Welcome to the Tuesday, June 25 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.
6/25/19 MLB Betting Picks
Philadelphia Phillies (40-38) vs. New York Mets (37-42)
DraftKings Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -159 ML (o/u: 10.5)
FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -164 ML (o/u: 10.5)
888 Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -165 ML (o/u: 10.5)
BetStars Sportsbook Odds: Phillies -167 ML (o/u: 10.5)
The Phillies snapped out of their offensive funk in a big way to open this series, jumping all over LHP Steven Matz en route to a 13-7 win.
At first glance, it looks like their offense should keep rolling against rookie RHP Walker Lockett. The former fourth round pick gave up 6 ER over 2.1 IP in a tough spot start at Wrigley Field. He posted a troublesome 13.2% BB Rate and 28.6% HR/FB ratio over his first four MLB appearances last year.
Still, Lockett’s his peripherals (20% swinging strike rate, 2.76 FIP) looked promising and he can’t be considered as a doormat when he takes the mound at Citizens Bank Park tonight. Lockett will be successful when he generates ground ball outs (54% GB Rate over 5 MLB appearances) and the Phillies happen to have the seventh-highest GB Rate (45.2%) when facing RHP this season.
While Lockett allowed RHB to go 16-for-38 (.308) at the AAA level this spring, he was far worse against lefties last year. Lockett yielded a .324 BAA with a 1.75 WHIP and a notable 2.25 HR/9 ratio against LHB with the Mets Syracuse affiliate in 2018.
Therefore, switch hitter Cesar Hernandez, high-priced lefty slugger Bryce Harper, and potential leadoff man Jean Segura could all continue to snap out of their June funk with another solid offensive day against Lockett.
Scott Kingery has struggled with a 27.6% K-Rate at home in RvR matchups and could get moved down in the order after leading off on Monday. Maikel Franco homered last night, but has been far from dependable this year.
Rhys Hoskins can be counted upon to do some damage with a 46.1% hard contact rate and 24.3% HR/FB at home against RHP. Jay Bruce should be called upon to start and he certainly has the potential to take Lockett deep.
Note that the Mets bullpen, which blew a game Sunday and sealed the loss Monday, now owns a 4.75 ERA. That is the second-worst mark amongst National League teams. Things could get ugly for the visitors if Lockett is knocked out of the game in the early innings again.
The Phillies turn to righty veteran Jake Arrieta to try and keep their momentum going. Arrieta is dealing with declining velocity and has a weak 7.3% swinging strike rate with a 20% HR/FB ratio this season.
The 33-year-old is posting a 55.4% GB Rate and has much better batted ball data (17.7% LD Rate, 11.4% HR/FB ratio) when pitching at home. He has had significant trouble with LHB, yielding a 2.27 HR/9 ratio and .374 wOBA to lefties.
Mets leadoff man Jeff McNeil is 7-for-13 with a HR in a small sample against Arrieta and could present problems at the top of the order. Michael Conforto is also a significant threat for Arrieta.
The Mets most dangerous RHB (Pete Alonso and Todd Frazier) also match up well against Arrieta, who has struggled with a slider that he throws 51.7% of the time. Alonso is hitting .322 with a .355 ISO Mark on the road against RHP and is one of the toughest outs in the league right now.
Catcher Wilson Ramos is also a threat to tag Arrieta, and we could see LHB Dominic Smith start after a solid two-hit performance last night.
The Final Word
We were all over the Phillies in last night’s opener, but this matchup is a bit harder to call.
Since Arrieta has been such a boom-bust SP and the Mets could wind up getting blown out again if Walker Lockett gets knocked out early, we’re still leaning towards the Phillies (-1.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook) on the Run Line.
However, the Mets (+142 on FanDuel Sportsbook) are getting such better odds on the Moneyline that it makes sense to take them in a virtual toss up.
The strongest bet may be the Over (10.5 runs on BetStars NJ) because both pitchers could falter and both bullpens are exhausted after a 13-7 decision last night. Citizens Bank Park has one of the highest HR Factors for LHB and both starters have shown homer-prone tendencies when facing lefties.
The Lean: Mets Moneyline (+142)
The Pick: Over (10.5)