MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Saturday 6/18

By Adam Burke  ( 

June 18, 2022 12:35 PM

Shout-out to those spending Saturday in the (ball)park, despite it not yet being the 4th of July. Most of us will have to settle for just watching the games, as we’ve got 16 more on the slate thanks to a doubleheader between the Angels and Mariners. It is something of a rare Saturday in that we’ve only got two early starts to go with a bunch of 4 p.m. ET first pitches.

No article tomorrow, but you can hear my baseball analysis with my pal and host of The Run Line Ben Wilson from 8-10 p.m. ET on Sunday night. Based on the notes we’ve exchanged thus far, it’s going to be a hell of a show, so I hope you’re along for the ride.

As I won’t be doing an article on Sunday, I want to send out a Happy Father’s Day message to all the dads out there. I got my love of sports from my old man, who would get done working at the steel mill and still hit me fly balls at the top of a hill by our house until it was too dark to see anymore. I could never hit, but I could track a fly ball with the best of ‘em growing up thanks to him. Hope all you dads out there enjoy the day.

Yesterday’s Recap

Phillies/Nationals: The Phillies played two and won two yesterday, scoring 13 runs over the doubleheader in D.C. The Nationals actually got a decent start by his standards from Joan Adon in Game 1 with four runs allowed on seven hits over five innings, but only managed three runs in the losing effort. Both teams had bullpen mishaps in Game 2, but Washington’s were worse in the 8-7 final.

Juan Soto is down to .216 with a .796 OPS for the season. While most of the league has picked it up offensively, Soto is slashing .161/.329/.348 since May 14 across 140 plate appearances. The Nationals have tons of issues, but they didn’t expect him to be one. That being said, his wOBA of .354 comes with an xwOBA of .413, so he’s had a ton of bad luck on his balls in play. A quick tip for you fantasy players out there.

Braves/Cubs: Sure, a 1-0 game to end a pair of streaks, as the Braves saw their 14-game winning streak come to an end and the Cubs ended their 10-game skid. Twenty-one of the 51 outs in the game came via the strikeout, as Keegan Thompson and Charlie Morton were both excellent. It had the feel of a getaway day game, but it was the series opener. Terrible handicap by me, but it sure felt like neither team wanted to be there.

Brewers/Reds: I don’t want to panic any Brewers fans, but Eric Lauer had a velocity drop yesterday, to go along with big spin rate drops on his curveball and cutter. He only had eight whiffs in 37 swings while giving up three homers and four runs on six hits. With Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta out indefinitely, it wasn’t the kind of start you want to see from Lauer. Something to monitor.

Giants/Pirates: As bad as the Braves/Cubs handicap wound up being, the Giants/Pirates one was dead on with an easy under at PNC Park. The teams only combined for 16 hard-hit balls and two were solo homers from the Giants. Carlos Rodon struck out eight over eight innings. Zach Thompson walked five and danced out of trouble a few times over his 4.1 innings, but only allowed five hard-hit balls. Pittsburgh really does have some good bullpen arms. If this team ever found an offense (or called up Oneil Cruz), they’d be a lot more interesting.

Marlins/Mets: It’s flown under the radar a bit, but Pablo Lopez has been struggling for a little while now. Over the last month, Lopez has made six starts with a 5.23 ERA and a 4.91 FIP. His best start in that span was actually six shutout innings against the Rockies at Coors Field. He’s given up 12 barrels in his last six starts, including five home runs. Four of the six have been on the road. You really do have to cap him and the other Miami pitchers differently on the road than at home.

Padres/Rockies: MacKenzie Gore finally had a rough outing, getting shelled at Coors Field in Colorado’s 10-4 win. The Rockies have been really good against lefties this season at home and on the road and had 12 hard-hit balls off of Gore while scoring eight runs on nine hits. Kyle Freeland only allowed four runs on eight hits, despite having zero strikeouts in seven innings.

Mike Clevinger worked in relief and had major velocity issues over his 36 pitches. It was his first appearance in 12 days after being on the COVID list and just his second since May 17. That deal has been a very bad one for the Padres.

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