustBaseball” for a first bet offer up to $1500.

2024 Record: 51-60 (-11.26 U)

Detroit Tigers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks @ 4:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Matt Manning vs. Jordan Montgomery

The Tigers have dominated this series. They won 13-0 in the first game and 8-3 in the second. They have a 32-11 advantage in the hits department. Other than “no way the Diamondbacks get swept at home,” I can’t find much reason to back them today.

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Jordan Montgomery doesn’t look like himself. His strikeout rate is nearly non-existent, sitting in the 7th percentile. It’s dropped off 8% since last year, a significant swing. He never was a giant strikeout pitcher, but he was always middle of the pack.

The velocity on his pitches is down about two MPH on average. His sinker and four-seamer are averaging about 91 MPH, down from the 93-94 range they sat in last year. The only pitch he’s getting swings and misses on is the changeup, but when batters make contact, they are hitting .400 against the pitch.

His 4.88 xERA is a career-worst, as is his 4.76 SIERA. His 1.41 WHIP is also the highest he’s ever posted. It’s early, but he was a Boras client who signed late. I don’t think he’s entirely comfortable yet.

He’s also been dreadful at Chase Field. Opponents are slashing .371/.463/.657 against him at home, which has resulted in a 9.82 ERA. It’s a small sample, as he’s only thrown against the Dodgers and Reds. The Tigers don’t have as good of an offense as those two teams, but they are close to the Reds.

The Tigers do not have a good offense against lefties. This season, they have the 25th-ranked wRC+ against left-handed pitching, and they were shut out by a few Marlins lefties lately. However, the Tigers rank 16th in wRC+ against righties and yet are putting up plenty of runs. I’m willing to back the bats here.

Matt Manning lines up for the Tigers. He’s had an ERA in the mid-threes over the past two seasons, but he’s only tallied 130ish innings since 2022. When he pitches, he’s solid. His hard-hit rate is down 6% since last year, and his strikeout rate is up almost 7%. This has resulted in a 3.85 xERA and 4.25 SIERA, both better than Montgomery this season.

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Matt Manning has failed to exceed 2.5 earned runs in five of his last six games on the road (1.0 earned runs/game average).

In May, the Diamondbacks have the 20th ranked wRC+ against righties. Over the entire season, they have the 26th-ranked wRC+. The Tigers aren’t good against lefties, but the Snakes have yet to hit righties. I don’t see much of an edge either way on offense.

The Tigers bullpen is not only rested but a lot better than Arizona’s. Ginkel threw 26 pitches yesterday for the Snakes, so if he does throw, he’s not rested. The Tigers rank fourth in ERA and 12th in FIP as a bullpen. Arizona ranks 25th in ERA and 22nd in FIP. The edge in the later innings belongs to Detroit.

Overall, Manning is throwing better than Montgomery. Arizona has a slight offensive advantage, but the Tigers are hitting much better now. The Tigers also own a clear bullpen advantage. The Tigers are 13-9 on the road, while Arizona is 11-13 at home. The Tigers have the better record and run differential. They are the better team at this point.

You can make a sound argument the Tigers should be favored here, but it’s at least closer than what the line is. Maybe Arizona does avoid the sweep, but this line is too good not to take a stab at.

The Pick: Tigers ML (+135) Risk 0.5 Units

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