Tuesday is always a great night on the baseball calendar. Mondays and Thursdays all too often have teams taking the day off. Wednesday is a getaway day and some squads just swing at everything so they can get on a plane home. Saturdays and Sundays have start times all over the place. But Tuesday needs some love. With the exception of the odd matinee in Wrigley Field, it always packs in a full night of action, sometimes all 30 teams crammed into a tight window.
With that in mind, why not utilize this full slate of MLB action to make some first-inning scoring wagers? Pack a bunch of those into a Tuesday night lineup and you have the recipe for an exciting evening. Whether or not it is profitable depends on many things, but here are a few suggestions to get you started. Peruse the MLB lines, grab some snacks, make sure you have the TV listings and settle in for the always-packed Tuesday night lineup.
Reds vs Phillies
The opener of this series was a low-scoring affair with no first-inning runs, and we expect a similar one on Tuesday night. Ranger Suarez is on the mound for the hosts, taking on a lackluster Cincinnati offense that ranks 27th in baseball in first-inning scoring percentage on the road (18.6).
Suarez has been on a heck of a roll since returning from a back injury in mid-July. Over six starts, he is 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA while holding opponents to a .191 average. The last time he gave up a run in the first inning was June 12 against Arizona.
The Phillies have won five of Suarez’s six starts during his dominant stretch. The one they lost was last week against the Reds and rookie Nick Lodolo, who outdueled Suarez with seven scoreless innings.
Lodolo has given up eight runs (seven earned) in 11 first innings on the year, but they’ve come in bunches as the youngster figures things out. He’s actually had seven scoreless firsts in his 11 starts, including the one against the Phillies on Wednesday in which he did have to strand a couple of runners.
Philadelphia is 17th in the majors in first-inning scoring percentage (27.05), and it could be without No. 3 hitter Alec Bohm in this one. Bohm, who had a pair of three-run homers against the New York Mets on Sunday, left Monday’s tilt with a quadriceps issue. With Bryce Harper still on the mend and Bohm likely to sit one out, the top of that Phillies order is looking a bit leaner.
The top two hitters in Philadelphia’s order Monday night – Kyle Schwarber and Rhys Hoskins – were a combined 0-for-8 with six strikeouts. Keep them in the ballpark and you have a good chance of surviving that opening frame.
First Inning to Score: NO
Marlins vs Athletics
Let’s come clean. We read from multiple sources – including the Marlins game notes – that Pablo Lopez was starting for Miami on Monday. We went with it. We were wrong. It happens. We apologize.
But everything we said about young Pablo on Monday applies for him Tuesday, when he definitely will start for Miami, barring anything funky happening at the hotel in Oakland. To remind you, Lopez is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA over his last four starts with opponents hitting a hearty .378 in that span, and he’s given up eight first-inning runs in that span.
Overall, Lopez’s first-inning ERA stands at 6.38. He’ll be up against an Oakland team that had scored in the first in four of six games prior to getting blanked by Edward Cabrera on Monday. You might also want to take into account Lopez’s 7.20 road ERA when making your MLB picks.
The A’s are going with a rookie in Zach Logue, who owns a 6.55 ERA in his nine starts. Logue’s first innings have been pretty good, but he was reached for two early tallies in a rocky start vs. Houston two turns ago.
The Marlins don’t score all that often in the first but they did get all three of their Monday night runs between the second and the third, so they were ready out of the chute.
First Inning to Score: YES
Mets vs Yankees
After a tight, intense contest with a playoff vibe between these teams Monday, they wrap up the 2022 Subway Series in a contest that figures to be a bit more chaotic.
Frankie Montas will start for the Yankees. He’s given up 14 runs in 14 innings since joining the team prior to the trade deadline, so the MLB odds of a run given up in the first are, in a way, one to one. Of course, that’s not exactly how it works, but looking deeper into the 29-year-old’s portfolio reveals someone susceptible to some early issues.
Montas has a 3.68 ERA in the first but he’s given up more home runs (four) in that frame than any other and opponents have a solid, if not spectacular, .760 OPS. The ERA jumps to 5.66 and the OPS to .828 in the second before he tends to settle down. The early frames are when teams need to get to him.
Although they do most of their early damage at home, the Mets remain third in the majors in first-inning scoring percentage (35.5). And, in a way, they are at home. Just playing down the street with some of the neighborhood fellas.
Montas will be opposed by Taijuan Walker, who is – if anything – a bit of a question mark coming into this one. He left his last start after two innings due to back spasms, which came two starts after he lasted only one inning and gave up eight runs against Atlanta.
Remember, Walker was an All-Star in 2021 before scuffling to the finish line with rocky stretches in July, August and September. We may be seeing some of the same for a guy who owns a 5.14 ERA in the first inning this year.
Walker defeated the Yankees with a quality start earlier this year, but two of the three runs he gave up came in the opening frame. Aaron Judge, who went deep Monday, is 3-for-9 with three home runs and two walks against Walker, so there’s an immediate and significant challenge.
Take all this into account when making your bet online at the sportsbook.
First Inning to Score: YES