MLB 4/13/21 Preview
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A rainy Monday in New York gives us an Ernie Banks special Tuesday, so let’s get ready to play two between the Mets and the Phillies. Forget the subway series, they might as well call this one the NJ Turnpike series as the Phillies drive all the way north to take on the Mets. With divergent rooting interests from both halves of the state (Central Jersey doesn’t actually exist), Tipico Sportsbook expects to see a large handle on both games of this doubleheader.
One problem with breaking down doubleheaders is that you never know what the lineup is going to be. Managers will play some players in both games, but you rarely have the same catcher. You can also bet a few of the regulars are going to sit in one game or the other. Split lineups usually mean both are going to be weaker than the teams everyday optimal lineup, because both will have some replacement-level players filling in for some of the better options. Theoretically, this should affect scoring for both teams to the downside. You also have relatively fresh and rested bullpens, as the rainout essentially gives all those arms an extra day of rest. This theoretically should also lead to less runs being scored late in games as both teams are going to face the best options the other team has.
This leads me to my favorite play of the day for this doubleheader. The second game is the one I want to target, and the play for me is the under. Aaron Nola takes on Marcus Stroman, two very solid pitchers. Stroman last pitched in 2019 and finished the season with a 3.22 ERA and a 3.99 xFIP. Nola has a lifetime 3.46 ERA and an xFIP that is even lower at 3.38. These guys dominate lineups at full strength, so they should be able to put the clamps on weakened ones. Even at full strength the current rosters of both teams are slightly better than league average against right-handed pitchers with wRC+ scores of 106 for the Mets and just 103 for the Phillies. The games are also being played in Citi Field, which is a more pitcher-friendly park than if the game was in Philly. Overall, we have so many signs pointing to a low-scoring game that the under in the later game offers the most value for bettors. My guess is you see a total of 6.5 or 7 here. The lineup rolled out in the first game also affects the total and spread of the second game depending on who plays and who sits. Most people will scramble to make their bets on the early game, so you can sometimes take advantage of the line in the later game moving slower. Plus, as a Yankees fan I get to stay neutral on picking a side here, as to not upset my fellow New Jerseyans who root for one team or the other. It is a lot easier for me to stay neutral about baseball than it is on the Taylor Ham vs. Pork Roll argument as a kid who grew up in North Jersey.
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