MLB Best Bets Today June 11

We have a full slate of baseball to bet on with all 30 teams back in action. There were only 14 teams on the field on Monday and it was a light day for picking games. There are a lot more options on today’s betting board, including a ton of interleague play. In fact, the only non-interleague series are Marlins/Mets, Pirates/Cardinals, Yankees/Royals, and White Sox/Mariners.

That means we get 11 matchups between teams that don’t see each other very often. And, yet, we still have a lot of big favorite roles on the card.


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Here are the MLB best bets today for June 11:

Cleveland Guardians (-118, 9) at Cincinnati Reds

7:10 p.m. ET

I’ve had this spot circled since last week when I noticed that the Guardians were sending Triston McKenzie to the mound down in Cincinnati. McKenzie looks objectively bad right now. He’s allowed 12 runs on 20 hits in his last 15.1 innings, including eight home runs. He does have 21 strikeouts in that span, but he still can’t find his missing velocity and his body language speaks to a pitcher going through it right now.

The Reds are playing good ball. Their offensive numbers over the last 14 days feature a 120 wRC+. They did have a series at Coors Field in there, but wRC+ accounts for that. They’ve racked up a .272/.348/.437 slash with a .345 wOBA. Cleveland has played well offensively, too, but the Reds will open with Brent Suter and then follow, in all likelihood, with Nick Martinez.

Martinez isn’t quite as stretched out as I would like, as he threw 11 pitches last Friday and 18 last Wednesday, but the Reds have needed him in short relief more than they’ve needed him as a bulker. No team in baseball leverages platoons as well as the Guardians, but this is not an ideal setup for them.

What could be ideal for Cleveland is a bullpen game late, as their bullpen is arguably the best in baseball and all the arms are pretty rested after Saturday’s blowout win and Monday’s off day. That’s why I’m just going with the 1st 5 here. The whole goal is to fade McKenzie down in Cincinnati where it is very, very rough to be a fly ball pitcher.

Plus, I like the Suter/Martinez tandem. While their ERAs are not off the charts good, I think they complement each other well in this situation and Martinez has pitched better than his 4.13 ERA with a 2.89 xERA and a 3.15 FIP.

Pick: Reds 1st 5 (-115)

Toronto Blue Jays (-118, 8.5) at Milwaukee Brewers

8:10 p.m. ET

Yusei Kikuchi and Carlos F. Rodriguez are the listed starters here, as the latter makes his MLB debut for the Brewers. Kikuchi makes his 14th start of the season for the Blue Jays and will be a sought-after trade candidate over the next seven weeks.

Kikuchi comes in with a 3.48 ERA, 3.43 xERA, and a 3.06 FIP. He’s done an outstanding job of limiting home runs this season, a problem that has plagued him nearly every season of his MLB career and a lot of that has to do with improved fastball command. His fastball is actually a plus pitch for just the second time in his career and he’s more effectively leveraged his curveball this year.

The Brewers have been the best offense in baseball against sliders by a large margin, but Kikuchi has traded a lot of his slider usage for curveballs and I feel like that makes him a better matchup against the Blue Jays than he would have been in past seasons. Milwaukee is a bit better than league average against lefties over the last 30 days, but nothing stands out all that much in their profile. 

I also really like the bounce back effort from Kikuchi against the Orioles last time out with increased velo and what looks like a mechanical change in terms of his horizontal release point. He was getting behind the ball better and finishing his pitches more, with just one run allowed over six innings and much better contact management numbers.

Rodriguez is a guy that has really come into his own since the start of May. After a really rough start to the year in his first season at Triple-A, he’s got a 2.83 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio in his last six starts. He’s providing some length and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any of those six outings. He’s a guy with a deep arsenal and I think he’ll be a guy that “pitches backwards” so to speak, in that his fastball isn’t his primary pitch.

In his last Triple-A outing, he threw 18 four-seam fastballs and four sinkers, but 21 cutters, 12 curveballs, and five changeups. He threw 27 changeups in his previous start. It’s a pretty deep arsenal here where the offspeed and breaking stuff has brought more success than the fastball, but his fastball velo is up a little this season.

Both bullpens are pretty well-rested and I think both starters find success in this one.

Pick: Under 8.5 (-115)

Houston Astros at San Francisco Giants (-120, 8)

9:45 p.m. ET

The Giants walked off the Astros last night, so they drew first blood in this weekday interleague series at Oracle Park. Houston will give it another go today with Ronel Blanco on the bump, while San Fran counters with Jordan Hicks. It will be a battle of righties and this will be the first right-handed starter for the Astros lineup since Friday.

That is particularly relevant because Houston owns a 123 wRC+ against righties over the last 30 days. They are clearly missing Kyle Tucker, but prospect Joey Loperfido will get back into the lineup here with a righty on the mound and he’s a promising young hitter with upside and good pop.

Hicks is a bit of a negative regression candidate with a 2.82 ERA, but a 3.84 xERA and a 3.80 FIP over 67 innings. This is now the most innings he’s thrown since his rookie year in 2018 and he’s had some moments recently that are concerning. He only recorded 11 outs last time out against the Diamondbacks with four walks and six hits allowed in 3.2 innings. He gave up five runs on May 31 to the Yankees. He worked through some increased walks in late April and early May, but I still think it’s a really tough transition to starting like this.

Meanwhile, Blanco has some signs of his own, but this should be a decent venue for him as a fly ball guy that pitches to a lot of contact. Blanco has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts, but he only allowed a 20% Hard Hit% in his last start, so he got a bit unlucky. The Giants are also a much stronger lineup against lefties than they are against righties. They actually rank third in wRC+ against lefties over the last 30 days, but 13th against righties.

Like the first game, this is another one where I’ll trade a few cents to avoid bullpens. Houston’s pen has been objectively terrible this season. The Giants pen is a little bit fatigued, but has been solid all year. I’d rather focus on the Astros lineup vs. Hicks, since that’s the main component of the handicap here.

Pick: Astros 1st 5 (-105)