MLB Odds & Best Bets: Our Top 5 Picks, Including Red Sox vs. Marlins & Angels vs. Royals (Monday, June 7)

MLB Odds & Best Bets: Our Top 5 Picks, Including Red Sox vs. Marlins & Angels vs. Royals (Monday, June 7) article feature image
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Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani

  • There are only three games on Monday's MLB slate, but our experts have found five ways to bet them.
  • Our writers have you covered for two of tonight's games, including Boston Red Sox vs. Miami Marlins and Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels.
  • Continue reading for our staff's five best bets for the night.

Editor’s Note: Pablo López has been scratched from Monday’s start for the Marlins against the Red Sox.

Five bets for three games? How about five bets for two games? Yes, the Major League Baseball slate for Monday is small, but our analysts are eager to find value, particularly in the first two games of the night, zeroing in on Marlins-Red Sox and Royals Angels.

Here are our staff’s five best bets from Monday’s MLB slate.

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MLB Odds & Picks

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Miami Marlins vs. Boston Red Sox
5:10 p.m. ET
Miami Marlins vs. Boston Red Sox
5:10 p.m. ET
Miami Marlins vs. Boston Red Sox
5:10 p.m. ET
Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels
9:38 p.m. ET
Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels
9:38 p.m. ET

Miami Marlins vs. Boston Red Sox

Editor’s Note: Pablo López has been scratched from Monday’s start for the Marlins against the Red Sox.

Pick
Total Runs 1st Inning – Under 0.5 (+102)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Pablo López vs. Nick Pivetta
First Pitch
5:10 p.m. ET

Tanner McGrath: When looking for a No Runs First Inning bet (NRFI for short), we’re ideally looking for explosive lineups that are slumping combined with underrated pitchers. I think we’ve found the perfect matchup today.

Both the Marlins and Red Sox feature lineups that can score, specifically Boston, which features a few of the league’s best hitters at the top of the lineup. However, neither team has been seeing the ball well recently. Over the past seven days, both teams rank in the bottom-six in OBP (MIA .276, BOS .275) and wOBA (BOS .283, MIA .281).

Meanwhile, Pablo López and Nick Pivetta have both been over exceeding expectations.

Compared to last season, Pivetta has dropped his ERA (3.77), WHIP (1.22), and home run rate (0.60 per nine innings) while raising his strikeout rate (10.26 per nine innings). It’s worth noting his first inning ERA is very high, but the Marlins are the worst first inning scoring team in baseball (0.28 first inning runs per game).

Meanwhile, López is having an excellent year for the Marlins. He has an ERA under three and is striking out more than a quarter of batters faced. He’s also been elite in hard-hit percentage (31.1%) and average exit velocity (85.9 mph). While the Red Sox are the second-best first inning scoring team (0.76 first inning runs per game), López has allowed a first inning run in just one of his 12 starts this season.

It’s also worth mentioning that J.D. Martinez is banged up and still questionable to play today. If he doesn’t play, that’s a big hole at the top of the Red Sox lineup that makes the NRFI even more valuable.

At plus-money on DraftKings, I really like this play.

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Miami Marlins vs. Boston Red Sox

Editor’s Note: Pablo López has been scratched from Monday’s start for the Marlins against the Red Sox.

Pick
Red Sox -140
Book
William Hill
Pitchers
Pablo López vs. Nick Pivetta
First Pitch
5:10 p.m. ET

Kenny Ducey: It’s hard to find value on a card this short, but I really do love the Red Sox here. They’re rolling at the plate after falling into a quick slump, scoring at least five runs in every game over their four-game winning streak. Since Thursday, the Red Sox have seen their contact rate creep up back to their pretty solid season average and are seeing the ball really well.

With that, I expect some runs to be scored off Pablo López, who shouldn’t be afforded the strikeouts that have gotten him through his last few starts. He has yet to face an offense that poses real issues over his last three starts, yet he’s encountered some trouble and allowed three homers in that time period. While it won’t be the easiest task, López has wilted in the face of real competition this year, getting shelled by the Braves and struggling against the Dodgers with a weirdly awful start against the Diamondbacks mixed in.

On the other hand, I’m running out of words to describe how bad this Marlins offense is. It’s down in the bottom six of the league in contact rate this season, and aside from two exit velocity machines in Garrett Cooper and Adam Duvall, no one is really scaring you at the plate with quality contact. That should be enough for Nick Pivetta, who has impressed this year with a 3.66 xERA and has been increasing his strikeout rate with every start. This is a big mismatch, and one I would price differently.

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Miami Marlins vs. Boston Red Sox

Editor’s Note: Pablo López has been scratched from Monday’s start for the Marlins against the Red Sox.

Pick
Marlins +130
Book
PointsBet
Pitchers
Pablo López vs. Nick Pivetta
First Pitch
5:10 p.m. ET

Stuckey: I don’t really factor in situational factors much into MLB handicapping, but you could argue the Red Sox are at risk of a bit of a letdown for a late afternoon home game against the Marlins after a weekend sweep of their rival Yankees — capped off last night by an extra innings victory in the Bronx.

More importantly, the Red Sox bullpen is a little fatigued at the moment (ex. closer Matt Barnes is almost certainly not available after pitching the past three days) and you may even see a key bat or two take a day off here.

In regards to the starting pitching, I’m a huge Pablo López guy and while Nick Pivetta has been great since arriving in Beantown, I still think he’s pitching over his head despite many of the peripherals are fairly promising.

Ultimately, I think the Fish are worth a stab at this price.

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Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels

Pick
Royals Team Total Over 4 (+100)
Book
FanDuel
Pitchers
Jackson Kowar vs. Dylan Bundy
First Pitch
9:38 p.m. ET

Mike Ianniello: Monday night will be the MLB debut for Kansas City’s No. 4 prospect Jackson Kowar. On the other side of Kowar’s debut will be right-hander Dylan Bundy. The thing about Bundy is — he is not very good. In 10 starts this season, Bundy is 0-6 with a 6.49 ERA. He posted a 9.70 ERA in his last five starts and has allowed at least four runs in four straight games.

Teams are batting .259 with a .354 wOBA against Bundy this season. While his expected numbers are slightly better at .239 xBA and .316 xwOBA, they still aren’t great by any means. Teams are hammering Bundy’s sinker and changeup this year, batting better than .300 with an wOBA of more than .400 against both of those pitches. In his 10 starts this year, he has allowed a home run in seven of them, and has given up seven long balls in the last three games.

Kansas City’s offense is very top-heavy but when Whit Merrifield and Andrew Benintendi are hitting the ball, good things happen for the Royals. 31-year-old catcher Salvador Perez also continues to produce, clubbing 14 home runs this season and leading the team in hits, RBI and home runs.

Over the last two weeks, Kansas City has been hitting the ball really well, ranking eight in OPS and second in batting average. The Royals have scored the second-most runs in the league over the last two weeks. In 38 plate appearances against Bundy, Benintendi is batting .344 against him with a home run and Perez and Jorge Soler have both taken Bundy deep as well.

Los Angeles has lost seven of Bundy’s 10 starts this season. He has allowed at least two runs in every single start and has surrendered 21 total runs in his last four starts. Even if Bundy pitches decent, the Angels’ bullpen ranks 27th in ERA this season and defensively the Angels lead the league with 45 errors and have the worst fielding percentage in the league.

I think Kansas City can win this game, and will likely bet them as +135 underdogs. However, I feel the best play here is on the Royals’ team total against Bundy and the Angels’ bullpen. I like over 3.5 up to -125 but prefer taking over 4 at +100 odds.

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Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels

Pick
Royals +138
Book
FanDuel
Pitchers
Jackson Kowar vs. Dylan Bundy
First Pitch
9:38 p.m. ET

Kevin Davis: This week’s series between the Kansas City Royals and the Los Angeles Angels features two mediocre teams. One mediocre team with a winning record (the Royals) and another mediocre team with a mediocre record (the Angels). However, the Angels are much worse than they appear.

LA may have a 27-33 record, but they also have a -42 run differential which means that they should have a 25-34 record. Despite playing at home, the Angels should not be a heavy favorite.

The Angels’ biggest strength this season has been their lineup, which is averaging 4.56 runs per game, 0.19 runs higher than the average MLB team. However, without Mike Trout, my model projects Los Angeles’ lineup to score only 4.28 runs on a typical night. Even with Shohei Ohtani, Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh, LA should have trouble scoring runs.

The pitcher who has the fortune of facing Los Angeles’ lineup is Jackson Kowar who is making his MLB debut. In six starts this season for the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers, Kowar has a 5-0 record with a 0.85 ERA, and a 3.66 xFIP. It may be in the minors, but I would trust Kowar more than I would trust a struggling Dylan Bundy for the Angels.

At +138 for the Royals, I think they are an intriguing underdog, and I would bet them up to +130.

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