MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Best Bets From Friday’s Slate, Including Astros vs. Royals, Red Sox vs. Athletics (June 3)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images. Pictured: J.D. Martinez.
- There are plenty of betting opportunities on Friday night's MLB slate.
- Our analysts are on three games: Twins vs. Blue Jays, Astros vs. Royals and Red Sox vs. Athletics.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of those picks ahead of tonight's Major League Baseball action.
Here are our three best bets from Friday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Minnesota Twins vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Charlie DiSturco: This is one of my favorite pitching matchups to bet on that 2022 can offer. Chi Chi Gonzalez makes his season debut for the Twins against Yusei Kikuchi and the Toronto Blue Jays in what should be a fun, high-scoring bout.
Gonzalez may have very well been the worst pitcher last season. The 30-year-old’s xERA sat at 6.81, and opponents had a .314 xBA against the right-hander. He ranked in the bottom one percent of all pitchers in xwOBA, xSLG and strikeout rate.
Rarely did Gonzalez ever find success and would often be tattooed by the opposition. His season debut comes at a bad time, too, throwing against the red-hot Blue Jays offense. Over the last two weeks, Toronto is second in both wRC+ and wOBA, and third in isolated power.
Toronto, meanwhile, sends out Kikuchi, who, despite a 3.48 ERA, is due for negative regression. The southpaw’s xERA sits nearly a run and a half higher (4.97) and he ranks in the bottom 10 percent in walk rate.
Opponents have been barreling Kikuchi and making hard contact, it’s just come to no avail. That should change in the coming weeks.
This is just the perfect recipe for an over between two pitchers that I’m not particularly high on. There’s juiced 9s in the market, and I love that number. I would even back the over to double digits. I just see no way either pitcher has any success on Friday night.
Expect the balls to be flying at the Rogers Centre.
Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals
Jules Posner: Since firing their hitting coach, Terry Bradshaw, on May 17th, the Kansas City Royals have been a top ten offense in terms of team wRC+.
Andrew Benintendi has been on an absolute tear since then. Since May 17th, he’s slashing .411/.476/.500 and is posting a 189 wRC+.
Benintendi has also been a force at home, especially against RHP, over the past couple of weeks, posting a .393/.452/.464 slash line. Although his slugging has been a little light, he’s still been filling up the stat sheet enough to be a reliable option for 1.5 total bases.
Jose Urquidy has struggled on the road so far this season and has had a particularly hard time against LHH on the road. So far in 2022, lefties are hitting .370 against the right-hander and he’s allowing a .611 slugging percentage. Additionally, 11 of the 20 hits he’s allowed to LHH on the road this season have gone for extra bases.
Benintendi’s total bases are plus money for over 1.5, and this seems very achievable. Over his last 10 games Benintendi has had five multi-hit games and eclipsed the 1.5 total base mark eight times. As long as this is in plus money, it’s a solid value.
Boston Red Sox vs. Oakland Athletics
DJ James: James Kaprielian ranks in the bottom half of the league in every peripheral metric. He owns a 5.07 xERA, so expectations are that he will continue to struggle going forward, too.
Not only that, but Oakland has been the weakest hitting team against right-handers since the beginning of May. The wRC+ is a paltry 66, while Boston has been on fire against righties, posting a 128.
Nathan Eovaldi has been looking more and more like himself again lately. He has a 3.77 ERA on the season with a 4.36 xERA, so he has been a little lucky, but still serviceable.
He also barely walks anyone (3.6%), which is in line with his career numbers. Athletics hitters better be ready to swing, and considering how poorly they have done so in a little over the last month, they will not have strong results.