MLB Best Bets: 3 Top Plays for Sunday’s Slate, Featuring Padres vs. Mets (July 24)
Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images. Pictured: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres.
- There's a stacked slate of 15 games on Sunday and all 30 MLB teams in action.
- Our MLB experts have three best bets, including a play for Sunday Night Baseball.
- Read on for their betting analysis and picks below.
The first Sunday after the All-Star break features a packed slate with. a full 15 games on tap. Our MLB experts have three best bets for you today, including a play on Sunday Night Baseball in primetime. They’re eying two moneyline plays and a runline bet in their picks. Check out their analysis and best bets below.
MLB Odds & Picks
Miami Marlins vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
William Boor: Sandy Alcántara has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball this season, and I’m going to continue to back him. The 26-year-old right-hander has been dominant and pitched to a 1.76 ERA with a .904 WHIP over 138 1/3 innings.
He’s also thrown at least seven innings in 13 straight starts and given up two earned runs or fewer in 12 of those outings. Alcántara’s advanced metrics are just as impressive, and there’s no need for me to list them all here. Simply put, he’s really, really good.
However, the Marlins are just 12-7 in Alcántara’s starts because he doesn’t get much run support. The Marlins are scoring just 4.08 runs per game, which ranks 24th in baseball.
To bolster that offense, the Marlins called up J.J. Bleday, their No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, on Saturday. Bleday, a 2019 first-round pick, hit 20 homers and drove in 52 runs through 85 games in Triple-A this season. The absence of Jazz Chisholm hurts, but the Marlins should scratch across a few runs against Mitch Keller and the Pirates.
Although Keller has pitched slightly better than his surface-level numbers indicate (4.21 xERA compared to a 4.55 ERA), it’s certainly reasonable to expect Miami to put a couple runs on the board. And yes, I’m aware Keller limited the Marlins to one run over seven innings on July 11.
Overall, Keller has been slightly better on the road this season, but it’s also important to note July has been Keller’s best month, and he’s yielded just one earned run over his past two starts, one of which was the aforementioned outing against Miami (the other was against the Rockies). Once Keller exits the game, he’ll turn the ball over to a bullpen that ranks 29th in baseball with a 4.71 ERA, so the Marlins will likely have a few more chances to scratch out a win.
While Keller hasn’t been bad, Alcántara has been elite, and this play is simply a backing of one of the league’s best pitchers.
Minnesota Twins vs. Detroit Tigers
Gray got roughed up in his final two starts before the All-Star break, but he should bounce back against Detroit’s struggling offense.
The Tigers’ offense has shown improvement at home against right-handed pitching over the past month, but overall they are still 28th in the league in team wRC+. Considering the law of averages, the Tigers should be due to regress a little bit from their present 110 wRC+ mark over the past month.
Additionally, Tigers starter Rony Garcia has struggled at home this season, and he’ll take on a Twins’ offense that leads the league in team wRC+ on the road against RHP over the past couple of months.
Even with Byron Buxton out for the weekend, the Twins still have enough offensive firepower to move the needle without him.
San Diego Padres vs. New York Mets
Tanner McGrath: I find it important to mention that the Padres have won four of the past five games with the Mets. Moreover, the wind is projected to be blowing straight out to center field at almost 14 mph during the game.
That points me toward the Padres and the over.
However, I don’t particularly like the total in this spot. I think the number is fair as these are two average offenses facing off against a couple of quality starting pitchers and bullpens.
I do think the Padres pose value at +112 with Joe Musgrove on the mound. Musgrove is walking fewer than two batters per nine innings, fueling a massive drop in his WHIP (0.97) and FIP (3.09). If you don’t let people on base, you’re going to post a low ERA, and his 2.42 mark would be a career-low if he keeps it up.
Plus, the Action Network App has already tracked sharp money coming in on the Padres.