Time to head into the weekend with some MLB action!
We’re off to a 26-18 start to the season (59%) at SI Sportsbook and 23 of those wins paid plus-money.
If you’re just starting to follow my MLB bets series, I try to only pick plus-money bets or bets with very little juice. The bankroll strategy is for our wins to pay more than we invested. Sometimes that means the “risk” is higher, but our bankroll is growing nicely.
You can also track along with all my bets across all sports on SharpRank.
- Moneyline: Astros (+110) | Yankees (-133)
- Run line: Astros +1.5 (-200) | Yankees -1.5 (+165)
- Total: 7.5 - Over (-110) | Under (-110)
We had a big win last Friday betting on the Astros!
Am I crazy to bet on the Astros two weeks in a row? Probably not as crazy as I am to bet against the hottest team in baseball, but here goes nothing….
If you watched Thursday’s game between these two titans, you saw the Astros were in control of this game up until the ninth inning. Then, the bullpen imploded and the Yankees had yet another dramatic walk-off win.
The Yankees now have a league-leading 21 comeback wins to go along with their MLB-best 52-18 record. They undeniably look like a team of destiny.
But, when I see the Astros—a 43-26 team that has historically played the Yankees well—as underdogs, it’s hard not to like the value.
Houston sends ace Justin Verlander (8-3, 2.30 ERA) to the mound Friday night. Verlander has been not quite as sharp of late, allowing eight earned runs in June, but he still has the seventh-lowest walk rate among starters and the eighth-best K/BB ratio in the league. Plus, he’s Justin Verlander. He’s allowed only seven earned runs and a .190 batting average to the Yankees since the 2017 season.
The Yankees are starting Luis Severino (4-1, 3.27). Sevvy has been fantastic for the Yankees this season, striking batters out at a rate of nearly 11 per nine innings. However, he is also walking batters at a rate of 2.59 per nine innings.
Neither team is particularly prone to strikeout, as Houston has a 19.5% K rate (third best) and the Yankees are at 21.7% K. Both teams also have walk rates in the top five.
This is setting up to be a close one in the Bronx.
Astros hitters had no nerves last night in the Bronx, as both Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman hit three-run home runs. Kyle Tucker also had a good night, going 2-for-4 with a double. Watch those leftie bats—as well as Michael Brantley—Friday.
As for the Yanks, it was business as usual for Aaron Judge, who went two for five and hit the walk-off, game-winning single in the ninth.
The Yankees are averaging 6.24 runs per game for June, while the Astros are averaging 5.21. Yankees pitching is allowing 3.02 runs per game in June, while the Astros are allowing 3.84.
Players to Watch
DJ LeMahieu is hitting .333 with a home run in 15 career at bats versus Verlander.
Judge leads the league with 27 home runs and has a flair for the dramatic.
Alvarez trails Judge by only five homers and his lefty bat plays well in Yankee stadium. Alvarez leads the league with a 1.071 OPS and .665 slug. Severino has allowed a SLG of .471 vs left-handed batters this season – seventh-worst among qualified starters.
Brantley is batting .273 with one homer across 11 plate appearances versus Severino.
No matter how you look at this, it sets up to be a close one.
I’ll take the value for the road dogs with Verlander - No. 2 in the race for AL Cy Young (+350) at SI Sportsbook - getting the start.
I’ll also be closing my eyes and crossing my fingers.
BET: Astros Moneyeline (+110)
- Moneyline: Rockies (+138) | Twins (-163)
- Run line: Rockies +1.5 (-143) | Twins -1.5 (+120)
- Total: 9.5 - Over(+105) | Under (-125)
I don’t trust Bundy. I know he’s had a ton of bad luck and doesn’t walk batters, but when he blows up it’s in grand fashion. He’s been good at home this season, but his June ERA is 6.28. The Rockies can put up some runs. It’s hot Friday in Minnesota.
Marquez, meanwhile, has also found a lot of bad luck this season but his ERA isn’t just elevated because he pitches at Coors. Marquez has a 5.34 ERA in road games, and he has a hard-hit rate in the bottom 9%. The Twins should be able to take advantage.
Players to Watch
Carlos Correa is hot this week, going 5-for-9 with two homers in his last two games.
C.J. Cron has a career batting average of .353 with three home runs versus Bundy in just 17 at bats.
It’s a warm summer night and the bats should be out. I’ll take plus-money for the over on 9.5 runs.
BET: Over 9.5 (+105)
- Moneyline: Phillies (-133) | Padres (+110)
- Run line: Phillies -1.5 (+140) | Padres +1.5 (+167)
- Total: 7.5 -Over (+110) | Under (-133)
Nola has been outstanding for the Phillies this season, not walking batters nor allowing much hard contact. The Phillies will need him to go deep into the game to win this one, as their bullpen … stop me if you’ve heard this before … is prone to implode. They have converted only three of their seven save opportunities across the past two weeks with a 5.55 ERA. The Padres are averaging 5.83 runs per game in June.
After a phenomenal start to the season, MacKenzie Gore has hit a rough patch … a really rough patch. Gore has a 10.22 ERA in June, all of which is attributed to the Rockies, who tagged him for 14 runs across his past two starts. I hope to see him get back on track, but the Phillies have been hot in June, averaging 5.52 runs per game.
Philadelphia is batting .253 (10th-best) versus left-handed pitching this season with 28 home runs (fourth-most).
Players to Watch
Kyle Schwarber is batting .291 with nine homers and a 1.107 OPS in June.
Bryce Harper is batting .311 verus southpaws this season.
Jake Cronenworth is hitting .337 with four home runs in June.
The total of 7.5 is a pretty low number. Even if both starters have their best stuff, the Phillies’ bullpen alone could blow this.
I’ll take plus-money for the over on a hot San Diego night in June.
BET: Over 7.5 (+110)
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