MLB Best Bets and Expert Picks for Tuesday, June 18

MLB Best Bets and Expert Picks for Tuesday, June 18

This article is part of our MLB Picks series.

MLB Best Bets and Expert Picks for 
Tuesday, June 18

YTD 97-92-1

Prior article (3-1 +1.40 units)

SPLITS

I lean on splits more than any other metric for baseball. I look at home/road and vs RHP/LHP over the last 30 days to get enough of a sample size but also recency. This is where you can find value because oddsmakers do not bake these into the lines.

POWER OUTAGE

Scoring and home runs continue to be down and UNDERS are hitting at a nice clip. Oddsmakers have adjusted totals and we are seeing a lot more 7.5s and 8.0s. I will continue to focus on OVERS on pitcher-recorded outs at 15.5 or 17.5 as opportunities to get value. You can add unearned runs, hits allowed and strikeouts to the pitcher props I am focused on. Until we see a major change in offense with the weather heating up or major line/odds adjustments, I would continue to hammer pitcher props.

WEATHER IMPACT

Always check weather for every game. Look at the temperature and wind. If the temperature/humidity is high, the ball will carry more; if the wind is blowing in or the temperature is cold the ball will stay in the ballpark. As we enter the summer, the temperatures and humidity are starting to rise, so keep an eye on if scoring starts to see an uptick.

BULLPEN USAGE

You need to check bullpen usage for each team before making your plays. The starting pitching represents about 55 percent of the game, and the bullpen is 45 percent and often overlooked. The quality of the bullpen combined with availability is critical when taking a full game play vs. a F5-inning play. 

WEEKEND/DAY GAMES/DOUBLEHEADERS MLB BETTING 

Lineups can get very tricky, especially with day games after night games. I would caution about playing any totals (especially team) before lineups come out on early games. One or two key players out of a lineup can completely change the projection of a game. I avoid all doubleheaders now as there is just too much of an unknown with how lineups will be constructed unless I am taking an UNDER.

MLB Unit Betting Guide (Here is a basic guideline that I use when it comes to betting baseball and knowing what unit value to place on each bet)

  • 1 unit (Moneyline/Run Line/Totals strongest plays, System Plays)
  • 0.75 unit (ML/RL/Totals Medium Plays, Pitcher Props – Ks, Outs; F5)
  • 0.50 unit (Pitcher Props – Earned Runs; Hitter Props – TB, HRRBI; Team Totals, F5 Run Line/Totals)
  • 0.25 unit (Parlays, HR Props, Alt Props)

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Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays  

The Red Sox are 5-0 in Tanner Houck's last five starts and he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball. There is a chance he could start for the American League in the All-Star Game (Tarik Skubal is the other possibility). Chris Bassitt has been decent in his last five outings with a stat line of 30 innings, 1.20 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 9.0 K/9 and zero home runs allowed. 

The Red Sox have been starting to hit recently, but I will go with a full game under with these two starting pitchers. 

MLB Picks for Red Sox at Blue Jays 

  • Red Sox ML for 1 unit (BetMGM -115)
  • Red Sox/Blue Jays UNDER 7.5 runs for 1 unit (BetRivers -105)  

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St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins  

This Marlins team is one of the worst in baseball along with the White Sox and Rockies. They are averaging just 2.2 runs per game in June while going 2-12. The scary number is the 26.5 strikeout rate to a 4.4 percent walk rate along with a .211 batting average. They have scored 3.0 runs or less in 10 out of those 14 games.

Lance Lynn has been decent this year, but his walk rate probably will not be an issue against this Marlins lineup. He has much better numbers on the road and gets a nice ballpark split going into Miami.

The Cardinals are playing better baseball and the Marlins really have nothing to play for right now. 

MLB Picks for Cardinals at Marlins 

  • Marlins UNDER 3.5 runs for 1 unit (DraftKings -130)
  • Cardinals -1.5 runs for 1 unit (DraftKings +112)

Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics  

Normally the Royals are a must play at home, but they also crush lefties and they get Hogan Harris tonight. The Royals have cooled off somewhat, going 7-13 in their last 20, but the A's are sinking fast, going 1-9, 4-16, and 7-23 in their last 10/20/30 games. 

The Royals have a 103 wRC+ against lefties, but they are second lowest in strikeout rate and fourth highest in batting average. They will be batting eight right-handed batters against Harris, who has pitched well this year, but in limited innings. 

Alec Marsh pitched a gem in his last start against the Yankees, whereas in his prior three starts he has been struggling, but the Yankee start means a lot as they are the hottest lineup in baseball.

MLB Picks for Royals at Athletics 

  • Royals ML for 1 unit (DraftKings -135)

Arizona Diamondbacks at Washington Nationals  

Both teams have about the same record at just under .500 ball, but the pitching matchup is much more in favor of the Nationals with Jake Irvin against Slade Cecconi. Irvin is 5-5 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and Cecconi has a 6.75 ERA with eight home runs allowed in the last seven starts.

Cecconi gives up way too much hard contact for Irvin to only be -115 at home. Give me the Nats on the moneyline. 

MLB Picks for Diamondbacks at Nationals

  • Nationals ML for 1.5 unit (DraftKings -115)

MLB Best Bets Today Recap

  • Red Sox ML for 1 unit (BetMGM -115)
  • Red Sox/Blue Jays UNDER 7.5 runs for 1 unit (BetRivers -105) 
  • Marlins UNDER 3.5 runs for 1 unit (DraftKings -130)
  • Cardinals -1.5 runs for 1 unit (DraftKings +112)
  • Royals ML for 1 unit (DraftKings -135)
  • Nationals ML for 1.5 unit (DraftKings -115)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Rathburn
Known as “Rath” in the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) community, he has helped run operations for two prominent daily fantasy sports startups. Michael has taken his insider knowledge and expertise in daily fantasy sports to the content side. Rath won the 2016 FSWA "Baseball Article of the Year, Online" award and was a finalist for the FSWA Best Baseball Series in 2011.
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