MLB Monday best bets: Mets to stay hot vs. Reds
It was a good weekend on the diamond as our best bets went 4-1 between sides and player props.
We'll look to keep moving in the right direction with a combination of plays for Monday's small slate.
They're in a good spot to continue their winning ways Monday. New York will take on one of its former first-round draft picks, Justin Dunn, and the Cincinnati Reds.
Dunn is talented but raw. He struck out batters at a healthy rate during his stint with the Seattle Mariners last season, although that came at the price of control issues. He walked a lot of batters and was somewhat erratic.
He posted a solid ERA (3.75), but his FIP (4.67) and xFIP (5.61) indicate he was not as good as advertised.
Dunn finds himself in an extremely difficult matchup as he looks to regain his footing at the major-league level. The Mets have absolutely tuned up right-handed pitching in recent weeks, leading the league in OBP and slotting second in wOBA. They also sit second in SLG% and sixth in ISO, so they're not just stringing singles together; they're hitting for power.
If the Mets can get to dynamic young arms like Atlanta's Spencer Strider, Dunn is likely in for a difficult day.
Cincinnati is often able to keep up against left-handed pitching, but not so much against righties. The Reds sit 25th in wOBA and own the fourth-highest strikeout rate over the last couple of weeks.
Chris Bassitt, who owns a 3.34 FIP this past month, is more than capable of slowing the Reds down.
Bet: Mets -1.5 (-140)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. over 1.5 bases (-110)
Guerrero is heating up, having gone over the number in three of the last four games. He finds himself in another advantageous matchup Monday night.
Jordan Lyles is a mediocre pitcher in poor form. He enters play with a 4.58 FIP and .287 batting average allowed over the last month.
In a vacuum, Guerrero, who leads the Toronto Blue Jays in wOBA against righties on the road, is as likely as anyone on the roster to hit a struggling right-hander.
When you dig in, the matchup looks even more favorable: Lyles throws fastballs and sliders more than anything else, and Guerrero excels against both.
Guerrero owns a .440 wOBA and 62.7% hard-hit rate against fastballs this season. He has a more modest - but still strong - .346 wOBA and 54.3% hard-hit rate against sliders.
Look for him to put together a solid night.
Adley Rutschman over 1.5 bases (+120)
Yusei Kikuchi's struggles have been well-documented. While he has pitched a little better of late, he still profiles as someone who can get knocked around, especially by a hitter like Rutschman.
Kikuchi throws fastballs 51.4% of the time, his most frequent pitch by a landslide, and Rutschman is excellent against them. He has a .402 wOBA and 54.5 hard-hit percentage versus four-seamers.
Kikuchi also tosses a lot of sliders (26.8%), which is another pitch Rutschman hits well. His wOBA (.450) is actually better against sliders than fastballs.
He's unlikely to give Kikuchi an easy out. At plus money, I'm happy to roll the dice with Baltimore's super rookie.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.