MLB Monday best bets: Sandoval’s struggles to continue vs. Rangers

MLB Monday best bets: Sandoval's struggles to continue vs. Rangers

We ended last week on a high, sweeping the board with our three best bets.

We’ll look to pick up where we left off with three plays that pop off the page on Monday’s pint-sized card.

Blake Snell over 2.5 walks

Snell has been one of the best and most consistent starting pitchers in the league this season. But he also dishes out his fair share of walks.

It doesn’t matter how many batters Snell sits down. It doesn’t matter how effectively he limits hits. The walks simply keep coming.

Snell issued at least three free passes in 22 of 31 starts, a whopping 71% hit rate on the over.

He enters play having walked three batters or more in 12 of his past 15 games – an astronomically high 80% clip.

There’s no reason to expect a clean showing this time around. Snell’s ball rate is 7% higher than the league average over the past month. Excluding balls put in play, he’s missed the plate – strategically or otherwise – just about as often as he’s hit it.

That’s not a recipe for success against the Giants. They’re a patient hitting team that has walked at a top-seven rate against lefties in September.

Their swing rate in that time (45.3%) is among the lowest in the league, meaning they take a lot of pitches. Given Snell throws balls at a high clip, San Francisco’s patience should serve it well and enable it to get into a lot of high counts.

Look for Snell to walk plenty of batters once again.

Odds: -115 (playable to -130)

Patrick Sandoval under 17.5 outs

Sandoval doesn’t tend to pitch deep into games. In fact, he’s failed to complete six innings in all but nine of his 27 starts.

His trajectory doesn’t suggest things are about to change. Sandoval has gone under the number in 11 of his past 14 games, and his underlying profile is littered with red flags.

Over the last month, he owns an alarmingly high .356 xwOBA and has induced grounders only 35% of the time. He’s giving up a lot of good contact, and the ball is rarely staying on the ground.

I don’t love his chances of producing a ceiling performance against the Rangers, who’ve really regained their form at the plate. Texas has plated 5.55 runs per game in September and sits tied for fifth in xwOBA.

Sandoval allowed four runs and was chased inside three innings the last time these two sides met. I expect we’ll see another short outing Monday.

Odds: -115 (playable to -140)

Justin Verlander under 1.5 walks

Verlander‘s walk total has been a consistent target for us of late – and for good reason. He’s issued one walk or avoided free passes altogether in five of his past six starts.

The numbers he’s posted in that time are nothing short of remarkable. Just 29% of his pitches were called balls, which is drastically better than the league average. This allows Verlander to routinely get ahead in counts and deal from a position of strength.

The Mariners are a bottom-five team in walk rate this month, so I don’t see them forcing Verlander into control issues.

If Verlander isn’t sharp, he’s more likely to get hit around than to hand out free passes. Look for him to get under the numbers.

Odds: -115 (playable to -130)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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