MLB Odds, Best Bets: 5 Tuesday Picks, Featuring Cubs vs. Pirates, Phillies vs. Diamondbacks & More (June 13)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images. Pictured: Connor Joe of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- After an eight-game slate on Monday, Tuesday's MLB schedule features 15 games with all 30 teams in action.
- Our staff took advantage of the options by coming through with five best bets, including picks for Braves vs. Tigers, Yankees vs. Mets, Phillies vs. Diamondbacks and more.
- Read on to see all five of our best bets and picks for Tuesday's MLB games.
After an eight-game slate on Monday, MLB bounced back with a 15-game schedule for this beautiful mid-June Tuesday.
The fact that all 30 teams are in action once again got our staff excited, as our writers came through with five best bets for Tuesday, including picks for Braves vs. Tigers, Blue Jays vs. Orioles, Yankees vs. Mets, Pirates vs. Cubs and Phillies vs. Diamondbacks.
So, be sure to check out every pick and breakdown below — and good luck on your way to Green Dot City!
Tuesday's MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from Tuesday night's slate of games. Click the team logos for one of 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.|
Braves vs. Tigers
Take a quick look at the pitching matchup, and you'd understand why Atlanta is the biggest favorite on the board on Tuesday.
Spencer Strider has been excellent this season and is one of the Cy Young favorites, but he showed some concerns in his last few outings. As a two-pitch pitcher, Strider needs both of those to be firing at elite levels for him to maintain his elite skills and remain dominant as a starter.
The fastball velocity was down multiple ticks in his last outing against the Mets. His yearly average was 97 coming into the game — already down from last season — and he sat 95 in the matchup. His fastball was hit hard as a result, and he left the game early.
Strider will still put up plenty of strikeouts, but his approach to trust his stuff and pound the middle of the zone will lead to way more barrels and hard hits if he's throwing only 95 instead of 97.
Strider is overvalued in the market as a result, and the market might be too low on Tigers rookie Reese Olson.
Olson has three above-average off-speed and breaking pitches by Stuff+. His slider is especially elite, and the fastball has ticked up in Stuff+ with each start. Overall, Olson's average command and 109 Stuff+ peg him as a solidly above-average MLB starter.
The Braves have a clear offensive advantage, but with their taxed bullpen and a potentially weakened Strider, Detroit is worth a bet at +200 or better.
Blue Jays vs. Orioles
By Nick Martin
It's been far from a banner season for Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who has hit .283 with just eight homers.
He has run with some tough luck, however, and that has been especially true of late. Over the last 30 days, he has hit to a .363 xOBA, and he continues to put up elite batting metrics.
Guerrero gets a great matchup tonight against Orioles starter Dean Kremer, who owns a 6.18 xERA and .534 xSLG rate. Guerrero has dominated Kremer historically, batting .316 with four home runs in 19 at-bats.
For the second straight season, Guerrero actually owns better splits versus righties, slugging .458 this season after posting a mark of .498 last season.
A potential ambush could work in Guerrero's favor as well. Guerrero has swung 41% of the time at the first pitch in an at-bat. Kremer has allowed an .846 SLG rate on the first pitch of at-bats, which is the third-worst mark of qualified starters.
The signs are there that Guerrero is ready for an offensive breakout, and he has an encouraging matchup tonight. Toronto should have a solid day at the plate in general, and we could see Vladdy use five opportunities to collect our two bases.
Yankees vs. Mets
By Nick Shlain
One of my favorite bets on the slate for Tuesday is New York Mets ace pitcher Max Scherzer to go over 6.5 strikeouts at -150 at BetMGM.
Scherzer will take on the New York Yankees in this matchup, but the Bronx Bombers have a depleted lineup without superstar outfielder Aaron Judge.
Many of the Yankees hitters they were counting on to produce before the season are struggling, such as Anthony Rizzo, DJ LeMahieu and rookie Anthony Volpe.
New York’s projected lineup has a combined 24% strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching this season, and five hitters have a strikeout percentage of at least 24% against right-handed pitching.
Scherzer has a 26% strikeout percentage on the season. He’s also gone over this number in each of his last three starts. I bet Scherzer increases that number to four starts in a row against a Yankees lineup without Judge.
Pirates vs. Cubs
By D.J. James
The Chicago Cubs are finally showing their true colors after performing above expectations early in the season. In June, they have an MLB-worst .510 OPS and a 46 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
On Tuesday, they face Luis Ortiz and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ortiz doesn't have the best peripherals with a 13.4% barrel rate and a 7.46 xERA. However, his ERA is 4.23, and this may be where it remains with how poorly the Cubs are hitting the ball.
The story in this game will be the Pirates' lineup against Cubs starter Jameson Taillon. Taillon has a 7.02 ERA and a 5.61 xERA, so there's no reason the Cubs are favored over the Pirates at open. He has an 11.9% barrel rate, which isn't much better than Ortiz’s
The Pirates have also hit well lately. They have a 10.5% walk rate, 17.7% strikeout rate, .772 OPS and a 114 wRC+ against righties in June. These are great numbers, and if everything tracks, they should hit Taillon hard.
On the season, they have three hitters above a .400 xwOBA off of righties. They also have two more above .335 and two others over .300.
Pittsburgh has a strong enough lineup to take down Taillon and the Cubs’ bullpen, which owns a 4.58 xFIP in the last month. The Pirates' bullpen has a 4.56 xFIP, so it's not much better, but that should stabilize soon.
Back the Pirates’ bats, and take them from +125 to -120. They should not be underdogs in this game.
Phillies vs. Diamondbacks
This line is far too low given the gap in the starting pitching matchup.
Zack Wheeler has been excellent for the Phillies this season, posting a 3.24 xERA and ranking above the 80th percentile for average exit velocity allowed, walk rate, xwOBA allowed and barrel rate allowed among qualified starting pitchers.
Wheeler is facing one of the best fastball-hitting teams in baseball, but his fastball has been incredibly effective this season.
He averages 96 mph on it, and the movement is really what has allowed him to keep the ball off opposing hitters' barrels. His fastball is allowing only a .286 xwOBA, and it's producing a 33.5% whiff rate, per Baseball Savant.
The Diamondbacks are one of the best fastball-hitting teams, but the difference between hitting fastballs above 96 mph versus a slower pitch is a bit drastic. Their xBA drops from .258 to .243, their xwOBA drops from .367 to .336, and their run value drops from +15 to +5.2.
Zach Davies will be on the mound for the Diamondbacks, and to his credit, he's having a solid season with a 3.93 xERA. However, he's historically been a 4.5 xERA pitcher on average for his career.
Since he doesn't have much velocity, everything is down in the zone with Davies. His main two pitches are a sinker and a changeup, which is not good news against a Phillies team that owns a +15.2 run value and .277 xBA against those two pitches this season.
I have the Phillies projected at -178 for the first five innings, so I love the value on them at -135.