MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 6/28

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

June 28, 2022 12:20 PM
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Onward we go into a busy Tuesday card with 16 games, including a day-night double dip in The Land. We only had nine games last night and only six NL teams were in action, so it was a pretty quiet night. We also had several lopsided final scores, so it was kind of a boring night around the big leagues.

With some really good pitching matchups and some others that have good betting angles, that shouldn’t be the case tonight.

Yesterday’s Recap

Pirates/Nationals: Quietly, the Nationals are playing a bit better lately with a 5-2 record over their last seven games. Of course, that comes on the heels of a stretch that featured an eight-game losing streak and losses in 11 of 13 games. It doesn’t help that Juan Soto has a .194/.383/.339 slash over his last 81 plate appearances as teams aren’t bothering to pitch to him. He’s seen far and away the lowest fastball percentage of his career.

The bad teams seem to get right against other bad teams and then lose to the good teams. It’s like they step up a little bit after rough stretches when getting a comparable foe. Something to monitor with the bottom-feeders.

Marlins/Cardinals: The elephant in the room that doesn’t seem to be getting much run is Pablo Lopez. He gave up five runs on six hits yesterday over five innings and now has a 4.84 ERA with a 4.79 FIP over his last eight starts. In fairness, five have been on the road, but still. He’s given up eight homers in that span and hasn’t been as sharp with his K/BB numbers. He’s allowed game exit velocities of 90 mph or higher five times. I think he’s still being priced and bet on as if he’s the same guy, but he really hasn’t been. I’m staying away or maybe looking to fade, especially on the road.

Dodgers/Rockies: The Dodgers getting shut out by Chad Kuhl and the Rockies is really something. This felt like a pretty bad situational spot for the Dodgers coming off of the long, hot weekend in Atlanta and extra innings on Sunday Night Baseball, but still. It’s Chad Kuhl. Tyler Anderson gave up a bunch of hard contact in his return to Coors and got lucky to only give up four runs on his 10 hits. It was a perfect storm for the Rockies last night, but this is a Dodgers team that is 12-11 in June, so they’ve had some days like this without the excuses.

A’s/Yankees: I’ll admit that I thought A’s + 1.5 was really sharp as the game was playing out. The A’s bullpen is the worst in baseball and it reared its ugly head, but, man. Two catcher’s interference calls in the same inning in the span of three hitters really set things up for the Yankees. There was also a hit-by-pitch mixed in there and one that sent Anthony Rizzo for x-rays.

The Yankees loaded the bases and scored a run on a walk, catcher’s interference, HBP, and catcher’s interference before getting two multi-run doubles and an RBI single. It was an astonishing sequence of events. It really makes you think about the Yankees, how they’re running and if they’re just a team of destiny.

Red Sox/Blue Jays: Connor Seabold registered 21 whiffs on 46 swings yesterday for the Red Sox, but also allowed seven runs on nine this and gave up three home runs. It was about as odd of a stat line as you can get. On the flip side, Kevin Gausman struck out 10 over seven shutout innings and had 18 whiffs, which is more like what you’d expect. Gausman has a comfortable league lead in fWAR, sitting 0.9 wins above replacement over Max Fried. His .366 BABIP against is the only concern and that should get better, though he has allowed a lot of hard contact.

Twins/Guardians: Triston McKenzie’s command profile remains a huge concern, as he allowed seven runs over six innings, including two big flies. The Guardians have now dropped five in a row and have been outscored 29-9 on this homestand. They’re young, but the boat is leaking oil here with so many games and no days off. They don’t have an off day until July 7 and have a doubleheader today and one on Monday.

After that, they have another doubleheader on July 12 and don’t have an off day until the All-Star Break. This is a simply brutal stretch for them and it’s starting to show.

Rangers/Royals: Sometimes if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck. The Rangers seemed like a suspiciously low favorite against the Royals, but won 10-4 anyway. Regression did find Martin Perez to a degree with four runs allowed on seven hits in six innings, but he only allowed three hard-hit balls. He got BABIP’d by three singles under 70 mph in exit velo.

The Royals bullpen is atrocious and I probably haven’t talked about that enough. When I wrote about bullpens earlier this season, I mentioned how detrimental walks can be. The two worst bullpens in ERA are the Reds and Royals. The two worst bullpens in BB/9 are the Royals and Reds.

White Sox/Angels: An encouraging start for Lucas Giolito fell by the wayside thanks to Reynaldo Lopez. Giolito threw six strong innings with two runs on six hits and six strikeouts, but Lopez came in and immediately gave up two runs in the 4-3 loss. Chicago’s bullpen injuries don’t get as much run as the position player ones, but it’s a tough spot to be in right now.

Also, it took 79 pitches for Noah Syndergaard to get through seven innings. He had 17 whiffs (Giolito had 14), as the White Sox have just completely abandoned the idea of working counts. Their BB% is down to 6.4% , which would be the third-lowest BB% over the last five seasons. The 2019 version of the White Sox has the lowest at 6.3%.

Orioles/Mariners: At least one of the two plus-money picks came in for us, as the Orioles went wire-to-wire against the Mariners. Seattle’s suspensions were announced just before the game, but all of those guys played. I think it’s really important to point out what is happening with Baltimore’s offense, as the O’s hit four homers against George Kirby and another against Penn Murfee for good measure.

Baltimore is 12th in wOBA in June at .323 and sixth in SLG at .445. The O’s rank fifth in Hard Hit% this month and third in Barrel%. They are second in fly ball percentage at 43.7% after being third in May at 40.4% and 20th in April at 35.5%. Smart organizations adjust during the season and Baltimore has adjusted offensively in a big way as the season has gone along. The team’s first winning month since August 2017 is not a fluke.

Dare I say it...I think this is a good baseball team and they have an extremely bright future thanks to smarter leadership.

Tuesday Resources

Weather: Not much today. No rain. It’s warm, but not very windy. Wrigley Field should play fairly small tonight with temps in the upper 70s, humidity readings in the mid-40s and winds blowing out to dead central. It’ll also be steamy in Colorado with a helping breeze.

Injuries: Lots of updates and new injuries, so keep an eye on those. Check out our Injury Report right here at VSiN. This is also a good resource at FanGraphs (sort by date) HERE.

Line Moves

Marlins at Cardinals (-140, 8.5): It’s Dakota Hudson day and money is coming in against him, even though the Cardinals draw a lefty in Braxton Garrett. This line has dropped 10-15 cents in the marketplace as bettors fade Hudson and his 3.72 ERA with a 4.79 xERA and a 4.60 FIP. Like I’ve talked about before, the problem is that he’s done this his entire career with a 3.27 ERA, a 4.64 FIP and a 4.58 xFIP.

Reds at Cubs (-120, 9): This total is on the way up. It opened 8.5, but we’re seeing 9 with over juice and we’ll probably see 9.5 with some conditions conducive to offense on the North Side today. Luis Castillo and Keegan Thompson have both pitched very well and mostly keep the ball on the ground, but weather drives total moves.

Rangers (-150, 9) at Royals: The markets are really picking up what Jon Gray has been putting down this season. Gray has been bet up 10-15 cents here against Jon Heasley and the Royals. Gray has a 4.18 ERA with a 3.84 xERA and a 3.44 FIP, so the move makes sense in that regard. Also, Heasley has a 4.14 ERA with a 5.52 xERA and FIP, so it’s a perfect storm kind of thing.

Orioles at Mariners (-160, 7.5): I’m not the only one noticing how good Baltimore has become. In this Dean Kremer and Robbie Ray matchup, the line has ticked down 10-15 cents, as the O’s are taking some dog money here. It’s interesting because Kremer has a 1.71 ERA, but a 4.34 xERA and a 3.27 FIP in his four starts, so we’d usually see money against a guy like that.

What I’ll Be Watching

Brandon Woodruff: Woodruff returns to the Brewers rotation after an ankle injury put him on the IL, but numbness in his hand kept him there. He mowed through two minor league lineups during his rehab assignments with 14 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work while allowing two runs on four hits. Woodruff’s command wasn’t up to his usual standards prior to the injury, so we’ll see if he returns in his usual form. He had a 4.74 ERA with a 3.68 xERA and a 3.82 FIP in 43.2 innings of work over nine starts prior to missing just over a month.

Charlie Morton: Morton has found the strikeouts again, as he’s got 40 strikeouts in his last four starts over 25 innings of work. He allowed 16 runs in a four-start stretch from May 25 to June 11, but has only allowed two solo homers in his last two outings against the Cubs and Giants. I really don’t know what to expect from him here. He’s allowed 11 homers this season and a 41% Hard Hit%, but he’s also increased his margin for error recently by getting his swing-and-miss swagger back. I don’t have a concrete opinion on him today, but each data point will help figure out what the rest of his season could look like.

Frankie Montas: Let’s add a bonus one here because this is a mind-blowing stat. Frankie Montas has pitched 89.2 innings this season and 70.2 of them have been at home. Oakland Coliseum is one of the top pitcher’s parks in baseball and that is an incredible distribution of innings pitches. He’s allowed a .266 wOBA at home and a .291 wOBA on the road. He’ll probably be great just about anywhere he pitches, but he has allowed 12 runs on 20 hits in 19 innings on the road this season and struggled in Cleveland last time out.

Montas’s first two starts were on the road in Philly and Tampa. He’s pitched 7.2 road innings since that April 13 start. He’ll face the Yankees at Yankee Stadium today.

Tuesday Best Bets

Shop around for the best lines! I’m using a market consensus number that should be widely available to most, but every cent matters, so do the best you can to get the best line possible.

VEGAS LINES | ODDS BY STATE | MLB MATCHUPS

Cardinals (-140) over Marlins: I’ll lay the number with the Cardinals today and Dakota Hudson. I realize that sounds like a scary proposition given what the advanced metrics say about him, but like I mentioned, he’s done that throughout his entire career. He’s a pitch-to-contact guy that keeps it on the ground with a really strong infield defense behind him. It isn’t the sexiest of profiles, but he ends up being effective. Specifically, his last two bad starts have been against the Brewers and the Reds, two teams that have seen him a ton. While pitcher vs. team stats aren’t statistically relevant, there’s something to be said about seeing a guy for a second, third or even fourth time over the course of a season. The Marlins haven’t seen Hudson at all.

Second, and more importantly, the Marlins rank 18th in wOBA against RHP on the road. They’re tops in the league at home. To lead the league in wOBA against RHP with this lineup and that ballpark makes me wonder if there are some shenanigans going on.

Third, we’ve seen Oliver Marmol really shorten the game and his bullpen with a lead. Both Giovanny Gallegos and Ryan Helsley are fresh, having had the last two days off. They’ve been multi-inning relief weapons for Marmol, which means I shouldn’t have to deal with too many of the stiffs at the back end of the St. Louis pen. In a perfect world, this is five or so innings from Hudson and then two each from Gallegos and Helsley, which is what Marmol has been trying to achieve.

Fourth, the Cardinals draw a lefty here in Braxton Garrett. Garrett has allowed a lot of hard-hit contact in his last two starts, with 17 of 33 balls in play at least 95+ mph. He’s virtually a two-pitch pitcher with a slider and four-seam fastball. The Cardinals are second in batting average against LHP if you combine fastballs and sliders and fifth in wOBA based on a Statcast search.

It’s a good matchup all the way around for St. Louis with some well-defined advantages. I’m cool with the market dropping this line down a bit for me and will go against the grain to take the Cardinals at -140.

Astros 1st 5 (-120) over Mets: It turns out that Carlos Carrasco will not miss a start for the Mets, but maybe he should be skipped a time or two, just to make sure everything is okay. The MRI on his barking back came back clean, but Cookie has a 5.13 ERA with a 4.00 FIP in his last nine starts. If we shrink that to his last three starts, Carrasco has allowed 13 runs on 21 hits in 13.1 innings of work and has given up six home runs in that split. That includes his most recent start when he left hurt against Houston.

Carrasco has allowed nine barrels in his last four starts and a Hard Hit% of 44.1% on 59 batted ball events. His fastball velocity was down nearly 1.5 mph from his season average in that start against Houston. Maybe everything is okay with the back, but he’s clearly not sharp right now and draws a Houston offense that is seeing him for the second straight time.

Meanwhile, the Mets missed Framber Valdez during that recent series. The southpaw has a strong 2.90 ERA with a 3.39 FIP in his 87 innings of work. Valdez has a 67.6% GB%, so it’s been tough to score runs off of him because you have to manufacture all of them. He’s only allowed five home runs this season and has a Hard Hit% of just 34% with an anemic Barrel% of 3.3%.

The Astros should make the higher-quality contact in this game. It helps that they’re seeing Carrasco for the second straight time and that he’s clearly not 100%. I’ll shy away from the full game and trade the five or so cents because I feel like my advantage is more with the two starting pitchers. I’m on Houston 1st 5 at -120.

I’m tracking my picks in this spreadsheet HERE.

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