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Marlins-Nationals, Cardinals-Phillies, Angels-Astros MLB Plus-Money Bets

Plus-money bets and analysis for Friday’s Marlins-Nationals, Cardinals-Phillies and Angels-Astros games.

The holiday weekend is here! Let’s kick it off with some plus-money MLB bets!

We’re off to a 27-20 start to the season (57.4%) on SI Sportsbook and 24 of those wins paid plus-money.

If you’re just starting to follow along, in 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 so far our bankroll is growing nicely.

You can also track along with all my bets across all sports on SharpRank.

Let’s have some fun.

Bet on MLB At SI Sportsbook

Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto hits an RBI double during the second inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park, Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in Washington.

Miami Marlins (34-40 ) at Washington Nationals (29-49)

  • Moneyline: Nationals (-138) | Marlins (+115)
  • Run line: Nationals -1.5 (+145) | Marlins +1.5 (-175)
  • Total: 9.5 Over (+105) | Under (-110)

Trevor Rogers (3-6, 5.86 ERA) will start for the Marlins versus Josiah Gray (6-4, 3.82) at Nationals Park on a muggy night in July.

Rogers has struggled this year and he posted a 7.06 ERA in June. Though Washington bats are not the most formidable and they have only a .697 OPS versus left-handed pitching, I think they can get their knocks against Rogers. After all, this is a lineup that includes Juan SotoNelson Cruz and Josh Bell.

The Miami bullpen has been better across the last two weeks, posting a 3.58 ERA. However, for the month of June, Miami’s relievers owned a 5.46 ERA.

Gray has been good this year—and especially in June—but he’s also been a little bit lucky. Statcast has his expected ERA at 4.32 for the season. I think Gray can hold his own for the first six innings of this game, but then there’s the Washington bullpen… The Nats’ bullpen has the sixth-highest ERA in the league.

An average of 9.1 runs are scored per game at Nationals Park.

Players to Watch

Jorge Soler has a 1.053 OPS and a home run in 11 at bats versus Gray.

Bell is hitting .281 versus southpaws this year and hit seven homers in June.

Based on ballpark factors and the hot, humid forecast, the bats should be out tonight.

BET: OVER 9.5 (+105)

Philadelphia Phillies’ Kyle Schwarber, left, rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run against Atlanta Braves pitcher Jesus Cruz during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Philadelphia.

St. Louis Cardinals (45-35) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (40-37)

  • Moneyline: Cardinals (-143) | Phillies (+120)
  • Run line: Cardinals -1.5 (+110) | Phillies +1.5 (-133)
  • Total: 9.5 - Over (+100) | Under (-118)

Bailey Falter (0-2, 4.50) gets the start at home for the Phillies. Falter has lost both of his major league starts this year. The lefty has allowed 2.70 walks per nine innings along with 2.25 home runs per nine innings in his major-league appearances this year, and he’s only striking out 5.85 batters per nine.

The Cardinals have the sixth-best OPS in the league versus left-handed pitching this year. The Cards should be able to put up some offense tonight.

On the other side, Miles Mikolas (5-5, 2.57) has been sharp for the Cards this year and he posted a 2.38 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP in June.

Mikolas also doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, but he doesn’t surrender the long ball. Mikolas has allowed only 0.76 home runs per nine innings this year.

The Phillies took a big hit when they lost Bryce Harper last week, but they have still averaged five runs per game across the last week. They have scored eight-plus runs in two of their last four games without the reigning NL MVP.

The Cardinals have averaged 4.5 per game across the last week.

Simple math brings that easily to 9.5.

Players to Watch

Paul Goldschmidt continues to mash, batting .342 with 19 homers this season. He’s hitting .442 versus left-handed pitching.

Rookie Juan Yepez had five homers and 16 RBIs in June.

Kyle Schwarber has been on a hot streak, hitting 12 home runs in June.

I think the Cards win but there’s no value in taking them on the moneyline.

It’s 92 degrees with a chance for thunderstorms in Philadelphia on Friday afternoon. It sounds like a recipe for balls to fly out of the park. I’ll take the over at +100 odds.

BET: OVER 9.5 (+100)

Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman (2), celebrates with Jason Castro (18) and Lance McCullers Jr. after a baseball game against the New York Yankees Thursday, June 30, 2022, in Houston. The Astros won 2-1.

Los Angeles Angels (37-41) vs. Houston Astros (48-27)

  • Moneyline: Astros (-175) | Angels (+145)
  • Run line: Astros -1.5 (+120) | Angels +1.5 (-143)
  • Total: 8.5 - Over (+110) | Under (-133)

Can we make it three weeks in a row successfully betting on the Astros?

I’m certainly going to try.

In case you missed it, Cristian Javier (5-3, 2.73) struck out 13 batters across seven scoreless innings as the Astros combined to no-hit the Yankees last Saturday in the Bronx. So, there’s that.

Javier is striking out batters at a rate of 11.5 per nine innings and the Angels have the highest strikeout rate in the league at 25.5%

On the other side, Michael Lorenzen (6-5, 4.24) has been serviceable for the Angels, with a 4.24 ERA that Statcast says should be 3.77. Lorenzen is not a high strikeout pitcher, and though he doesn’t give up a ton of homers he issues way too many free passes. The Astros can capitalize on those tendencies as they are tied for the fifth-best walk rate in the league while also having the fourth-lowest strikeout rate.

Despite having some of the best hitters in baseball, the Angels have scored only 3.25 runs per game across the past month. The Astros have averaged 4.84.

Players to Watch

Jose Altuve has five  home runs on inside fastballs this season – tied for fourth-most in MLB. Lorenzen has located his fastball inside 44% of the time this season – ninth-highest among starting pitchers with at least 36 innings pitched.

Mike Trout continues to be one of the best players in the MLB, and he and Yordan Alvarez are tied for the second-most home runs with 23.

Eleven of Jared Walsh’s 13 homers have come versus right-handed pitching.

It is unclear as of Friday afternoon whether Jeremy Pena and Alvarez will be cleared to play. Michael Brantley is on the IL.

So, yeah, this is risky.

But, how can you not get excited about a team that just went 7-2 versus the Yankees and Mets now facing a divisional rival that trails them by 12.5 games?

BET: Astros -1.5 (+130)

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