Welcome to another weekend of MLB best bets as we dive into Saturday’s full slate of games and today’s top MLB picks. Our first game pick today features MLB top prospect Paul Skenes as he debuts for the Pittsburgh Pirates vs Chicago Cubs. The Cincinnati Reds vs San Francisco Giants matchup is also a game we’ll focus on for today’s baseball bets. Plus, check out a few top MLB player props to lock in for Saturday’s games.


MLB Best Bets For Today: Saturday, May 11

As always, be sure to shop around for the best odds and lines at different sportsbooks. The odds in this article below are accurate as of this writing. Without further ado, let’s check out the MLB best bets and baseball predictions for Saturday, May 11th. 

Cubs vs Pirates Prediction Today, 5/11

Happy Paul Skenes Day, baseball fans! The Pittsburgh Pirates are calling up top pitcher prospect Paul Skenes to make his much-anticipated MLB debut on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. In case you haven’t heard, Skenes has been dominating in Triple-A this year and his call-up is a bit overdue. 

Skenes, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s MLB Draft, had a 0.99 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in seven Triple-A starts this season before being promoted. The right-hander has some truly electric stuff and can carry over his minor-league success into the majors. Skenes’ pitch arsenal features a fastball that sits around 100 mph, a filthy slider, and a unique “splinker” (splitter-sinker hybrid) that confounds hitters. It resulted in a 42.9% strikeout rate and .175 batting average against in Triple-A. 

Let’s back Skenes in his debut before the scouting report is out on him. The Cubs are in the bottom-third of the MLB against right-handed pitching this season (.301 wOBA, 95 wRC+, .224 BA, .674 OPS). Lately, the Chicago offense overall is struggling a bit. The Cubs are averaging just 3.1 runs per game over the past 13 games while hitting .205 vs righties in the month of May. 

Skenes can do his part to limit the Cubs, but Justin Steele can do the same to the weak Pirates offense to keep this one lower-scoring. Steele has a 0.96 ERA and 0.86 WHIP so far through two starts this season. The Cubs left-hander returned from injury on Monday and tossed 4.2 scoreless innings, which is an encouraging sign he’s back on track after last year’s Cy Young-caliber campaign. 

The Pirates, meanwhile, haven’t hit lefties well recently with a .255 wOBA, 63 wRC+, .188 BA, and .569 OPS in the split during the month of May. They’re averaging only 2.1 runs per game over the past 12 contests as well. Steele can handle this lineup as most opposing pitchers are doing these days. 

Let’s grab the under for the full game and first five innings behind the arms of Skenes and Steele. As long as Skenes and/or Steele don’t get shelled, which seems very unlikely, this NL Central matchup should be low-scoring. 

Expert Cubs vs Pirates Predictions

  • Under 7 Total Runs (-115 BetMGM)
  • 1st 5 Innings Under 3.5 Runs (-114 FanDuel Sportsbook)

Reds vs Giants Prediction Today, 5/11

Mason Black made his MLB debut this past Monday for the San Francisco Giants and it came with mixed results. On paper, the five runs allowed on eight hits and three walks isn’t pretty. However, the rookie right-hander started off strong with only one run allowed over the first four innings before the Phillies got to him in the fifth. Let’s bank on a better Black outing this weekend as part of today’s picks for the matchup against the Cincinnati Reds

Before his call-up, Black was lights-out in the minors with a 1.01 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, .176 batting average against, and 29% strikeout rate over seven Triple-A starts. The righty doesn’t throw particularly hard (92 mph), but he gets a ton of movement on the sweeper, sinker, and slider to keep hitters off-balance. That was evident early on in his debut as he struck out both Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto in the first inning while retiring eight of the first nine batters.

Black should have a much easier time at home against the Reds in this second start. First off, the pitcher-friendly Oracle Park is a more ideal setting than Philly’s stadium. Plus, the Phillies are one of the league’s best offenses against right-handed pitching but the Reds are on the opposite end of that spectrum. Cincy has a .288 wOBA (27th in MLB), 80 wRC+ (27th), .207 BA (30th), and .646 OPS (27th) vs righties this season. Those numbers are even worse in the month of May so far (.241 wOBA, 48 wRC+, .156 BA, .521 OPS). 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the matchup, Reds starter Nick Lodolo should have a good outing of his own. The Giants are on the worse end of their splits with below-average numbers vs left-handed pitching this year (.298 wOBA, 96 wRC+, .670 OPS). They’re a bit worse in the month of May against southpaws, too (.273 wOBA, 79 wRC+, .609 OPS). 

This is a good spot for Lodolo, who’s been solid this season with a 2.79 ERA, 2.75 FIP, and 0.93 WHIP through five starts. Look for the Reds’ lefty to bounce back in an easier matchup after coughing up four runs to Baltimore last time out. Lodolo also tends to pitch better on the road (3.65 career ERA) than at home (4.29 ERA) in Great American Ballpark. That’s been very evident this season with a 0.71 ERA over two road starts compared to a 4.41 ERA at home. 

It’s boring, but let’s take the under for the full game and first five innings again here due to the pitching matchup and two subpar offenses. 

Expert Reds vs Giants Predictions

  • Under 7.5 Total Runs (+100 FanDuel Sportsbook)
  • 1st 5 Innings Under 4 Runs (-105 BetMGM)

Best MLB Player Props Today, 5/11