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MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: 6 Best Bets From Friday’s Slate, Including Phillies vs. Padres, Reds vs. Giants (June 24)

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: 6 Best Bets From Friday’s Slate, Including Phillies vs. Padres, Reds vs. Giants (June 24) article feature image
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Harrison Barden/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Cobb

  • We're heading out west for our best bets from a loaded MLB slate tonight.
  • Our analysts have six bets to recommend spread out across three of tonight's late games.
  • Continue reading for a breakdown and analysis of all of our bets for tonight in Major League Baseball.

Ladies and gentlemen, the weekend.

It’s Friday night and the Major League Baseball slate is loaded with appealing betting options. Six of our analysts are on three of the games, and they’re all out west: Phillies vs. Padres, Tigers vs. Diamondbacks and Reds vs. Giants.

We have moneylines, run lines, first fives and player props in what sets up to be an extremely profitable start to the weekend.

Here are our six best bets from Friday night’s Major League Baseball slate.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Phillies Moneyline
9:40 p.m. ET
Tigers-Diamondbacks Total
9:40 p.m. ET
Diamondbacks First Five
9:40 p.m. ET
Giants First Five
10:15 p.m. ET
Giants Run Line
10:15 p.m. ET
Alex Cobb Strikeouts
10:15 p.m. ET

Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Diego Padres

Pick
Phillies -123
Book
WynnBET
Pitchers
Aaron Nola vs. MacKenzie Gore
First Pitch
9:40 p.m. ET

Charlie DiSturco: Who doesn’t love some Friday night action out on the west coast?

The San Diego Padres look to bounce back against the Philadelphia Phillies in the second of a four-game series, sending rookie MacKenzie Gore to the mound opposite ace Aaron Nola.

Nola has been one of my favorite pitchers to back in 2022. Over the last three starts, he’s given up just two runs over 23 innings and his ERA has dropped all the way down to 3.11.

The crazy part? He’s still underperforming according to expected indicators.

His xERA is down at 2.73, and his xFIP is 2.89. Opponents have a .219 xBA against Nola, who is having his best season since 2018. The right-hander’s walk rate is a career-best 3.2 percent, and he remains around the 30 percent mark in strikeout rate.

Nola will be matched up with Gore, who has been torn apart over his last couple of starts. The southpaw has given up 14 runs over the last 6 1/3 innings, as his ERA ballooned up to 3.64.

But there’s still room for negative regression, as Gore’s xERA is 4.07. His walk rate is in the double digits and he is in the bottom 20 percent of all pitchers in hard-hit rate.

That is a problem against a Phillies offense that dominates against left-handed pitching. They rank sixth in wRC+, fifth in wOBA and fourth in isolated power versus southpaws.

The Padres, meanwhile, rank 17th in wRC+ and 25th in isolated power against righties. Manny Machado’s status also remains unknown as he’s been sidelined with an ankle injury.

I love the Phillies to roll on Friday night behind Nola, as they have the clear advantage both on the mound and at the plate. Bet this to -140.


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Detroit Tigers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Pick
Under 8.5 (+100)
Book
BetMGM
Pitchers
Rony Garcia vs. Merrill Kelly
First Pitch
9:40 p.m. ET

DJ James: These are the two worst offenses coming into this game against right-handed pitching in the month of June. Detroit is the worst at 58 wRC+, while Arizona has posted a paltry 61 wRC+. Both have a sub-.260 team OBP and sub-.340 team slugging percentage.

Rony García and Merrill Kelly will be the starters for the Tigers and D’backs, respectively. García is definitely the weaker of the two. He does rank in the bottom percentile in some important predictive metrics (i.e. average exit velocity, xwOBA, etc.), but the one captivating thing about the 24-year-old is he does not walk many batters, and he ranks in the 78th percentile in strikeout rate.

On the other hand, Kelly is solid. He has a 3.46 ERA and 3.59 xERA with a .299 wOBA and 35.3% hard hit rate. This should be enough to hold a moribund Detroit offense at bay.

Take the under and hope García can hold it together for a little while.


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Detroit Tigers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

Pick
Diamondbacks First Five Innings -0.5 (-130)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Rony Garcia vs. Merrill Kelly
First Pitch
9:40 p.m. ET

Nicholas Martin: Rony Garcia has ran with some very favorable luck to hold an era of 4.97 throughout 38 IP this season, and is as clear a fade candidate as exists in the majors for the time being.

Garcia has been barreled up 20% of the time, which has led to a shocking xSLG rate of .684, and both of those marks are among the very worst in the league from a pitcher with any sort of meaningful sample.

Same goes for Garcia’s shocking QOPA of 3.76, which heavily suggests batters are not likely to have a tough time making contact anytime soon.

Garcia will be backed by the league’s worst offence as well, which has hit to a wRC+ of just 68 versus right-handed pitching this season, with a wOBA of .261.

The Tigers will be offensively challenged against a very respectable righty in Merrill Kelly in this one, which is a massive pitching edge for the D’backs.

Take Arizona’s run line through the first five innings.

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Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants

Pick
Giants First Five Innings -188
Book
FanDuel
Pitchers
Graham Ashcraft vs. Alex Cobb
First Pitch
10:15 p.m. ET

Sean Zerillo: Alex Cobb (5.62 ERA, 2.24 xERA, 2.64 xFIP, 2.92 SIERA) has been one of the most unlucky starters in baseball this season. The Giants’ righty is carrying a .381 BABIP and a 55% strand rate (career .295 and 72%, respectively), explaining the drastic difference between his ERA and expected indicators.

Cobb’s fastball velocity (95 mph) stands at a career-high mark, 3.3 mph over his career average, and his underlying metrics have never been better.

Among the 198 pitchers who have tossed at least 30 innings this season, Cobb ranks 40th (80th percentile) in strikeout minus walk rate, or K-BB% and 27th (87th percentile) in called-strike plus whiff rate, or CSW%.

Conversely, Graham Ashcraft ranks 170th (15th percentile) and 158th (20th percentile) in those two key metrics. And while Ashcraft has pitched well (3.51 ERA, 3.45 xERA, 3.91 xFIP, 4.14 SIERA) and generates a high number of groundballs (56%), he’s unlikely to maintain a .261 BABIP (league average .287) in front of the Reds porous defense (22nd in Defensive Runs Saved, 24th in Outs Above Average).

I projected the Giants’ moneyline for the first five innings at -228 (69.5% implied) for Friday night, and I would bet that F5 line up to -208 (67.5% implied) at a two percent edge.

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Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants

Pick
Giants -1.5 (+105)
Book
Caesars
Pitchers
Graham Ashcraft vs. Alex Cobb
First Pitch
10:15 p.m. ET

Doug Ziefel: The league has begun to adjust to Graham Ashcraft. Yes, he has tremendous stuff and produces a great deal of soft contact, but the amount of contact is starting to catch up to him.

He’s allowed 10 earned runs on 17 hits over his last two starts. Now he’ll get to go on the road and face a Giants lineup that features two hot-hitting lefties in Joc Pederson and Mike Yastrzemski.

Opposing him will be Alex Cobb, who has pitched far better than his 5.62 ERA portrays. Cobb enters this start in the top eight percent of all qualified pitchers in every expected Statcast statistic and is in the top 13 percent in average exit velocity allowed as well as hard-hit rate.

He’ll face a weakened Cincinnati lineup, which only has one hitter in its lineup with an xBA above .270. The Reds also have quite a bit of swing and miss in their lineup, and Cobb revamped stuff has had him averaging over a strikeout per inning.

This is a game where we’ll see the Giants with constant traffic on the bases, and their lead will only get larger as the game goes on.

Cobb is well overdue for a solid outing, and the lowly Reds are the lineup to get him back on track. Play the run line to +100.


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Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants

Pick
Alex Cobb Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+105)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Graham Ashcraft vs. Alex Cobb
First Pitch
10:15 p.m. ET

Jules Posner: Alex Cobb’s K total is set at 4.5, which seems really low. Suspiciously low. Could be a trap, but I say, “Trap me, baby.”

So far in home starts, Cobb has struck out 10, 0, 8, 6, and 7. Obviously, one of these numbers is not like the others, but barring a catastrophe, Cobb has racked up K’s at home this season.

Cobb has also been one of the least lucky starters in MLB this season. Among starters, Cobb has the highest difference in xERA bs ERA as well as xBA vs BA. Dude just can’t catch a break.

While it is risky to back an incredibly unlucky pitcher, his 2.59 home FIP and and 12.68 K/9 at home don’t require much luck. Even if he experiences more tough luck, he still gets a fair amount of outs via the strikeout. Perhaps it’s possible that if batted balls find defenders, his K rates may suffer, but his stuff has been sharp this season.

The Reds are not a prolific strikeout offense as they are in the bottom half of the league in K% on the road vs RHP over the past few weeks. They still strike out 20% of the time, so if Cobb can get through two and a half turns through the line up, 4.5 K’s seems achievable.

The fact that this prop is in plus money makes it seem to good to be true. However, Action Labs rates this an 8/10, projecting 5.3 K’s, and Julesyboy Labs (my cat) gives it a 10/10 and projects 7 K’s.

This can be played from -120 or better.

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