Take Three: Three Not So Obvious Bets (6/15)

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Written by James Novak, @avengerjr28

If you look at the MLB betting lines for June 15, there are a lot of heavy favorites on the board today. When you see a day of heavy favorites like this, that leaves you a couple of different options. Before getting into three not so obvious money line bets that exist today, here is a quick glance of the heavy favorites that are on today’s board.

  • Arizona @ Washington (Washington -225 money line, -115 run line, 4:05 EST start): Stephen Strasburg squares off against Taylor Clarke, making Washington a heavy favorite today.
  • Boston @ Baltimore (Boston -330 money line, -190 run line, 4:05 EST start): Chris Sale looks to get his third win of the season today when he squares off against Dylan Bundy, who sports a 4.50 ERA this season.
  • Toronto @ Houston (Houston -225 money line, -120 run line, 4:10 EST start): Framber Valdez looks to build off a great start against Baltimore today, squaring off against a struggling Clayton Richard and his 7.04 ERA.
  • Cleveland @ Detroit (Cleveland -250 money line, -165 run line, 6:10 EST start): Shane Bieber takes the mound against Gregory Soto and his 11.20 ERA in today’s action.
  • Kansas City @ Minnesota (Minnesota -260 money line, -135 run line, 7:10 EST start): Jake Odorizzi is on the hill today for the Twins and their high-powered offense, against Glenn Sparkman for the Royals.
  • Seattle @ Oakland (Oakland -225 money line, -115 run line, 9:07 EST start): Frankie Montas takes the mound for Oakland today against the struggling left-hander Wade LeBlanc for the Mariners.

Now, here are three money line bets that may have really good value, even though it may not be obvious at first glance.

  1. Miami Marlins (-122) at home vs. Pittsburgh: 6:10 EST
Pablo Lopez, starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins

In a battle of struggling clubs, the Marlins host the Pirates for the second game of a three game set on Saturday night. Both teams are 3-7 in their last ten games, and have very similar run differentials for the season (Pirates -76, Marlins -77). If you look at tonight’s pitching match-up, the value play is the Marlins.

The Marlins have Pablo Lopez on the mound tonight, who in his last three starts has given up two earned runs in 18 innings of work, while striking out 19 batters. This includes giving up one run in six innings against Atlanta, and no runs in six innings at Milwaukee. Lopez also sports a 1.78 ERA in his six starts at home this season. Lopez will square off against Dario Agrazal, a 24 year old prospect that sports a 3.27 ERA in 12 minor league starts this season. At the start of this season, Agrazal was listed as the 29th best prospect in the Pirates organization. Ignore the fact that the Marlins have the worst record in the NL and bet them with confidence tonight.

2. Chicago White Sox (+155) at home vs. the New York Yankees , 7:10 EST

Reynaldo Lopez, starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox

Of the eight teams with 3-7 records in baseball over their last ten games, the only team that is not in the bottom half of their division is the New York Yankees. The Yankees have found themselves struggling as of late, and it has continued in the first two games of a four game set with the White Sox. The White Sox have won their last three games (tied for the longest current winning streak in the AL), and find themselves trending in the right direction. In tonight’s game, the Sox send Reynaldo Lopez to the mound to extend their winning streak to four games.

Although Lopez’s season numbers are very underwhelming, he is coming off one of his best starts of the season, in which he gave up one run in six innings of work at Kansas City. Lopez is also 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his two career starts against the Yankees. The Yankees will use a committee approach for tonight’s game, starting with relief pitcher Chad Green. The Yankees are 4-0 in games started by Green this season, even though his ERA for the season is 8.27. Their pitching numbers have ballooned in the wrong direction so far in June, as their team ERA is 6.12 for their 12 games in June. Yesterday’s game was also the third time in June that the Yankees have given up double digit runs to an opponent.

Normally, this would not be such an attractive game to bet. However, with the Yankees trending downward, the White Sox trending upward, and the Yankees being 2-6 in their last eight games vs. the White Sox, it may very well be worth it to take a flier on the White Sox tonight.

3. San Francisco Giants (-105) at home vs.Milwaukee, 4:05 EST

Madison Bumgarner, starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants

Don’t look now, but the San Francisco Giants are 6-4 in their last ten games, and their three game winning streak is currently the second longest winning streak in the NL. The NL Central division leading Brewers are also 6-4 in their last ten games, and currently sport a 17-17 record away from Miller Park. The Giants will send their ace, Madison Bumgarner, to the mound today to try to stretch that winning streak to four games. Will he stare and scream at a Brewer today if they hit a ball into McCovey cove?

Bumgarner sports a 7-4 career record against the Brewers in 12 starts, with an impressive 2.63 ERA. He has also only given up eight runs in his last 25 innings pitched, which comes out to a 2.88 ERA. The Brewers will counter today with Jimmy Nelson, who is looking to rebound after a less than stellar return from the injured list in his last start. In his five career starts against the Giants, Nelson is 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA. Will Nelson be able to turn it around in his second start off the injured list?

If you look at the entire body of the work for the season, picking the Giants over the Brewers would rarely seem like a good value play. With the current circumstances, however, things may be rolling the right way for the Giants to build off of their recent momentum and steal a series win from the Brewers today at Oracle Park.

Any bettor can look at the board and just take the heavy favorites. If you are looking for one or two good value plays that are close to even money today, consider one of the three listed above. It’s not many days that three of the best value money line plays will be these teams. Take advantage of their recent success and the advantageous pitching match-ups that they have today.

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