The MLB schedule is a long journey lasting more than half of the year. While that makes it a grind, it also makes it a tremendous betting opportunity. It gives our MLB picks ample time to build a sample and hopefully overcome variance, and it provides the biggest menu of bets (and potential value) when compared to almost any other sport.
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MLB Picks For Wednesday, July 13
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Boston Red Sox At Tampa Bay Rays
Shane McClanahan continues to produce an absolutely incredible season. He has a 1.73 ERA which is basically completely validated by his 2.28 xERA and 2.19 SIERA. It’s frankly difficult to pitch much better than this at the MLB level although he’s trying to push the boundaries further by throwing his changeup — his best offering by pitch values — more than 34% of the time in three recent starts.
The Red Sox would have a tough enough time on a good day. But the lineup they are projected to run out looks a bit scary. Likely missing Trevor Story and potentially even JD Martinez, they look pretty vulnerable. Arroyo/Dalbec/Downs at the bottom of the lineup strikes fear into nobody, and Rob Refsnyder and his 82 career wRC+ leading off doesn’t excite either no matter how hot he’s been so far. Matt Strahm has maybe been their best reliever too, and he also might sit this one out.
The market came with me here and sucked the value out so watch for any buy back on Boston and pounce.
Current best price: Rays
Baltimore Orioles At Chicago Cubs
Like the Rays, the side I like got hammered in the overnight markets. Unlike the Rays, I still think there’s room to play the Cubs here, because that’s how low I am on Spenser Watkins. He’s been having a solid season somehow, but I can’t find much to point to that indicates any of it is real. All of his ERA estimators are still terrible other than FIP, which is still at 4.7 and nothing to write home about. He did add a cutter but it still has negative run values, although it seems to have boosted the efficacy of his weak fastball.
I’m not even as confident as the projections are in Justin Steele, but when Watkins is this bad — projecting for a mid-5s ERA — and the Cubs also have a small edge with the bats, I think they should be closer to -160. I know fading the Orioles has been a ticket to torching money lately but I had huge value on the Cubs and will just keep fading Watkins until I’m broke or the market adjusts.
Current best price: Cubs
What to know about using MLB Picks
Generally, when looking over these MLB lines and breakdowns, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it’s a long season. There will be hot and cold streaks. Swings of 20+ units will happen. While I’ve had multiple winning seasons, there’s no guarantee I’ll come out ahead this year or any other. Always bet responsibly, and always line shop using our MLB page to find the best lines available at legal sportsbooks in your state. That will give you the best chance of turning a profit.
- MLB futures bets from TheLines writers Eli Hershkovich and Mo Nuwwarah
Furthermore, note that because of the process I’ll be using (attacking overnight markets), lines may shift significantly by the time you read this if you’re checking it out on game day. Hopefully the lines have moved in my favor, and if that’s the case – use your best judgment as to whether you still think the bet is as good as the current line.
I’ll base my plays heavily on starting pitchers, like most any MLB bettor. If you want to learn more about baseball so you can do your own handicapping, start with these resources breaking down a variety of useful metrics:
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