MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: 4 Best Bets for Saturday, Including Brewers vs. Rockies, Rays vs. Mariners & More (June 19)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Kiermaier.
- Major League Baseball has a busy Saturday with 16 games spanning the entire afternoon and night.
- Our staff has narrowed in their four favorite games, beginning with Marlins vs. Cubs in the early afternoon and ending with Rays vs. Mariners at night.
- See which four teams our analysts have picked, below.
Saturdays are for the baseball fans, and today is no exception with 16 games spanning the day, beginning with a doubleheader at 1:05 p.m. ET between the Mets and Nationals.
Our staff is here to help you end the day on the positive side of betting, so they’ve picked their four favorite games from today’s MLB slate, beginning with Marlins vs. Cubs and ending with Rays vs. Mariners.
MLB Odds & Picks
Marlins vs. Cubs
Tanner McGrath: The Fish being underdogs in this spot is an insult to aquatic creatures everywhere. While I believe the Marlins are often undervalued, today might be the most undervalued they’ve been all season.
The pitching mismatch in this game is staggering. Pablo Lopez is going to pitch circles around the corpse of Jake Arrieta.
Just look at Arrieta’s Statcast page. He’s in the bottom 12% among qualified pitchers in almost every single predictive category. Behind an exit velocity above 91 mph and a hard-hit rate close to 50%, Arrieta has an xERA approaching 6.00. And, behind a walk rate close to 10% (3.86 BB/9), Arrieta’s xFIP is up around 5.00 as well.
Meanwhile, Pablo Lopez is building on his great 2020 by being even better in 2021. He’s got a 3.12 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP through 14 starts this season while recording just an 86-mph average exit velocity and a 32.9% hard-hit rate.
While he struggled in his last start, Lopez was nails in the four before it. In the four starts between May 22 and June 8, Lopez pitched a whopping 26 innings (6 2/3 per start) while posting a 2.08 ERA and a WHIP around .80.
Additionally, did I mention the Cubs are batting .143 with a .545 OPS over the past two weeks? They’ve been the second-worst offense in baseball during this most-recent stretch, and I really like Lopez’s chances to shut them down today.
While Lopez hopefully pitches a gem, look for Sterling Marte and Co. to hit about 100 hard-hit balls off Arrieta.
Red Sox vs. Royals
Mike Ianniello: On one side of the coin you have a Kansas City Royals team that ranks 20th in wOBA and 21st in wRC+ against left-handed pitchers like the one they will face Saturday in Martin Perez.
On the other side, you have the Boston Red Sox, who rank fifth in the league in wOBA and eighth in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers, which is what they will see in Brad Keller.
The Red Sox bats have cooled off a little bit after their torrid start, but they still have Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers playing at an All-Star level and guys like Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez playing well.
Keller has really struggled for the Royals this season. He has a 6.14 ERA and has allowed at least three runs in eight of his 14 starts this season. He is also one of those rare pitchers who is much worse at home. In seven home starts, he has a 7.80 ERA and is allowing a .331 batting average against.
The Red Sox lineup should have no problem getting to Keller on Saturday, who ranks in the bottom 3% of the league in xBA, xwOBA and xERA this season. Back Boston as a small favorite at -112 (would play to -120).
Brewers vs. Rockies
Kenny Ducey: The Rockies check all the boxes for me tonight, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re the most fun thing happening in baseball this week. Fresh off an inspired comeback, capped by a walk-off single in the 10th, I think Colorado will get its sixth in a row on Saturday on the arm of Austin Gomber.
It took me a long time to come around on Gomber, but I’ve arrived at the conclusion that he’s a good pitcher. Despite playing the last two seasons in St. Louis, he’s been great at Coors Field, pitching to a 0.95 ERA in five starts and allowing just 13 hits and a homer in 28 ⅓ innings.
His breaking balls have been more effective at altitude, and he’s thrown them more in Colorado — he uses his fastball 40.8% of the time on the road versus 38.8% of the time at home.
It just so happens that the Brewers have been brutal against the pitches in Gomber’s arsenal, ranking 20th in weighted runs per 100 changeups and dead last against sliders and curveballs. Put bluntly, Milwaukee isn’t going to have much fun up there at the dish.
The icing on the cake with this matchup is the Brewers’ current form (they’re sixth-to-last in wRC+ over the last two weeks) and their below-average performance against lefties. I think the Brewers’ bats should be cool here, and the Rockies will win again as a deserved favorite against a mediocre Adrian Houser.
Rays vs. Mariners
Matt Trebby: The Mariners got the better of the Rays on Friday night, but I don’t see much reason to believe it will happen again.
While Logan Gilbert will have a strong career one day, he does not give Seattle the edge on the mound on Saturday night. Gilbert has a 4.13 ERA and 4.63 FIP through his first six MLB starts, and he faces a difficult Rays lineup that ranks in the top 10 in MLB in OPS against right-handed pitching.
On the other side, lefty Josh Fleming has been solid in a variety of roles this season for the Rays with a 3.20 ERA and 4.01 FIP. Fleming has started five of his 11 appearances and followed an opening in others. He pitches to contact, something that’s welcome against a Mariners lineup that isn’t very intimidating.
I know this is a relatively large plus number, but I don’t see Tampa Bay dropping a second straight game with an edge on the mound. I’d play this at -140, and the line has gone up to that point on PointsBet since it opened at Rays -125.