MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions | Best Bets for Rockies vs Braves, Angels vs Rangers
Sam Hodde/Getty Images. Pictured: Shohei Ohtani
A getaway Thursday in Major League Baseball brings with it a lighter slate. There are 10 games spread out across the afternoon and into the night, with action starting as early as 1:05 p.m. and going through a 10:10 p.m. ET first pitch in Los Angeles.
Our analysts are on three of tonight's 10 games, including Rays vs. Athletics, Rockies vs. Braves and Angels vs. Rangers.
Here are our best bets from the MLB slate on Thursday, June 15th.
Thursday MLB Best Bets
The team logos in the table below represent each of the matchups that our MLB betting staff is targeting from today's slate of games. Click the team logos for one the matchups below to navigate to a specific bet discussed in this article.
|Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our MLB Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.|
Rays vs. Athletics
By D.J. James
Taj Bradley is the top-rated prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays for a reason. He did slip up a bit in his last outing, but overall, he holds a 4.19 ERA against a 3.60 xERA. He will face the red-hot Oakland A’s and Paul Blackburn.
Blackburn is the best pitcher in the Oakland rotation. After starting the season on the injured list, he has posted three starts against the Braves, Marlins and Brewers and has a 3.60 ERA against a 3.55 xERA.
The A’s have shown they can put together strong offensive performances against right-handed pitchers like Bradley. In June, they have a 121 wRC+ with a 9.6% walk rate and .768 OPS against right-handers. Tampa has regressed a little, on the other hand. They have a 95 wRC+ with a 9.9% walk rate and .686 OPS.
In relief this month, Oakland and Tampa are almost neck-and-neck. Oakland has a 4.91 xFIP and a 70.1% LOB percentage. Tampa has a 4.80 xFIP and a 78% LOB percentage. Both have three arms under a 4.00 xFIP, as well.
Given that Oakland has hit righties particularly well this month, while Tampa Bay has shown a noticeable drop-off, backing the A’s would be the correct call. There is not nearly enough of a difference between the starters and bullpens to justify such a wide discrepancy of the line, even if this is the best team in baseball against one of the worst.
Take Oakland to +140
Pick: Athletics ML (+180)
Rockies vs. Braves
By Alex Hinton
If you backed Ronald Acuña Jr. yesterday either in daily fantasy or props, you likely had a profitable day. In yesterday’s doubleheader against the Tigers, he went 4-for-9 with three runs scored, two home runs totaling 890 feet and four runs batted in. He’s now hitting .381 in doubleheaders.
However, regardless of the situation, Acuna has been one of the game’s best hitters this season.
He ranks second in the Major Leagues in batting average (.333) and third in OPS (.985). Over his past seven games, he’s hitting .355 with three home runs, 11 runs batted in and a 1.186 OPS. He’s also hitting .317 at Truist Park and .344 against left-handed pitchers.
Today, he gets Kyle Freeland, and it’s not a surprise he has good numbers against the Rockies starter as well.
Acuña has gone 3-for-8 with a home run and a 1.250 OPS against Freeland in his career. Freeland has given up 11 of his 12 home runs to right-handed batters and has allowed nine doubles and two triples to right-handed hitters for 22 extra-base hits in 222 at-bats.
Comparatively, he has given up just four extra-base hits in 69 ABs against lefties. He’s also the rare Rockies pitcher who’s worse away from Coors Field as he has a 4.81 ERA on the road.
Acuña has recorded a hit in nine of his last 10 games, which has helped him record two bases in seven of his last 10 games. In that span, he’s averaging three total bases per game in addition to 2.3 total bases per game for the season. An extra-base hit would give us the over here.
Pick: Ronald Acuña Jr. Over 1.5 Total Bases (-125)
Angels vs. Rangers
I'm not really sure Shohei Ohtani should be an underdog here for the first five innings.
Ohtani has a 3.35 xERA, and really the only reason it’s that high is because his BB/9 rate is up at 4.03 and his HR/9 rate is at 1.30. He is in the 97th percentile for average exit velocity allowed and is only allowing an xwOBA of .289.
With Jacob deGrom on the IL, only Spencer Strider has a better Stuff+ rating than Ohtani, who is at 126. So even though he’s facing one of the best lineups in baseball, Ohtani is capable of dominating anyone.
Nathan Eovaldi is having a great season with the Rangers and has a very low 2.95 xERA. He’s doing it by having one of the lowest walk rates and HR/9 rates among qualified starting pitchers.
However, if you look at his average exit velocity allowed, hard hit rate allowed and barrel rate allowed, he grades out as an above-average pitcher, certainly not one with the elite numbers that he has right now. So, he is a pitcher due for a little regression considering he’s been around a 3.9 xERA pitcher for his career.
I have Ohtani projected as a -112 favorite for the first five innings, so I like value on him and the Angels as an underdog at +114.