MLB Predictions Tuesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (July 9)

MLB Predictions Tuesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (July 9) article feature image
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Credit: Getty Images. Pictured: Lars Nootbaar (left), Zac Gallen (right).

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 find expert projections for every MLB game on Friday 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 Tuesday, July 9.

MLB Predictions Tuesday | Expert Picks, Odds, Preview Today (July 9)

Tuesday, July 9
7:10 p.m. ET
NESN
Athletics Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-128
10
-105o / -115u
+152
Red Sox Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+106
10
-105o / -115u
-180
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Joey Estes (OAK) vs. Brayan Bello (BOS)

Conditions should be favorable for both offenses at Fenway Park on Tuesday — 87 degrees at first pitch, with 9 mph winds blowing out toward left-center field.

The conditions triggered a pair of Action Labs systems for wind and weather, including one for Hot and Windy Overs, which has a 55.2% win rate and a 6.9% ROI since 2005.

The same systems also triggered for Tuesday's matchup between the Dodgers and Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, where I also bet the Over:

The system has only returned 3.6% since 2019 (since sports betting legalization) and is only 27-21-2 in Philadelphia and 17-18-2 in Boston in a pair of relatively limited samples.

Still, with my weather adjustment, I set the total at 10.25 runs for Tuesday's matchup in Boston — compared to 9.73 runs on a weather-neutral day at Fenway — and I bet the Over near open. My adjustment for Dodgers-Phillies increased that projected total by more than a full run.

Bets: Over 9.5 (10, +100 or better)

Pick: Over 9.5 (or Over 10 at +100 or better)
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Tuesday, July 9
7:45 p.m. ET
BSMW
Royals Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+160
8
-106o / -114u
+100
Cardinals Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-194
8
-106o / -114u
-118
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Michael Wacha (KCR) vs. Andre Pallante (STL)

With Lars Nootbaar returning to their lineup on Tuesday, the Cardinals' batting order looks as deep as it has all year.

Their starting pitcher, Andre Pallante, has subpar command numbers (8.8% K-BB%) and pitch modeling metrics (94 Pitching+).

Still, Pallante has carried the second-highest ground-ball rate (min. 100 innings) over the past three seasons (67.7%), just behind Clay Holmes (69.9%) and ahead of Brusdar Graterol (63.9%) and Jhoan Duran (62.7%).

Pallante avoids barrels (3.5% career) and keeps the ball in the yard (0.77 HR/9).

Surprisingly, Pallante throws a four-seamer far more frequently than his sinker, but the four-seam has maintained that high ground-ball rate (71.5% in 2022, 83.5% in 2023, 75.4% in 2024).

Oddly, Pallante has thrown his sinker more often than ever this season, but the ground-ball rate has halved from 75% to 34.5%, year over year, causing his overall ground-ball rate to dip relative to prior seasons.

Pallante will face a Royals offense that has performed far better at home (109 wRC+, 11th) than on the road (80 wRC+, 28th).

I don't put as much stock as others into home/road splits, but I do find it odd that the Royals have the lowest strikeout rate (16.7%) at home with a league-average walk rate, but rank 11th in K% on the road (21.3%) and 29th in walk rate (6.5%) — an extreme slide in plate discipline.

I'm not manually adjusting the Royals up or down — whether they're playing at Kauffman Stadium or not — but if I did, it would only give me a more substantial projected edge in this matchup.

The most significant differential in this series lies in the bullpens: Cardinals relievers rank 6th in xFIP, 16th in K-BB% and 7th in Pitching+. Royals relievers rank 30th, 29th and 28th by the same three data points, and I'd project the Cardinals bullpen for a near half-run advantage on a season-long ERA.

Conditions should suppress offense, with 11-15 mph winds blowing in from left field. I set this total at 7.55 runs.

Bets: Cardinals F5 Moneyline (-125 or better) | Cardinals Full-Game Moneyline (-125 or better) | Under 8.5 (8, -105 or better)

Pick: Cardinals F5 Moneyline
Pick: Cardinals Full-Game Moneyline
Pick: Under 8.5 (or 8 at -105 or better)
Tuesday, July 9
9:40 p.m. ET
ARID
Braves Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
+128
7.5
-115o / -105u
-130
Diamondbacks Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-154
7.5
-115o / -105u
+110
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Chris Sale (ATL) vs. Zac Gallen (ARI)

Zac Gallen has thrown at reduced velocity throughout the season and shown declining pitch modeling metrics (99 Stuff+, 99 Pitching) relative to prior seasons (106 Stuff+, 107 Pitching+ in 2023; 110 and 108, respectively, in 2022).

Still, after missing most of June with a hamstring injury, Gallen's velocity and Stuff+ ratings have rebounded in his past two starts, sitting at 95.2 mph and 95.9 mph on his fastball compared to an average of 92.9 mph before the IL stint.

Both of those starts represent multiyear velocity highs for Gallen, and he averaged a 113 Stuff+ figure in those efforts — 14 points above his season average (123 on his fastball vs. 102 this season).

Bets: Diamondbacks Full-Game Moneyline (+110 or better)

Zerillo's Bets for Tuesday, July 9

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

  • Arizona Diamondbacks (+114, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to +110)
  • Chicago Cubs F5 (+150, 0.25u) at Bet365 (small to +142)
  • Chicago Cubs (+155, 0.25u) at Bet365 (small to +145)
  • Colorado Rockies / Cincinnati Reds, Over 8.5 (-110, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to 9, +100)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers / Philadelphia Phillies, Over 9 (+104, 0.5u) at DraftKings (bet to -105)
  • Minnesota Twins / Chicago White Sox, Over 8 (-104, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -112)
  • Oakland Athletics / Boston Red Sox, Over 9.5 (-115, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -118 or 10, +100)
  • San Francisco Giants (-125, Risk 0.5u) at Bet365 (flat to -126)
  • San Diego Padres (+130, 0.5u) at Superbook (bet to +119)
  • St. Louis Cardinals / Kansas City Royals, Under 8.5 (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to 8, -105)
  • St. Louis Cardinals F5 (-110, 0.5u) at FanDuel (bet to -125)
  • St. Louis Cardinals (-114, 0.4u) at Superbook (bet to -125)

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