MLB Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Dodgers vs. Rays, Phillies vs. Braves & More on Friday’s Slate (5/26/23)

This article analyzes the betting odds and best bets to make on moneylines, run lines and over/under totals for MLB games on Friday, May 26. The 05/26/23 MLB slate includes some big name pitchers like Max Scherzer and Chris Sale taking the mound, as well as a few marquee matchups like Dodgers vs Rays and Phillies vs. Braves.

MLB Best Bets for Friday, May 26

Here are the best moneyline, spread and over/under bets for May 26.

Rays Moneyline (-120) vs. Dodgers

Let’s start with what is sure to be the most-watched matchup of the day between two of the top five teams in baseball. The pitching matchup features Noah Syndergaard for the Dodgers against Jalen Beeks for the Rays.

Syndergaard has struggled so far this season for Los Angeles, entering this matchup with a 1-3 record and 5.88 ERA through his first nine starts. He has been especially bad on the road, with a 10.29 ERA and .361 BAA in four starts. That spells trouble against a Rays team that has the best home record in baseball at 24-5.

The Dodgers enter their third consecutive series on the road while the Rays begin their third consecutive home series. The Dodgers also used a lot of their best bullpen arms over the past few days against Atlanta, so they could get into trouble if Syndergaard can’t eat up some innings.

This all points to the Rays being a good value at -120 on the moneyline.
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Phillies Moneyline (+130) vs. Braves

Another marquee series to watch over Memorial Day weekend is this NL East divisional showdown. I had the Braves taking the first game of the series despite them sending rookie Dylan Dodd to the mound against Phillies ace Aaron Nola, and that pick ended up panning out.

Now I am on the other side. This might seem counterintuitive considering the Phillies pitcher is Taijuan Walker, who has been inconsistent to start the season and is not the same caliber as the similarly inconsistent Nola, while the Braves are starting another rookie with a much stronger pedigree than Dodd in Jared Shuster.

Shuster has a 5.49 ERA in his first four career starts, but his last outing was his best as he pitched six innings allowing just one run and fanning seven – all his best marks of any start this season.

Shuster has gotten a bit fortunate on some fly balls this season, as his fly ball rate of 31.6% is significantly higher than the league average while his home run rate of 2.4% is below the average. Walker has the opposite situation, as his fly ball rate of 22.1% belies his 4% HR rate. If one or both pitchers’ fortunes on fly balls changes in this game, that would favor the Phillies.

There is a reasonable chance of that happening in this game, so I am trusting Walker over Shuster and betting on the Phillies to bounce back against the Braves.
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Mets vs. Rockies over 11.5 runs (-105)

This is the highest total of any of the games today, but I am still taking the over.

Max Scherzer takes the mound for the Mets, and he has struggled against the Rockies in his career, especially at the hitter-friendly Coors Field. In 12 career starts against Colorado, Scherzer is 2-5 with a 4.54 ERA – his highest ERA against any other team besides the Boston Red Sox. In six career starts at Coors Field, he is 0-3 with a 6.39 ERA, the highest of any ballpark in which he has pitched at least two games.

Expect Scherzer to give up a few runs, and the Mets’ bullpen to give up a few more, especially if Scherzer can’t go more than six innings, which he has never done at Coors Field. On the other side, the Mets’ bats starting heating up in their last series against Chicago, and now they match up with Rockies’ starter Connor Seabold and his 5.97 ERA.

Three different Rockies relievers pitched over 21 pitches yesterday against Miami, so if the Mets get to Seabold early, there isn’t much relief the Rockies can offer out of the bullpen.

That should be a recipe for plenty of runs on both sides and an easy cover of the over at 11.5 runs.

Noah hails from Philadelphia and is a diehard Philly sports fan. He graduated from Penn where he was a sports writer and editor for the student newspaper and also spent a summer covering the Baltimore Orioles for He has been playing fantasy sports since before live stats were a thing, and he has enjoyed learning the nuances of DFS in recent years. As a current resident of Florida, he is hoping the wave of sports betting legalization will eventually reach his home state.

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