MLB Odds, Picks & Previews: 2 Best Bets for Saturday’s Afternoon Slate, Including Astros vs. Yankees & Athletics vs. Royals (June 25)

MLB Odds, Picks & Previews: 2 Best Bets for Saturday’s Afternoon Slate, Including Astros vs. Yankees & Athletics vs. Royals (June 25) article feature image

Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Bobby Witt Jr.

  • The afternoon slate in MLB is action-packed, with a number of key games including Astros-Yankees.
  • Our analysts have their eyes on that game, as well as one later this afternoon between the A's and Royals.
  • Continue reading for our full analysis and picks for our best bets this afternoon in Major League Baseball.

Saturday's MLB slate has action throughout the day, when a handful of games getting going this afternoon and plenty more this evening.

We're focused on the early slate here, though. Be sure to check back later for more picks on the evening slate, but this afternoon, our analysts are focused on two games: Astros vs. Yankees and Athletics vs. Royals.

Here are our two best bets from Saturday afternoon's Major League Baseball slate.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Astros moneyline
1:05 p.m. ET
Royals run line
4:05 p.m. ET

Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

Astros +140
Cristian Javier vs. Gerrit Cole
First Pitch
1:05 p.m. ET

DJ James: Cristian Javier is a promising young arm. His xBA is only .204, so the Yankees have a tough matchup in store. Still, they do own a MLB-best 151 wRC+ in June off of right-handers. Luckily, Javier only has a 35.3% Hard Hit Rate, so he could mitigate the damage from the Yankee lineup.

Gerrit Cole has been rock solid this season for the Yankees. He has been consistent, hovering around the same ERA for three months now. That said, Houston owns a 140 wRC+ off of righties this season, so he is in store for a potentially brutal matchup.

Houston has the third-best xFIP in the MLB out of the ‘pen this month. They average over 10 K/9, so they should miss plenty of Yankee bats, as well. Blake Taylor and Parker Mushinski were having some trouble, but both have landed on the Injured List. Ryan Pressly, Hector Neris, and Brandon Bielak are above a 4.00 xFIP, so this is concerning for the back-end of the bullpen, but the Astros have multiple relievers to fill in after Javier leaves the ballgame.

The Yankee bullpen has some noteworthy injuries. Jonathan Loáisiga is on the 15-day IL, while Stephen Ridings, Domingo Germán, Zack Britton, and Chad Green are on the 60-day IL. The Yankees have succeeded without these arms, but sooner or later, they will have some issues.

They own a 4.06 xFIP as a team, so this is one glaring weakness for an otherwise untouchable New York roster.

The Astros have a strong lineup, so if they force Cole out of this game early, they should take advantage of a hobbled Yankee bullpen. Both of these starters are great, but they have their issues.

The Astros bullpen has fewer injuries and weak spots, so they get the edge if Javier leaves early versus Cole. Since the Houston lineup is so potent at the top, taking them to +110.

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Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals

Royals -1.5 (+130)
Jared Koenig vs. Brad Keller
First Pitch
4:05 p.m. ET

Jules Posner: The Royals kind of own the A's this season and the A's are in the midst of one of their worst stretches of the season. They are 2-8 in their last 10 games and their offense has been MIA. Not Miami. Missing in action. The A's are not hitting well.

The Royals took two of three in Oakland and took the opening game of the home series on Friday night.

Brad Keller is on the mound and he hasn't fared well at home since his first three starts of the season, but he did shut the A's out over seven innings in Oakland his last start. It seems the secret to shutting down the A's offense at the moment is to simply pitch against them.

The A's offense is slightly better on the road than at home, but better than the second worst is still bad. The Royals offense isn't that much better, but they are the second best offense at home against LHP over the past month. The A's will start another LHP, so that's probably not good for them.

The Royals' moneyline is around -160, but their run line is in plus money. As long as the run line stays there, I'd say risk it for the biscuit. Well that's not something I would normally say, but I've heard other people say it and it certainly … rhymes.

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