MLB Best Bets Today June 18

Everybody takes the field today and there are no day games. The NBA Finals wrapped up last night and Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight, but Major League Baseball still shares the spotlight, at least for one more day. There are six games in each league and three interleague matchups to think about.

Most of today’s games are pretty competitively-lined, so it should be a good night of baseball.


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Here are the MLB best bets today for June 18:

Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Guardians (-125, 8)

6:40 p.m. ET

The Mariners and Guardians fire up a three-game set at soupy Progressive Field on Tuesday night. The city of Cleveland is experiencing a record heat wave and it has been accompanied by humid conditions. Progressive Field always played noticeably different in the summer, but the ballpark alterations have had a positive impact on offense.

Bryce Miller and Triston McKenzie are the pitchers who will attempt to work through the conditions today. Miller is already a bit of a dicey proposition on the road. He has a 1.82 ERA with a .214 wOBA against at home in 49.1 innings. He has a 5.94 ERA with a .329 wOBA in 33.1 innings on the road. Miller has a 31.9% K% at home and a 15.2% K% on the road. 

Over his last three road starts, Miller has allowed 17 runs in 16.1 innings of work and has given up five home runs. He’s given up nine of his 12 homers on the road. The Guardians should get proud papa Jose Ramirez back in the lineup now that they are back home and Miller’s 2024 woes away from home are not unique. He had a 5.18 ERA with a .330 wOBA against last season on the road in 57.1 innings compared to a 3.65 ERA and a .292 wOBA at home in 74 innings.

Despite a decent outing last start, I’m still not believing in McKenzie. He has a 4.10 ERA with a 5.64 FIP and a 4.96 xFIP. As a fly ball pitcher, these conditions are far from beneficial for him. He had allowed 12 runs on 20 hits over 15.1 innings before holding the Reds to two runs on four hits, but it could have gone very differently. The Reds had two first-inning barrels off of McKenzie with xBAs of .670 and .520 and balls that would have been homers in 7/30 and 4/30 parks, but Tyler Freeman tracked them down in CF. He only had five swings and misses in that start.

The Mariners can and will swing and miss, but McKenzie has run single-digit SwStr% marks in five of his last seven starts. When not held down by T-Mobile Park, the Mariners rank seventh in road home runs even though they are 23rd in road plate appearances.

Pick: Mariners/Guardians 1st 5 Over 4.5 (-115)

Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins (-180, 8.5)

7:40 p.m. ET

The Rays and Twins are scheduled to start a series tonight, but we’ll see if Mother Nature allows them to do so. Storms will be in the area and a delay is possible. However, there is a betting angle that I can’t overlook in this one.

Remember when I got the Aaron Civale part of the handicap right against the Cubs last week, only for the Rays bullpen to blow the game? Well, the crux of that handicap was that the Cubs were awful on pitches up in the zone, which is the area that Civale is trying to work with his cutter, sinker, and four-seamer. The point there was that the Cubs ranked towards the bottom of the league in BA, wOBA, and SLG.

Well, the Twins are kind of the opposite. Let’s look at those Attack Zones again.

In those 1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, 21, 22, and 23 Attack Zones, the Twins are second in baseball with a .448 SLG, trailing only the Guardians. Their .320 wOBA ranks seventh up in that zone, even though they’ve only batted .208 in that range. On a warm night with a little bit of a breeze blowing out to left, I’m less worried about the batting average and more worried about the power potential within the lineup.

Civale has allowed 14 home runs this season in just 72.2 innings of work. The Twins are sixth in wOBA at .333 against right-handed pitchers over the last 30 days and eighth in SLG. They also have just a 19.3% K%, so that takes away one of the few weapons that Civale has. 

Civale has only worked 29.2 innings away from home this season, but has a 6.37 ERA with a .296/.358/.440 slash against and a .352 wOBA. Tropicana Field is typically regarded as a pretty good pitcher’s park and, while he’s struggled there, too, it isn’t surprising to see a downturn on the road.

The Twins 1st 5 Team Total Over 2.5 is only -105, even though the game total is 8.5 at DraftKings. I think this is mispriced a bit and I think that the Twins will be able to attack those pitches up in the zone.

Pick: Twins 1st 5 Team Total Over 2.5 Runs (-105)

New York Mets (-115, 8.5) at Texas Rangers

8:05 p.m. ET

Alright, let’s see if the month I’m having is enough to throw off the power of Grimace. It has been a rough month of June to say the least for me, but not for the Mets, who are looking to run their winning streak out to seven games in tonight’s matchup against the Rangers.

Luis Severino gets the call for the Metropolitans, as he is having a fine season with a 3.12 ERA, 3.63 xERA, and a 3.92 FIP in 78 innings of work. He’s been a huge lift for a Mets team that has been missing Kodai Senga all season long. Sevy has thrown the ball well for the most part of late, as he’s allowed just one run in three of his last four starts. He’s only worked 30.2 innings on the road, but has only allowed one homer and a .275 wOBA.

Michael Lorenzen goes for the Rangers here and he’s got a 1.46 ERA over his last 37 innings, but he has a 4.12 FIP and a 4.68 xFIP in that span. His 24/15 K/BB ratio doesn’t really support a low ERA and his .208 BABIP and 94.8% LOB% are both extremely ripe for regression. He’s actually allowed 21 hard-hit balls and four Barrels in his last two starts, so he’s definitely building towards a blow-up.

The Mets are 10th in wOBA against righties over the last 30 days, as their offense has really gotten going, including 25 runs scored over the last two games and three double-digit efforts during the winning streak.

Usually a team on a heater like this has bullpen issues because they’ve had to use the primary guys a lot to protect leads, but the Mets have been able to leverage their pen really effectively. Edwin Diaz hasn’t pitched since Friday. Reid Garrett has pitched once since last Wednesday. The only guy unavailable tonight is Adam Ottavino after throwing 34 pitches yesterday. 

The Rangers also have a bad bullpen that ranks 27th in ERA and 24th in FIP. We’ll ride with the Mets and that big purple monster today.

Pick: Mets -115