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All times Eastern, and all odds via Caesars Sportsbook

🔥 The Hot Ticket

Mets at Padres, 9:40 p.m. | TV: ESPN+

  • Key Trend: Mets starter Justin Verlander has an ERA of 5.67 on the road this season.
  • The Pick: Padres F5 (-130)

It's been well-documented that not much has gone right for the Mets this season. New owner Steve Cohen has pumped a lot of money into the franchise and hasn't gotten much in return for his investment yet. The Mets are 41-46, 17.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East and 6.5 games out of a wild card spot. While it's not impossible, the odds the Mets can make up the ground and reach the playoffs are slim.

One of the disappointments has been Justin Verlander. Verlander was signed to a two-year deal worth $86.6 million with an option for a third if he pitches at least 140 innings in 2024. While Verlander's ERA of 3.66 isn't awful, he's only 3-4 on the season, and his strikeout rate of 20.8% is not only well below his career norm of 24.8% (it hasn't been below 27% in any season since 2017), but it's below the league average as well.

What really stands out are his home/road splits, and that's what we're looking to take advantage of here. Verlander has a 2.19 ERA in 37 innings at home this year with a strikeout rate of 22.6%. On the road, his ERA is 5.67 over 27 innings, and his strikeout rate drops to 18.6%.

The Mets are 1-4 in his five road starts. But we're only betting the first five innings tonight because while I'm confident in San Diego starter Yu Darvish out-pitching Verlander, the Padres bullpen has been a mess lately, posting an ERA of 7.94 over the last week. I don't want to count on that unit to hold the lead for us tonight.

Here's what SportsLine is saying about the game: The Projection Model and I don't see eye-to-eye on this one, though there's a chance we could both be right.

💰 More MLB Picks


Blue Jays at Tigers, 6:40 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV

The Pick: Tigers (+115) -- If we're already fading one pitcher who has been worse than anticipated this season, we might as well do the same thing in Detroit. Last season, Toronto's Alek Manoah was an All-Star who finished third in AL Cy Young voting after posting a 2.24 ERA in 31 starts and going 16-7. Manoah has an ERA of 6.36 through 13 starts this season and is 1-7. His strikeout rate has dropped to 17%, while his walk rate jumped from 6.5% last year to an astounding 14.9% this year. The Blue Jays are 4-9 in his starts but won his first three. They've gone 1-9 since and have lost seven straight.

And Toronto and Manoah are favored tonight. On the road. Granted, the Tigers are not a great team, and Tigers starter Alex Faedo isn't precisely the kind of pitcher I make a habit of betting on, but he's better than you think. The peripherals suggest he's been quite unlucky, and he has an incredible walk rate of only 1.9%. I'm more than happy to take a chance on the Kitties as dogs here.

Athletics at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. | TV: MLB.TV
The Pick: Over 10.5 (-110) -- 
Fenway Park is already one of the most hitter-friendly environments in baseball, and tonight's weather conditions will enhance it even further. There's a reason the total is as high as it is. The forecast tonight has temperatures in the eighties with winds blowing out toward left.

Oakland starter Luis Medina has an ERA of 6.37, doesn't miss many bats and walks a lot of guys. Boston's Brennan Bernardino has been effective for the Red Sox this season as a reliever, but he's 31-years old and has only made one start in his career. He won't be in there longer than two innings at most, meaning this is a bullpen game for Boston. Well, Boston's bullpen has already covered 27.1 innings in the last seven days (21st highest in MLB) and had to cover five innings last night.

🔒 SportsLine Pick of the Day: SportsLine's Kyle Marley has shared his bets for this weekend's UFC event.