It is a new week of MLB games, and looking ahead to a few of Bovada's series price odds for Monday's action, I have found a trio of betting opportunities that offer some solid value in the numbers as they pertain to which team actually goes on to win each of these three-game sets.
The following is a brief handicapping breakdown of each of the series as part of this week's three "best bets" for Bovada's series price moneyline odds.
New York Mets (+110) vs. Chicago Cubs (-140)
The Mets' hot start may have cooled a bit in late April and early May with a 2-5 slide against a pair on NL East opponents, but they regained some momentum this past week in a 4-1 run against Baltimore and Philadelphia. They still lead Washington in the division race by 3.5 games at 20-11 overall. Chicago has fallen 6.5 games off the pace behind St. Louis in the NL Central with just three victories in its last 10 games. Going back to May 1, the Cubs have lost two series to Milwaukee and one to the Cardinals.
I would give the edge to New York in Monday's Game 1 even though it is listed as a +134 road underdog. Jacob deGrom will get the start, and he brings a 2.95 ERA into this matchup after holding the Orioles to one earned run on six hits in his last start. The odds favor the Cubs with Jon Lester on the mound as their starter, but he has not had his best stuff working so far with a 4.04 ERA through six previous starts. Looking ahead to the other two games in this series, I would also give New York a significant edge in Wednesday's crucial Game 3 to win this series with Matt Harvey on the mound against Chicago's Jason Hamel.
New York Yankees (-105) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (-125)
The Yankees continue to set the pace in the AL East at 20-12 on the strength of a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. Their current lead over Tampa Bay (17-15) is now three games following a 3-1 series victory against Baltimore this past weekend. New York has won six of its last seven series, including a 5-1 record against the Rays during this same stretch of games. Tampa Bay was able to take two out of three against Texas this past weekend, but that followed series losses to New York and Baltimore in two of its last three division sets.
New York has taken the sizable edge in the season series against the Rays by outscoring them 19-7 in a three-game road sweep in mid-April only to take two of three at home later that month by holding Tampa Bay to a combined six runs in the three games. The Yankees have a slight overall edge against their division rivals in pitching, and they are clearly outslugging them as the fourth-best hitting team in the AL. Through the same 32 games, New York has averaged 4.65 runs per game as opposed to 3.78 runs for the Rays. I am banking on this early dominance continuing with a third-straight series win for New York over Tampa Bay.
Boston Red Sox (+135) vs. Oakland Athletics (-165)
Boston (14-17) has gone just 3-7 in its last 10 games to fall 5.5 games off the pace in the AL East, while Oakland has dug itself into an early hole in the AL West with an overall record of 12-21. The A's current losing streak reached five games after getting swept by Seattle this past weekend in three straight losses on the road. Boston has lost its last three series heading into Monday's opener on the West Coast, but Oakland has claimed just one series win in its last six.
Boston has been opened as a +110 road underdog in Game 1 with Rick Porcello on the mound against Scott Kazmir for the A's, but I like its chances to draw first blood. The Red Sox still have a solid 7-3 record in Game 1 of its last 10 series, and Porcello is also coming off his best start of the year after shutting out Tampa Bay last Tuesday in seven innings of work. On the other hand, Kazmir's ERA was inflated to 2.75 on the year after getting tagged for six earned runs on seven hits in a loss to Minnesota his last time out. Given a projected win in Game 1, I like the favorable series odds on Boston to at the very least win one of the next two games.
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