Buckle up, baseball fans, because it’s going to be a wild weekend. There are seven matchups between division rivals, not to mention other intriguing rivalry games of days past. The fun gets started on Friday with 16 games, including a doubleheader and a couple of day games. There is a lot to absorb just on Friday alone, so let’s take a look at the best bets and important betting trends that everyone should know about.
One trend to note is that the BetQL model has gone 18-6 (75%) on all moneyline picks the last three days for a total return of $534 on $100 bets. BetQL subscribers can see more betting trends and all of our best bets with star ratings for every game. Sign up for a BetQL Day Pass and see our best bets across all sports!
Rays -160 at Orioles ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Once again, the Orioles are on the short end of a five-star pick from the BetQL model. Oddsmakers list the Rays at -160 for Friday’s series opener, which is a modest number compared to the BetQL model, which has Tampa’s moneyline at -269 while giving the Rays a 73% chance of winning. To be fair, the Rays are in a slump, losing five of their last six games after getting swept by the Yankees this week. But playing the Orioles should be exactly what Tampa needs to get back on track.
The big question is what the Rays can expect from Shane Baz, who will be making just the fifth start of his career and second of the season. He got knocked around by the Twins for five runs in 2.1 innings last week. However, that start may have just been him getting the butterflies out of his system. Baz has a 1.38 ERA at triple-A this year, so the stuff is there. If he can settle down, he’ll surely be able to handle the Orioles and snap Tampa’s unusual losing streak.
Shane Baz Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+100, DraftKings)
After getting lit up in his first start of the year at Minnesota (ignore his 19.29 ERA), I expect the Rays prospect to show up in this matchup against the lowly Orioles. Baz showed strikeout stuff over 60 minor league starts since he was 18 years old, registering 298 strikeouts over 249.0 innings and has punched out 20 hitters in 15.2 career Major League innings. The young righty is now 23 and has battled through injuries, but has an electricity around him that should be evident in the near future. This Orioles lineup has struck out an average of 8.98 times per game (fifth-most in MLB), including 8.93 times per contest at home (third-most in MLB), so he’ll be in a great spot to miss some bats on Friday night. While the main concern is his pitch count and how deep into this game he ends up going, if he lasts only three or four innings, he can still double your money in this particular matchup. -- Dan Karpuc
With five straight losses, the Nationals are now 21 games under .500, so playing a doubleheader on Friday may not be what the doctor ordered. To make matters worse, Joan Anon will start the first game despite the Nationals being 1-11 in his starts this season.
The Cubs have lost 10 in a row and are now just 11-24 at home this year. On the other end of the spectrum, the Braves have won 14 in a row, going 12-2 ATS during that stretch.
The Rays have lost five of their last six games, dropping series to the Twins and Yankees, so they might be due for a win, especially against a losing team. However, the Orioles have scored at least five runs in 10 of their 14 games in June while scoring at least six runs in five of their last six games.
Like most of the NL Central, the Brewers are spiraling at the moment, losing 12 of their last 15 games and losing their hold on first place in the division. The silver lining is Milwaukee gets to play the last-place Reds, perhaps taking advantage of going 22-12 (.647) this season against losing teams.
With a 10-1 win in Thursday’s series opener, the Phillies are now 12-2 in June ahead of Friday’s doubleheader. Much like Thursday’s game, the last eight games these two teams played last season all hit the over.
With a win on Wednesday, the Pirates were able to put a stop to their nine-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Giants had their five-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday. San Francisco is poised to get going again with a 13-6 SU record as a road favorite this season. However, under Derek Shelton, the Pirates are 27-17 ATS when they have a moneyline between +150 and +200 at home.
There still seems to be no stopping the Yankees, who have put together a seven-game winning streak after sweeping the Rays. Naturally, they lead the majors in homers, averaging 1.6 per game. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are just 30-35 under Charlie Montoyo when facing teams that average at least 1.5 home runs per game.
The Rangers are still trying to overcome a sluggish start to the season and remain three games under .500. Of course, in addition to losing five straight games, the Tigers have lost seven in a row when facing AL West teams with a losing record.
Both of these teams are in top form right now, as Boston is 11-3 in June while the Cards are 5-2 since getting swept by the Rays last week. But it’s also worth mentioning that St. Louis has won six of the last seven games that ageless wonder Adam Wainwright has started.
Friday marks the first time these NL East rivals have met this season. Of course, the Mets have been excellent against the rest of the division, going 19-7 SU against NL East foes, giving them the best intra-division winning percentage in baseball at .731. In fairness, Miami ranks fourth against their division rivals, going 16-9 (.640) SU. The difference is the Mets are 19-7 ATS within the division while Miami is 13-12 ATS.
With their injuries, the White Sox are slugging just .379 this season. Meanwhile, the Astros are 31-13 (.705) against teams that have a slugging percentage of .410 or less. On top of that, the favorite has won the last nine meetings between these two teams.
After a four-game sweep of the Cubs this week, the first-place Padres have won eight of their last 10 games. Of course, their two losses during that stretch came last weekend against the Rockies. However, the Padres have the best road record in baseball at 24-11 (.686).
Despite a 3.50 ERA, Madison Bumgarner has been a bad omen for the D’Backs this year, as Arizona has lost his last four starts and is just 5-8 in his 13 starts. On Friday, Bumgarner and the D’Backs have to face lefty Devin Smeltzer and his 2.38 ERA. On the bright side, Arizona is 9-3 SU under Torey Lovullo when facing an American League team with a starting pitcher whose ERA is 2.90 or less.
For the A’s, the only thing worse than going 2-7 on a road trip is having to come home, where they are just 7-23 this year. Even with Frankie Montas on the mound, Oakland is just 3-10 this season. But the A’s did win his last start despite Montas having one of his worst outings of the season, snapping a nine-game losing streak in games he's started. On the other hand, Kansas City is just 9-20 on the road this year, so something has to give in this series.
The Angels got a win in Thursday’s series opener, although they still have just six total runs in their last four games. But they are also 10-25 (.286) this year when facing a starter who gives up 5.5 hits per game or fewer. Seattle’s Robbie Ray is giving up just 5.3 hits per start.
The Dodgers have fallen out of first place in the NL West, although they are still averaging 5.1 runs per game on the season despite scoring two runs or less in four of their last five games. Meanwhile, the Guardians are just 11-20 (.355) against teams that average at least five runs per game.
BetQL subscribers can see more betting trends and all of our best bets with star ratings for every game. Sign up for a BetQL Day Pass and see our best bets across all sports!