MLB Picks Today | Odds, Expert Projections for Tuesday, July 25
Getty Images. Pictured: Gleyber Torres, Max Kepler
Welcome to Opening Pitch, my column that you'll find daily throughout the 2023 MLB season.
My goal for Opening Pitch is to highlight my top daily projection edges for MLB moneylines and totals, share my favorite bets and provide some betting notes and analysis, mainly as I react to opening and overnight lines while using my baseball betting model.
I will look to release a new version of Opening Pitch daily between midnight and 3 a.m. ET; after I enter my overnight bets in the Action Network App and update the MLB projections. Hopefully, you will use it as your morning betting guide to get ahead of the baseball markets.
You can also shop for the best lines on our odds page.
Expert Picks for Tuesday, July 25
New York Mets vs. New York Yankees
Justin Verlander vs. Domingo German
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET
Even in his best start as a member of the Mets (8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K) last Wednesday against the White Sox, Justin Verlander's fastball velocity was down. His fastball averaged 93.8 mph against Chicago — tied for its lowest mark in multiple years — compared to 94.4 mph in 2023 and 95.1 mph last season.
Verlander recorded a 92 Stuff+ rating in that outing (98 Stuff+ on his fastball, 97 on his slider), compared to a season-long 107 Stuff+ figure, which is already down from his 2022 Cy Young campaign (118 Stuff+) in Houston.
Among 159 qualified starting pitchers (min. 40 innings) this season, Verlander ranks 49th with a 102 Pitching+ rating, in the 70th percentile of starters. Last season, among 194 qualified starters, Verlander ranked sixth with a 109 Stuff+ rating, ranking in the 97th percentile amongst starters.
Verlander's strikeout rate (20.6%) is down more than 7% compared to last season and 12.7% over two years, and his K-BB% or strikeout minus walk rate (12.9%) has gone from one of the best in baseball to below the major league average (14.2%). Both His ERA (3.47) and xERA or expected ERA (3.39) represent that Verlander is still an above-average starting pitcher at age 40 but possibly no longer quite an ace.
Domingo German (4.08 xERA, 93 Stuff+, 98 Pitching+) is a below-average arm, but the Yankees have a bullpen edge in this series (11th vs. 27th in reliever xFIP). The Mets have the offensive advantage (11th vs. 21st in wrC+ vs. righties) with Aaron Judge sidelined; however, the Yankees are the superior defensive club (10th vs. 22nd in Defensive Runs Saved), which is worth between 2-3% to their moneyline projection on its own.
I projected the Yankees as +116 underdogs for the first five innings (F5), and I set the full game line as a true coinflip. Bet the Bombers to +125 in the first half (F5) and +109 for the full game.
Seattle Mariners vs. Minnesota Twins
George Kirby vs. Pablo Lopez
First Pitch: 7:40 p.m. ET
Similar to Monday's rematch bets involving Luis Castillo and Kenta Maeda, righties George Kirby and Pablo Lopez will face off for the second time in a week. Seattle won 5-0 last Thursday behind seven shutout innings from Kirby (7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 10 K).
I bet the Twins at +106 (F5) and +120 (full game) in that matchup; they closed at -107 (F5) and +105 (full game), respectively, compared to my projections of -105 (F5) and +103 (full game). After accounting for the venue and home-field advantage swap, one would expect to find the Twins around -125 for Tuesday's rematch in Minnesota. Still, I projected their F5 line at -148 and their full game line at -132; bet the Twins to -140 (F5) and -122 (full game).
Pablo Lopez looks better than ever this season despite underwhelming results (4.22 ERA, 3.22 xERA). Lopez's new sweeper (112 Stuff+) has been his best pitch, increasing his overall Stuff+ rating from 95 to 100 year over year, leading to a career-best 30.2% strikeout rate, the eighth-highest mark among 159 qualified starters.
George Kirby has lesser underlying indicators (3.83 xERA, 19.4% K-BB%) but superior pitch modeling metrics (104 Stuff+, 110 Pitching+) compared to Lopez and the lowest walk rate (2.3%) among that same group of qualified pitchers.
Zerillo's Bets for Tuesday, July 25
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- Baltimore Orioles / Philadelphia Phillies, Over 9 (-110, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -114)
- Boston Red Sox (+130, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +121)
- Cleveland Guardians F5 (-170, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -175)
- Chicago Cubs / Chicago White Sox, Over 8.5 (-125, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to 9, -110)
- Kansas City Royals / Cleveland Guardians, Over 8.5 (-108, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -111)
- Los Angeles Angels F5 (+124, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to +119)
- Los Angeles Dodgers F5 (-155, 0.5u) at BetMGM (bet to -160)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (-145, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -150)
- Miami Marlins / Tampa Bay Rays, Over 7 (-115, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -120 or 7.5, -101)
- Milwaukee Brewers F5 (-145, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -150)
- Milwaukee Brewers (-145, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -145)
- Minnesota Twins F5 (-125, 0.5u) at BetMGM (bet to -140)
- Minnesota Twins (-112, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -122)
- Minnesota Twins / Seattle Mariners, Under 8 (+100, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -107)
- New York Yankees F5 (+125, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to +125)
- New York Yankees (+116, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to +109)
- New York Yankees / New York Mets, Over 8 (-115, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -125 or Over 8.5 to -106)
- Philadelphia Phillies F5 (-125, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to -130)
- Washington Nationals F5 (-135, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -140)
- Washington Nationals / Colorado Rockies, Over 9 (-120, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -122 or 9.5, -102)