Welcome to the Monday, June 24 edition of the MLB Best Bets column. Here, I’ll strive to identify one MLB bet for tonight I feel has profit potential at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, 888 Sportsbook, and BetStars Sportsbook.
Depending on the circumstance, I’ll hone in on moneylines, point spreads, or projected totals. Sometimes I may even touch on multiple metrics. Then, I’ll take you on a fairly deep dive as to why.
Please note we’ll be referencing only legal, regulated sportsbook betting odds and totals here at PlayPicks. A “pick” is a wager that, as of the time of this writing, we feel confident recommending. A “lean” is a wager we favor over the other side. This play could end up on our card with the release of additional information.
6/24/19 MLB Betting Pick:
Philadelphia Phillies (39-38) vs. New York Mets (37-41)
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -130 ML (o/u: 10)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -130 ML (o/u: 10)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -136 ML (o/u: 10)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -133 ML (o/u: 10)
The Mets and Phillies open a series Monday in the midst of some embarrassing on- and off-field streaks. Philadelphia has lost seven straight, including a three-game sweep at home against the lowly Marlins. The Mets have dropped six of their last 10, then got into a verbal altercation with a beat reporter after blowing a late lead Sunday.
Something has to give with these teams set to play four games at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The pitching matchup seems to favor the host Phillies. Zach Eflin has been great this season with a 2.83 ERA and .236 BAA over 14 starts. He’s also eliciting a 43.3% GB Rate. The Mets have the second-highest GB Rate (47.3%) in the Majors when facing RHPs.
Eflin has struggled in his career against the Mets and coughed up 4 runs (3 ER) over 4 IP at Citi Field in April. Yet he’s recovered well since then. He should be able to limit the Mets’ righty-heavy lineup considering he’s posting a 20.0 K/BB ratio with a 0.66 WHIP and minuscule 2.9% HR/FB ratio at home in RvR matchups.
Then, Eflin is avoiding serious damage by utilizing his new cutter on 31.7% of pitches this season. That pitch rates 9.4 runs above average and will make it difficult for the red-hot Pete Alonso to barrel up those offerings.
Additionally, Eflin has done a good job against the Mets’ key lefty combination of slugger Michael Conforto (4-for-18, HR, 4 Ks) and leadoff man Jeff McNeil (2-for-9, 2 Ks) in his career. He owns a 24.1% K-Rate against current Mets and could certainly snap his unlucky streak today.
Starting opposite Eflin is mediocre LHP Steven Matz. He’s giving up career-worst batted ball stats: a 19.7% HR/FB ratio and a 40.4% hard contact rate.
We should see Jean Segura lead off with Sean Kingery, Rhys Hoskins, and J.T. Realmuto forming the heart of Philly’s order. Kingery is hitting .390 off LHPs, Hoskins owns a .492 wOBA at home against lefties, and Realmuto is posting a 22.3% HR/FB ratio with a stellar 33.3% LD Rate against the platoon.
Philly should also use platoon specialist Sean Rodriguez and young OF Roman Quinn to attack Matz, who is yielding a .299 BAA with a 7.00 FIP on the road against righties.
It would be wise to move Cesar Hernandez into the two-hole and consider moving Bryce Harper down or perhaps bringing the struggling slugger off the bench in the later innings.
Hernandez is 5-for-11 with 5 BB in his career against Matz. The Phillies have the 10th-highest BB Rate (9.5%) against LHPs overall. And Hernandez is a crafty switch hitter with a 10.8% BB Rate at home.
Overall, Philadelphia leads the Majors with a 24.9% LD Rate against LHPs but has a below-average 97 wRC+ due to an unlucky .298 BABIP against southpaws. Those numbers indicate positive regression should be coming for a Phillies team that can stack a dangerous righty-heavy lineup against Matz.
It’s worth noting the Phillies have the second-best rating (8.1) against sliders, and Matz leans on his slider (-5.5 rating this season) to keep RHBs off balance. And while the Phillies have struggled against fastballs lately, Matz has struggled to control his heater with a net -16.1 rating on that pitch over the last three seasons.
Those shortcomings led to Matz getting shelled for 6 ER on 4 hits without recording an out in an April 16 start at Philadelphia. He recovered with a Quality Start (6 IP, 1 ER, 6 K) against the Phillies at home the following week. Still, he’s generally been awful with his 6.21 ERA and 6.77 FIP on the road.
The Final Word
Despite their recent struggles, the Phillies are 23-17 at home this season. The Mets are 17-27 on the road and 7-18 over their last 25 road tilts. The Mets also have the fourth-lowest cover percentage (47.7%) on run lines when playing on the road and a 47.4% cover percentage in division games.
The 10-run total on this game is surprisingly high considering the Phillies have scored the second-fewest runs (44) in the Majors with a 50 wRC over the last 14 days. The Mets offense has been more productive but owns a modest .249 collective average with a 90 wRC+ on the road.
Betting the home team is the stronger option, but the Under (10 runs on BetStars NJ) is also worth consideration.
The Pick: Phillies Run Line (-1.5, +155) and Phillies Money Line (-130)