Best MLB Bets Today | MLB Picks, May 5

Written by: Tanner Kern
Published May 5, 2023
5 min read
MLB Picks May 5

The MLB Friday slate is loaded, and there will be a lot of hot teams in action. Riding the teams that are winning games is always a smart idea. It makes your life easier as a bettor because momentum is a key factor in an MLB team’s success over the course of 162 contests. We’re coming off a strong week and currently 10-5 in our Friday articles. Let’s see if we can keep the heater going on Friday. 

Boston Red Sox @ Phillies

  • Time: 7:06 PM ET
  • Starting Pitchers: Chris Sale (BOS) vs Zack Wheeler (PHI)
  • Moneyline: Red Sox (+160) | Phillies (-178)
  • Run Line: Red Sox +1.5 (-152) | Phillies -1.5 (+128)
  • Total: Over 8 (-108) | Under 8 (-112)

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

My Pick: Red Sox +1.5 (-152)

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The Boston Red Sox aren’t receiving much respect in bookmakers' minds following their four-game sweep of the Blue Jays. Boston is 19-14 compared to the Phillies, who will enter Friday’s contest at 15-17, but 8-5 at home. The Red Sox have all the momentum in the world, so it’s surprising to see them listed at +160 to win on Friday. 

They must go through Zack Wheeler, who is a very reputable pitcher for the Phillies. Yet, he hasn’t been spectacular this season, posting a 3.86 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. These numbers are good, but Boston beat up Kevin Gausman on Thursday, and they can do the same against Wheeler. 

The best part of Wheeler’s game is how he keeps the ball in the yard. The Red Sox have won games by hitting homers, and Wheeler has only allowed one bomb in 32.2 innings. Boston has the lineup to change this, but it will still be a tougher task than most nights of the week. Chris Sale has defined inconsistency for the Red Sox, but he is one of the best they have in the rotation. 

Alex Cora’s team hasn’t won with pitching all season. They’ve won by hitting the baseball, and there is no reason to think they’ll go cold at the dish. We’re going to take Boston at +1.5 on Friday to give us a little extra protection, but they have the team to win another series in Philadelphia. 

Miami Marlins @ Chicago Cubs

  • Time: 2:20 PM ET
  • Starting Pitchers: Edward Cabrera (MIA) vs Justin Steele (CHC)
  • Moneyline: Marlins (+142) | Cubs (-168)
  • Run Line: Marlins +1.5 (-142) | Cubs -1.5 (+118)
  • Total: Over 9 (-106) | Under 9 (-114)

My Pick: Cubs -1.5 (+118)

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This isn’t a game that I would define as a prime-run line spot. Typically, I refrain from taking run line wagers for home teams, but it’s hard to resist for the Cubs at home on Friday afternoon against a limited Marlins team. Miami was just swept by the Braves, and they had a long plane flight up the country to the Midwest. Chicago isn’t a championship-caliber squad, but they have been playing quality baseball thus far. 

The Cubs' quality rises when their ace, Justin Steele, takes the hill. Steele is 4-0 with a 1.49 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Over 36.1 innings, he has only allowed 24 hits and two homers. The pitcher has been sensational and has done everything right on the mound. We like him to continue his domination on Friday against a powerless Marlins offense. 

Miami has scored 48 fewer runs than the Cubs, and they’ve hit 13 fewer homers. Their team OBP is just .308 compared to Chicago, which has a .345 average. Patrick Wisdom has been powerful at the dish with 11 homers, and he could get another one off Edward Cabrera. The pitcher has a 4.67 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP.

Cabrera has decent movement on his pitches, but sometimes it can be too much, hurting his performance. In 27 innings, Cabrera has struck out 36 but walked 25 batters. He’s a boom-or-bust pitcher, and the Cubs will bring out his bust side with their quality at the top of the order. 

Chicago White Sox @ Cincinnati Reds 

  • Time: 6:40 PM ET
  • Starting Pitchers: Lance Lynn (RHP) vs Hunter Greene (CIN)
  • Moneyline: White Sox (-112) | Reds (-104)
  • Run Line: White Sox -1.5 (+142) | Reds +1.5 (-172)
  • Total: Over 9 (-104) | Under 9 (-118)

My Pick: Under 9 (-104)

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The White Sox have been horrendous, and we don’t believe this will change anytime soon. Chicago has done a terrible job of developing stars, and it’s shown for years in the standings. Dylan Cease and Tim Anderson are the only two players worth watching in this organization. Chicago has seen some recent contributions from Eloy Jimenez, but the cold streak is bound to drift in on the power hitter, as we’ve seen in the past. 

The total is set at nine in this game because Lance Lynn is on the mound and he has been getting shelled. The pitcher is 0-4 with a 7.16 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP. Over 32.2 innings, he has struck out 42 but allowed 37 hits and eight homers. However, Lynn has the chance to pitch well against the Reds.

Cincinnati doesn’t have a great offense, and it has caused them to plummet once again in 2023. Hunter Greene is also on the mound and is very hard to hit with his 105 mph fastball. The pitcher has a 2.89 ERA and only one homer allowed in 28 innings of work. Nine runs is a high total with these anemic offenses. 

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Tanner Kern

Sports Betting Analyst & On-Air Host

Expertise:
MLB
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.
Nationality: American
Education: M.S in Sports Journalism
Favourite Sportsbook: Fanatics Sportsbook
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Experience:
4 years
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