Monday saw a fair amount of rainouts in the north, which means that we’ve got a few good options for games for Tuesday thanks to rescheduling and pitching matchups being shuffled around. When one game becomes two, teams have to adjust the next day and keep their starters in longer to save their bullpen, which can provide several opportunities.
Of course, there’s always the opportunity of fading a team that cuts a player over chicken salad; that works too. Unfortunately, we can’t bet against the Pittsburgh Maulers again until the weekend, but that game’s definitely going to show up on my card when the time comes. Until then, here are my top plays for April 19.
DIAMONDBACKS-NATIONALS U4.5 F5, -120
Arizona sends Madison Bumgarner to the mound, which is already a good part of the equation of a first five under. Bumgarner has given up just one run in each of his first two starts, and that came against good offenses in San Diego and Houston. Second, the Diamondbacks aren’t hitting worth anything. Arizona’s batting average is a pathetic .152, which is last in the majors. That should be good news for Josiah Gray to keep them from doing much of anything on the Nats’ side of the ledger.
Finally, the rainout yesterday means that Arizona has to figure out playing 18 innings, which could overwork the bullpen if they’re not careful. That means they’re going to get the most they can out of Bumgarner. The longer he stays on the mound, the better the chances are of this play cashing.
MANCHESTER UNITED TTU 0.5 GOALS, +130
I have all the sympathy in the world for Cristiano Ronaldo right now; losing your newborn child is one of the most tragic losses a person can experience. With that said, the fact that he rightly won’t be suiting up for United today means that the Red Devils are likely to struggle to put home anything against Liverpool at Anfield. United’s attack just isn’t the same without Ronaldo on the pitch, and with Liverpool locked in a titanic struggle for the title and having shut out its past five Premier League opponents not named Manchester City, I think United fires a blank.
WHITE SOX TTU 3.5, -120
Here’s an example of rain being a team’s friend: the Guardians are going all-in on getting a win over the White Sox here by letting Shane Bieber pitch on his normal rest instead of pushing the rotation back a day. Cleveland was an underdog yesterday (or would have been had the game been played) when sending Triston McKenzie to the hill against Dallas Keuchel, but the pitching edge has now swung to the Guardians in a big way. Bieber should be able to keep the Pale Hose in check.
ROCKIES TTO 5.5, +105
Colorado is actually leading the majors in hitting at .282, and they’ve got a solid pitching matchup here in Kyle Gibson, who has been a contact pitcher for most of his career. The Rockies are averaging 4.6 runs per game through the first 10 games this season, and they’ve been very tough to beat at Coors Field for the past year plus. Unless Gibson keeps up his newfound strikeout tendencies, the Rocks should get some runs on the board here.
BLUE JAYS TTO 0.5 RUNS FIRST INNING, +240
And here’s your stretch play of the day, as there’s excellent value on the Blue Jays to put home a run in the first inning. Toronto is averaging 1.0 runs in the first frame, and that’s in large part because the Jays feature a top three of George Springer, Bo Bichette and Vlad Guerrero Jr. The Blue Jays have scored in the first inning in four of their past five games, and Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi has given up at least one run in the first inning in both of his starts this year. The reward is worth the risk.