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Free MLB Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (6/30/22)

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What a great day of baseball yesterday! With the Red Sox/Blue Jays and Twins/Guardians playing multiple down-to-the-wire games, we started to see a glimpse of what postseason baseball could look like this year. What's in store today? Let's find out.

Welcome back, RotoBallers! In this article, I'll be providing my MLB favorite betting picks on Thursday, June 30th, 2022, for the 8-game 1:10 PM EST slate. Personally, my approach stems a bit more on the analytical side; I utilize a projection model I created utilizing projections from THE BAT X and Fangraphs Depth Charts to estimate the true talent of each lineup and pitching staff, adjusting for the team's pitcher. Based on the expected run differential each team is supposed to have in a game, we can compare this to see how much a team should theoretically win by, which allows us to translate that into a win probability, which leads to an adjusted money-line. For game totals, the implied runs scored and runs allowed for each team (with today's starting pitcher) are used, along with Baseball Savant park factors. This is not the "end all be all," but having some objective system to identify potential sources of value can be extremely helpful!

Today, we will be looking at the best side and total bets for today's slate. With only eight games, there aren't as many value spots today, though still multiple that offer a lot of intrigue. What sides/totals should you have your eye on? Let's dive right into today's action!

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MLB Betting Projection Model Results

*NOTE: Negative Diff indicates that the home team is projected to win, and vice versa.

 

Today's MLB Betting Picks - Reds @ Cubs

O/U: 9.5 | Moneyline: CHC -125

CIN: Graham Ashcraft | CHC: Kyle Hendricks

The season started very toughly for the Reds, but Cincinnati has been a .500 team since the first weekend of May. They are starting to see some clear progress with regards to their young talent, both in their farm system and in the rotation.

Hunter Greene garners most of the spotlight in Cincinnati, but don't forget about Graham Ashcraft. Since being promoted to the MLB level, the 24-year-old has impressed with a 3.72 skill interactive ERA (SIERA), and it all comes back to his unique arsenal. Between a 97 MPH cutter and sinker, Ashcraft has two pitches that combined for a 68.8% ground ball rate allowed, leading to him inducing ground balls on 57.8% of the batted balls against him. Will his elite quality of contact suppression continue? Maybe not, but considering he also limits walks (4.1% BB) at an elite clip, it should continue against a below-average offense in terms of runs per game (19th entering Wednesday) this season.

Once upon a time, this was the story of Kyle Hendricks. Now? Not so much. In fact, with just a 37.2% ground ball rate allowed, he is actually inducing fewer ground balls than the league average. Consequently, since the start of 2021, he has allowed an 8.8% barrel rate and 1.54 HR/9, which, by this point, should be the expectation moving forward. Add that to a middling strikeout rate (17.2%), and you get the 4.83 ERA THE BAT has projected for. Thus, the Reds would appear to have the pitching advantage even though these teams are roughly identical in run differential. Simply by that logic, shouldn't that give Cincinnati the upper hand? That's what we're banking on here.

Pick: Cincinnati ML (+108), WynnBet Sportsbook

 

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Today's MLB Betting Picks - Rays @ Blue Jays

O/U: 8.5 | Moneyline: TOR -139
TB: Jeffrey Springs | TOR: Yusei Kikuchi

Considering the Blue Jays and Rays are each trying to solidify themselves as American League wildcard teams and are just 1.5 games separated from one another, it's safe to say this upcoming five-game series is as pivotal as it gets. While the Blue Jays are the team with all the star power, it's the always overlooked Rays that should come out on top here.

Do you want to know why the Rays can maintain competitiveness despite a minuscule payroll? Striking gold with a player every other team casts aside. That was the case with Jeffrey Springs, who was looked at as simply a reliever but transitioned into Tampa Bay's rotation at the end of April, and the results have been fantastic. Since April 28th (when he moved into the rotation), the lefty has an Uber-impressive 26.9% strikeout rate, 22.1% K-BB, and a 3.15 SIERA, and has maintained effectiveness despite working up to five-six inning stints. It's always tough going against a powerful Blue Jays lineup, but Springs is the type of pitcher who can hold them in check.

Plus, the pitching advantage is clearly on the Rays' side. Although there were high expectations for starter Yusei Kikuchi when the Blue Jays signed him to a three-year, $36 million contract, the results have not been pretty. The 31-year-old has continued to struggle mightily with the long ball, while his command (12% walk rate) has been out of sorts this season. That combination is not ideal and helps explain why he's only averaging just four innings a start this season. Thus, along with him, Toronto likely relies on lower-leverage relievers for an already tired bullpen, which gives Tampa Bay a notable edge here.

Are the Blue Jays likely the better team here? Yes, but the gap in run prevention for this game is enough to side with the Rays here. I'd bank on Toronto showing their star power in this series once it's time for their aces to take the hill, but in this game, expect some Rays magic on full display.

Pick: Tampa Bay ML (+129), WynnBet Sportsbook

 

 

Good luck, RotoBallers! Stay tuned for more great DFS and betting content throughout the week! For more betting/fantasy content, you can follow me at @talkmvp.



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