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For those new to numberFire, we use a five-star system to show which bets you should be targeting on any given night. Stars represent how much you should risk on a wager relative to what you would normally bet. For example, if you would normally bet $110 to win $100 on a -110 spread wager, if we give a three-star ranking, we suggest risking three times that amount: $330 to win $300.
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Over 8.5 Runs (-118): 2-Star Rating Out of 5
Our model isn't seeing a lot of stellar betting opportunities on Monday's slate. This two-star bet is one of the strongest plays of the day.
The Cleveland Guardians and Kansas City Royals meet up on Monday afternoon in the finale of their season-opening series. The pitching matchup is Aaron Civale against Carlos Hernandez, and our projections like the over.
Civale doesn't have much swing-and-miss juice in his game. For his career, he owns just a 20.6% strikeout rate, and he finished 2021 with a 19.9% strikeout rate. He permitted a career-high 1.66 homers per nine last season, and while the Royals' offense isn't that great, our model projects Kansas City to plate 4.82 runs today.
Hernandez bounced between the rotation and the bullpen last campaign. Being in the 'pen usually boosts a pitcher's strikeout rate, but Hernandez still had just a 20.7% strikeout rate. He also struggled with walks (11.5% walk rate) and gave up a lot of fly balls (40.3% fly-ball rate). That led to a 4.91 SIERA.
Our model expects both offenses to do well, but we have the Cleveland lineup doing the heavy lifting, projecting the Guardians to score 5.19 runs. That's 10.01 total runs, and we give the over a 62.75% chance to win out.
Under 9.5 Runs (-120): 1-Star Rating Out of 5
Over 225 1/3 career innings, Hernandez sports a a 22.4% strikeout rate and 10.6% swinging-strike rate. His big bugaboo thus far in his career has been fly balls as he permits a 48.0% fly-ball rate. But he dropped that mark to 43.0% across 51 2/3 frames in 2021 en route to a solid 4.07 SIERA.
The 2021 season was mostly a lost one for Lorenzen due to injury, and he's something of a wild card as a 30-year-old pitcher making the jump from reliever to starter. There are some reasons to be intrigued, though. Since the start of 2019 (146 innings), Lorenzen boasts a 13.8% swinging-strike rate while hitters are generating a lowly 30.2% hard-hit rate against him.
Something else working in the under's favor is that both offenses have stunk so far. Neither offense was expected to be all that great, and they're each in the bottom eight in runs scored per game in the early days of 2022.
We project LA to win by a score of 4.70-4.05. That's 8.75 total runs, and we think the under hits 59.06% of the time.