MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday June 19 (2024)

MLB Best Bets Today June 19

We have games all day long, but the MLB world is in mourning with yesterday’s passing of the great “Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays. With the special Giants vs. Cardinals game at Rickwood Field in Mays’ hometown of Birmingham, AL coming up tomorrow, the game will unfortunately serve as the perfect memorial and way to honor arguably the game’s greatest player.

Before we get to a celebration of his life on Thursday, we have 15 games to think about today, but most will be spending the day thinking of one of the game’s greatest players and greatest people.

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A heads up that there will be no MLB article on Thursday, as I have a prior commitment.

Article runs Monday-Saturday, odds current from DraftKings at time of publish, SHOP AROUND for the best prices. Tracking sheet is here.

Catch a new edition of the Double Play Podcast with Dustin Swedelson and yours truly Monday and Thursday.

Boston Red Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (-135, 8)

7:07 p.m. ET

We head north of the border for the AL East matchup between Boston and Toronto, as the Red Sox and Blue Jays wrap up their three-game set. The invaders from America are looking for a sweep in Canada, as the Sox won 7-3 in Game 1 and 4-3 in Game 2. Today, they’ll put their four-game winning streak on the line against Kevin Gausman. The Jays will try to snap their two-game skid against Brayan Bello.

Let’s start with Gausman and the matchup for the Red Sox. Boston owns a .338 wOBA against righties over the last 30 days with a .269/.341/.434 slash and they’ve done a really good job for the month as a whole with a .368 wOBA and a .296/.372/.475 slash. They are second to Arizona in wOBA this month, as the Diamondbacks offense has really gotten it going of late.

Gausman’s skill set seems to be in decline. His 93.6 mph average fastball velocity is tied for the lowest of his career. He’s running a .484 xSLG, which ranks in the Bottom 7% of MLB. He has a .325 wOBA against with a .349 xwOBA, so he’s actually showing several regression signs, including a xwOBACON of .444 that ranks in the Bottom 1% of the league. His xBA of .278 ranks in the 11th percentile and his 90.5 mph average exit velo ranks in the 13th percentile. Not to mention, his 10.8% Barrel% ranks in the Bottom 9%.

Recently, Gausman has allowed a ton of hard contact. Over his last four starts, he has a 50.6% Hard Hit% against and a 12.7% Barrel% against. A stat that can be used to illustrate quality of stuff is Z-Contact%, which is the rate of contact made on pitches in the strike zone as defined by one of Statcast, Pitch Info Solutions, or Sports Info Solutions. Using Statcast data, Gausman’s Z-Contact% over his last four starts is 90.2%. That is really poor.

Gausman’s Z-Contact% of 86.5% for the season is his highest since 2016. He’s losing his margin for error between his command and decreased velo.

On the Bello side of the ledger, the Red Sox right-hander has allowed 14 runs on 23 hits over his last three starts covering 15.2 innings of work. In fact, if we go all the way back to May 17, Bello has a 6.89 ERA with a 5.01 FIP. He’s running a .354 BABIP, which is an unfortunate byproduct of being a ground ball guy on the Red Sox staff. He’s also allowed 15 walks and has walked three batters in each of his last three outings. He’s also been worse on the road than at Fenway Park this season, which is no small feat.

For the full season, the Red Sox are -17 Outs Above Average on the infield, which ranks 28th. They are only better than the Angels and Marlins. Remember that Trevor Story went down on April 5 and he was a huge loss defensively. The Red Sox have never really rebounded defensively.

The choices here are the 1st 5 Over 4.5 at +110 or the full game Over 8 at -102. Both bullpens are up against it a little bit here. Kenley Jansen and Brennan Bernardino have each worked three of the last four days and Nate Pearson has done the same for the Jays, who are without Jordan Romano and Yimi Garcia. Trevor Richards is probably unavailable as well with 64 pitches over the last four days and he’s been starting more frequently of late.

With Gausman’s extreme third time through the order splits (.338/.348/.508, .371 wOBA in 66 PA), I’ll go full-game here because I think manager John Schneider might ask too much of him with the bullpen situation. There are some 7.5s with over juice spread around if you can find one.

Pick: Red Sox/Blue Jays Over 8 (-102)

Milwaukee Brewers (-180, 8.5) at Los Angeles Angels

9:38 p.m. ET

It will be Freddy Peralta and Tyler Anderson in this matchup at The Big A tonight between the Brewers and Angels. I actually have my eyes on a player prop in this late game and it centers around Anderson.

The Brewers come into this game ranked fourth in BB% for the season at 9.4%. Here in the month of June, they rank sixth at 9.6%. They rank ninth against lefties over the last 30 days with a 9.0% BB%.

In this matchup against Anderson, they draw a guy who has walked 10.6% of opposing batters this season after walking 10.2% last year. Earlier in his career, Anderson was pretty stingy with free passes, but that has not been the case of late, as he’s seen huge spikes in his two seasons with the Angels. Logan O’Hoppe is one of the worst framers just below the strike zone and I think that has played a part.

O’Hoppe’s called strike rate in Zone 18, which is the center of the plate, but below the strike zone, is 41.1% and that ranks seventh-worst among catchers with at least 500 called pitches. He’s also below average on pitches on the corners below the zone. Anderson is working up with the four-seamer these days, but tries to throw his other pitches low in the zone.

This has been a constant for Anderson, whose BB% by month this season is 10.3%, 10.4%, 11.7% and his home/road splits are nominal at 10.3% and 11%.

The Brewers rank 30th in Swing% at just 44.1%. The Yankees are the second-lowest at 44.3% and the Giants are the third-lowest at 45.8%. Anderson just walked five Giants last time out and walked six Yankees back on May 29. The other teams in the bottom 10 in Swing% at present are the Tigers, Reds, Blue Jays, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Cardinals, and Pirates. Anderson has faced the Reds (3) and Pirates (3), so I think the plus-money price is worth a shot here on Anderson Over 2.5 Walks Allowed.

Pick: Tyler Anderson Over 2.5 Walks Allowed (+125)

MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday June 19 (2024)

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