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 Thursday, June 30
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New York Yankees At Houston Astros
Yesterday in New York — against the other NY team — Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Pena collided in short left field. It didn’t look like the worst collision ever, but Alvarez reportedly wound up carted off, and Pena exited the game as well.
I don’t expect either one to play today regardless of how concussion testing turns out. That turns what I thought was a pretty fair line into a small edge on the Yankees. I got -117 and still saw a -121 hanging around this morning, which I think is good enough to bet. Once you get past -125 it starts getting iffy, but JJ Matijevic (47% K rate so far) and Aledmys Diaz (just a useful backup) represent big steps down. Alvarez has been the best hitter in baseball this season and Pena has quietly accumulated 2.4 WAR through solid hitting and great defense. I also like the matchup a bit for the Yanks offense as they are fourth in hitting against cutters, Luis Garcia’s best pitch and most used secondary.
Current best price: Yankees
Cincinnati Reds At Chicago Cubs
Here we have another Wrigley outfield wind special, and that’s my main angle behind taking the Reds and the over. The wind howling out makes for a premium on grounders and that’s exactly what Graham Ashcraft brings in bunches with a stellar 57.5% rate of worm burners. The Cubs love to pound the ball into the turf, sporting the second-highest grounder rate in baseball. Ashcraft sits in the rarified air of the negative launch angle club alongside the likes of Framber Valdez, so he figures to do better than most in this matchup.
On the other side, one-time grounder master Kyle Hendricks has become heavily tilted to fly balls in recent years. A 16-degree launch angle looks quite scary in this scenario, and it’s not like Hendricks excels at getting weak pop-ups as he’s allowing more than 1.5 HR/9 each of the past two seasons.
Current best price: Reds
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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