MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Picks for Phillies vs. Marlins, Cubs vs Yankees, More (Friday, July 7)

MLB Predictions Today | Odds, Picks for Phillies vs. Marlins, Cubs vs Yankees, More (Friday, July 7) article feature image

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Seiya Suzuki and Cody Bellinger

The final Friday slate of the first half of the MLB season features all 30 teams in action. The All-Star Break is looming next week in Seattle, which makes Friday the start of the final series prior to the break.

Two of the league's hottest teams will begin a series in Miami as the Phillies visit the Marlins, and the two best teams in the league begin a series in Tampa Bay as the Braves visit the Rays.

The Orioles and Twins played three games in Baltimore last weekend and they'll conclude their season series with three games in Minnesota beginning on Friday on Apple TV+.

Carlos Rodon makes his Yankees debut in the Bronx against former Yankee Jameson Taillon and the Cubs, while Alek Manoah makes his return from the minor leagues for the Blue Jays against the Tigers in Detroit.

Here are my three best bets for Friday's MLB slate:

The ultimate MLB betting cheat code

Best bets for every game

Profitable data-driven system picks

Tail the sharpest bettors in the world

Phillies vs. Marlins

6:40 p.m. ET · Zack Wheeler vs. Sandy Alcantara

The market consistently moved toward Sandy Alcantara for the majority of his starts last season, and nearly the opposite has been true in the last month. Friday could present a solid opportunity to buy Alcantara low after a series of up and down starts.

It's unclear to me where exactly the Phillies have advantages in this matchup to the point where they are -130 road favorites on Friday night. Wheeler projects marginally better than Alcantara, and the Phillies' lineup is somewhat better than Miami's, but not by much. The Phillies and Marlins have both been league-average offenses in 2023 with a 99 wRC+, ranking 18th and 19th, respectively, in the category.

The Phillies have the better bullpen in general, but that's not the case after Philadelphia used all of its top arms in an 11-inning win on Thursday in Tampa Bay. Miami didn't use any of its high leverage pitchers in a 3-0 loss to St. Louis.

It was always unlikely that Alcantara could maintain his unsustainably good weak contact numbers from 2022 despite posting league-average strikeout rates. It's also unlikely he'll run as bad as he has this year. His Stuff+ and Pitching+ numbers are comparable to 2022 overall, and while the changeup is getting hit harder, an aggressive Phillies lineup should help Alcantara go deep into this game and keep his pitch count down.

His numbers deep into games have fallen off much faster than last year, too. He's allowing an .805 OPS the third time through the order, showing more fatigue this year than he did last year.

This game should be lined as a coin flip, and I'd bet Miami at +110 or better to end Philadelphia's 12-game road winning streak.

Pick: Marlins ML (+110 or Better)

Cubs vs. Yankees

7:05 p.m. ET · Jameson Taillon vs. Carlos Rodón

There's a lot of pitcher uncertainty in the Bronx on Friday because of Carlos Rodón's debut and Jameson Taillon's recent struggles on the mound. Taillon hasn't been able to get lefties out all season long and he's tweaking his pitch mix in an attempt to rectify that. He's upped his cutter usage in recent outings to get in on the lefties, but the pitch is allowing a .600 SLG this season.

Lefties are slashing an absurd .308/.395/.654 against Taillon. There's always a danger in reading too far into the small sample platoon splits, but the change in pitch mix suggests that Taillon and the Cubs are aware of the issue. Taillon did register a lot of strikeouts in two of his last three outings, but most of them were called strikes. He's produced a swinging strike rate below 10% in each of his last three outings.

For the season, Taillon is at 8.9%, but none of the last three outings have seen him produce more than a 6.3% whiff rate.

Rodón had 17 strikeouts in 10 innings in the minor leagues during his rehab. The market is still pricing him with this total like normal Rodón, but he's on a pitch count and part of me wonders if he might have a bit of a homer problem pitching in Yankee Stadium. His numbers were elite in San Francisco last year with a deadened ball and a better home park — he allowed 0.61 HR/9.

The Cubs are in their better offensive split (9th in wRC+ against lefties) and Rodón won't maintain close to that level of HR allowance in New York. The heat and humidity should help the ball carry, too, even if the wind forecast is quite negligible for offense.

Orioles vs. Twins

8:10 p.m. ET · Cole Irvin vs. Bailey Ober

The Twins have the starting pitcher and rest advantage on Friday night as the Orioles come to town to play them for the second consecutive weekend series.

Minnesota had an off day Thursday, so it should have its full strength lineup available on Friday night, including Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa.

Minnesota right-hander Bailey Ober is a pitcher the projection systems haven’t liked for much of his MLB career, but Ober has consistently beat said projections and is undervalued by the market because of it.

Ober has now pitched 225 MLB innings across three different seasons, and the right-hander has a 3.44 ERA and 3.76 FIP.

Even with a higher run environment this season, I think The BAT is too bearish on his rest-of-season projections (4.47 ERA), as he’s posted league-average strikeout rates, excellent walk rates and has enough deception to avoid consistent barrels from opposing hitters.

Cole Irvin is about a full run worse in ERA and his Stuff+ rating of 79 is among the worst for regular MLB starters. He normally can make up for the poor stuff with plus command, but his 3.73 BB/9 is a major issue for him consistently getting outs.

I’d bet Minnesota at -155 or better on Friday night, as it owns a bigger starting pitcher edge than the market is suggesting with this price.

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.