MLB Odds, Expert Picks, Predictions: 3 Best Bets for Friday, Including Giants vs. Diamondbacks & Red Sox vs. Athletics (July 2)
Omar Rawlings/Getty Images. Pictured: The Red Sox celebrate a Danny Santana home run.
- We've got three Major League Baseball betting picks to get your holiday weekend started off right.
- From Rays-Blue Jays to Giants-Diamondbacks and Red Sox-Athletics, there's plenty of value on board.
- Below are our analysts' three best bets from Friday's MLB slate.
Our analysts have identified three games on which there is solid value, including Rays-Blue Jays, Giants-Diamondbacks and Red Sox-Athletics. Here are our three best bets from Friday’s MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Rays vs. Blue Jays
Sean Zerillo: The Blue Jays need quality pitching depth if they want to navigate their way through the AL East gauntlet and emerge as a playoff contender this season.
While they have received big performances from veteran contributors, including Robbie Ray, Ross Stripling and Steven Matz, rookie Alek Manoah — MLB Pipeline’s No. 90 overall prospect — likely possesses the most upside on this staff. Manoah could be a significant driver of Toronto’s success over the final three months of the season.
Through six MLB starts, Manoah has posted a 5.32 FIP and 4.47 xFIP, in addition to a 3.39 xERA and a 3.99 SIERA. His strand rate (87.3%) is high, and his BABIP (.214) is low, but his home run rate (18.9% HR/FB, 2.12 HR/9) is also inflated. He projects for a FIP around 4.19 for the rest of the 2021 season.
The most telling stat thus far is Manoah’s command, with a 33:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 29 2/3 innings. He offers a 12.3% swinging-strike rate, which is comparable to top starters like Brandon Woodruff (12.2%), Yu Darvish (12.4%) and Sean Manaea (12.4%).
Manoah has a four-pitch mix (four-seam, slider, sinker, changeup) with three above-average offerings (the changeup has returned a negative pitch value thus far). If he can avoid the long ball (48% flyball rate is a slight concern), he can be a very effective starting pitcher at this level.
I projected the Blue Jays as 60% favorites for the first five innings (F5) and 56.7% for the full game on Friday night. I would bet their F5 moneyline up to -135 and their whole game line up to -120.
Giants vs. Diamondbacks
Brad Cunningham: Listen, I don’t blame you if you don’t want to bet the Diamondbacks, but there is some value on them with Zac Gallen, their best starter, on the mound tonight. Gallen has been really good for the D’backs this season, posting a 3.58 xERA and 10.62 K/9 rate.
He’s mainly a fastball pitcher, throwing it more than 48% of the time, but he’s been dominant with it. He only averages 93.7 mph, but his control is unbelievable. Opposing hitters are only hitting .169 against it and have a .259 wOBA. The Giants do crush fastballs, ranking second in baseball, but have negative run values against Gallen’s main two secondary pitches of changeup and slider, so he may have to go to those more often.
Alex Wood has been good in his first season in San Francisco, posting both an xERA and an xFIP below four. However, the Diamondbacks have actually been hitting left-handed pitching pretty well this season. Arizona has a .320 wOBA and 101 wRC+ against lefties, so it’ll have a good matchup tonight.
Red Sox vs. Athletics
Jeff Hicks: Two of the best teams in the American League get a chance to tee off on disappointing pitching Friday night. Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez has struggled majority of 2021 and has a 6.24 road ERA. He also allows a slash line against of .322/.368/.500 and a .528 slugging percentage against right-handed hitters.
Frankie Montas has a 4.67 ERA at home and allows a better batting average and on-base percentage against at home. Montas has been bad against righty hitters at home, allowing a slash against of .290/.333/.484.
The Red Sox are one of eight teams with a wRC+ over 100 on the road against right-handed pitching.