MLB Best Bets | Odds, Expert Picks for Red Sox vs Twins, Cubs vs Pirates, More
Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images. Pictured: Carlos Correa
A new week in Major League Baseball gets going with a 10-game Monday slate. The Cardinals and Nationals meet this afternoon, and there are nine others taking place under the lights.
Our MLB betting analysts have picks on three games today, including Royals vs. Tigers, Cubs vs. Pirates and Red Sox vs. Twins.
Here are our best bets from the MLB slate on Monday, June 19th.
Monday MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Royals vs. Tigers
By Alex Hinton
In his MLB debut, Reese Olson struck out six in five innings against the White Sox. Since then, he faced a couple of tough lineups with the Phillies and Braves and has just five K's in his last two games. However, tonight he has the matchup to pile up the punchouts.
Olson will face a Royals lineup that ranks sixth in strikeout percentage (24.1%) against right-handed pitchers. In their weekend series against the Angels, Patrick Sandoval, Griffin Canning, and Tyler Anderson all went over their strikeouts lines. Sandoval and Anderson each had six.
Olson is certainly capable of getting six, if not more. Over the last two seasons, in 156 1/3 innings he racked up 215 strikeouts across Double-A and Triple-A. That also means this will be the Royals' first time seeing him, which will give him an edge his first time through the lineup.
Olson has gone five innings in two of his first three starts, so I am looking at a strikeout per inning here. I could see him getting seven strikeouts in this spot, which you can play on FanDuel at +330.
Cubs vs. Pirates
By Nick Martin
After a surprisingly strong start to the season for Drew Smyly, he has been hit hard over his last four starts. Smyly finally finding worse results should not shock anybody, as his stuff rates horribly and his reasonable hard-contact rates seemed unsustainable as a result.
Pittsburgh terrorized Smyly last week with nine hits, three home runs and five earned runs. Bryan Reynolds had three hits in that matchup and is now batting .381 lifetime versus Smyly over a sample of 19 ABs.
Smyly is throwing his curveball 51% of the time this season. That does not mesh well in a matchup versus Reynolds, who's batting .378 against breaking stuff. Reynolds' slug-rate versus lefties is down slightly this year, but historically being such a strong switch hitter has allowed him relatively even splits.
I'm happy to fade Smyly again tonight, and it seems likely that Reynolds can continue to do damage in this matchup. He is priced at +100 to record over 1.5 total bases tonight and I would bet the over down to -110.
Pick: Bryan Reynolds Over 1.5 Total Bases (+100)
Red Sox vs. Twins
It’s hard to find good situational spots in Major League Baseball. There are always “sandwich spots” and “letdown games” in football, or even basketball, but there are too many regular-season MLB games to apply that analysis.
However, there is one key situational spot we can key in on each week: fading the team coming off Sunday Night Baseball.
Per Peter Appel of Just Baseball, “If you fade the road team coming off Sunday Night Baseball on Monday this season, you would be 5-1.” The Red Sox won on SNB last weekend and proceeded to drop back-to-back games against the Rockies, so this is a pretty good spot to fade them again.
Making matters worse for the Red Sox, their roster and bullpen are gassed following a Sunday doubleheader, and they had to travel overnight from Boston to Minneapolis (rather than from the Bronx to Back Bay, as they did last week).
Minnesota's offense is brutal, but the Twins have advantages in the bullpen (top-10 by reliever xFIP, mostly rested), on the base paths and on defense (the Sox are a horrendous fielding team).
Although James Paxton has been rejuvenated this season while Pablo Lopez is on a cooler (5.40 ERA since mid-May), peripherals put these guys in the same tier (3.34 xERA to 3.17 xERA, respectively).
So, I’ll fade the BoSox in the worst situational spot in baseball, hoping the Twins can use all their other advantages to overcome their lineup disadvantage.