MLB Best Bets, May 1st, 2023

As we enter the second month of the MLB season, we take a look at four games on today's limited slate and give our best bets.

Blake Snell
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - AUGUST 31: Blake Snell #4 of the San Diego Padres delivers a seventh inning pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 31, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

For those of you who have been watching the Not Gambling Advice stream, I’ve been appearing and giving my picks. Throughout the season, I will continue to make my picks on the show, which streams on YouTube and Twitch every day from 4:00 to 6:30 ET.

We had a horrible day yesterday, going 1-3 and dropping both our two unit plays. We were on a hot streak before yesterday after having three straight perfect days. We finished 17-7 overall, and we have an opportunity for a bounce-back day to start the week. There’s a limited slate of games today, but I have four plays to give out. Let’s rock.

Just so we all know, 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 “JB200” if you’re betting on MLB. Wager $10 on any MLB game and receive $200 instantly. All prop entries will be on PrizePicks: Here’s a link to get a 100% deposit match.

2023 Overall Record: 78-44-1 (+32.74 U)

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Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals @ 7:10 PM ET

Pitching Matchup: Drew Smyly vs. MacKenzie Gore

We are looking at the total in this game. The line is currently at 8.5 but is juiced up to -120, with all indications showing the line will probably move to 9 before game time. Drew Smyly and MacKenzie Gore have pitched great this season, but both of these teams have faired better against left-handed pitching.

The Cubs rank 2nd in wRC+ against lefties, just behind the Rays, and the Nationals rank 10th. The Nationals are one of the worst hitting teams in baseball but have had success against lefties, and Smyly is due for a regression start.

Even if Washington can’t produce on offense, they have the third worst bullpen in the MLB, and runs should be scored toward the later innings. The Nationals have a 4.59 team ERA, with Gore being their best starter as of late. I see both of these pitchers getting scored on early and often. There is also a 10 MPH wind blowing out to center, which should fare well to our over.

The Play: Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals O 8.5 (-120) 1.2 U to win 1 U

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox @ 7:10 PM ET

Pitching Matchup: Jose Berrios vs. Corey Kluber

Jose Berrios might have figured it out. In his last three starts, he’s only allowed three runs over 19 IP and has 18 strikeouts over that span. He gets to go on the road and take on the Boston Red Sox, who took two of three from the Cleveland Guardians this past weekend. This is such a gut feeling play for me, and I’m only going to play half a unit on this one.

C’mon Boston! We are going to back the Red Sox and Corey Kluber through the first five. I might be the only guy fading Berrios, but I’m not going to fall into the trap. Berrios has had three straight quality starts and has pitched horribly away from home. He has a 7.56 ERA on the road, and he’s so due for the regression start. The Red Sox offense is no joke; they are batting .257 as a team with a .436 SLG.

I don’t trust the Red Sox bullpen, and that’s why I’m looking toward the first five. I know I’m backing Corey Kluber, who is 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA, but he’s due for a quality start. Boston is 7-3 in their last ten home games, and I expect them to get to Berrios.

The Play: Boston Red Sox F5 ML (+130) .5 U to win .65 U

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Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres @ 9:40 PM ET

Pitching Matchup: Luke Weaver vs. Blake Snell

This one is going under. We talk about the “Coors Field effect” when teams leave Colorado; how about when they leave Mexico City, where the stadium has double the elevation? The Padres are headed home after sweeping a two-game series against the San Francisco Giants. The total is sitting at 9 and is slightly juiced at -115.

The Reds just had a road trip in Oakland and will be making a short road trip to San Diego. With the game line favoring the Padres at -220, the books are leaning toward San Diego. When I look at the lines and the game as a whole, I see the books backing the under as well.

The under is juiced at -115, and when the under is the favorite, it typically values the favorite in this matchup. The books are predicting a Blake Snell masterclass, and I know Luke Weaver isn’t a stud, but San Diego is bound to have an offensive hangover after playing in Mexico City.

Snell has yet to face the Reds in his career, and their lack of familiarity also favors the lefty. Weaver has faced the Padres 13 times in his career with a 3.97 ERA against San Diego. He spent the last couple of seasons playing for divisional rival Arizona, and I believe that favors him in a matchup like this.

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The Play: Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres U 9 (-115) 1.15 U to win 1 U

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Los Angeles Dodgers @ 10:10 PM ET

Pitching Matchup: Taijuan Walker vs. Tony Gonsolin

The Dodgers might be catching their groove after sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals at home this past weekend. Gonsolin is getting his second start of the season and shouldn’t have an innings restriction on him like his last start. The line opened with the Dodgers as a -155 home favorite, and now it’s steamed up to -165.

Los Angeles also matches a few systems: favorites are hitting at 62% this year, favorites off a win with line movement in their favor at 63%, and non-division favorites off a win at 65%. Those are numbers I can get behind, and it makes me more comfortable with laying the juice.

Give me the Dodgers in this one. They are staying at home with the Phillies having to get on the road after losing on Sunday Night baseball in Houston. If this is the start of a Dodgers win streak, I don’t want to get on it too late.

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The Play: Los Angeles Dodgers ML (-165) 1.65 U to win 1 U