The MLB market is a fast-moving market. However, when it comes to spreads, there is not much wiggle room as there’s only a half a run to spare. I’ve identified a few spots where the market has over-adjusted, and there is now value on the non-steamed side. Although it’s not just market analysis that makes these selections solid plays, as each of these teams is in good spots to get out in front early. So without further ado, let’s dive into the best first five spreads of the slate.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies (7:05 pm EST)
The pitching matchup in this one is a dandy as former breakout star Freddy Peralta will be going for the Brewers, and he’ll be opposed by the crafty left-hander, Ranger Suarez of Philadelphia. While there was some initial action on Peralta to knock this spread down to a pick, the current number creates value on the Phillies.
Suarez will be getting a Brewers lineup that has struggled to get the bats going early on as they are hitting just .208 as a team. However, Milwaukee will give themselves a bit of an edge as they’ll fire up all the right-handed bats they can, as Suarez is a nightmare for lefties. Despite the drastic splits, Suarez has done a tremendous job of generating poor contact through his first two starts. His hard-hit rate is well below league average, and his average exit velocity is in the 76th percentile.
The same cannot be said for Freddy Peralta, as he’s been hit relatively hard so far this season. His swing and miss stuff is still there; however, he’s made many more mistakes and lacked command within the strike zone, which has produced some solid contact. As a result, Peralta will enter this start in the bottom third of the league in hard-hit rate, expected batting average, and expected ERA. That is a recipe for disaster against a loaded Phillies lineup in their ban box that is Citizens Bank Park.
Pick: Philadelphia F5 PK -120
Miami Marlins vs. Atlanta Braves (7:40 pm EST)
This spot is like the one before, as the market is all over the Marlins in this matchup, but there are more than a couple of reasons why they should tread lightly in the early going. First, this Marlins lineup will be facing a revitalized version of Kyle Wright. Wright has been spectacular to begin the season as he’ll enter this start with a 1.64 ERA and 15 punchouts in 11 innings of work. His stuff looks better than ever as his fastball is up nearly two mph, and the movement on his secondary stuff is as high as it’s ever been. This has made him a tough nut to crack as he’s in the top ten percent of the league in strikeout rate, expected batting average, and expected ERA.
Going for the Marlins in this matchup will be Trevor Rogers. The young left-hander was dominant in 2021 but has not yet returned to last year’s form. While he’s been a bit unlucky with the balls put in play, the level and quality of contact are concerning. His command has also been shakey as well. Rogers enters this start in the bottom third of the league in expected batting average, strikeout rate, and walk rate.
This Braves lineup may be missing Austin Riley, but there are still plenty of bats that have hit lefties exceedingly well in the past. Given Rogers’ .318 batting average allowed to righties, they should do some damage early on.
Pick: Atlanta F5 PK -125
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