Sunday MLB Betting Odds, Picks & Previews: Our 3 Best Bets, Featuring Cubs vs. Giants & Mariners vs. Astros (July 31)
Via Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Images. Pictured: Cubs pitcher Adrian Sampson.
- All 30 MLB teams play today in what should be a thrilling day of baseball.
- Our MLB experts have three best bets, including a plus-money play for Sunday Night Baseball.
- Check out their best bets and analysis below.
There’s a full MLB slate of 15 games on Sunday, which means there’s plenty of betting value to take advantage of. Our MLB experts have three best bets for you to tail, including a play on Sunday Night Baseball between the Cubs and Giants in San Francisco. Read on for their picks and analysis below.
MLB Odds & Picks
Cleveland Guardians vs. Tampa Bay Rays
Jules Posner: The Tampa Bay Rays look to clinch the series victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Sunday, and Shane McClanahan will do his best to make sure that happens.
As tough as the Cleveland Guardians’ offense has been on righties this season, they do not have that same edge against lefties. Over the past month, the Guardians offense is 27th in MLB in wRC+ against LHP on the road.
On the other side, the Rays offense is getting healthier, and with the addition of David Peralta, they’ve also gotten deeper. They already have been one of the better home offenses against RHP since the All-Star break. It remains to be seen if Peralta will make his Rays debut on Sunday, but the Diamondbacks are presently in Atlanta, so there’s a good chance he does.
The Guardians are going to have a bullpen game, and their bullpen is a solid unit. However, they’re going to have trouble generating offense against McClanahan.
The Rays’ runline opened near plus-money and quickly moved to -110 at the time of writing. If it remains in plus-money, then it should be the play, but if their runline remains at -1.5, it could be played to -115 or better.
Seattle Mariners vs. Houston Astros
William Boor: Over their past 20 games, the Mariners are 15-5 with all five losses coming against the Astros. However, Seattle came through with a huge come-from-behind win on Saturday night, and I’m expecting that momentum to carry over this afternoon.
Overall, the Astros may be a better team, but we’re getting the Mariners at plus-money on a day in which they have the starting pitching edge.
George Kirby is making the start for Seattle, and he’s been excellent of late. The 24-year-old right hander has given up just three earned runs over his past three starts (16 1/3 innings). He gave up just two hits and threw five scoreless innings in his most recent outing and is seemingly gaining confidence as he continues to learn about life in the Majors.
Kirby’s advanced metrics aren’t great, but he has been a bit better on the road (2.67 ERA) than at home (4.04 ERA) this season and just needs to put together a quality start as the Mariners should scratch across a few runs against Jake Odorizzi.
The Astros are 6-5 in Odorizzi’s starts this season, though he’s struggled of late. The 32-year-old veteran has given up nine runs over 10 1/3 innings across his past two starts.
The Seattle offense will also have some familiarity with Odorizzi as he’s faced them twice this season — albeit with mixed results. The Mariners tagged him for four runs in 4 1/3 innings in April, and then he twirled 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball against the Mariners in May.
Odorizzi doesn’t give up much hard contact as his Hard-Hit Percentage is in the 89th percentile, and his Average Exit Velocity is in the 67th percentile. However, his xBA is in the 26th percentile, and his Whiff Rate is in the 11th percentile. In simplest terms, the Mariners should have no trouble putting the bat on the ball, and when making consistent contact, good things tend to happen.
Over their past 10 games, the Mariners are averaging 3.5 runs per game. They’ll need to bump that up a bit, but there will be opportunities against Odorizzi. The Astros bullpen, while good, has regressed a bit of late and hasn’t been as dominant in July as it was early in the season. The Mariners will want to pounce early, but there’s no need to panic if this game is tied, or they’re down one late.
This line opened at +125, and I’d play it as long as Seattle is listed at plus-money.
Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants
Tanner McGrath: It’s a hold-your-nose pick, but there’s value with the Cubs on Sunday Night Baseball.
Adrian Sampson has been an average pitcher this season and provides hope, and the Cubs’ bullpen has been genuinely elite. The Chicago bullpen has been the biggest bright spot for the Cubs this season, having posted the third-lowest xFIP (3.62). The David Robertson-Scott Effross-Mychal Givens unit deserves a lot of respect.
So while Carlos Rodon should come in and shut down this Cubs lineup, there’s more upside with the Cubs pitching staff at huge plus-money.
Moreover, the Cubs are much better defensively and can field a full team. The Giants’ injuries are massive, given the two best hitters by OPS+ are off the field on Sunday Night Baseball (Evan Longoria and Joc Pederson).
I think there’s a good chance the Cubs steal this one on the road, and they’re playing well enough since the All-Star break to trust them. At anything better than +160, I’ll be on Chicago.
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