The 2022 Major League Baseball season is already delivering thrilling storylines and unexpected movement amongst the top powers of the game.
Shohei Ohtani fanned 11 Boston Red Sox en route to a memorable two-way performance, while the Cincinnati Red have now won just three of their first 25 games and are on pace to be the worst team in baseball history.
Before you dive into the weekend;’s excitement, here are the best MLB bets to consider for Friday.
Texas Rangers vs New York Yankees -1.5
The Yankees were on an 11-game win streak before falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 a couple of days ago, but with a day of rest behind them, they will be eager to start another run against a fairly easy opponent.
New York is dominating in the box and has drastically improved its defense, granting it multiple win conditions compared to last year’s limited scope of outcomes. Gerrit Cole (2-0, 3.00 ERA) will be on the bump for the Yanks, and although he has not been lights out, he is certainly capable of putting together a nice outing.
The Rangers, much unlike New York, are just 10-14 on the season and will be tasked with chipping away at their sub .500 record on the road against the hottest team in baseball; considering that they are just 24th in batting average, it is highly unlikely their offense will keep up with New York’s.
Toronto Blue Jays vs Cleveland Guardians +1.5
The name change might still seem funny to some die-hards of the game, but the Guardians are not a bad team at all— they are only 12-13 but have the fourth-best batting average and have won five of their last six outings.
One of these wins came against this same Blue Jays team 6-5, and Friday, they will have the opportunity to toss Shane Bieber (1-1, 2.45 ERA) onto the starting block.
Toronto had high expectations placed at its feet during the offseason, and although they have certainly not been bad at 16-11, they have not been dominant like many expected.
This applies to both their batters and pitching staff, the former of which was supposed to go unchallenged in offensive metrics and the latter of which was drastically improved over the offseason. Kevin Gausman (1-1, 2.27 ERA) will be on the mound for the Blue Jays, which could help the game go under.
Detroit Tigers vs Houston Astros -1.5
The Astros have won four straight games and are finally playing like the team many expected to see suiting up in Houston; they won the first game in the ongoing series with the Tigers 3-2, and although they were not outwardly dominant, they seemed comfortable.
Luis Garcia (1-1, 4.15 ERA) will get the start, and although he is not their best option, he is serviceable.
The Tigers, at 8-16 on the season, are far too inconsistent to earn any trust against the spread. They have also been terrible against superior opponents and do not have a shutdown pitcher in their current rotation, so the Astros get the easy decision here.