MLB Odds, Predictions, Best Bets: 5 Picks, Including Tigers vs. Rangers & Rockies vs. Mariners (Tuesday, July 20)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson
- The NBA Finals might end tonight, but the MLB season keeps chugging along.
- There's a full slate of games tonight, and our analysts have loaded up today's card with five bets on four of them.
- Continue reading for our staff's best bets for Tuesday's MLB slate.
There’s a full slate of Major League Baseball games on Tuesday, with a couple of afternoon starts followed by a plethora of games taking place under the lights.
Our analysts have identified five games on which they see value, starting with the Mets in Cincinnati against the Reds through the Mariners-Rockies affair at Coors Field.
Here are our five best bets from Tuesday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Mets vs. Reds
Anthony Dabbundo: New York and Cincinnati played an 11-inning thriller on Monday night that saw both teams exhaust their bullpens and use relievers in their debuts with their teams in high-leverage spots.
After the Mets got just one out from their starter on Sunday and had to go deep into the bullpen on Monday, they’re going to be short-staffed after starter Robert Stock departs the game. Stock had just a 1.5 K/BB ratio and a 1.53 WHIP in Triple-A Syracuse, so there’s not a ton of optimism for him against a Reds lineup that mashes right-handed pitching. Cincinnati is second in ISO vs. RHP at home and fifth in wRC+.
Cincinnati is starting left-hander Wade Miley, but their bullpen has seen middle relievers Ryan Hendrix used four times and Heath Hembree used all three days since the All-Star break. Cincinnati went to extras on Saturday and Monday and will need length from Miley in this game.
Given the heat and humidity at Great American Ballpark, the ball should be flying, the pitching should be bad and both teams’ offenses are more than capable of turning this game into a slugfest. Anything 10.5 at -110 or better is worth it for an over.
Rangers vs. Tigers
Brad Cunningham: Dane Dunning has been outstanding in his first season in Arlington, posting a 3.57 xFIP. He’s mainly a sinkerball pitcher, but he’s really due for some positive regression on his main two offspeed pitches of slider and changeup as they are both allowing a wOBA over .280, but an xwOBA under .260. He’ll have a good matchup against the Tigers tonight because they do not hit sinkers or sliders well, as they have only two guys in their lineup with a wOBA over .350 against sinkers and they also have a -19.2 run value against sliders.
Tarik Skubal has been getting shelled this season, posting an xERA of 5.37 and an xFIP of 4.38. The main reason for his struggles is because he can’t keep the ball inside the yard, as his HR/9 rate is all the way up at 1.93. Skubal is mainly a fastball pitcher, as he goes to it 47% of the time, but he has not been effective with it because he’s allowing a .438 xwOBA on it. Fastballs are also the only pitch the Rangers have a positive run value against this season, so they may actually have a good matchup against Skubal.
I have the Rangers projected as -125 favorites tonight, so I think there is some value on them at +108 and would play them up to -110.
Rangers vs. Tigers
Kenny Ducey: It’s impossible not to be in love with the Tigers right now. Winner of four straight, Detroit will now deploy Tarik Skubal to keep the streak alive on Tuesday against Dane Dunning, who has flashed some promising stuff this season but has some weak peripherals. Not only does he have a troubling 43.8% hard-hit rate and a weak 8.2% walk rate, he’s about to run into a buzzsaw in Detroit.
The Tigers rank fifth in baseball with a .876 OPS over the last week, have hit .331, made contact at a 79.9% clip and struck out just 16.5% of the time. That’s bad news for Dunning, who has really leaned on strikeouts with his quality contact issues.
It’s also noteworthy that Skubal — who objectively has a ton of talent — has been great over his last seven starts with the exception of a clunker against the White Sox. While I never like just throwing out starts, the Sox do mash lefties, so it’s easy to forgive him for struggling.
A Rangers team that has been awful at the plate lately — losing the contributions of Nick Solak, Brock Holt and even Adolis Garcia that kept them going — won’t pose Skubal many issues.
I’m riding the wave and backing Detroit once again.
Twins vs. White Sox
Sean Zerillo: The odds on this game should be closer to a pick’em, and I was shocked to grab an opener above +150 last night. There’s still plenty of value left in the current number.
Dallas Keuchel (5.96 xERA, 4.39 xFIP, 4.70 SIERA) is in the midst of his worst season since his rookie year in 2012, and his strikeout minus walk rate has fallen to a career-low (6.5% vs. 11.6% career).
The Twins excel against left-handed pitching (107 wRC+, seventh in MLB), and their starting pitcher, Bailey Ober (4.54 xERA, 4.23 xFIP, 4.02 SIERA), is much better than his 5.45 ERA would suggest.
Steamer projects Ober for a 4.39 FIP moving forward, while THE BAT has him at 4.47. Those same two projection systems peg Keuchel for a FIP of either 4.63 or 4.82. In other words, the Twins have the starting pitching advantage on Tuesday night.
I projected Minnesota’s F5 odds at 53.5% and have the full-game lined right around a coinflip. I would bet their F5 moneyline up to -105 and their full game moneyline down to +110.
Mariners vs. Rockies
Jeff Hicks: This requires some doubting of Germán Márquez, which is not easy to do when he is at home as he has a 3.06 ERA at home. Still, I believe Seattle can get to Marquez. The Mariners have a few things in their favor: They’re better on the road, the offense has one of the lower road GB/FB ratios, and have one of the worst BABIP numbers. Seattle is also in the top-half of the league in road HR/FB ratio and hard fit percentage against right-handed pitching.
Marco Gonzales is having a forgettable year. He has a 6.98 road ERA and is allowing a .286/.356/.532 in road starts and a .333/.412./650 slash on the road against right-handed hitters. Gonzales has allowed five home runs in nine July innings. The Rockies average over 5.5 runs per game at home.
Seattle is going to have to score to keep up with the Rockies, and I think they will.
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