After going 3-0 between Wednesday's and Thursday's slates, Dalton Brown is 11-6 on the season for +6.36 units and hoping to build on his success with a big weekend of baseball ahead.
7:05 p.m. ET: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Mets: OVER 8.5 (-105) at PointsBet
The Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets will open up a three-game, interleague series Friday night from Citi Field in New York, and I'm expecting plenty of offense.
Chris Bassitt pitches for Toronto, a righty who most recently made headlines for a streak of three consecutive starts in early May without allowing a run. That impressive stretch is helping to provide us with value on Friday's total, but he was due for severe negative regression based on analytics - and over his last two starts, that regression has arrived.
The righty has surrendered 13 combined runs over his last two outings (10.1 innings) including five homers. Friday night, he'll take on his former team in the Mets, who ought to have him scouted as well as any opponent in the bigs - and given New York's seventh-ranked wRC+ of 106 against right-handed pitching since May 1, I'm confident it'll find a way into the Toronto bullpen early.
Justin Verlander will get the ball for the Mets, another pitcher whose name recognition far out-paces his actual performance at this point in his career. Verlander has given up six earned runs in two of his last three starts, and has pitched to the lowest strikeout rate of his Major League career so far in 2023.
Teams aren't wasting any time adjusting to the 40-year-old, either - Verlander has posted a 7.20 first-inning ERA and a 9.00 second-inning ERA so far this season. With Toronto's third-ranked offense (113wRC+) against righties since May 1 on the other side, his night could be short-lived as well. New York's bullpen might not stop the bleeding either - since May 1, the Mets have pitched to the 25th-best ERA from relievers in the bigs.
7:40 p.m. ET: Cleveland Guardians at Minnesota Twins: Twins moneyline (-135) at WynnBet
The Minnesota Twins have a huge starting pitching advantage in Friday night's battle with the Guardians.
Minnesota is sending tall righty Bailey Ober to the bump in an effort to take two straight from Cleveland, and I believe he is just the man for the job. Ober already dominated the hapless Guardians offense on May 5, tossing seven scoreless frames. The righty has pitched to a 3.10 ERA in May despite taking on the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, and Padres - the Guardians' offense, in direct contrast, ranks dead-last in MLB against right-handed pitching since May 1 with a wRC+ of 78.
Cleveland will turn to righty Aaron Civale, who is making his first start in more than six weeks after suffering an injury in just his second outing of the season. Civale has recently spent time rehabbing in Columbus with the Guardians' Triple-A club, but it hasn't gone well - Civale has pitched to just a 4.91 ERA on the farm, and allowed four earned runs in his last start.
Unlike Ober, Civale isn't landing in any soft spot here, either. Minnesota's offense ranks 11th in baseball in wRC+ against righties since May 1, so an already-short leash for the recovering Civale could end up leaving the bullpen with more than half of a game to cover.
With Minnesota, we are getting the better starting pitcher, the better lineup in Friday's platoon split, and have the Twins' seventh-ranked bullpen since May 1 on our side. At -135, Minnesota is a bargain on the money line.