Best MLB Bets Today – Free (Thursday 6/15)


Welcome to the FTN’s free MLB Picks of the Day, featuring our favorite or best MLB bets. FTN will be posting a play or two from the MLB card — for free!

Today, MLBdream provides his picks. 


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Best MLB Bets and Picks Today

Tampa Bay Rays @ Oakland Athletics 

Rays -205 @ A’s +168 — Total 8.5 (FanDuel Sportsbook)

The Rays and A’s wrap up a four-game set Thursday afternoon in Oakland, with Taj Bradley on the bump for Tampa. The A’s have been playing their best ball of the season, winners of seven straight before losing to Tampa 6-3 Wednesday night. I don’t have a bet on a side, but I did find an edge in the strikeout market in this one. 

Rays rookie right-hander Taj Bradley makes his ninth career start Thursday, as he draws a good matchup against the Athletics. Bradley has struck out over 12 hitters per 9 innings so far this season, good enough for a 31.7% strikeout percentage, which ranks him in the 91st percentile. Bradley’s 84.1% zone-contact percentage would rank in the top 20 in baseball, tied with Cristian Javier and Sandy Alcantara. The 22-year-old has cashed this number in six of his eight starts, despite facing some disciplined lineups. Bradley’s best strikeout pitch has been his curveball this season – sitting down 54.5% of batters with that offering and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him increase its usage. The Oakland bats have had their issues with breaking balls in 2023. 

The A’s have the second-highest strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching this season at 25.3%, only the Twins have been worse. Nobody makes less contact on pitches outside the strike zone than Oakland and their contact percentage on pitches inside the strike zone ranks in the bottom 10 of the league. Their 12.3% swinging-strike percentage is tied for the sixth highest and is only 0.3% behind the Twins for the worst in baseball. I mentioned the A’s trouble with curves this season, they lead baseball with a 41.3% K% and their .224 wOBA is the fourth worst. 

I’m projecting Taj Bradley to pitch about five innings Thursday and K the six Athletics we need to cash. As always, check out FTN’s Prop Shop to grab the best number on the market.


Taj Bradley Over 5.5 K’s (-128 , FanDuel Sportsbook)

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