Friday MLB Odds & Picks: Best Bets, Featuring Phillies vs. Cardinals & Rockies vs. Diamondbacks (July 8)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Pictured: Chad Kuhl.
- The Action Network MLB staff has four best bets for Friday night.
- They have found two moneylines and two totals with value, including two plus-money plays.
- Read on for their picks and analysis below.
The Major League Baseball season rolls on Friday with a full slate of 15 games and all 30 teams in action. Our Action Network MLB analysts have you covered with four best bets, two moneylines and two totals, to send you into the weekend up a few bucks. Check out their picks and analysis below.
MLB Odds & Picks
Tanner McGrath: I still believe in Tarik Skubal. While he’s been catastrophic in his last six starts – pitching to an ERA north of 7.50 – I think that’s primarily home run regression. After posting a 3.8% HR/FB Rate through 10 starts this season, that number has jumped to 20% over his last six.
That brings Skubal’s season-long HR/FB Rate up to 10%, where I actually think it may settle.
Either way, the White Sox have the fourth-lowest Average Launch Angle in MLB, leading just the Marlins, Rockies, and Nationals. The White Sox still hit the ball hard, but they hit it on the ground, leading to them posting the fifth-fewest home runs (65) and the third-lowest ISO mark (.124) this season.
So, I trust Skubal to finally bounce back in a favorable matchup.
On the other hand, I don’t trust Lucas Giolito at all, who ranks among the bottom 20% of qualified pitchers in Average Exit Velocity, Hard-Hit Rate, and Barrel Rate allowed.
While the Tigers offense is dismal, they have advantages in the bullpen (third-lowest reliever ERA this season) and on defense (Tigers are 12th in Defensive Runs Saved, White Sox 22nd).
On top of this, we’re getting the Tigers north of +150 while our Action App PRO line makes the number just +128. I’m comfortable playing this to +135.
Tony Sartori: The Kansas City Royals host the Cleveland Guardians in an AL Central matchup on Friday night. Despite currently sitting 10.5 games back from the Guardians in the division standings, the Royals opened up as a short home favorite and have since moved about 10 cents to the current line at (-124).
This movement occurred despite approximately 56% of the tickets on the Guardians. Enter the Brian Windhorst meme, “Now, why is that?”
Larger wagers are being placed on Kansas City, primarily because of a popular fade of Cleveland’s projected starting pitcher, right-hander Aaron Civale. Through 10 starts this season, Civale is 2-5 with a 7.04 ERA and 1.54 WHIP.
Civale’s metrics are just as poor as he possesses a .363 xwOBA, .283 xBA, and .511 xSLG. In his one start against the Royals this season, Civale allowed two runs and produced a 2.26 WHIP through three and one-third innings pitched.
Civale may not get much run support in this contest as the Guardians are slated to go against right-hander Brady Singer. Through 62 career plate appearances against Singer, this current Guardians lineup possesses a mere .217 xBA, .324 xSLG, and .278 xwOBA.
The Guardians have been in poor form recently as they just got swept by the Tigers and have now lost 12 of their last 16 games (75%). I expect this slide to continue in this matchup as this line is too short on the Royals given the matchups.
Jules Posner: The Philadelphia Phillies roll into St. Louis to open a three-game set against the St. Louis Cardinals. Zach Wheeler will be squaring off against Adam Wainwright in what should be a fun pitcher’s duel on Friday night.
Wheeler has been absolutely dominant after a shaky start to the season. Over his past 12 starts, he’s posted a 1.67 ERA and a 2.21 FIP. He’s also posted a 2.76 ERA and a 2.42 FIP on the road over that time frame.
Adam Wainwright continues to be as reliable as ever, especially at home. This season Wain-o has a 2.25 ERA and 2.56 FIP at home. He’ll also be going against a Phillies’ offense that’s in the bottom third of the league in terms of wRC+ on the road against RHP over the past couple of weeks.
The Cardinals return home after a brief road trip where they only scored over three runs once in six games. With Wheeler on the mound, even a potent Cardinals home offense will have its hands full.
Additionally, both bullpens (yes, even the Phillies) have been in the upper third in FIP and ERA over the past couple of weeks. Therefore, under 7.5 runs seems like it will be pretty attainable in what looks to be a low scoring affair.
Under 7.5 currently sits in plus money and should be bet at -120 or better.
Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
DJ James: Chad Kuhl and the Colorado Rockies visit Zac Gallen and the Arizona Diamondbacks for a weekend NL West battle on Friday night. Kuhl is not necessarily a dominant pitcher, but he is serviceable. He even threw a complete game shutout against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 27. He owns a 3.83 ERA against a 4.09 xERA, so he has been a little fortunate but is a decent enough starter to hold a paltry Diamondbacks offense in check.
The same can be said about Gallen, although he is the better of the two starters. Gallen ranks in the 80th and 84th percentiles in Average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Percentage, respectively, and his xERA is 3.57 against a 3.40 ERA. He also will provide the D-Backs with at least five strong innings of work, if not more.
Now, the bullpens are both questionable in this game, but they have enough pieces to get by behind two starters who have the ability to go deep into a game.
The kicker is how bad both of these offenses have been against right-handed pitching. In the last month, the Rockies hold a 66 wRC+, while the Diamondbacks are not much better at 85.