MLB Odds, Predictions, & Picks: Our 4 Top Picks, Including Phillies vs. Marlins, Cardinals vs. Rockies, More (Thursday, July 1)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images. Pictured: Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo.
- With a slate full of baseball today, it's a great day to bet some MLB.
- Our baseball writers hand-picked best bets for Phillies vs. Marlins, Padres vs. Reds, Braves vs. Mets, and Cardinals vs. Rockies.
- Check out all four picks complete with odds and a full breakdown below.
We have a nice mix of Major League Baseball games on Thursday’s schedule, featuring plenty of interesting matchups. Our analysts have targeted four contests taking place in the evening, delivering their best bets for the affairs.
Let’s take a look to see where they’ve found value in these contests, which kick off with the Miami Marlins taking on the Philadelphia Phillies and close with the Colorado Rockies hosting the St. Louis Cardinals.
MLB Odds & Picks
Marlins vs. Phillies
Kenny Ducey: The total always calls my name when the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies play, but the under is particularly exciting when two great pitchers are in the mix.
Pablo López has continued rolling right through June, posting an ERA close to three runs again. His strikeouts have really ratcheted up as well, with 16 in his last two starts. He possesses fantastic strikeout stuff, but more importantly limits his walks incredibly well. That’s important, considering the Phillies’ 10% walk rate over the past two weeks.
Speaking of that time frame, Philadelphia is in the bottom 10 in wRC+, right next to Miami. Both teams have struggled all season long at the plate, lacking consistent contact. And the fact the Phillies had a mini-hot streak and still rate as a below-average offense during the last 14 days really says a lot.
With two unimposing offenses, and two good pitchers in Lopez and Zach Eflin, I think this should be an incredibly low-scoring game.
Padres vs. Reds
Stuckey: If you look at both pitcher’s surface stats and teams records, you might be wondering why the Reds are a slight favorite here. However, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll likely see why.
Yes, Luis Castillo is an ugly 3-10 with an ERA north of 5 on the season, but his peripheral stats suggest he’s been a bit unlucky, as both his xERA and xFIP sit below 4. Plus, he’s really figured things out of late after a putrid start.
In five June outings, Castillo went 2-2 with a sparkling 1.71 ERA. I’d say that’s just a tad better than his May when he went 0-6 with an ERA north of 8. The velocity is fine and the changeup is still elite. He’s trending in the right direction, while still due for some positive regression.
On the other hand, Padres starter Ryan Weathers has outstanding surface stats (3-2 record, with a 2.47 ERA), but he’s been a bit lucky with a strand rate near 90% and minuscule .223 BABIP. Those are simply unsustainable numbers for a guy who is only striking out less than 7 batters per nine innings.
For evidence, his xERA and xFIP are both above 4.5. Even with some of their struggles vs. lefties, give me the Reds at home to avoid a seven-game season sweep at the hands of San Diego.
I’ll trust the big starting pitching edge and hopefully we get the regression monster on our side.
Braves vs. Mets
DJ James: In the final game of the series, two of the National League East’s best face each other in what can somehow be called the rubber match.
The Atlanta Braves put up 20 runs on the New York Mets on Wednesday, and Ian Anderson hopes to keep the Mets at bay. Jacob deGrom returns to the hill, after his worst outing on the season (two earned runs in six innings with five strikeouts). DeGrom still holds a 0.69 ERA, so he’s definitely the most likely option to shut down a powerful offense from the day before.
In the month of June, the Braves’ offense was a 103 wRC+ against righties, although those numbers were not off of deGrom. However, when taking a deeper dive into those numbers, the Braves are much top heavier in this same time frame.
Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies prop up this offense with their wRC+ over 150. They only have two others over the 100, league-average threshold.
Meanwhile, the Mets are slightly below average at 95 wRC+, but have seven batters over 100, so they are a bit more well-rounded. They don’t walk as much as the Braves, but they have gotten to Anderson once this season. With deGrom typically going deeper into games, the Mets can handle late-inning duties with Aaron Loup and Edwin Díaz, so they’re pretty set.
The Braves have a more questionable relief combination, so this comes into the equation in a close game. Will Smith and A.J. Minter are definitely the most consistent options, but given the volatility, the Mets get a late-inning edge.
Given how New York has the right guy on the mound in deGrom, who can go six or seven innings, with a rested Loup and Díaz after him and a more complete lineup based on June success, it should be able to get past Anderson and the Braves. Take the alternate run line at -1 (-127) and play to -140 odds.
Cardinals vs. Rockies
Tanner McGrath: If the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t have “Uncle Charlie,” they’d probably be in a much-worse position than they are right now.
Adam Wainwright has been the only consistent arm in that rotation, as he’s pitched 92 2/3 innings this year over 15 starts with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. His curveball is as effective as ever, as he’s holding opponents to a .187 BA and a .245 wOBA on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Antonio Senzatela hasn’t been quite as good, but he’s pitched as well at home. Senzatela has posted a 3.91 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP through nine home games, pitching 53 total innings at Coors Field.
Both pitchers should have decent matchups, considering the offenses have been fairly ineffective in the recent going. Over the past two weeks, the Rockies rank 25th in wRC+ (88), while the Cardinals rank 27th (77) overall. Additionally, St. Louis has been the worst road offense in baseball during that stretch, batting just .186 with a .536 OPS.
Therefore, I like Senzatela’s chances against a slumping St. Louis offense. And while the Rockies offense is quite a bit better at home, Wainwright’s posted a 2.21 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in five career starts at Coors Field.
Neither of these bullpens have been any good in the recent going, so I’m avoiding them. Instead, I’m targeting under 5.5 runs for the first five innings at plus money in this matchup.