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The One Hitter: MLB game-by-game betting breakdown (6/17)

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Matt Kupferle

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Each day, we are going to try and give you a quick preview of today’s main slate and any interesting betting angles that we spot. Take a peek and let us know your thoughts.

New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays

Yankees (-126), Blue Jays (+108)
Total: 10.5 runs
Michael King (R) vs. T.J. Zeuch (R)

I feel kind of bad for Michael King and T.J. Zeuch, who take the mound Thursday in this game. The contest takes place in Sahlen Field in Buffalo, as the Jays still aren’t allowed back in Canada. This park ranked as one of the most hitter-friendly venues last season. King has been decent, but his 10.9% strikeout-to-walk ratio is poor, as is his 8.4% swinging-strike rate. Zeuch also isn’t winning the Cy Young this season as he is walking more batters than he is whiffing.

Best bets: The OVER. Let there be runs! 

Chicago Cubs at New York Mets

Cubs (+120), Mets (-142)
Total: 7.0 runs
Kyle Hendricks (R) vs. Marcus Stroman (R)

After a brutal start to the season, Kyle Hendricks has quietly been pitching his tail off for the Cubs, and they needed it — between injuries to Adbert Alzolay and poor efforts from veteran Jake Arrieta, after trading away Yu Darvish this offseason, this rotation desperately needed some help. The bigger issue lies with the Cub offense — they have been struggling to score as of late, and over the last 14 days, they clock in third worst in wOBA with a strikeout rate north of 27%.

Best bets: The Mets have the largest divisional lead in all of baseball, and I expect them to win again tonight. Take them in a F5 or moneyline bet with minimal juice. 

St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves

Cardinals (+164), Braves (-196)
Total: 9.0 runs
John Gant (R) vs. Charlie Morton (R)

The Cardinals just swept the Miami Marlins despite showing about as little offensive prowess as possible, winning the last two games behind a combined three runs. Luckily for them, they matched up with an offense in the Marlins that was about as bad as theirs is. That won’t be the case Thursday against the Braves, who are outstanding offensively and play in SunTrust Park, which ranks as a top-10 field in terms of both park factor and home run factor. John Gant has to pitch better — he was pulled in his last outing recording only four outs and walking five batters, which is typically not a relationship you seek out.

Best bets: This screams as a FanDuel same-game parlay special — the Braves are clicking, and Gant is not. 

Chicago White Sox at Houston Astros

White Sox (+120), Astros (-140)
Total: 9.0 runs
Dylan Cease (R) vs. José Urquidy (R)

This is a potential ALCS preview, as the team with the best record in the American League (White Sox) takes on an Astros squad that is knocking on the 40-win door and has the league’s second-best offense over the last two weeks. Dylan Cease has added depth to a juggernaut White Sox rotation that was already strong — he’s finally tapped into some of his massive potential, recording a 3.32 ERA and 85 whiffs in only 65 innings this season. That will be sorely put to the test Thursday.

Best bets: As good as these offenses are, I really like the UNDER. Both Cease and Urquidy have been throwing the heck out of the ball. 

Cincinnati Reds at San Diego Padres

Reds (+144), Padres (-172)
Total: 7.5 runs
Wade Miley (L) vs. Joe Musgrove (R)

The Padres made three massive offseason acquisitions to shore up their rotation, and boy did they need it, with both Adrian Morejon and Mike Clevenger will be out for the season. But perhaps the most significant-yet-unheralded change was acquiring Joe Musgrove of the Pirates. Over 72 innings pitched, the right-hander has been brilliant in 2021, striking out nearly 100 batters (96), all while recording a 2.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. As equally as impressive has been Wade Miley — owning a no-hitter this year, Miley sports a 2.92 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.

Best bets: This should be a good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel — I don’t want to invest a ton of equity here, but the UNDER is my lean. 

Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies

Brewers (-156), Rockies (+132)
Total: 10.5 runs
Brandon Woodruff (R) vs. Germán Márquez (R)

A four-game set kicks off in Denver, and on paper, this one looks like a solid pitching matchup — but which Germán Márquez plans to show up? He’s actually been brilliant in 2021 in his home digs this year, but the righty was obliterated in his last start for seven earned over five innings pitched. That boosted his ERA up to a 4.60 mark for the season. With a very hefty wind blowing out and temperatures expected near 90 degrees, this thing is ripe for runs scored.

Best bets: The pitchers are solid, but there are too many external factors to avoid an OVER here. 

Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Angels

Tigers (+160), Angels (-190)
Total: 8.5 runs
Matt Manning (R) vs. Shohei Ohtani (R)

So we like to use the moniker “combo meal” if a player hits a home run and steals a bag in the same game. What happens if they pitcher their team to victory and hit a homer? Man, what Shohei Ohtani is doing right now is so incredibly fun, and this is perhaps the biggest mismatch on paper of the day. The Tigers are recalling Matt Manning from Triple-A, and the move, at least to me, is a bit of a peculiar one. In 32 innings pitched, Manning has been obliterated for an 8.07 ERA and 3.06 HR/9 — expect a big-time Angels effort here.

Best bets: The Angels roll their ace out on the mound against a struggling young arm — pound all of the Angels bets here. 

Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners

Rays (-176), Mariners (+148)
Total: 8.5 runs
Rich Hill (L) vs. Justin Dunn (R)

Can we pause for a minute here and give this some appreciation — how does someone like Rich Hill get the nickname of Dick Mountain? I mean, I can kind of put the puzzle pieces together here, but what a name. And how about the fact that the veteran lefty, who’s north of the age of 40, is just having an absolutely dominant season on the mound this year? In 66.2 innings pitched, Hill has flummoxed hitters to the tune of a 3.38 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, striking out better than a batter per inning. This could be quite the spicy pitching matchup, as Justin Dunn, over 48.1 innings pitched, has also whiffed a batter per inning.

Best bets: While the Seattle offense has improved here, it still isn’t anything to brag about. Take the UNDER. 

(Get all my MLB betting picks here)

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