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, June 22
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Washington Nationals At Baltimore Orioles
You won’t find me betting too many Patrick Corbin starts. But I think the market is just dinging him too much at this point for a 6.59 ERA he simply hasn’t deserved. He has been very unlucky with a .363 BABIP (career .313) and 59% LOB. Bottom line, I expect performance closer to his 4.47 SIERA. Tyler Wells has been on the opposite end of the luck spectrum with a 3.62 ERA but a 4.72 SIERA. These pitchers and offenses have similar talent levels, so I just can’t get behind the Orioles being this big of favorites.
Current best price: Nationals
Detroit Tigers At Boston Red Sox
I know there has been a vast difference in these offenses, but Detroit has a much better pitcher on the mound here. Tarik Skubal looks like a new man and potential ace after cleaning up his home run issues. He won’t have to face lefty killer Kike Hernandez either. The addition of uber-prospect Riley Greene also gives the Tigers offense a boost. He’s been scalding the ball so far with a .438 xwOBA and more walks than strikeouts. Maybe this is the time I finally win a bet fading Michael Wacha, who keeps posting a sub-3 ERA despite awful skills including a well below par 23.1 called strike+whiff%.
If you can get +120, it might be worth a small play, but I believe there isn’t much value left here after the sharps hammered the Tigers overnight.
Current best price: Tigers
New York Yankees At Tampa Bay Rays
I was all over Shane Baz’s first two starts. His mouthwatering MiLB numbers had me projecting him as an above average arm immediately, but now I’m not so sure. You can see where his command is lagging in his zone rate (43.5%), low called strike rate (13.7%) and monster barrel rate (20%). The scary part is his .211 BABIP looks ripe for upward regression especially considering the contact he’s allowing. I don’t think he’s quite as good as the projections believe and his offense has taken some hits lacking Wander Franco and now Manny Margot, an asset versus lefties. The Rays called up prospect Josh Lowe but he stunk in his first taste of MLB and Isaac Paredes might never hit three dingers in a game again.
Current best price: Yankees
Cleveland Guardians At Minnesota Twins
I’ve long held a lower opinion than the market on Triston McKenzie. While his extreme fly ball profile rates to give him a low BABIP, I have a hard time believing .216 is sustainable, especially when he’s allowing more than 38% hard contact as he is this year. The Twins don’t look like an especially friendly matchup for him as they have their full lineup out there and have tattooed fastballs at a top-10 rate — McKenzie throws his more than 60% of the time. Sonny Gray has done his usual great work with a 3.19 SIERA and 2.9 xERA, and the Twins have a better offense than the Guardians against right-handed pitching. I have them closer to -160.
Current best price: Twins
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:
If you prefer your MLB previews in video form, subscribe to the YouTube channel of TheLines‘ sister site, PlayPicks. We’ll go over daily breakdowns there with the Coast 2 Coast crew.
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