Rounding the Bases: MLB Straight Up Picks for Every Game Today (Seth Lugo, Luis Gil Primed to Lead Wins)

Breaking down a pick for all nine of the Major League Baseball games in action on Thursday, June 20.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Seth Lugo.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Seth Lugo. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Who's ready for some afternoon baseball on Thursday?

Nine teams are in action in Major League Baseball today, starting at 1:05 p.m. EST with the Arizona Diamondbacks taking on the Washington Nationals.

As we do every day here at SI Betting, we're going to pick every MLB game today, with a short breakdown as to why we're leaning in that direction.

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Washington Nationals Prediction and Pick

Pick: Nationals -142

Shockingly enough, the Washington Nationals have a better record than the Arizona Diamondbacks entering Thursday's matinee matchup.

I'm rolling with Washington with MacKenzie Gore on the bump, as he's allowed two or fewer earned runs in seven of his last eight starts and has a 2.92 Fielding Independent Pitching on the season. Arizona's Ryne Nelson hasn't fared nearly as well, posting a 5.49 ERA and 4.30 FIP in 2024.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Minnesota Twins Prediction and Pick

Pick: Twins -130

Minnesota is one of the best home teams in baseball (23-15) this season, and Simeon Woods Richardson has pitched extremely well in 11 starts. He's posted a 3.29 ERA this season, leading the Twins to an 8-3 record in his starts.

The Rays should have a chance with Zack Littell on the bump -- he's posted a 3.62 FIP -- but they've gone just 6-8 record in his starts.

Seattle Mariners vs. Cleveland Guardians Prediction and Pick

Pick: Mariners +105

I love getting Luis Castillo as an underdog in this matchup, as Logan Allen (5.30 ERA) is on the mound for the Guardians.

Castillo has a 3.32 ERA this season, and since April 14 he's allowed two or fewer runs in all but one start. I think he's a must-bet at these odds on Thursday.

Houston Astros vs. Chicago White Sox Prediction and Pick

Pick: Astros -170

One of the easiest bets to make in baseball this season?

The other team when the Chicago White Sox are starting Chris Flexen.

Flexen hasn't been good at all in 2024, posting a 5.35 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP, but the worst part is that he's led the Sox to a 2-13 record in 15 outings. I have to take the Astros -- who are a much better team -- to win outright in this one.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Colorado Rockies Prediction and Pick

Pick: Dodgers -218

Gavin Stone (3.01 ERA) has been great for the Dodgers this season, leading them to a 10-3 record in his 13 starts and holding all but two teams to three earned runs or less. He also has five innings of shutout ball against these Rockies under his belt already in 2024.

I love the Dodgers' offense to tee off on Ty Blach, who has a 4.65 ERA and a dreadful 1.41 WHIP in 2024.

Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics Prediction and Pick

Pick: Royals -148

Seth Lugo has been one of the most consistent starters in baseball, posting a 2.40 ERA and leading his Royals to a 10-5 record in his 15 starts.

The A's have won two in a row to snap an eight-game skid, but I'm not sold on them beating one of the American League's best arms so far this season.

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees Prediction and Pick

Pick: Yankees -148

I'm all about Luis Gil, who pitched 6.1 innings of two-hit ball against the O's earlier this season, to get a win on Thursday.

The Yankees are 12-2 in Gil's starts, and I think they're well equipped to beat lefty Cole Irving (3.03 ERA, 3.41 FIP) in this game. Irvin has been solid in 2024, but his ERA has risen from 2.84 to 3.03 in three starts this month.

San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals Prediction and Pick

Pick: Cardinals -108

The Giants have struggled on the road in 2024, going 16-22 straight up, and I'm not sold on them picking up a win on Thursday with Keaton Winn (6.66 ERA) on the mound.

San Fran is just 3-8 in Winn's outings, and while the Cardinals are 3-10 in Andre Pallante's appearances, they're 2-2 in his four starts and he's lowered his ERA nearly two runs over his last two outings.

Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Diego Padres Prediction and Pick

Pick: Brewers -105

The Milwaukee Brewers haven't gotten the best stuff from Bryse Wilson as of late, with his ERA rising from 2.40 to 3.84 since the start of May. However, I still think he has the advantage over youngster Adam Mazur, who has a 7.82 ERA in three outings in 2024.

The Padres ar 0-3 with Mazur on the mound, and I don't love backing them as favorites in that spot on Thursday.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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Peter Dewey


Peter is a senior editor for Sports Illustrated Betting. He has worked as a writer and editor for BetSided, NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering the NBA, WNBA, NFL, MLB, and more. A New York City resident, he is a hoops fanatic with a soft spot for his New York Knicks.