MLB Odds & Best Bets: Our Top 4 Picks, Featuring Giants vs. Brewers & Guardians vs. Tigers (Thursday, July 14)
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Rowdy Tellez
- There's plenty of action to be found on Thursday's MLB slate.
- Four games, in particular, have caught the eyes of our MLB analysts, including a battle of aces tonight in San Francisco.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of all of our best bets from tonight in Major League Baseball.
Two games are set for this afternoon, but with 11 games taking place under the lights, there's plenty of opportunities to win some money. Our analysts are on four games, including a team total, run line, full-game total and moneyline.
Here are our four best bets from Thursday's MLB slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Reds vs. Yankees
DJ James: The Reds have shockingly done well against lefties in the last month. They own a team wRC+ of 112 and a .345 OBP. On top of that Nestor Cortes has plummeted in some peripheral metrics like average exit velocity, where he now ranks in the 35th percentile. He even has an ERA north of 4.00 since June 1.
The Reds have six bats over a .320 xwOBA since June 14. This does not necessarily jump off of the page, but considering how Cortes has thrown, their team total is far too low for their capabilities.
In addition, the Yankee bullpen is not infallible. Aroldis Chapman has had a terrible month and underwhelming season. He is yet another lefty who can throw in this game. Do not be shocked if Cincinnati can score off of him, too.
Tigers vs. Guardians
Jules Posner: Here at Julesyboy labs, we are big proponents of eating your vegetables. That is why we are backing one of our favorite string bean, Triston McKenzie.
While it may seem that McKenzie has been inconsistent at times, he's actually been more streaky than inconsistent. For every blowup, he goes on pretty dominant runs as opposed to scattering mediocre outings among above-average ones.
He also has the fortune of getting the Detroit Tigers at home. Although the Tigers' offense has been better, being better than the worst is still not good. The Tigers have the lowest team wRC+ against RHP on the road all season and are 28th in that same metric over the past two weeks.
Although McKenzie does struggle at times with his command, the free-swinging Tigers should help him be more efficient today.
Elvin Rodriguez will start for the Tigers and he has struggled on the road in his small sample. Over 9 1/3 road innings, Rodriguez has been hit around for a 13.50 ERA, 9.97 FIP and a 5.40 xFIP. It's all bad.
The Tigers' bullpen has been excellent this season, while the Guardians bullpen has been so-so. This could be a good opportunity for all of the Guardians to pad their stats against a reeling Detroit team.
The Guards moneyline is as high as -250 in some books, so the run line looks to be the best play at -115. It could be played to -120 or better, but I would hold if it moves to -2.5 runs.
Dodgers vs. Cardinals
Tony Sartori: The over has hit in each of the first two games of this series, a trend I expect to continue on Thursday.
I believe we are getting great value in this number due to the fact that left-hander Tyler Anderson is slated to take the mound for Los Angeles. Through 16 pitching appearances this season, Anderson is 9-1 with a 3.15 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
While those numbers are great, Anderson has struggled in his career against the Cardinals. Over his last two starts against St. Louis, Anderson has allowed 10 earned runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings.
There were nine or more total runs scored in each of those two games. We could see Anderson struggle once again as the Cardinals have been raking against left-handers recently.
Since June 1st, the Cardinals rank first in the league in BA, SLG, OPS and wOBA when facing left-handers at home. On the other side, the Dodgers should also be able to generate a good amount of runs as they are slated to go against right-hander Dakota Hudson.
Through 17 starts this season, Hudson is 6-5 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.38 WHIP. Hudson's metrics are even worse as he possesses a .370 xwOBA, .303 xBA and .472 xSLG.
Through 29 career plate appearances against Hudson, this current Dodgers roster boasts a .313 xBA, .388 xSLG and .397 xwOBA. When facing right-handers on the road, Los Angeles ranks third in the league in BA, seventh in SLG, fifth in OPS and fifth in wOBA since the beginning of June.
These are two stacked lineups that are in favorable matchups, and run production should not be hard to come by in this outing.
Brewers vs. Giants
Tanner McGrath: It’s tough to back the Brewers offense, which has been as average as average gets. The Brewers currently sport a 102 wRC+ on the season with eight guys in the regular nine-man lineup boasting an OPS+ between 101 and 115.
But the Giants haven’t been much better. They’re hanging around a couple games above .500, but the major bats outside of Joc Pederson continue to flounder. Mike Yastrzemski (lately) and Brandon Crawford have been especially bad.
And that once-elite defense the Giants had is gone. San Fran ranks 29th in both Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average.
The Brewers also hold the advantage in the bullpen, where they’ve consistently posted a top-five reliever xFIP while the Giants' pen ranks 20th in that stat over the last month.
Carlos Rodon is the best pitcher in baseball if you’re going by fWAR (3.7), but that lackadaisical Brewers offense could pose a threat to him Thursday. The Brewers have posted a 120 wRC+ against southpaws over the last month with the league’s second-highest walk rate.
In the meantime, the Giants are dead last in Weighted Cutter Runs Created, which happens to be Corbin Burnes’ most-used and deadliest pitch.