Welcome to the Sunday, June 30 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.
6/30/19 MLB Betting Pick:
Boston Red Sox (44-39) vs. New York Yankees (53-28)
The first game of this series produced an incredible 30 runs, indicating that the makeshift diamond at London Stadium could be akin to Coors Field the way balls were flying over the short outfield fences. The lack of airflow in the stadium seemed to hurt pitchers more than help, as neither Rick Porcello nor Masahiro Tanaka could make it through the first inning.
The Yankees are hoping that recent call-up Stephen Tarpley will be able to provide more consistent results in a spot start Sunday. Since he’s only made eight appearances in relief this season, Tarpley could be used as an opener. That strategy has paid off for a Yanks team that is 7-0 in games started by Chad Green. Green should be unavailable after pitching two innings on Saturday and LHP Nestor Torres was sent down after struggling in long relief.
Tarpley is a promising former fourth round pick with a 12.98 K/9 ratio over 20 MLB appearances. He has good velocity, but his slider has been a more effective pitch this year. It just so happens that the Red Sox lead the majors with a collective 9.7 rating against sliders this year. Tarpley has also coughed up a 25% HR/FB ratio over his eight appearances this season and we saw how easy it is to hit homers in London Stadium.
Tarpley may struggle early, but the Yankees have an elite group of relievers. That’s why they lead the Majors with a collective .209 BAA in high leverage situations. If they can build a lead early against Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez, the Yanks should be able to fly home with a clean two-game sweep.
Still, the Red Sox are capable of staying hot in what could be another slugfest. Boston will hope that the red-hot Rafael Devers can continue to spark the offense from the 2-hole. J.D. Martinez continued his torrid run against pitchers in pinstripes with three hits on Saturday and Michael Chavis homered twice from the eighth spot in the lineup.
Mookie Betts notably rated 11.2 runs above average against sliders last year. He’s been average this season, but is still posting a .385 wOBA and 45.3% hard contact rate against RHP on the road. The return of Brock Holt gives the Red Sox another reliable veteran to grind out at-bats.
Eduardo Rodriguez did not have much success against the Yanks last year with a 6.62 ERA and a 7.33 BB/9 ratio over five appearances. The Yanks are only hitting .235 against LHP but have an above average 8.8% BB Rate against southpaws.
Current Yankees are 49-for-189 (.259) with a 12.6% BB Rate in their careers against E-Rod. They’ve launched 11 HRs off Rodriguez, with lefty-mashers Luke Voit, Gary Sanchez, and Edwin Encarnacion all tallying bombs. Rodriguez is posting the highest HR/FB ratio (16.7%) of his career by far and a 2.38 HR/9 ratio over his last seven starts.
Rodriguez is yielding a .293/.337/.585 slash line to LHB and Didi Gregorius is 10-for-32 (.313) to pose another matchup problem for the erratic lefty. Aaron Judge is 0-for-10 against E-Rod, but has drawn 5 walks in that small sample.
DJ LeMahieu is hitting .349 against LHP this year and should stay hot atop the order in this matchup. With more dangerous RHB at the bottom of the order in Gleyber Torres and Aaron Hicks, the Yanks should have little trouble putting runs on the board.
The Final Word
It may seem tough to bet on games with an opener because the pitching matchups are such an unknown, yet the Yankees have turned the strategy popularized by the A’s and Rays and turned it into a winning formula. It will be tough for Boston’s bats to find a rhythm against an array of pitchers and the power-happy Yanks are more than capable of going deep multiple times off Rodriguez.
Take the Yankees on the Run Line (-1.5, +124 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook) if you’re extremely confident in their offensive prospects against Rodriguez. Either way, the Yankees on the Moneyline (+126 odds on DraftKings Sportsbook) has a better than 50 percent chance to cash the way their bullpen arms have performed.
While the point total has reached dramatic heights following Saturday’s slugfest, the Over (15.5 runs on FanDuel Sportsbook) is still worth consideration at London Stadium. Both bullpens were exhausted Saturday and neither homer-prone SP can be expected to last very long given the conditions.
The Lean: Over
The Pick: Yankees Run Line