MLB Best Bets Today | Picks for Nationals vs Padres, More
Pictured: Patrick Corbin. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
- There's a loaded 14-game slate in MLB tonight, which means there are plenty of betting opportunities.
- Our MLB betting experts have looked over the odds and made picks on five best bets.
- Continue reading for Friday night's best MLB bets.
Ladies and gentlemen, the weekend.
It's a bit of an odd Friday. Only 14 games instead of our usual 15 because the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals are prepping for their London Series beginning on Saturday. Still, 14 games gives us more than enough options to find value, and our analysts are as on it as you might expect.
We have five bets across four different games today, including Mariners vs. Orioles, Mets vs. Phillies, Rangers vs. Yankees and Nationals vs. Padres.
Here are our best bets from the MLB slate on Friday, June 23rd.
Friday 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.|
Mariners vs. Orioles
The Seattle Mariners are fresh off a beatdown of the New York Yankees and travel a short way down to Baltimore to take on Kyle Gibson and the Orioles.
To me, this line is wrong and Seattle should be a heavier favorite. Let’s start with Gibson, who has a below-average Stuff+ (91) and has overperformed expectations by about a half-run. He has struggled across the board this season, seeing his strikeout rate dip below 20% while his walk rate, xBA and xSLG are all up.
Gibson changed his arsenal a bit from last season and has used his changeup a lot more and added a sweeper. He pitches to contact and has been hit hard — but he’s been able to mitigate damage often.
The same can’t be said for Logan Gilbert, who I expect to bounce back in the coming weeks. His LOB% sits at 63.7, nearly 10% less than his career average. He struggles to keep runners on base and his barrel rate has come back to bite at the worst times.
But Gilbert is a plus pitcher. All his off-speed pitches carry a Stuff+ of 113 or better. He has pinpoint command and ranks in the 79th percentile in chase rate, seeing his strikeout rate increase from last season.
While his barrel rate remains a concern, Gilbert has made some strides with hard hits overall and has seen his xBA dip. The introduction of a splitter has been instrumental in both increasing ground balls and forcing weak contact.
Seattle has the slight bullpen edge — it is No. 1 in xFIP vs. Baltimore’s No. 5 ranking — and both offenses are about a wash. Baltimore normally is better but is suffering from injuries. Cedric Mullins remains out and Ryan Mountcastle and James McCann have joined the outfielder with injuries.
Currently sitting around a PK, I love the Mariners. I would back Seattle to (-120) given the stark pitching difference between Gilbert and Gibson.
Pick: Mariners ML (-110)
Mets vs. Phillies
Kodai Senga has seen a significant drop in his Stuff+ ratings in the last month. If you compound that with his alarmingly high walk rates, you have a middling MLB pitcher right now.
On paper, the Phillies present a decent matchup for him with a free-swinging lineup that will chase pitches outside of the strike zone. Senga's zone rate is just 38.7%, which is solidly below average among MLB starters. His walk rate is 13.4%, which places him in the sixth percentile in all of MLB.
Senga's stuff debuted as clearly well above average, but that has trended downward to the point where the Eno Sarris' Stuff+ model puts him at league average in the last 30 days (98 Stuff+). Combine that with reliever-level Location+ numbers in the low-to-mid 90s and there are major questions about Senga as an above-average starter trying to get through a lineup multiple times.
Some projection systems still forecast him in the 3.7-3.8 range, but I'm more inclined to believe The BAT is correct with its higher walk rates and a 4.67 rest-of-season ERA.
Senga dominated the Phillies in his last outing, but Friday night will have much more difficult conditions with a strong wind blowing straight out to center field at Citizens Bank Park. Even though it's cool, the conditions will be good for offense.
Taijuan Walker has an even lower zone rate than Senga does, even if his walk issues are not quite as pronounced. Walker faces a very patient Mets lineup that should be able to generate a bunch of free passes Friday.
Walker has done a good job of limiting the home run ball at home thus far, but given his history, regression is probably looming given the ballpark and wind conditions. I'd bet the over 9.5 if you can find -105 or better.
Pick: Over 9.5 (-104)
Rangers vs. Yankees
Fine, I’ll say it if no one else will: Clarke Schmidt is good.
It’s not coming through in his numbers yet, but the stuff metrics are there. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 70 innings this season, Schmidt is seventh in Pitching+ (107), tied with Zac Gallen and Kevin Gausman.
He has two plus pitches in his sweeping slider and knuckle curveball. He’s put together a 2.36 ERA over his past five starts, including hanging on for three earned runs over 10 innings against the hard-hitting Red Sox.
Yes, Schmidt struggles the third time through the order. But the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball, and the unit is pretty well-rested after Thursday’s blowout loss to Seattle. (Aaron Boone got 4 ⅔ innings out of Nick Ramirez and Albert Abreu, alongside a ninth inning from Isiah Kiner Falefa.)
Meanwhile, Dane Dunning is one of the biggest regression candidates in baseball (2.78 ERA, 5.07 xERA, 78 Stuff+), and the Rangers bullpen is nothing to write home about.
Obviously, the Rangers have a monster lineup advantage over the Aaron Judge-less Yankees, but I give the Yanks a solid pitching advantage across all nine innings, which I don’t think is being factored into the market.
So, I’m happy to back the Yanks as short home ‘dogs.
Pick: Yankees ML (-103)
Nationals vs. Padres
By D.J. James
It is Patrick Corbin day yet again. He will take on the tall task of facing the toughest lineup against left-handed pitching in the month of June: the San Diego Padres. The Padres put forth Joe Musgrove, but this will not be a bet on either side.
San Diego has a 138 wRC+ in June off of lefties. They also tout a 18.6% strikeout rate and 10.7% walk rate. Their OPS is a blistering .875. They have six batters over a .330 xwOBA off of southpaws on the season.
Going back to Corbin, this is one of the worst starters in baseball over the last two seasons. This year, his results have been an overachievement, compared to expectations. He owns a 4.89 ERA against a 6.31 xERA. His Average Exit Velocity is 91.4 mph. His xBA is .324. His xSLG is .519. Everything is bad, and it will continue to get worse. Paired with a San Diego team that can hit, this looks to be a disastrous outing for the veteran lefty.
In relief, the Washington Nationals also own a 5.23 xFIP this month. They only strike out 16.9% of hitters with a 10%+ walk rate.
Take San Diego’s team total over 5 (+100) and play to 5.5 (-133). The Padres should hammer the Washington pitching staff on Friday evening.
Pick: Padres Team Total Over 5 (+100)
Nationals vs. Padres
By Nick Shlain
Patrick Corbin has been worse on the road with a 5.40 ERA compared to a 4.56 ERA at home. The Padres seem like a particularly bad matchup for Corbin, too.
Corbin has allowed a .172 ISO against right-handed hitters this season. The Padres lineup is loaded with right-handed hitters who excel against left-handed pitching. Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Gary Sanchez, Nelson Cruz and Ha-Seong Kim have all crushed left-handed pitching over the course of their careers.
The Padres are coming off of scoring 10 runs on the road against another left-handed pitcher in the San Francisco Giants’ Alex Wood. Six hits should be easily attainable for the Padres in this spot at home against Corbin.