MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Prediction: 4 Best Bets, Including Phillies vs. Cubs & White Sox vs. Twins (July 6)
Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Max Kepler and Alex Kirilloff celebrated Kepler’s home run.
- Two teams that aren't enjoying the 2021 they envisioned are featured in our staff's best bets for play on Tuesday night.
- The Cubs and Twins have struggled mightily this season, and their games have been targeted by our team of analysts.
- Check out our MLB staff's four best bets for Tuesday night's action.
We’re a week away from the Major League Baseball All-Star Game and teams are eager to gain some momentum before heading into what will surely be a much-needed breather.
With six more days until the reprieve, we’ve got a full slate of games tonight save for a postponements between the Indians and Rays. Our analysts have found angles on three games with four picks total, including two that are in agreement on the White Sox-Twins affair.
Here are our staff’s four best bets from Tuesday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Tigers vs. Rangers
Jeff Hicks: The Tigers may be competent? The Tigers may be competent!
Detroit is 7-3 in its last 10 games and have taken series from the two teams above them in the AL Central. The Tigers even split a four-game set with the Astros! After taking the first game of their series against Texas, Detroit will send José Ureña for game two. The Rangers have slumped at home of late and enter Tuesday with a 91 wRC+ at home against righties, 24th in baseball.
The Tigers have a 99 wRC+ in road games against right-handed pitching and have scored five or more runs in six or their last eight road games. The pitching matchup is less than stellar for Detroit with Ureña posting a 5.28 road ERA, but Dane Dunning is hittable. Dunning is much better at home than on the road, but he does not pitch deep into games and has only logged six innings twice all season.
The Rangers being heavy favorites is exploitable and I rushed to get the Tigers at better than +150. I would take Detroit all the way to +110.
Phillies vs. Cubs
Anthony Dabbundo: Aaron Nola has been one of the more disappointing pitchers in baseball this year with his 4.44 ERA. But the underlying numbers suggest that Nola has been much better than his surface numbers suggest.
Nola’s struggles came with a much lower whiff rate and fewer strikeouts throughout much of May and June. But there are clear signs that Nola is locating his fastball better and thus generating more strikeouts and is going to turn his season around. He fanned 12 against the Mets and 11 against the Marlins, 23 strikeouts in 30 recorded outs. His xERA, xFIP and FIP are all better than 3.75 for the year. Given that the Cubs have the second-highest strikeout rate in all of baseball, Nola should shut down their lineup.
On the other side, Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has a 1.82 K/BB ratio, lowest since 2013. His FIP, xFIP and xERA all make him one of the league’s worst starters. His sinker has gotten progressively worse year over year for the last four seasons, and teams are hitting .310 against it this year with a .406 wOBA and .537 SLG.
The Phillies’ lineup as a whole has improved in recent games as key starters Jean Segura and Didi Gregorius have returned from injuries The Phillies’ bullpen is always difficult to trust, but I’ll hold my nose that Nola can go deep enough in this game for the Phillies to hold on late.
White Sox vs. Twins
Michael Arinze: The upset-minded Minnesota Twins are looking for payback against the Chicago White Sox after they were swept on the road just one week ago. Tuesday’s matchup features a rematch between Chicago’s Carlos Rodón and Minnesota’s José Berríos. Both pitchers will take their turn after meeting five days ago, and I think this is a great spot to back Berríos to pitch a bit better after receiving a no-decision against the White Sox in his last outing.
It’s always difficult to beat the same pitcher twice in such a short span of days—particularly a pitcher with the quality of Berríos. Berríos and Rodón both lasted five innings in that outing. Each pitcher allowed four runs, though Berríos earned only three. It was just the fourth team loss against the White Sox for the Twins with Berríos on the mound and the first time in his career that Minnesota has suffered consecutive losses in his outings against Chicago.
There’s no question that it’s been a rough year for the Twins. After all, they’re 13 games under .500 and 12.5 games out of the wild card. Their pitching has let them down as they’re 28th overall with a 5.04 ERA and 26th with a bullpen ERA of 4.98. Those numbers are an absolute horror show compared to what Berríos has given them.
He’s 7-2 with a 3.52 ERA and a very manageable 3.59 FIP. Minnesota’s offense has also been more than capable, considering its above-average wRC+ of 105, which ranks seventh in the league.
If there’s ever a pitcher on the Twins’ staff that’s worth backing, it’s Berríos. The Twins are 14-4 for 6.02 units when he starts against the White Sox and a perfect 8-0 at home in this spot.
I would play this down to +100.
White Sox vs. Twins
Brad Cunningham: Carlos Rodón is having the best season of his career, posting an xERA of 2.56 and an xFIP of 3.02. However, these numbers are far better than any season he’s had so far in the big leagues. So call me a skeptic, but I think he’s due for some negative regression. For example, his K/9 rate is 13.12, when in his previous seven seasons, he only posted a K/9 rate better than 10 once. The biggest reason for his improvement is he has somehow added more than three mph on his fastball from last season, which has improved the effectiveness, as he’s allowing a .276 xwOBA on it.
The problem for him in this matchup is that is the one pitch this Twins lineup loves, as they’re the best team in the league against fastballs with 49.5 weighted fastball runs this season. Minnesota also hits left-handed pitching really well, as they have a .330 wOBA and 108 wRC+.
José Berríos has been pitching well for the Twins this season, posting an xFIP of 3.60. He’s really been dominating with his main two pitches of curveball and sinker, as both are allowing a wOBA under .280. He’ll need to utilize his sinker quite often tonight because that is the one pitch the White Sox have sort of struggled with this season. Only four guys in their lineup have a positive run value against sinkers.
I have the Twins projected as -120 favorites tonight, so I think there is some value on them at +105 and would play anything up to -108.
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