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MLB Best Bets for May 12

Dylan Cease

Dylan Cease

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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We’ve got a shorter slate on the schedule for Thursday, but I’m still seeing plenty of value in the evening games. I’ll waste no more time in getting to my two favorite plays below.

New York Yankees (+125) vs. Chicago White Sox (-145) Total: 8

You have to be crazy to bet against the Yankees these days, but I’m feeling a little crazy. They’ll be trotting Luis Gil out to start his first game of the season, and that is probably bad news for New York. Gil was effective in a brief major-league stint last season, but he walked 14.7% of the batters he faced. He has been a nightmare in Triple-A, walking 6.4 hitters per nine in five starts and pitching to a 9.53 ERA.

You can’t afford to give the White Sox an inch, because they will make you pay. They own the second-best barrels per plate appearance mark, right after New York, and also rank second with a hard-hit ball on 16.6% of swings. That’s a great barometer of just where Chicago is right now, putting together good at-bats, making contact and making good contact.

The White Sox are not seeing the results they probably should, though, ranking second in differential between wOBA and xwOBA. While the Yankees have actually seen a slightly bigger gap, the pitching matchup here simply isn’t on their side. Gil has been incredibly erratic in the minors (and in the bigs last season) and Dylan Cease owns a 1.77 xERA, one of the best in the league. This one will go Chicago’s way.

Edge: White Sox -145

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Philadelphia Phillies (+120) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (-140)

Yeah, I’m the doofus who’s going to fade the two best teams in the major leagues. The fact remains that the Dodgers are cooling off just a little with two losses in their last three and will need to contest Zack Wheeler, who has settled in over the last two starts, going 13 2/3 scoreless frames.

Wheeler simply deserves more respect here, registering a solid 3.14 xERA through five outings and sporting a .340 xwOBA on contact which is almost identical to his mark from 2021. On top of that, the Phillies have been stellar at the plate with top-eight marks in xwOBA, hard-hit rate and barrels per plate appearance.

Tyler Anderson has been great this year, but he hasn’t had to deal with a lineup mashing quite like this one. I think things are turning around for Philadelphia, and this could be the monumental series win it needs to vault into contendership. It starts on Thursday.

Edge: Phillies +120

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