MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Friday, June 30th

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MLB schedule today has 15 games

The weekend has arrived with 15 games on Friday night as new series begin and series that started on Thursday continue. It is another one of those 5-5-5 days with five games in the NL, five in the AL, and five interleague matchups to think about. The card is lacking star power on the pitching side, so let’s see if offense rules the day or if some middle and back-of-the-rotation arms are able to step up for their respective teams.

 

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Here are some thoughts on the June 30 card (odds from DraftKings):

Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies (-180, 9.5)

Josiah Gray and Cristopher Sanchez are listed for this NL East battle, as the Nats and Phillies play one of five division games on Friday evening. Gray is still racking up regression signs, as he comes into this one with a 3.43 ERA, 4.33 xERA, and a 4.79 FIP in his 89.1 innings of work. The right-hander has an 83.6% LOB% with a 20.3% K% and has somehow been able to work around a 10.9% BB% in most of his 16 starts.

Gray saw some regression hit this month, as he allowed 15 runs in his first four starts, but fired 5.1 shutout innings last time out against the Padres, despite four walks. Gray’s ability to limit hard contact has been a big part of the equation with a 35.5% Hard Hit%. Even in June, where he has struggled a tad, he hasn’t allowed a HH% over 36.4%. His 11.1% SwStr% suggests that he could certainly have more punchouts, but it’s hard to believe in him long-term with the high BB% and the high LOB%.

Sanchez will make his fourth start, as he comes in with a 4.05 ERA, 3.34 xERA, and a 2.83 FIP over 13.1 innings. He’s allowed six runs on 11 hits with a 14/3 K/BB ratio and only one homer surrendered. He had a 4.35 ERA with a 5.35 FIP and a balloon walk rate in the minors, so it’s been interesting to see his early returns against the Rockies, A’s, and Mets. He was really strong against the A’s, limiting hard contact with a high SwStr%, but was less effective against both the Rockies and Mets, though the Colorado start came over two months ago.

The Nationals should have a decent chance at this high number, so long as Gray can stave off his regression signs. Sanchez is left-handed and Washington is still fourth in batting average and eighth in wOBA in that split. That number has tailed off quite a bit this month, though, as Washington is actually 20th with a .299 wOBA since June 1. I’ll keep moving down the card as a result.

Milwaukee Brewers (-135, 8.5) at Pittsburgh Pirates

Freddy Peralta and Osvaldo Bido participate in the second of five division games today, as the NL Central rivals meet at PNC Park. Peralta comes in riding the struggle bus with a 4.65 ERA, 4.16 xERA, and a 4.69 FIP over his 81.1 innings pitched. He has well over a strikeout per inning, but a very high HR/FB% with a 15.2% mark thanks to 14 homers allowed in 15 starts.

Peralta hasn’t been egregiously bad lately, but he does have a 5.98 ERA with a 5.98 FIP in his last eight starts. In five June starts, he’s actually allowed a 47.1% Hard Hit% with an 11.8% Barrel%. He has a 4.67 ERA with a 5.20 FIP in that span with 14 runs allowed on 21 hits in 27 innings of work. What’s odd is that Peralta has ramped up his swinging strike rate over his last four starts with a 14.2% mark and has 28 strikeouts, but still hasn’t been able to put his best foot forward.

Perhaps he can against the Pirates, who have figured out some of their struggles to a degree in recent games. Bido comes in with a 3.45 ERA, 3.41 xERA, and a 2.96 FIP in his three starts over 15.2 innings pitched. He’s actually got 18 strikeouts against five walks and has allowed just six runs on 18 hits in two outings against the Cubs and one against the Marlins. The Brewers are among the worst teams in baseball against lefties, though they have been better in June, posting a .307 wOBA that ranks 17th in that split.

I’ll take a stab with the Pirates tonight. Peralta hasn’t been super sharp and Milwaukee is still not trustworthy against lefties. But, the bigger reason I’m interested in the Pirates is because of the state of the Brewers bullpen. Closer Devin Williams has pitched four of the last five days. Elvis Peguero and Hoby Milner have each pitched five of the last six days. Joel Payamps has thrown 35 pitches over the last two days. Bryse Wilson would be working a third time in four days today. I can’t imagine Williams is available. The other guys might be, but that’s a lot of work in the span of six days.

Bido has thrown the ball well and is a lefty that the Brewers haven’t seen. Pittsburgh’s bullpen is also in way better shape, only getting used extensively yesterday in the big comeback win over the Padres.

Pick: Pirates +115

San Francisco Giants (-135, 9) at New York Mets

The Giants may have lost on Thursday, but Keaton Winn’s thoroughly efficient six-inning performance was huge in setting the team up for the weekend. Winn allowed a two-run homer in the sixth and San Francisco lost 2-1, but Tristan Beck was the only reliever used, so that sets the Giants up well for the weekend set against the Mets and next week’s series against the Mariners.

They’ll send out a starter today, as Alex Cobb makes his return from the 15-day IL. Cobb has a 3.09 ERA with a 4.07 xERA and a 3.25 FIP in his 78.2 innings pitched. The right-hander has a 58.9% GB% and that’s his biggest claim to fame this year, but he also has a solid 22.5% K% to go with a 6.2% BB%. 

Usually oblique injuries are a little worse and linger a little longer, but Cobb is back just 17 days after hitting the IL. He went 3.2 innings in one rehab start at Single-A against Oakland’s affiliate and allowed one run on three hits. His 44.5% Hard Hit% is the reason for the heightened xERA and he’s allowed a .349 BABIP because of it, but he’s only given up six homers, which again supports how important it is to avoid the long ball. With the one rehab assignment, I’d assume he’s around 75 pitches or something, so this could be a piggyback spot for a guy like Sean Manaea or Jakob Junis.

Carlos Carrasco goes for the Mets today, as he has a 6.19 ERA with a 6.22 xERA and a 6.57 FIP in 48 innings of work. His ugly K/BB numbers are a big part of the equation, along with a 21.6% HR/FB%. Carrasco has given up 12 homers in just 10 starts and his 10.6% BB% is easily a career worst. Since returning from the IL on May 19, he’s got a 5.24 ERA with a 6.25 FIP and hasn’t gotten more than 15 outs in his last four starts.

In that span, Carrasco has allowed a 46.4% Hard Hit%, so he continues to struggle in that regard. One interesting thing about his numbers this season is that righties have really hit him hard with a .299/.375/.598 slash and a .413 wOBA compared to a .238/.347/.381 slash and a .326 wOBA against from lefties. 

I’ll lay the Giants price today. Camilo Doval and the rest of the pen has had a chance to catch its breath recently and Cobb seems to have a pretty clear advantage over Carrasco, especially because he’s better at limiting homers and racking up strikeouts. The Giants are eighth in wOBA against righties overall and fourth in road wOBA against righties. The Giants are also fourth in BB%, so Carrasco’s control issues could come to the forefront, along with his penchant for giving up homers.

Pick: Giants -135

San Diego Padres (-135, 11) at Cincinnati Reds

Seth Lugo and Graham Ashcraft are the listed hurlers here as the Padres and Reds fire up a weekend set. Lugo owns a 4.01 ERA with a 4.93 xERA and a 3.78 FIP, while Ashcraft is having a far worse season with a 7.17 ERA, 5.84 xERA, and a 5.55 FIP. This will be Lugo’s third start back from the IL and the second for Ashcraft.

Lugo has allowed four runs on 10 hits in 10 innings with nine strikeouts and a walk in his two starts since coming back on June 20. He missed over a month due to injury and came back without making any rehab starts. I’m skeptical of Lugo’s 21.6% K% because he only has a 7.2% SwStr% on the season. He hasn’t had a single start with a double-digit SwStr%, so we’ll see how he fares on a warm day in Cincinnati with temps in the upper 80s. It should play like a hitter’s paradise again this evening.

The sample sizes are small, but Lugo has allowed a .339 wOBA and has a 4.94 ERA at home compared to a .304 wOBA and a 3.21 ERA on the road. Petco Park is generally a very forgiving venue, so I would’ve expected to see those flipped for him. 

Ashcraft actually started the season fairly well, holding the opposition to two or fewer runs in his first six starts. It has all fallen apart from there. He’s actually got a 12.82 ERA with a 7.73 FIP in his last eight starts covering 33 innings of work. He’s given up 48 runs on 59 hits with 11 homers surrendered in that span. He had a tough assignment coming back against the Braves on June 24, but he allowed six runs on 10 hits in four innings, including three homers.

The Padres are about as untrustworthy as it gets, so let’s see if they can do to Ashcraft what virtually everybody else has recently.

Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves (-190, 10)

Bryan Hoeing is the starter for the marlins and we knew that ahead of time. The Braves had a blank for a while, but it appears that spot will be filled by Michael Soroka. It feels like an eternity ago (2019) that Soroka had a 2.68 ERA with a 4.11 xERA and a 3.45 FIP over 174.2 innings for Atlanta. He’s only pitched 23.1 innings at the MLB level since and his two starts this season did not go well with nine runs allowed on 12 hits in 9.2 innings. He walked more (6) than he struck out (5).

However, Soroka seems to have smoothed out the rough edges down in Triple-A and comes up to the bigs on a high note. In his last three starts, he has allowed three earned runs over 19 innings with a 18/8 K/BB ratio. He’s actually allowed one earned run in each of his last five minor league outings. Atlanta has had a lot of moving parts in the rotation and this is a good time to turn to Soroka.

The right-handed Hoeing has a 2.31 ERA with a 3.61 xERA and a 3.56 FIP, so there are some regression signs in the profile, namely an 82.1% LOB%. He’s actually thrown nine scoreless in his last two starts and even no-hit the Pirates for five innings last time out with three walks and two strikeouts. 

This is a play I have absolutely no interest in, but Hoeing has allowed just three earned runs in his last 26.1 innings pitched. What the Marlins have done this season with multiple guys on the pitching staff and a patchwork lineup is impressive. Despite the one-run games record and some of their other signs of overachievement, I have to give them credit. It looks like I was wrong on this team.

Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles (-115, 8.5)

To the Junior Circuit we go, as the Twins and Orioles kick off today’s American League slate. It will be Pablo Lopez for the Twins, as he comes in with a 4.41 ERA, 3.12 xERA, and a 3.30 FIP. The advanced metrics suggest a lot of positive regression in his profile, which is largely tied to a 30.1% K%. You would think a K% that high would lend itself to higher than a 67.9% LOB%, but his batting average against with men on base is 85 points higher than when the bases are empty and he has a .452 BABIP against with RISP. He’s definitely had some negative Cluster Luck on the year.

After starting the season with five earned runs allowed in his first four starts, Lopez actually has a 5.40 ERA in his last 12 starts. His 3.53 FIP and 62.7% LOB% are suggestive of better times ahead, but he hasn’t been able to have the right kind of sequencing luck, despite huge K and SwStr% numbers.

Dean Kremer takes the bump for the O’s with a 4.50 ERA, ugly 5.73 xERA, and a 4.89 FIP. He’s allowed a lot of homers this season with 17 in 88 innings. His 20.6% K% could get a bump against the Twins, who strike out a ton, but the bigger bump for Kremer comes from pitching at home. He’s allowed a .319 wOBA at home and a .376 wOBA on the road, yet he has an identical 4.50 ERA in both splits. His BABIP against is 108 points higher on the road to create the discrepancy.

The other thing about Kremer, though, is that his K% is 23.4% on the road and just 17.9% at home, where he feels more comfortable pitching to contact. I’m not sure I’d use that strategy against the Twins today. I’d go for as many punchies as possible. Kremer has at least done that here in June with a 24% K%.

Not sure there’s a great edge to be had in this handicap, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see another line move towards the Twins with Lopez’s advanced stats.

Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (-140, 9)

The Red Sox scored two runs in a three-game series at Fenway Park against the Marlins and have dropped five straight as they head north to take on Toronto. The Blue Jays will send Jose Berrios in this one and Boston will counter with James Paxton. This is one of today’s better pitching matchups and it comes at Rogers Centre, where offense has been suppressed this season.

The most important thing to know about this game today is that Paxton has been dealing with some knee pain. The 34-year-old left-hander has already doubled the numbers of MLB innings he threw from 2020-22, so it isn’t a big surprise to see injuries pop up. He’s got a 3.19 ERA with a 3.36 xERA and a 3.42 FIP over his 42.1 innings on the season. 

Paxton was pulled after four innings against the White Sox when he allowed just a solo homer and one other hit over four innings of work. He only struck out three, which was a season low after striking out at least five in his other starts. He also had his lowest fastball velocity of the season, so we’ll see how the knee responds to treatment and if he makes it through his pregame bullpen okay. Paxton swears he’s fine and Alex Cora seems to support the decision to start him, so we’ll see how it plays out today.

Berrios has a 3.60 ERA with a 4.64 xERA and a 3.89 FIP in his 95 innings of work this season. His 32.8% Hard Hit% really stands out as a tremendous positive for the right-hander, as he’s done a great job of limiting hard contact after struggling badly with that last season when he had a 5.23 ERA with a 5.11 xERA in 172 innings. He’s also been a little more efficient about working deeper into games.

Berrios has allowed just a .277 wOBA in 36.1 innings at home with a 2.48 ERA. He’s allowed a .322 wOBA on the road with a 4.30 ERA. Rogers Centre has played to under eight total runs per game, so it’s become one of the premier pitching venues in baseball for some reason.

I think Toronto is a good play, even at the heavy favorite price, as the Red Sox are really in a funk again and a lot of trade rumors are swirling about who might be available at the Trade Deadline. I’m not sure Paxton will be sharp with the knee issue and Toronto is fourth in wOBA against lefties in the month of June with a .342 mark and a 120 wRC+.

Boston is only 25th in wOBA at .296 against righties on the road, as their offensive numbers have been propped up a good bit by Fenway Park throughout the season.

Pick: Blue Jays -140

Houston Astros at Texas Rangers (-170, 9)

Ronel Blanco and Jon Gray are the listed starters in the fifth and final division game of the day. Gray was slated to start yesterday, but the Rangers pushed him back a day. I really don’t know what Gray is going to provide here, as he has only made two starts in the last 23 days. He fired a complete game with 12 strikeouts against the Cardinals and then a blister issue popped up. He went 10 days between starts and allowed six runs on six hits in 2.1 innings against the Blue Jays before returning to throw five one-run innings against the Yankees.

At least these three starts are basically on regular rest, but Gray only had a 4.9% SwStr% against the Yankees in that last start. He only threw 56 pitches in that Blue Jays start and then 82 pitches in his Yankees start, so I’m not sure I’d expect anything over the top from him in this one. At least he’s a few more days removed from the blister issue, so that should be a positive for him.

Blanco has a 4.63 ERA with a 5.16 xERA and a 5.76 FIP in his 35 innings of work. The Astros are just 12-14 as they open up this huge series and a lot of talk has centered on the offense, but the rotation hasn’t been very good either. Blanco has had three decent starts and one bad start. On the whole, he has a 4.70 ERA for this month, with 12 runs allowed on 19 hits in 23 innings pitched. He’s given up seven homers, which is really the big problem. Of course, he’s also walked 11, so that’s another issue. But, he’s allowed three or fewer runs in three of those four starts against the Angels, Blue Jays, Reds, and Dodgers. 

Like I’ve mentioned a few times before, the betting markets clearly have very little interest in the Astros sans Yordan Alvarez and this is one of the underachievers being priced like one. That said, the Astros are only five games back as this series begins and the Rangers are just 14-12 this month themselves, as they’ve definitely experienced some negative regression on the scoring position side.

Chicago White Sox at Oakland Athletics

No line was posted this morning on this game, as the White Sox had not yet named a starter. Luis Medina gets the ball for Oakland, but the White Sox will cobble together some sort of pitching plan that features Jesse Scholtens. Scholtens last threw 58 pitches on Sunday. He could also be used in concert with Tanner Banks, who threw 63 pitches on Sunday. That would form a righty/lefty setup for the White Sox, with Touki Toussaint also available in relief.

Scholtens has been effective for Chicago with a 2.31 ERA, 3.56 xERA, and a 3.88 FIP in 23.1 innings. He’s made one start and eight relief appearances. A low strikeout rate and a .188 BABIP stand out to me as pretty clear negative regression signs. Also, he had a major home run problem in the minors and has only allowed one homer thus far with a 3.2% HR/FB%. Somehow, he’s only allowed a 35.7% Hard Hit% and a 5.7% Barrel% on the season.

Banks has a 4.50 ERA with a 5.76 xERA and a 4.55 FIP this season in 18 innings. He worked 53 innings last season with a 3.06 ERA, 4.08 xERA, and a 3.57 FIP in his 35 appearances. So, I’m not quite sure what to expect here. I do think Scholtens is a big-time negative regression candidate, which maybe we can take advantage of down the line.

It’s just hard to do it today against Medina, who has a 6.84 ERA with a 5.65 xERA and a 6.03 FIP in 48.2 innings of work. I talked yesterday about how the A’s have made some strides with guys like James Kaprielian, Hogan Harris, and even JP Sears. They may have found a little pixie dust for Medina as well, who has only allowed one home run in his last five appearances after giving up 10 homers in his first five outings.

Absolutely no play on this one today.

Tampa Bay Rays (-130, 7.5) at Seattle Mariners

We’ve got a damn good pitching matchup here, as Shane McClanahan gets the call for the road Rays and Bryce Miller goes for the home Mariners. McClanahan and the Rays are a road favorite here, as the Mariners are 24th in wOBA against southpaws and have the third-highest K% in that split at 26.9%. This would seem to be a really good matchup for Mac, who still has one major regression sign that is hard to ignore.

He’s got a 90% LOB%. His K% is actually a career-low at 26.7%, which is still exceptional, but to run a 90% LOB% takes a lot of good luck and good fortune. I guess he’s had it, with just a .258 BABIP against. He’s even got an elevated BB% at 9.4% that hasn’t impacted him negatively. He’s allowed a .168 BA with men on base and a .148 BA with men in scoring position. He’s also only walked nine guys with men on base in 140 PA compared to 26 BB in 234 PA with the bases empty. He’s also given up eight solo homers compared to just two multi-run dingers.

Miller has a 3.88 ERA with a 4.13 xERA and a 3.38 FIP over his 10 starts covering 55.2 innings. That’s not a bad start to his Major League career at all and he has bounced back nicely with five earned runs allowed over his last 17.1 innings pitched. He gave up 15 runs in two starts against the Yankees and Rangers on May 29 and June 4, respectively, but has been pretty good outside of those two blow-ups. That being said, he only has a 19.7% K% if you take away his first start when he struck out 10 against the A’s. His Hard Hit% is 40.4% in his other nine starts and he had a 14.3% mark in his second start against Oakland and a 28.6% mark against Detroit.

The Rays certainly bring a better lineup to the table than what he’s seen in some of his stronger outings. He’s allowed some high Hard Hit% marks against better offenses and even a few subpar ones along the way. The one thing holding me back from laying the Tampa price is that Miller has held the opposition to a .250 wOBA at home in 113 PA. The Rays offense in June isn’t what it has been otherwise this season. They’re actually 29th in wOBA against lefties, which is something to keep in mind when they face another one. They’re eighth in wOBA against righties and do draw one today in Miller.

The other thing is that Seattle is actually 12th in wOBA with a .324 mark against lefties in June, so they’ve slowly, but surely, been improving in that department. McClanahan’s 90% LOB% is still worrisome to me as well. So, ultimately, I’m staying away here. But I think this is a really good game to handicap and look for edges if you can find any.

Cleveland Guardians at Chicago Cubs (-200, 8.5)

The betting markets could not fade Cal Quantrill fast enough today, as Cleveland draws a pretty bad matchup against lefty Justin Steele. This is also a random early game at Wrigley Field and the only day game on the card. I think it’s a perfect storm of Quantrill’s return and Cleveland’s pathetic offensive performances against lefties that moved this number, but you almost never see a line move of this magnitude in a late June baseball game without some sort of injury announcement.

Look, it’s hard to argue the move and the size of it. Quantrill has a 5.61 ERA with a 5.84 xERA and a 4.93 FIP in his 59.1 innings at the MLB level this season. He was one of the league’s worst pitchers when he went down with shoulder pain, which may have been a phantom IL stint in hopes of getting him back on track. This will be his first MLB start since May 30. He allowed 14 runs on 12 hits in his final 8.1 innings before getting sidelined. In one rehab start, he threw five shutout innings for Double-A Akron with three strikeouts against a walk.

To be honest, I have no idea why Cleveland felt the need to rush Quantrill back when he had more to work on than just his health. Logan Allen and the other youngsters are doing just fine in the rotation, but Allen was sent down to work on his efficiency and Quantrill was the first available option to come up.

There isn’t much that needs to be said about Steele, who has a 2.62 ERA with a 3.15 xERA and a 2.83 FIP. He’s been extremely stingy this season with a 49.3% GB%, just three homers allowed in 79 innings pitched, and solid K/BB rates. This is his third start back from an IL stint and he has allowed three runs on 10 hits in those 11 innings. 

Cleveland’s offense certainly perked up in June, but they’re still 16th in wOBA against lefties at .307 with a 95 wRC+ against southpaws. It’s an interesting lineup today with days off for Steven Kwan and Josh Naylor and Tyler Freeman leading off with David Fry out in left field at Wrigley. We’ll see how it all goes, especially on the Cal front.

Detroit Tigers (-115, 11) at Colorado Rockies

How bad has Austin Gomber been? The Tigers are a road favorite at Coors Field as this interleague set gets underway. The Rockies had a long night last night as an incredible hailstorm covered the ballpark in what looks like a June snowfall. The start of the game was delayed nearly two hours and downtown Denver experienced some flooding as the severe weather rolled through. Props to the grounds crew for actually helping to get last night’s game in.

Not only was it a late night for the Rockies, but then they lost 14-3, so we’ll see how excited they are to be back at the ballpark today. At least the game itself only took 2:55 to play, so the teams got out fairly quickly.

Gomber has a 7.01 ERA with a 6.89 xERA and a 6.28 FIP over his 77 innings pitched. There is nothing in his profile that looks promising. He’s allowed 19 homers. He has a 15.3% K% with a 65% LOB%. I guess his 8.4% BB% is fine, but he’s allowed a .301 batting average, so he’s given up plenty of hits to negate that strength. He’s also allowed a 46% Hard Hit% and an 11% Barrel%, so those are two problem areas. He’s allowed at least a 10.5% Barrel% in each of his last six starts.

In 42.1 innings covering 196 plate appearances, he has allowed a .337/.390/.646 slash with a .435 wOBA at Coors Field this season. He’s given up 12 homers and 17 doubles. It’s a shame that the Tigers only have two lefties on the roster, as lefties have a .508 wOBA against Gomber in 75 PA, but righties have done well with a .365 wOBA in 271 PA. Incredibly, June has actually been Gomber’s worst month with a .420 wOBA against. He allowed a .394 wOBA in April and a .374 wOBA in June. To put that into perspective, Ronald Acuna Jr. has a .421 wOBA for the season, so opposing hitters are collectively Acuna against Gomber in June.

Lorenzen is actually having a decent season for Detroit, as he has a 3.97 ERA with a 4.54 xERA and a 4.44 FIP. The high xERA and FIP are byproducts of his 18.6% K% and the 11 homers that he has allowed. The tough thing about Lorenzen here is that he’s allowed five or more runs five times in his 13 starts. He’s also allowed one or zero runs in six starts. When he’s been good, he’s been really good. When he’s been bad, he’s been quite bad.

The Tigers are 11th in wOBA at .324 against lefties this month, even though they only have a .248 BABIP in that split. They have a sub-20% K% and a league-leading 11.4% BB%. Coors Field may help with the BABIP issue in this series and their selectivity could get some free baserunners off of Gomber.

I was torn between the short favorite price on Detroit or the over here. The Rockies are 20th in wOBA this month at .305 and tied for last in wRC+ at 75. For the season, they are third in wOBA against righties at home, but they are just 17th this month at .325 with a 76 wRC+. It’s also going to be a cooler evening in Denver, albeit more humid than usual.

I think I trust the Tigers to get the win more than the over. Detroit is 12th in Hard Hit% and 10th in Barrel% this month, so they’ve made some high-quality contact. That Barrel% is higher than teams like the Giants, Dodgers, and Blue Jays in June. They’re also 23-20 against teams with losing records, so they’ve been pretty good against comparable peers.

Pick: Tigers -115

Los Angeles Dodgers (-215, 9.5) at Kansas City Royals

It was a late arrival in Kansas City for the Dodgers, who got into Missouri at 4:11 a.m. Los Angeles’s 757 didn’t leave DEN until 1:15 a.m. and had to maneuver around some weather on the way to MCI. You have to wonder if that puts them at a disadvantage today. It is Bobby Miller day for the Dodgers, but it is also a big day for the Royals.

Competitive balance second-round pick Alec Marsh will make his MLB debut for KC. The 25-year-old right-hander started the season at Double-A and made 11 starts with a 5.32 ERA and a 4.08 FIP before moving up to Triple-A, where he had a 2.40 ERA with a 3.49 FIP in 15 innings of work. Marsh added velo coming out of Arizona State when he got into the Royals system and has 75 strikeouts in 62.1 innings this season.

The high fastball that Marsh likes to throw can give him some homer problems, as he allowed 27 in just 114.1 innings last season at Double-A. He’s only given up five this season, so that’s a big positive. He allowed four runs on 13 hits in his three Triple-A starts and took to the league well, so he gets the call here.

The Dodgers send Miller out there hoping for a bounce back start out of him. He’s allowed 15 runs on 29 hits in 32.2 innings with a 31/13 K/BB ratio in six starts to begin his MLB career. But, he’s had issues in his last two starts with 13 runs allowed on 17 hits in 9.2 innings of work. The Giants and Astros both did a number on him, as he ran on the wrong side of some batted ball luck, but did also allow the first two homers of his MLB sample.

I wish Marsh was a little more projectable or maybe that the Dodgers were getting a guy I was more familiar with like Daniel Lynch with their late arrival. I wouldn’t be shocked if they are quite sluggish today, especially with temps in the 90s. Storms are also hovering for this game, so it could be delayed. It’s a tricky handicap.

New York Yankees at St. Louis Cardinals (-115, 9.5)

Luis Severino and Matthew Liberatore are the listed starters for this one at Busch Stadium, where weather is again a concern in the I-70 corridor. It does look like there may be a nice window