MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, June 13th

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MLB schedule today has 15 games

It is interleague week in Major League Baseball, as nine of the 15 series on Tuesday feature teams from opposite leagues. There are only three games in the NL and three in the AL as we look at a full card for June 13. There are only three division games tonight, with the Pirates at the Cubs, the Blue Jays in Baltimore, and the continuation of the Angels and Rangers following a thrilling first game in the series last night.

 

With so many games to get to, let’s get right to it.

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Here are some thoughts on the June 13 card (odds from DraftKings): 

San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals (-115, 9)

We start with a top-notch pitching matchup in the Arch City, as Alex Cobb and Jack Flaherty face off following San Francisco’s 4-3 win last night. Rumors are circulating on social media that Oliver Marmol may be shown the door here shortly, as a bad season keeps getting worse for the Redbirds. They’re lucky to have a little bit of time because the NL Central is so bad, but that time is running out.

Flaherty has certainly been doing his part, as he’s got a 4.15 ERA with a 4.33 xERA and a 4.31 FIP, although those numbers don’t tell the whole story. After throwing six shutout innings last time out, he has a 2.06 ERA with a 3.30 FIP over his last six starts. He’s had some walk rate issues, but a big 10-run blow-up seven starts ago has skewed his numbers in a big way. Over these last six starts, he’s allowed just a 26.9% Hard Hit%, and he’s only allowed one barrel in his last five outings.

Cobb has been solid like that all season long, as he has a 3.01 ERA with a 4.10 xERA and a 3.30 FIP. The high xERA is a byproduct of a high Hard Hit%, but he’s got a 58.5% GB%, so he’s kept the ball on the ground and stayed away from the really detrimental things like doubles and home runs. Cobb has a .345 BABIP due to that high rate of hard contact, but he also has an 81.6% LOB% to keep his ERA down.

That said, we’ve seen some regression creep in. He’s allowed 14 runs in his last four starts, including 7.2 shutout innings two starts ago against the Orioles. He was said to be experiencing some hip discomfort in his last start, which came at Coors Field with four runs allowed on eight hits in five innings. We’ll see if he bounces back here.

As good as Flaherty has been, betting the Cardinals is a chore right now. Things look toxic and the team isn’t even showing much emotion when good things happen. They seem checked out.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs (-130, 9)

The first-place Pirates head to Wrigley Field for a matchup against the Cubs in a big series for both teams. The Cubs were 19-19 on May 12, but proceeded to lose 11 of the next 14 games and now sit 6.5 back and nine games under .500. The Pirates are clinging to a one-game lead over the Brewers, but the Reds are closing fast. 

Jameson Taillon comes into this start with a 7.02 ERA, 5.61 xERA, and a 4.66 FIP in his 42.1 innings of work. The right-hander has been a magnet for bad luck this season, as he has a .336 BABIP against and a 53.4% LOB% in his 10 starts. Taillon’s K/BB numbers aren’t spectacular, but they’re not that bad. He’s got 40 strikeouts in 42.1 innings of work. He’s only allowed a 40.7% Hard Hit%, which isn’t that far off of the league average. However, he’s allowed a .397 BABIP with men on base and has had run prevention problems as a result.

Luis Ortiz gets the call for the Buccos here, as he comes in with a lot of negative regression signs. He has a 4.23 ERA, but that comes with a 7.46 xERA and a 6.09 FIP in 27.2 innings of work. He’s got a terrible K/BB ratio with 16 strikeouts against 15 walks and has also allowed five homers across his five starts and one relief effort. Last time out, he allowed 10 hits over five innings to the A’s, only had one strikeout against two walks, and still only allowed two runs. He has a 76.7% LOB% and a .326 BABIP against. Ortiz has also allowed a 49.5% Hard Hit% and a 13.4% Barrel%.

This game likely gets rained out, but if it doesn’t, it will have winds blowing out to RF at 10-15 mph and that would likely hurt a fly ball guy like Taillon more, as he’s allowed seven homers with a 31.1% GB%.

I hope this game does get rained out and the pitching matchup stays the same tomorrow with better wind conditions because I’d like to back Taillon and the Cubs. It’s a big price, but there’s a reason for that and Taillon is not nearly as bad as the numbers indicate.

Philadelphia Phillies (-130, 9) at Arizona Diamondbacks

Zack Wheeler has a 3.91 ERA and a 2.74 FIP on the season, as a 64.3% LOB% really stands out in his profile. He’s struck out 87 in 76 innings of work and has only allowed five home runs, but it feels like it’s been a struggle at times. Wheeler has allowed at least four runs in three of his last five starts, but has a dominant outing against Atlanta mixed in there with 12 strikeouts in eight innings on May 27. He gave up seven runs on eight hits to the Nationals on June 2, but then dominated the Tigers last time out with eight strikeouts and one hit allowed in 7.1 innings.

So, your guess is as good as mine when it comes to what we’ll get from Wheeler here. He’s allowed four or more runs in five of his 13 starts, but also worked six shutout innings or more three times. The Diamondbacks are a really good offense, so this is a much stiffer test than the Tigers, but he also should have thrived against a Nationals lineup that is way better against lefties than righties.

Zach Davies goes for Arizona here, as the Snakes look to extend their winning streak to seven games. Since returning from the IL on May 27, Davies has allowed seven runs on 17 hits in 15.2 innings with a 15/4 K/BB ratio against the Red Sox, Rockies, and Nationals. He’s allowed just a 19.1% Hard Hit%, so he’s been extremely good at limiting hard contact against. He actually had a noticeable arsenal change last time out against the Nationals to throw more cutters and changeups at the expense of his fastball and had a season-high 12.4% SwStr% and eight strikeouts over 6.2 innings against a Nationals team that does not strike out much.

It’s tough to go against Wheeler because he has the ability to be so dominant and back Davies because he’s typically such a pitch-to-contact guy. I’m staying away in this one.

Toronto Blue Jays (-125, 9) at Baltimore Orioles

It will be Chris Bassitt and Dean Kremer as these two AL East rivals face off. Bassitt has allowed 22 of his 35 runs in three of his 13 starts, as the right-hander has had blow-ups against the Cardinals (nine runs; first start), Rays (six runs; two earned), and Twins (seven runs) so far this season. Otherwise, he’s been rather good. We can’t just ignore the bad ones and focus on the good ones, but sometimes the big ones are clear outliers.

In his last two starts, Bassitt has allowed two runs on eight hits in 15.2 innings of work with 13 strikeouts against zero walks. He recently had a kid and had to hurry back from Queens for the birth of his child, which he then followed up with the eight quality innings against the Astros. We never truly know what is going on in the personal lives of the players or what they’re going through mentally. With the baby here, maybe Bassitt is ready to go on another big run.

Most of his peripherals are solid for the season. He had a walk issue earlier in the year, but he’s only walked six batters in his last six starts. He has a 34.4% Hard Hit% on the season, although, each of his last four starts has been well above that number and he’s allowed seven barrels. That said, the Orioles, who were hitting the ball very well earlier in the season, are just 19th in wOBA over the last 30 days.

Kremer comes into this one with a 4.89 ERA, 6.22 xERA, and a 4.76 FIP in his 70 innings of work. Kremer has allowed 12 homers already after giving up just 11 in 125.1 innings last season. He’s given up a ton of hard contact this year with a 47.3% Hard Hit% and a 10.5% Barrel%. However, the crazy thing is that his ERA is higher at home than it is on the road, even though he’s got a .319 wOBA against at home and a .386 wOBA against on the road. The dimensions at Oriole Park have certainly helped him out.

Right-handed batters only have a .264 wOBA in 71 PA at Oriole Park. Lefties are crushing him to the tune of a .377 wOBA in Baltimore. He just gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings last time out after allowing just 10 runs over his previous six starts. He had a 54.3% Hard Hit% in that span, so it wasn’t terribly shocking to see a really ugly start pop up on his ledger. He certainly deserved one.

I thought about taking Toronto today, but they may be missing two regular lefties in Brandon Belt and Kevin Kiermaier. Also, Felix Bautista and Yennier Cano are both well-rested in the Orioles bullpen. Kremer’s safety net at home is also a factor.

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers (-130, 10)

Jon Gray is out due to a blister and it looks like Cody Bradford, who was part of the taxi squad for this season, will get the call. The Rangers are still a sizable favorite as they take on Jaime Barria, but Bradford will be looking to build off of his May 28 start in this one.

The rookie allowed six runs on seven hits over five innings to the Braves on May 15, but rebounded nicely with two runs allowed on five hits to the Orioles on May 28. In 10 minor league starts, he owns a 1.82 ERA over 59.1 innings of work with 50 strikeouts against 14 walks. He’s given up five homers, including four in his last three starts, but he’s largely been effective.

Barria has also been effective, though he’s primarily pitched in low-leverage relief. He’s got a 1.85 ERA with a 2.81 xERA and a 3.04 FIP in his 39 innings of work. The Angels righty has made three starts over his last four appearances and allowed three runs on nine hits in 15 innings with 15 strikeouts against four walks. On the season, he’s allowed just a 24% Hard Hit% and an 84.6 mph average exit velocity.

I would have expected to see those numbers regress a bit as a starter, but in three starts, Barria has a 36.4, 23.1, and 14.3% Hard Hit% and has allowed just two barrels. I’ve been impressed with his handiwork.

Tough handicap here, though. Both teams used five relievers in yesterday’s marathon. Barria has been a five-and-fly guy and Bradford likely will be as well. This probably comes down to the pens and some tired arms.

Tampa Bay Rays (-210, 9) at Oakland Athletics

I am an Oakland A’s fan tonight. Not with my money, but with my allegiance. I hope that the people partaking in the “reverse boycott” get to see the A’s extend the winning streak to seven games. Today’s festivities are a middle finger to the A’s ownership group, led by John Fisher, who is reportedly worth $2.2 billion, but the A’s have ranked 23rd or lower in Opening Day payroll every season since 2007 per Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Oakland has been a feeder system for other teams for a long time (go check out what Sean Murphy is doing for the Braves this season), yet they’ve found ways to not only be competitive, but also field some pretty dangerous teams. They have six playoff appearances in the last 11 seasons, though they haven’t won any playoff series since 2006.

Jalen Beeks goes for the Rays tonight and Hogan Harris goes for the A’s, so you’ll see at least one “Hogan’s Heroes” sign in the crowd. Beeks has a 6.12 ERA, but a 3.56 xERA and a 4.51 FIP, so he’s a positive regression candidate. His 60.4% LOB% is a big reason why his ERA is so high. He has a 34% Hard Hit% on the season and over a strikeout per inning, so xERA is a fan. He has allowed a bit of hard contact in his last three appearances, so we’ll see if the A’s can take advantage.

I’ll be curious to see if Beeks and Yonny Chirinos are more of a piggyback and less of an opener/bulk situation. Chirinos has a 2.60 ERA with a 4.99 xERA and a 4.57 FIP in his 34.2 innings of work. Chirinos only has 15 strikeouts out of 135 batters. He has a 41.7% Hard Hit%, but just a .181 BABIP against. He’s a pretty big negative regression candidate. That may set up nicely for Oakland.

I can’t really trust Harris against the Rays lineup, but I do think Chirinos is a guy that is fade-worthy in a lot of respects. Harris has allowed five runs on 10 hits with 12 strikeouts against four walks since getting recalled on May 27. His first appearance was awful and he has a 6.46 ERA with a 4.51 FIP as a result, but he has a 3.00 ERA with a 3.34 FIP in those 15 innings since his recall. He only allowed four runs over his last four minor league appearances as well, so he’s been throwing the ball well for a while.

Go A’s!

Atlanta Braves (-265, 7.5) at Detroit Tigers

Spencer Strider and Reese Olson make for an interesting pitching matchup tonight, as we could see lots of strikeouts in this one. The Tigers beat the Braves yesterday to end their miserable nine-game losing streak, but face long odds to turn it into a winning streak. They do draw a little bit of a struggling Strider, as he allowed eight runs on eight hits last time out against the Mets. Since May 1, Strider has a 5.15 ERA. It was 3.86 prior to his last start, so that’s a tad misleading, but he still hasn’t been quite as dominant as he was early in the year.

That being said, the Mets do see him frequently and do have a lot more talent than the Tigers. The Tigers are also among the worst offenses in baseball against righties. For some of the recent hiccups and hard contact, Strider still has 121 strikeouts in just 73.2 innings of work. He’s got an absurd 19.8% SwStr% and the Tigers rank in the bottom half of the league in O-Swing% and SwStr%.

Olson is making his second start, but third appearance for the Tigers. He’s struck out nine guys and allowed three runs on five hits in 10 innings of work. His last appearance came with an opener and he went five solid innings against the Phillies with one run allowed on three hits. He’s got a 12.2% SwStr% over his first two starts and got lots of swings outside the zone against the Phillies.

The Braves are a pretty average offense against righties, as I’ve talked about before. They also will swing and miss and strike out in that split. I think both starters have success in this matchup. The Tigers do well drawing walks, but Strider is pretty stingy with those and has the big strikeout totals. I’d expect Olson to rack up his fair share as well, plus Comerica Park has a pretty spacious outfield that should contain some long fly balls.

It will be a damp night, likely with a late start, and that may speed up the game a bit. I like the 1st 5 Under 4 here. The bullpens are a little taxed with yesterday’s extra-inning game and other recent efforts, but I think things start slowly here.

Pick: 1st 5 Under 4 (-120)

New York Yankees at New York Mets (-165, 7.5)

The latest installment of the Subway Series is here, as the Yankees and Mets square off on Tuesday night. Luis Severino gets the call for the Yankees and Max Scherzer will go for the Mets. After a couple of good starts in his return, Severino has lost his command over his last two outings. He allowed two earned runs on five hits in his first 11.1 innings, but has allowed 11 runs on 15 hits in his last nine innings.

Severino has allowed three homers in each of the last two starts with average exit velocities against of 94.1 and 94.8 mph, so he’s done a complete 180 from his first two outings. He allowed five hard-hit balls in 29 batted ball events against the Reds and Padres. Against the Dodgers and White Sox, he’s allowed 23 hard-hit balls and seven barrels in 34 batted ball events.

His velocity was down in both of those starts and it’s fair to wonder if another injury has popped up for Severino. I can’t bet on a pitcher that I think is injured, even though this feels like a little bit of an elevated line given that the Mets don’t have the services of Pete Alonso.

Scherzer is coming off of a bit of a rough start himself, as he allowed five runs on 11 hits to the Braves last time out. He did strike out 10 and now has 27 strikeouts in his last 19.2 innings of work, so he’s showing a lot of signs of getting back to being the pitcher we’ve all known for a long time. He had allowed three earned runs over his previous four starts before the Braves got to him.

I gave some thought to the over here, but without Alonso and Aaron Judge, it isn’t that strong of an opinion.

Colorado Rockies at Boston Red Sox (-210, 9.5)

I guess we fell victim to the Connor Seabold Revenge Game yesterday, as the Red Sox did very little against a really bad Major League starter and ultimately lost in extra innings. They’re a big favorite again today with Kutter Crawford on the bump against Chase Anderson. It’s been a tough season for Crawford, not from a results standpoint, but just from a consistent work standpoint. He’s missed some time on the IL and largely been used as a reliever, though he’s made four starts as well.

This will be his third straight start and he’s gone three innings in each of them, so he’s trying to build back up. He gave up three runs on five hits to the Guardians last time out, but it was death by paper cuts with a bunch of bleeders that found holes. Still, he won’t work too deep into this game and the Red Sox bullpen has had its issues lately.

Anderson has a 2.25 ERA, but a 4.96 FIP in his 32 innings of work. He’s made five starts for the Rockies and they’ve all been pretty good. He has allowed five homers in his last three starts and is a pitch-to-contact guy, but the Red Sox didn’t take advantage of a similar guy in Seabold yesterday, so it’s hardly a guarantee that they do today. No play from me here.

Milwaukee Brewers at Minnesota Twins (-120, 7.5)

Corbin Burnes and Pablo Lopez are both interesting guys to look at on today’s card. Burnes has a 3.36 ERA with a 3.33 xERA and a 4.21 FIP and it feels like the sky is falling, but he really hasn’t been as bad as people make him out to be. Sure, he’s got a big decrease in strikeouts and that is concerning, but he’s held the opposition to three or fewer earned runs in 10 of his 13 starts. He’s had a couple rough outings, giving up six of his 10 long balls in two of those 13 starts.

But, on the whole, he’s been just fine. He just hasn’t dominated like we’re used to seeing. In a start against a Twins team that strikes out at the highest rate in baseball, this may be a good opportunity for him to get back on track in that department. He’s actually been getting back on track on that front, as he has 24 strikeouts over his last three starts covering 21 innings of work.

Lopez has a 4.25 ERA with a 3.36 xERA and a 3.78 FIP in his 78.1 innings of work. He’s got a gaudy strikeout total, but his command profile has dropped off. He allowed 21 homers in 180 innings last season and has already allowed 11 thus far. He’s got a 5.50 ERA over his last nine starts and has allowed at least four earned runs in five of them. 

Maybe he figured some things out, as he held the Rays to one run on five hits last time out after giving up 17 runs in his previous four starts. He’s been much better in his last two starts about limiting hard contact. The Brewers are a pretty poor offense and that could allow Lopez to continue down the path of success. Milwaukee is 27th in wOBA over the last 30 days. Minnesota is at least 15th and a little better than league average in wRC+.

Still, I don’t see a reason to take either side in this one. Minnesota’s bullpen has been pretty poor lately, so maybe a slight lean towards Milwaukee, but not enough to make the bet.

Cincinnati Reds at Kansas City Royals (-110, 9.5)

The Royals are 0-13 when Jordan Lyles starts and he is on the bump today against the Reds and Brandon Williamson. Lyles actually had an out-of-body experience two starts ago against the Rockies with one run allowed on two hits, but that was short-lived, as he gave up five runs on six hits to the Marlins last time out with just two strikeouts over 28 batters faced. Honestly, he could’ve been even worse, as he had a .208 BABIP against with a 48% Hard Hit%.

Lyles has a 6.84 ERA with a 6.01 FIP and a 5.48 xFIP in his 73.2 innings of work. He’s been the losing pitcher in 10 of those 13 starts and has given up 18 home runs. To make matters worse tonight, the Royals used five relievers yesterday, so this is probably another one of those starts where manager Matt Quatraro leaves Lyles out there until whatever pitch count he’s going to get to in hopes of giving the bullpen a bit of a blow.

Williamson has a 5.40 ERA and a 6.19 FIP after giving up six runs on eight hits to the Dodgers in his last start. He allowed three home runs and only struck out three batters, but that was the Dodgers and it was a really bad matchup for him. He’s had a few tough matchups with the Cardinals and Cubs as well, so it hasn’t been an easy start to his MLB career.

The Royals are 26th in wOBA against lefties. They only have a 7.3% BB% and a 24.3% K%, so Williamson’s biggest problem (control) shouldn’t be as much of one. Also, the Reds managed to skillfully avoid using Alexis Diaz and Lucas Sims yesterday, so both guys should be available here. 

Cincinnati is worth a look tonight. Lyles is bad, the Royals bullpen is bad, the Royals lineup isn’t great and there are no signs that any part of the team is getting better. We can say the opposite about the Reds and they definitely have a bullpen advantage tonight.

Pick: Reds -110

Miami Marlins at Seattle Mariners (-150, 7)

I’m running up against time to get the podcast out in a timely manner, so I’ll skip over the Astros and Nationals and move on to this one between Edward Cabrera and George Kirby. Kirby and the Mariners are a good-sized favorite here after jumping on Jesus Luzardo early and often last night. 

Cabrera is a really interesting dude, as I’ve mentioned before. He generates a ton of strikeouts, which should work to his benefit against the Mariners, who strike out a lot. He also issues a lot of walks, though he’s only walked seven guys over his last five starts, so he’s been a bit better about that. The Mariners are 21st in wOBA against RHP on the season with a 25.4% K% and a 9.3% BB%, so this could be a really interesting line for Cabrera.

Kirby has had a few rocky outings lately, as he’s up to a 3.50 ERA with a 3.35 FIP. He is the opposite of Cabrera. He’s struck out 61 batters in 74.2 innings, but has only issued six walks. Cabrera has 80 punchies in 63 innings, but has walked 38 guys. Cabrera has a 4.29 ERA with a 4.13 FIP, as his 53.3% GB% helps him work around the walks and the strikeouts help him strand runners.

I wish this total was 7.5, as I’d probably have a little more interest in it at that point. I do think that both starters should have success here, so I did give some thought to the Under 4 at -125. Kirby has held the opposition to a .299 wOBA at home and a .308 wOBA last season at home. Should be a good game here, but I don’t have a bet.

Cleveland Guardians at San Diego Padres (-165, 7.5)

The Guardians are out west to fire up an interleague set with the Padres as they’ll also take on the Diamondbacks while on the road. It will be Tanner Bibee and Joe Musgrove in the first game of the series. This is a big start for Bibee, who is from Mission Viejo and played his college ball at Cal State Fullerton. While not all that close to San Diego, his other three road starts have been in New York City and Minneapolis, so you know this one is a little more special.

Bibee has a 3.05 ERA with a 3.27 FIP in his 44.1 innings of work. He only had two strikeouts against the Red Sox last time out, but held them to one earned run on four hits. I’d like to think this is a good matchup for Bibee. He’s only walked 12 in 44.1 innings and was known for his exceptional control at the minor league level. The Padres walk nearly 12% of the time against righties, but don’t really hit for a whole lot of power.

Think about how much we’ve laughed at Cleveland for their lack of power and the Padres’ SLG is one point higher against righties. That may mean limited run support for Musgrove, who has a 4.35 ERA with a 3.12 xERA and a 4.21 FIP in his 41.1 innings of work. After a few tough outings coming back from injury, Musgrove seems to be on point once again, as he’s allowed two earned runs in his last 17.1 innings of work. He’s allowed just a 30.9% Hard Hit% for the season and a 19% HH% over his last four starts.

These are two strong bullpens in support of two quality starting pitchers. Emmanuel Clase and Trevor Stephan have gotten back on track for Cleveland. Josh Hader’s advanced numbers are simply stellar. Petco Park is a venue that has suppressed offense all season long and throughout its history. I’m expecting a low-scoring affair here.

Pick: Under 7.5 (-110)

Chicago White Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers (-195, 8.5)

We’ve got a late one at Chavez Ravine between Lance Lynn and Tony Gonsolin. Lynn continues to have major issues with his command. It looked like he was maybe coming out of it with four earned runs allowed in a three-start stretch, but that’s just because he faced the Guardians, Royals, and Tigers. In his last two starts against the Angels and Yankees, he’s allowed 13 runs on 16 hits in nine innings of work. He’s up to a 6.72 ERA with a 5.30 FIP and he’s give up 16 home runs in 72.1 innings.

Lynn has allowed a 41.2% Hard Hit% for the season and climbing. He’s allowed 19 hard-hit balls in his last two starts and even the Guardians and Royals hit some balls hard in his good starts against them. He’s also had some questionable control at times this season, which is a problem going into a start against the Dodgers, who are second in BB% at 10.5% against righties and also have a .450 SLG that ranks third.

This looks like a bad matchup for Lynn in every sense of the word, but Tony Gonsolin has a lot of negative regression signs in his profile. He’s allowed eight runs on 11 hits over his last 16.2 innings as some of the regression has started to creep in. He’s got a 2.21 ERA with a 4.47 FIP and a 5.26 xFIP. Gonsolin only has 30 strikeouts in 40.2 innings, so he’s not generating a lot of swing and miss.

I’m not sure I can trust the White Sox, though, as they rank 28th in wOBA against righties and don’t make a lot of quality contact. To me, the Dodgers are the team to look at for offense here. The White Sox pen does have a 3.27 ERA over the last 14 days, but also a 4.67 FIP with 17 HR allowed in 99 innings pitched. I think the Dodgers do well offensively in this one, especially with Lynn’s total lack of command.

Pick: Dodgers Team Total Over 4.5 (-135)

TL;DR Recap

ATL/DET 1st 5 Under 4 (-120)
Reds -110
CLE/SD Under 7.5 (-110)
Dodgers TTO 4.5 (-135)