MLB Best Bets Today | Picks, Predictions Tuesday (June 18)

MLB Best Bets Today | Picks, Predictions Tuesday (June 18) article feature image

Credit: Getty Images. Pictured: Michael King.

There's a full Major League Baseball slate on Tuesday, June 18, and our staff of MLB betting experts is sharing four MLB Best Bets.

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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 on the team logos for any of the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.

GameTime (ET)Pick
San Diego Padres LogoPhiladelphia Phillies Logo
6:40 p.m.
Cincinnati Reds LogoPittsburgh Pirates Logo
6:40 p.m.
Washington Nationals LogoArizona Diamondbacks Logo
6:45 p.m.
Washington Nationals LogoArizona Diamondbacks Logo
6:45 p.m.
Specific betting 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.

Padres vs. Phillies

San Diego Padres Logo
Tuesday, June 18
6:40 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Phillies Logo
Padres ML (+135)

By D.J. James

Aaron Nola is usually a reliable arm for the Philadelphia Phillies, but the veteran righty allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits in just 3 and 2/3 innings pitched in his last start. He owns a 3.48 ERA and 3.67 xERA, and his batted-ball profile and walk rates are just above league average.

However, his opponent on Tuesday will be Michael King and the San Diego Padres. King owns a 3.58 ERA and 3.73 xERA with a much better batted-ball profile. King may have a tendency to walk some hitters, but he also strikes out 27.1% of them.

The major discrepancy between these two teams is the lineup performances in June against righties. The Phillies own a 90 wRC+, 8.3% walk rate, and 22.8% strikeout rate, while the Padres have a 133 wRC+, 7.3% walk rate, and 15.3% strikeout rate.

Simply put, Nola may not produce many strikeouts, and the Padres have hammered righties. This is probably not what Philly fans want to hear after Nola’s last performance.

The Padres have had issues in relief and own a 4.11 xFIP. The Phils have been phenomenal in relief, with a sub-3.00 xFIP. That said, King can throw deep into games, like Nola. King will not be tasked with the hotter lineup.

Pick: Padres ML (+135) | Play to ML (+110)

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Reds vs. Pirates

Cincinnati Reds Logo
Tuesday, June 18
6:40 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh Pirates Logo
Reds -1.5 (+130)
DraftKings  Logo

By Tony Sartori

I believe this line is off because of Bailey Falter's surface-level stats, which are relatively solid. However, Pittsburgh's left-hander's underlying metrics suggest that regression is looming — among qualified pitchers, he ranks in the 28th percentile or lower in xERA, xBA, average exit velocity, barrel rate allowed and hard-hit rate allowed.

We have already started to see this expected regression kick in over Falter's past two starts, a stretch in which he is 0-2 with a fade-worthy 9.00 ERA and 2.38 WHIP. The Pirates lost each of those two games by at least a two-run margin.

This downturn is likely to continue against the Reds, a team that Falter is 0-1 against over the past two meetings with a ridiculously poor 17.55 ERA and 2.85 WHIP.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati returns with their own southpaw in Nick Lodolo. Lodolo outranks Falter in ERA, WHIP, xERA, xBA, average exit velocity allowed, barrel rate allowed and hard-hit rate allowed.

Not only do the Reds boast the starting pitching advantage, but their lineup also outranks Pittsburgh's in runs scored per game, OBP, SLG, OPS, home runs and stolen bases.

Given these variables, I think it's worth taking a shot on the road team to win by two or more at plus money rather than laying juice on the ML.

Pick: Reds -1.5 (+130) | Play to -1.5 (+125)

Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

Washington Nationals Logo
Tuesday, June 18
6:45 p.m. ET
Arizona Diamondbacks Logo
Nationals ML (-115)
bet365 Logo

By Sean Paul

Down in the nation’s capitol, one of the most fadeable pitchers in baseball takes the hill.

That is Diamondbacks right-hander Slade Cecconi, who's only in the Snakes rotation due to an abundance of rotation injuries, including ones to Merrill Kelly, Zac Gallen and Eduardo Rodriguez. The mixture of injury issues and Cecconi being on the 40-man roster puts the ball in his hands once every five days.

Through 44 innings, Cecconi’s 6.70 ERA and 5.99 FIP make him a clear fade candidate. Typically, it’s good to have an FIP almost a whole run lower than ERA, but the point is moot when the FIP is nearly six.

In Cecconi’s last outing, he allowed 10 hits and zero earned runs over 4 1/3 against the lowly Angels offense. The Nationals' offense boasts just a 91 wRC+, but lefty bats like Jesse Winker, CJ Abrams and the slowly improving Keibert Ruiz form a formidable attack against Cecconi.

Opposing Cecconi is Jake Irvin, who’s enjoyed a huge breakout season for the Nationals, posting a 3.00 ERA and a 3.24 FIP. Irvin attacks with a four-seamer and curveball, which accounts for around 70% of his pitch usage, mixing in a cutter and slider to keep hitters off balance.

Pick: Nationals ML (-115) | Play to ML (-120)

Nationals vs. Diamondbacks

Washington Nationals Logo
Tuesday, June 18
6:45 p.m. ET
Arizona Diamondbacks Logo
Jake Irvin Under 4.5 Strikeouts (+105)
BetMGM Logo

By Cody Goggin

Jake Irvin is in the midst of his second season in the Majors and has been a reliable starting pitcher to this point. The 27-year-old has a 3.00 ERA this season with a 3.81 xERA and 3.71 FIP.

However, he's struck out only 69 batters across 81 innings, ranking in the 43rd percentile among qualified pitchers in strikeout rate and the 33rd percentile in whiff rate.

Among 75 qualifying pitchers, Irvin ranks 44th in Stuff+. He also ranks far below average in average exit velocity allowed, barrel rate allowed and hard-hit rate allowed.

His opponent tonight, the Arizona Diamondbacks, strike out at the eighth-lowest rate in baseball. They also walk at the 10th-highest rate, which may help neutralize one of Irvin’s strengths. The Diamondbacks also rank 11th in wRC+ and ninth in wOBA, so they're an all-around quality offense.

Being able to go deeper into games has helped Irvin be able to hit his strikeout numbers. I’m not predicting that he will be chased early, but he’s not a huge strikeout pitcher and will likely need to go deep in order to hit the over on this number.

For this reason, I'm fading him, as I believe it is more likely that Irvin will not eat up so many innings. Projecting him for 23 batters faced (his median on the season), my projections have him at 3.45 strikeouts with a median outcome of 3.00.

My model predicts a 73.6% chance that he stays under 4.5 strikeouts, which makes for a pretty large edge.

Pick: Jake Irvin Under 4.5 Strikeouts (+105) | Play to 4.5 (-120)

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