MLB Predictions Thursday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (June 6)

MLB Predictions Thursday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (June 6) article feature image
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Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: CJ Abrams.

Welcome to Opening Pitch, our daily column that you'll find throughout the 2024 MLB season.

The goal for Opening Pitch is to highlight top daily projection edges for MLB moneylines and totals, share favorite bets and provide some betting notes and analysis.

As a reminder, you can find all my bets in the Action Network App and get live alerts every time I log a new bet.

You can also find expert projections for every MLB game in the Action App (on both the PRO Projections tab and the game pages) and our Projections Hub.

You can also shop for the best lines on our MLB Odds page.

Here are my favorite bets for Thursday, June 6.

MLB Predictions Thursday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (June 6)

Thursday, June 6
1:10 p.m. ET
BSKC
Royals Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-178
7.5
-110o / -110u
+128
Guardians Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+146
7.5
-110o / -110u
-152
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Brady Singer (KC) vs. Tanner Bibee (CLE)

Progressive Field has a park factor of 104 (11th) this season (100 is average). It has a 120 park factor (4th) for home runs, compared to an average park factor of 94 (22nd), and an 89 park factor for homers (22nd) from the 2021-2023 seasons.

As a team, the Guardians are pulling the ball more frequently (42.2%, 5th) and hitting pitches in the air more consistently (37.5%, 18th) compared to the past couple of seasons (29th in pull rate, 26th in fly-ball rate between the 2022 and 2023 seasons).

Still, Progressive Field might be playing a bit differently, too, after the organization refurbished the upper deck in right field, removing shipping containers that created a potential wind stream:

It all makes sense now for the 40-20 first-place Cleveland Guardians. pic.twitter.com/MZcwHl5VU2

— Declan Goff (@DexsTweets) June 5, 2024

Games at Progressive Field are 15-11-2 to the Over this season (57.7% win, 11% ROI), winning by an average margin of 0.84 runs.

I set Thursday's today at 8.27 runs. Temperatures will be 71 degrees at first pitch, with a 13 mph cross breeze blowing from left to right across the diamond.

Bets: Over 7.5 (8, -101 or better)

Pick: Over 7.5 (8, -101 or better)
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Thursday, June 6
6:40 p.m. ET
SportsNet LA
Dodgers Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
-120
9
-108o / -112u
-188
Pirates Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
+100
9
-108o / -112u
+158
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Walker Buehler (LAD) vs. Bailey Falter (PIT)

Wednesday's game in Pittsburgh featured an offensive outburst from both clubs, ending in a 10-6 win for the Pirates. They'll look to clinch a series victory against the Dodgers on Thursday.

In his return from Tommy John surgery, Walker Buehler has shown middling results (4.02 xERA) and pitch modeling metrics (97 Stuff+, 101 Location+). I view Buehler toward the midpoint of his projected FIP range (3.80 to 4.18), along the lines of a No. 3 starter.

Bailey Falter (4.72 xERA, 8.9% K-BB%, 84 Stuff+, 99 Location+) is a replacement-level arm who has carried a 3.22 ERA thanks to a .195 BABIP (.277 career) and a 78.5% strand rate (72.1% career) — he's overdue for an implosion.

The Pirates have also used their best relievers — David Bednar, Aroldis Chapman, and Colin Holderman — on back-to-back days.

Conditions should favor hitters (75 degrees at first pitch, 10 mph winds blowing out to center field). I set the total at 9.36 runs.

Bets: Over 8.5 (9, -104 or better)

Thursday, June 6
6:45 p.m. ET
BSSE
Braves Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
-113
9
102o / -124u
-186
Nationals Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-106
9
102o / -124u
+156
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Reynaldo Lopez (ATL) vs. Mitchell Parker (WAS)

Mitchell Parker (3.60 ERA, 3.46 xERA, 15.3% K-BB%) has drastically outpitched his projections (projected FIP range of 4.34 to 4.54). Pitching models aren't entirely convinced on the profile (93 Stuff+, 100 Location+).

Reynaldo Lopez (3.71 xERA, 15.5% K-BB%) has similar indicators as Parker, although his ERA (1.73) is significantly lower. This is thanks to an 82.8% strand rate (72% career) and 3.4% HR/FB rate (10.8% career).

His pitch modeling metrics (96 Stuff+, 102 Location+) have also taken a hit after he spent all of 2023 as a reliever (125 Stuff+, 99 Location+). We'll see if he can continue to maintain a sub-four ERA.

The Nationals have manufactured runs on the basepaths, with 95 steals on 118 attempts (80.5%) — first in MLB in both categories. Per FanGraphs, they rank sixth in baserunning value but 28th in defensive value. Washington also ranks 24th by Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and 26th by Outs Above Average (OAA).

Atlanta ranks between 9th and 12th by the exact three defensive measurements; it is 18th in baserunning value.

I set Thursday's total at 9.18 runs. With temperatures at 80 degrees for a nighttime matchup, we're getting into summer weather.

Bets: Over 8.5 (-116 or better)

Thursday, June 6
9:40 p.m. ET
ARID
Diamondbacks Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-192
8.5
-110o / -110u
+110
Padres Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+158
8.5
-110o / -110u
-130
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Slade Cecconi (ARI) vs. Randy Vasquez (SD)

I have bet on Slade Ceccconi (3.63 xERA, 12.1% K-BB%) and Randy Vasquez (5.41 xERA, 10.8% K-BB%) more than most as both pitchers rate highly by pitching models.

Cecconi owns a 99 Stuff+, 103 Location+ and 103 Pitching+, with a sharp slider (115 Stuff+) and curveball (108).

Vasquez has returned a 106 Stuff+, 104 Location+ and 103 Pitching+. His slider (139) and curveball (126) rate better than Cecconi's, but Vasquez also has a potentially above-average sinker (101) and cutter (101).

Results haven't approximated that upside (4.06 ERA, 4.85 xFIP, 9.8% K-BB%) through 64 career innings. Still, Vasquez offers vast potential.

Cecconi doesn't possess the same upside, but he does have a higher floor at present — his walk rate (4.6% career) is less than half what Vasquez has permitted (9.8%).

I projected the game as a virtual coin flip and set the total at 7.75 runs.

Bets: Diamondbacks Full-Game Moneyline (+108 or better) | Under 8.5 (8, +100 or better)

Pick: Diamondbacks Moneyline (+108 or better)
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Zerillo's Bets for Thursday, June 6

For additional bet notifications, follow me in the Action Network App.

  • Atlanta Braves F5 (-135, 0.25u) at Bet365 (small to -145)
  • Atlanta Braves / Washington Nationals, Over 8.5 (-110, 0.5u) at Caesars (bet to -116)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (+110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to +108)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks / San Diego Padres, Under 8.5 (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to 8, +100)
  • Kansas City Royals / Cleveland Guardians, Over 7.5 (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to 8, -101)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers / Pittsburgh Pirates, Over 8.5 (-115, 0.5u) at BetMGM (bet to 9, -104)
  • Minnesota Twins (+137, 0.5u) at WynnBet (bet to +125)
  • Seattle Mariners / Oakland Athletics, Under 8 (-110, 0.25u) at BetMGM (small to -115)

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