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MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Breakdowns for Diamondbacks vs. Rockies, Padres vs. Dodgers, More on Friday’s Slate (July 1)

MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Betting Breakdowns for Diamondbacks vs. Rockies, Padres vs. Dodgers, More on Friday’s Slate (July 1) article feature image
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Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Manny Machado

  • The MLB slate for today has gotten started, but there's plenty of value across the board.
  • MLB analyst B.J. Cunningham has picks and projections on every game throughout the day, which you can find below.
  • Continue reading for Cunningham's full analysis and how he's betting today's MLB slate.

We once again have a full slate of games on Friday night with two huge inter-division showdowns of Rays vs. Blue Jays and Padres vs. Dodgers. I’m here to give a full slate breakdown of every game along with projections and some of my favorite props for Friday.

Be sure to check out our MLB odds page for up-to-the-minute odds changes across multiple sportsbooks, and our projections page helps you find the best value across the board.


Follow all of B.J. Cunningham’s bets in the Action Network app! Click here.


I’ll also be updating this article throughout the day with some of my favorite prop bets as they become available at various sportsbooks, so be sure to check back.

Cunningham’s Projections

Full Game

First Five Innings

Red Sox vs. Cubs, 2:20 p.m. ET 

Rich Hill vs. Adrian Sampson

I will be targeting the first five innings over once it comes out. Adrian Sampson is a career 5.08 xFIP pitcher who’se been bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and the majors, while Rich Hill has been very average this season (4.20 xFIP).

The Red Sox are top 10 in wRC+ against right-handed pitching and over the past 30 days. The Cubs are top 10 in wOBA against left-handed pitching.

I have 5.77 runs projected for the first five innings, so I like the value on Over 4.5 runs at -110, which is currently available at FanDuel.

Pick: First Five Innings Over 4.5 runs (-110)

Props: 

Willson Contreras Over 1.5 bases (+100) – DraftKings

Contreras is an outstanding hitter versus left-handed pitching, putting a .520 wOBA with seven homers and six doubles in only 61 at bats. He also has a .346 xBA & .430 xwOBA against left-handed fastballs and curveballs (Rich Hill’s main two pitches).

Rays vs. Blue Jays, 3:07 p.m. ET 

Corey Kluber vs. Jose Berrios

Boy, oh boy, has Jose Berrios been bad this season. Among qualified starting pitchers, he has the second-worst xERA at a whopping at 6.43.

So what has gone wrong? Well, he’s giving up a ton of home runs (1.95 HR/9), a ton of hard contact (47.4% hart hit rate allowed), and he’s become far too reliant on his fastball, which is allowing a .347 xBA, per Baseball Savant.

The good news for him the Rays have struggled versus fastballs this season, putting up a -17.8 run value. Berrios’ main two secondary pitches are a curveball and sinker, which the Rays have been decent against this year with a +5.7 run value.

Corey Kluber has basically been a mirror image of what he was with the Yankees in 2021. He has a 3.90 xERA, he keeps a low 1.36 BB/9 rate, but a 35.5% hard hit rate allowed and a 7.0% barrel rate allowed are pretty average. The Blue Jays have no weaknesses at the plate, they have positive run values against every single pitch type.

Tampa Bay has the advantage in the bullpen as it has a better xFIP, LOB%, K-BB% and WHIP than Toronto.

Since I have the Rays projected as favorites for both the first five innings and full game, I love the value on them at anything plus money.

Pick: Rays F5 +123 (BetRivers) & Full Game +115 (PointsBet)

Cardinals vs. Phillies, 6:05 p.m. ET 

Miles Mikolas vs. Bailey Falter

The Cardinals should be deserving favorites with Miles Mikolas on the mound versus Bailey Falter, who has a 5.97 xERA in 20 innings this season. Plus, Bryce Harper and Jean Segura are out, and they have the best two wOBAs against right-handed pitching on the Phillies. The Cardinals also crush left-handed fastballs and sliders (+16.1 run value), which are Falter’s two main pitches.

Based on my projections, I don’t have any value on anything, so I will be passing on this game.

Pick: Pass

Marlins vs. Nationals, 6:05 p.m. ET 

Trevor Rogers vs. Josiah Gray

Trevor Rogers has regressed pretty hard from 2021. With that being said, it’s not as bad as it looks on the surface. His ERA is sitting at 5.86, but xERA (4.80) and xFIP (4.58) are both over a full run lower.

He has somewhat lost his control though because his BB/9 rate is over four and his HR/9 rate is at 1.43. One other problem is Rogers is a heavy fastball pitcher, so when it’s not effective, like it hasn’t been this season (.433 xwOBA allowed vs. .305 in 2021), he’s going to struggle. The Nationals have a +17.1 run value against left-handed fastballs, so Rogers is likely going to have a tough matchup. 

Josiah Gray has been OK in his first full season in Washington, but he’s somewhat of a negative regression candidate. If you take a look at his last five starts, you’ll see his xFIP is higher than his ERA in all five:

(image via FanGraphs)

Gray has a three-pitch arsenal of fastball, slider and curveball. The slider and curveball have been very effective, allowing an xBA under .215, but his fastball has been terrible yielding an xwOBA of .462. The Marlins have a +17.9 run value against right-handed fastballs, curveballs and sliders, so they should have a good matchup against Gray.

I have 5.75 runs projected for the first five innings, so like the value on Over 4.5 runs at -120 and would play it up to -130 or would play Over 5 runs up to -115.

Pick: First Five Innings Over 4.5 runs

Props: 

Trevor Rogers Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-145) – BetMGM

Trevor Rogers may be struggling this season, but this line is a tad low for him. If we do a little math and take his average batters faced per start of 20.7 times his K% of 20% we get a projection of 4.14 strikeouts. He’s faced the Nationals twice and gone over 3.5 Ks in both meetings.

Additionally, our Action Labs projections have him projected for 5.8 strikeouts tonight. Also, SaberSim has him at 4.03 strikeouts.

Braves vs. Reds, 7:05 p.m. ET 

Max Fried vs. Mike Minor

The Braves are deserving large favorites here against 34 year-old Mike Minor with Max Fried on the mound. The Braves are top three in wOBA & wRC+ against left-handed pitching and are the best team in baseball against fastballs, which Minor goes to over 46% of the time.

Based on my projections, I don’t have much value on this game, if anything I’d play the Braves first five innings if it falls below -200.

Props:

Dansby Swanson Over 1.5 bases (-115) – FanDuel

Swanson has a +6.6 run value/.289 xBA/.414 xwOBA against left-handed fastballs/sliders/changeups (Minor’s main three pitches). Minor is allowing over a .330 xwOBA on all three pitches. 

Swanson is averaging 1.83 total bases per game this season and 2.42 per game in the month of June.

Brewers vs. Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET 

Corbin Burnes vs. Roansy Contreras 

This is a really fun pitching matchup between one the best pitchers in baseball against a young, exciting talent.

Corbin Burnes may not be quite near the level he was in 2021, but he’s still putting up elite numbers like a 2.81 xERA and 11.48 K/9 rate. In terms of matchups, this is about as good as it gets for him. He heavily relies on his elite cutter, going to it over 56% of the time and for good reason considering hitters have 32.3% whiff rate and -15 run value against it this season.

Corbin Burnes, Painted 96mph Back Door Cutter. 🖌️✂️

The Prettiest Pitch in Baseball. pic.twitter.com/71gF0rNonM

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 21, 2022

The Pirates are the worst team in MLB against cutters, posting a -14.8 run value on the season. Also, in his only meeting against them this year, Burnes struck out 10 batters over seven innings of work.

Roansy Contreras is the Pirates’ No. 3 prospect and has a really nice three-pitch arsenal of fastball, curveball and slider. His fastball has a ton of life, averaging 96.3 mph and is in the 85th percentile for spin rate and 88th for velocity. He’s still trying to figure out how to control it, though, because he’s allowing an xwOBA over .400 on it this year. That is why you see his xERA up at 4.99, over two runs higher than his actual ERA.

So, even though I have some projected value on the Pirates, the fact that the offensive matchup is terrible and Contreras is due for negative regression is keeping me away from this game.

Pick: Pass

Royals vs. Tigers, 7:05 p.m. ET 

Brad Keller vs. Michael Pineda

It looks like Michael Pineda is going to be on the mound (not confirmed at the time of writing) and if that is the case, boy oh boy is he a big time negative regression candidate.

It is a limited sample size, but in five starts this year he has a 3.22 ERA, but a 6.27 xERA. The reason for that is because he’s allowing a ton of hard contact, 47.2% to be exact, which is one of the highest rates in all of baseball.

Brad Keller has been nothing special this season, but he hasn’t been terrible. His xERA is at 4.23, his BB/9 rate is at 2.96 (was above four last year) and his barrel rate allowed is at 6.2% (was above 10% last year).

He should have a good matchup tonight because he mainly utilizes a fastball/slider/sinker combination and the Tigers have a -46.4 run value against those three pitch types this year.

Since I have Keller and the Royals projected at -118 for the first five innings, I like the value on them at +100 (BetMGM) or better.

Pick: Royals First Five Innings +100

Rangers vs. Mets, 7:10 p.m. ET 

Editor’s Note: Chris Bassitt has been placed in the IL and David Peterson will start in his place tonight.

Glenn Otto vs. Chris Bassitt

Glenn Otto has been really bad this season, posting a whopping 6.51 xERA, 5.51 xFIP and a staggering 5.53 BB/9 rate. His sinker is about the only pitch that he’s had any success with, allowing only a .199 xBA, but the Mets are one of the best sinker hitting teams baseball, putting up a +23.1 run value already this season. The Mets are also have the best batting average in baseball against right-handed pitching and are top six in wOBA and wRC+.

This is a great matchup for Chris Bassitt, too, who has been outstanding, posting a 3.23 xERA. But based on my projections, the price is too high to get any value on the Mets for both the full game and first five innings.

Instead, since I have 2.99 runs projected for the Mets for the first five innings,  I like the value on their team total Over 2.5 runs at -115 or better (DraftKings).

Pick: Mets First Five Innings Team Total Over 2.5 runs -115

Yankees vs. Guardians, 7:10 p.m. ET 

Gerrit Cole vs. Aaron Civale

Yes, I know the Yankees have the best record in baseball, but this line is a tad inflated against a good Guardians squad that is only one game out of first place in the AL Central.

Sure, Gerrit Cole is on the mound and he’s been very good in his last three starts, allowing only two runs in a little over 20 innings of work. However, he hasn’t been crazy elite this season. His xERA is at 2.92, but his HR/9 is at 1.24, his hard hit rate allowed and barrel rate allowed are both in the bottom half of the league.

Listen, it looks bad for Aaron Civale who has 7.20 ERA through nine starts, but I can assure you, it’s not as bad as it seems. His xERA is only at 4.96 and digging into his pitch arsenal, he’s been getting unlucky with his cutter:

(Image via Baseball Savant)

The good news is that the two pitches you absolutely cannot throw the Yankees are fastballs and sliders because they have over a +40 run value against those two pitches, which Civale doesn’t go to that often. Against cutters, the Yankees only have a +2.7 run value, so Civale could have some success.

I only have the Yankees projected as -139 favorite on the road, so I like the value on the Guardians at +185 (DraftKings) and would play it down to +164.

Pick: Guardians +185

Diamondbacks vs. Rockies, 8:10 p.m. ET 

Merrill Kelly vs. Antonio Senzatela

Arizona definitely should not be an underdog with Merrill Kelly on the mound against Antonio Senzatela:

On top of that, Senzatela is a heavy fastball pitcher, going to it over 55% and that is the only pitch the Diamondbacks have had success against this season (+11.4 run value, per FanGraphs). So, this is a really good matchup for Arizona to open a three-game series in Denver.

I have the Diamondbacks projected as pretty significant favorites for the first five innings and full game, so I would play anything first five innings up to -135 and full game up to -110.

Pick: Diamondbacks First Five Innings +112 (BetRivers) & Full Game +108 (FanDuel)

Props: 

Christian Walker to Hit a Home Run (+300) – FanDuel

Christian Walker has nine home runs, a 93.4 average exit velocity, .715 xSLG and .459 xwOBA against right-handed fastballs this season going up against a pitcher who is allowing over a .400 xwOBA on his fastball.

Plus it doesn’t hurt getting the extra bump playing in the altitude at Coors Field.

Angels vs. Astros, 8:10 p.m. ET 

Michael Lorenzen vs. Christian Javier

This game is fairly priced in my opinion. Cristian Javier should be a significant favorite over Michael Lorenzen considering Javier’s xERA is over a full run lower.

Not much else for me here considering my projections are dead on with market.

Pick: Pass

Props: 

Yordan Alvarez to Hit a Home Run (+300) – DraftKings

Alvarez has 23 home runs this year and 16 of them have come off of right-handed fastballs, sinkers, or changeups, which just happen to be Lorenzen’s main three pitches.

Alvarez has a .414 xBA, .895 xSLG, and 96 mph average exit velocity on those three pitches. Also here is a bomb he hit off of Lorenzen earlier this season:

MOON. SHOT.

Yordan Alvarez is BACK.

(via @astros) pic.twitter.com/RDFHDa4zk2

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 19, 2022

 

Orioles vs. Twins, 8:10 p.m. ET

Spenser Watkins vs. Joe Ryan

There is no way to sugar-coat it with Spenser Watkins. He’s been terrible this season. He has some of the worst metrics of any starting pitcher: 6.47 xERA, 5.79 xFIP, .305 xBA allowed, .403 xwOBA allowed and 40.3% hard hit rate allowed.

Tonight he’ll be facing the third-best offense against right-handed pitching in terms of wOBA, wRC+ and hard hit rate. Additionally, the Twins have a +19.3 run value against Watkins’ top three pitches of fastball, cutter and slider.

The Twins First Five Innings line is pretty pricey at -225, but its a really nice parlay piece. Instead, I am going to target the Twins Team Total Over 4.5 at -135 (BetMGM) but I would play it any higher than that at 4.5. Could go to Over 5 runs at -110 or better and still have value.

Pick: Twins Team Total Over 4.5 (-135)

Props: 

Gary Sanchez to hit a Home Run (+400) – FanDuel

Gary Sanchez only has nine home runs of the season, but seven of them have come against right-handed fastballs, cutters, or sliders, which are Watkins three main pitches.

Against those three pitches he also has an average exit velocity of 95 mph and a xSLG of .671. Like I already mentioned, Watkins is allowing one of the highest hard hit rates and has a barrel rate allowed over 10%.

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Padres vs. Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET

Blake Snell vs. Tony Gonsolin 

This is the best pitching matchup on the slate tonight and it’s one that has thrown me for a loop. Full disclosure, I’ve never been a believer in Tony Gonsolin and it’s cost me this season because he’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball by any metric that you look at. I mean, the guy has a 90.3% LOB% for crying out loud.

He’s got an arsenal of fastball, split finger, slider and curveball with his splitter being his best pitch, allowing only a .190 xBA. The Padres do have a +11 run value against those four pitches and their best hitter, Manny Machado, returned to the lineup last night, so this isn’t going to be easy for Gonsolin.

Speaking of injuries, the Dodgers are without their best hitter, Mookie Betts, for a bit while he recovers from a fractured rib. The loss of Betts is actually pretty big for the Dodgers considering he led the team in home runs, runs and SLG%.

Blake Snell is a massive positive regression candidate, as he has a 5.60 ERA but a 3.78 xERA in seven starts this season. He’s struggled with his fastball, but his slider and curveball have both almost been unhittable, allowing a xBA under .200 and producing a whiff rate over 42%.

Blake Snell, Wicked 81mph Curveball. 🤢🦖 pic.twitter.com/RciEW5FyCF

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 8, 2021

The Dodgers have been very average versus left-handed pitching this season, ranking 14th in wOBA.

I only have the Dodgers projected as -135 favorites at home, so I like the value on the Padres at +158 (Caesars) and would play it down to +150.

Pick: Padres +158

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Athletics vs. Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET

James Kaprielian vs. Marco Gonzales

The A’s may have the worst lineup in all of baseball, but this price is insanity for Marco Gonzales. For the second-straight season, Gonzales is drastically out-performing his expected metrics. This season he has a 3.31 ERA, but 4.70 xERA and 4.90 xFIP.

His go-to pitch is a sinker, which on paper is allowing a .213 batting average, but the expected batting average allowed is almost a full 100 points higher at .305. He’s also faced Oakland twice this season, giving up a combined seven runs and 15 hits in a little over 12 innings of work.

James Kaprielian has been bad, posting a 5.25 xERA, but he certainly hasn’t been bad enough to warrant being this big of an underdog against Gonzales.

I only have the Mariners projected as -141 favorites, so I like the value on Oakland at +180 (FanDuel) and would play it down to +160.

Pick: A’s +180

Props: 

Sean Murphy Over 1.5 Total Bases (+135)- FanDuel

Sean Murphy may only have a .191 average against lefties, but his expected metrics against left-handed sinkers, changeups, cutters, and curveballs are off the charts: .342 xBA/.674 xSLG/.473 xwOBA and it’s over a good sample size because he’s seen over 200 of those pitches from the left side.

SaberSim has him projected right at 1.5 bases tonight, so there is some value on anything +120 or better.

White Sox vs. Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET

Lance Lynn vs. Alex Cobb

It’s only been three starts, but Lance Lynn has been really bad, posting an ERA over six. Now, I am going to pump the breaks and trust projections a little more here, which have his ERA around 4.00. The Giants are the second-best fastball-hitting team in baseball, which is bad news for Lynn, who is a heavy-fastball pitcher.

Alex Cobb has been outstanding this season posting a 2.32 xERA and is a deserving favorite tonight against the White Sox.

I don’t have any projected value anywhere for this game, so this one is a pass for me.

Pick: Pass

Props: 

Joc Pederson Over 1.5 bases (+130) – DraftKings

Joc Pederson loves facing right-handed pitching and especially the pitches in Lance Lynn’s arsenal. Against right-handed fastballs, sinkers, and cutters he a +13.2 run value, .339 xBA, .746 xSLG, and .469 xwOBA this season.

SaberSim has him projected for 1,93 bases tonight, so a lot of value on Over 1.5 bases at +130.


Follow all of B.J. Cunningham’s bets in the Action Network app! Click here.

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