MLB Best Bets Today | Odds, Picks for Orioles vs Twins, Reds vs Brewers, More
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Bailey Ober (Twins).
Friday's MLB action features a full slate, including matchups between the Cubs and Yankees and two of the best teams in baseball, the Braves and Rays.
But the best games on paper don't always mean the best betting value. That's why our staff is targeting these three clashes below for their Friday best bets.
Dive in now and formulate your betting card.
Friday's 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.|
Rangers vs. Nationals
Cody Bradford will be making his fifth MLB start and when he's pitching as a starter, things haven't gone well. He has three shutout innings in relief this season, but in the other 18 1/3 innings, he’s given up 12 runs.
His xERA as a starter is well above five and the composite of all of the projection models on FanGraphs have him at a 4.5 ERA-type of pitcher.
He's a soft-tossing lefty and basically only goes to a fastball/changeup combination.
The Nationals have actually been very good against left-handed pitching this season, ranking 10th in wOBA with a +12.6 run value against left-handed fastballs and changeups.
Bradford also has an incredibly low Stuff+ rating of 73.
Meanwhile, Trevor Williams has been really bad this season. Williams has a 5.23 xERA and a Stuff+ rating of just 82. He's allowing a wOBA over .350 on his four main pitches, and he’s in the bottom 15th percentile in xBA, xSLG and barrel rate allowed.
The Rangers are obviously one of the best lineups in baseball and absolutely crush right-handed pitching to the tune of a .340 wOBA and 117 wRC+, so I have no doubt they'll be able to get to Williams early.
I have 6.4 runs projected for the first five innings of this game, so I like the value on Over 5.5 runs at -105.
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Reds vs. Brewers
By D.J. James
Andrew Abbott is an underdog on Friday. This is not a joke. Yes, he's facing Corbin Burnes, who's known as the Brewers’ ace, but Burnes has been underwhelming this year and Abbott has been nearly unhittable for the Reds.
Abbott holds a 1.21 ERA against a 2.68 xERA over six career starts this year. In his last outing, he notched 12 strikeouts against the Padres.
Burnes is still solid, and his 4.00 ERA against a 3.64 xERA at least shows he should improve as the season moves along.
That said, he hasn't shown the dominance that Abbott has on the hill.
Burnes can control how hard a team is hitting it, which could hold the Cincy bats in check at times. In the last month off of righties, however, Cincy has a 125 wRC+ with a 10% walk rate and 20.5% strikeout rate. The Reds also have a team OPS of .859, which is second only to the Braves.
Milwaukee has hit lefties, like Abbott lately. The Brewers own a 110 wRC+, 7.6% walk rate, 23.9% strikeout rate and .764 OPS.
The lineup comparison is a clear edge to the Reds, though.
The Brewers have the better bullpen, but their 4.41 xFIP over the last month is still quite underwhelming. Cincy’s is 5.54, so it's not much better.
Expect the Reds to allow runs in relief, but seeing how Abbott went over seven strong innings against a good lineup and has logged at least five innings of work in each appearance, he should take the strain off of Cincy’s ‘pen.
Take the Reds to -125.
Orioles vs. Twins
The Twins have the starting pitcher and rest advantage on Friday night as the Orioles come to town to play them for the second consecutive weekend series.
Minnesota had an off day Thursday, so it should have its full strength lineup available on Friday night, including Byron Buxton, Royce Lewis and Carlos Correa.
Minnesota right-hander Bailey Ober is a pitcher that the projection systems haven't liked for much of his MLB career, but Ober has consistently beat said projections and is undervalued by the market because of it.
Ober has now pitched 225 MLB innings across three different seasons, and the right-hander has a 3.44 ERA and 3.76 FIP.
Even with a higher run environment this season, I think The BAT is too bearish on his rest-of-season projections (4.47 ERA), as he's posted league average strikeout rates, excellent walk rates and has enough deception to avoid consistent barrels from opposing hitters.
Cole Irvin is about a full run worse in ERA and his Stuff+ rating of 79 is amongst the worst for regular MLB starters. He normally can make up for the poor stuff with plus command, but his 3.73 BB/9 is a major issue for him consistently getting outs.
I'd bet Minnesota at -155 or better on Friday night, as it owns a bigger starting pitcher edge than the market is suggesting with this price.