MLB Best Bets Today June 6

Ten games are on the MLB betting board for today, but I have to admit that I am distracted. Home runs have spiked this month and it could be the weather, it could be a different baseball, or it could be a combination of both. So, I’m trying to run through some data and some numbers to see what I can figure out and also have reached out to one of the stat sites for a potential inaccuracy.

In doing this for a long time, the fact that the playing object fundamentally changes over the course of a season is remarkably frustrating and, when paired with the current slump I’m in, it becomes even more of a mental hurdle to overcome. We’ll see what the data says as I dig in deeper and try to figure out if baseball has a new normal, if something else is at play, or if the picks are just trash right now, but it will take some time to figure that out.


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For now, it’s back to trying to swing my way out of a terrible stretch.

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Here are the MLB best bets today for June 6:

Atlanta Braves (-148, 8.5) at Washington Nationals

6:45 p.m. ET

The Braves and Nationals square off on Thursday evening to kick off a four-game weekend set. It will be Reynaldo Lopez for Atlanta and Mitchell Parker for Washington. Lopez is on some extra rest here thanks to some changes to the Braves rotation, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing for a reliever turned starter. He’s been successful in most of his starts this season, but he’s been strong in all of his starts on this kind of rest.

Lopez has a 1.73 ERA with a 2.72 FIP, so there are some modest signs of negative regression, but he’s only allowed two homers this season and a 6.6% Barrel%. He draws a Nationals lineup that is the worst in baseball over the last 30 days with an 80 wRC+, so this should be a pretty decent spot for him.

Also, when the Braves played a four-game set against the Nationals recently, he wasn’t one of the starters. Meanwhile, the Braves just saw Parker back on May 27 and scored three runs on five hits over 6.1 innings. It was a solid start for Parker, though he did allow two Barrels and a 44.4% Hard Hit%. He limited hard contact against Cleveland last time out to end a run of five straight starts with a HH% of 41% or higher.

I like that the Braves just saw him. Also, the Braves, for all of their offensive maladies, still rank ninth in wRC+ against lefties this season. Travis d’Arnaud is also an offensive upgrade over Sean Murphy for this one if Murph is still out after getting hit by a pitch earlier this week.

The other thing to watch with the Braves is that the ball seems to be carrying better now and we know that a big component of their offense is hitting home runs. The Nationals have hit one homer over the last seven days and Lopez is very stingy with those. Parker has only allowed five, but they’ve come over his last five starts.

Lastly, the Braves pen is very well-rested here and the Nationals pen has been pretty busy of late.

Pick: Braves -148

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds (-125, 9.5)

7:10 p.m. ET

We’ll see Javier Assad and Hunter Greene in this one. Based on the year-to-date stats for both guys, a total of 9.5 seems quite high. Greene has a 3.44 ERA with a 3.52 FIP and Assad has a 2.27 ERA with a 3.72 FIP. But, it will be a very warm night in Cincinnati with the wind blowing out and this ballpark plays very different when it warms up.

Assad is also a pretty big negative regression candidate and it seems like he’s building towards it here of late. His FIP is nearly a run and a half higher than his ERA and he has a 4.02 xFIP with a 3.72 xERA. Assad has allowed nine runs on 14 hits in his last three starts covering 15 innings. He’s also facing the Reds for the second straight time, but what really stands out to me is that he’s issued 11 walks in those last three starts. He’s also allowed four homers and has been below his season average GB% in each of those three starts.

If he’s going to elevate the ball and provide free baserunners on a warm night in Cincinnati, those are going to be problematic. He’s a guy with just a 6.2% SwStr% and single digits in 11 of his 12 starts.

Greene is a fly ball guy who could very well have problems as the weather warms up as well. Also, he’s coming off of a start against the Cubs in which he allowed five runs and walked five over six innings of work. Greene also allowed a 60% Hard Hit%, so he was really fortunate to get through six innings like he did. His fastball velo was also down nearly 2 mph from his season average in that last start and he’s had a couple of those here lately.

He’s the last pitcher from the top 10 in four-seam fastball velocity last season to not get hurt, so I definitely have concerns almost every time he goes out there and especially when he has had a drop. He bounced back nicely from May 9 to May 14 against Arizona when his velo was down, but he’s at home on a warm night here.

Since TJ Friedl came back, the Reds offense has improved, and while some of that is inflated by Coors Field, Great American Ball Park is usually the second-best park for offense in the NL when it warms up.

The Reds also used six relievers yesterday and the Cubs used five, so that’s a factor for me as well.

Pick: Cubs/Reds Over 9.5 (-108)