MLB Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Giants vs. Padres, Pirates vs. Marlins & More on Thursday’s Slate (6/22/23)
This article analyzes the betting odds and best bets to make on moneylines, run lines and over/under totals for MLB games on Thursday, June 22. There are just eight games on the 6/22/23 MLB slate, half of which start in the 1pm ET timeslot.
Despite the small slate, we still have some excellent pitchers like Shane McLanahan and Bryce Elder taking the mound, as well as a few marquee divisional matchups like Braves vs. Phillies and Padres vs. Giants.
MLB Best Bets for Thursday, June 22
Here are the best moneyline, spread and over/under bets for Thursday, June 22.
Giants moneyline (+112) vs. Padres
Starting pitchers: LHP Blake Snell (3-6, 3.48 ERA) vs. LHP Alex Wood (2-1, 4.11 ERA)
The Padres are favored because they have the edge in the pitching matchup in this game, but getting better than even money to take the better team at home is too tempting to ignore.
The Giants have been red hot with a 10-game winning streak and the best record in baseball over the last month. The Padres have continued to hover just below .500. The Giants are second in the majors in runs during the month of June, while the Padres have remained around league average.
San Francisco’s lineup has a tough test with Snell, who has been pitching lights out over his last five starts (0.60 ERA, 0.90 WHIP over 30 innings). He has struck out 12 batters in back-to-back games which has helped him to post a 13.5 K/9 rate over his last five outings.
Wood does not inspire as much confidence, but he is coming off one of his best starts of the season, allowing no runs and just three hits (0 walks) against the Dodgers on June 17.
I’ll take the home team with the hotter bats over the lackluster offense and the hot pitcher, especially when I can get that at +112 odds.
Pirates moneyline (+134) vs. Marlins
Starting pitchers: RHP Mitch Keller (8-3, 3.62 ERA) vs. LHP Braxton Garrett (3-2, 3.88 ERA)
We picked one streak to continue with the Giants winning, and now we’re picking one to end with the Pirates snapping their 9-game skid. Their recent struggles have spoiled what was once a promising start to the season, but they are in a good spot to get off the schneid today in Miami.
Marlins starter Braxton Garrett is having a good season, but his splits portend that he could be in a tough spot tonight. He has been much better on the road (2.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 41-1/3 IP) than he has at home (6.35 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 28-1/3 IP). He has also been much better in day games (1.81 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 49-2/3 IP) than he has at night (9.00 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 20 IP).
The Pirates are a righty-heavy lineup that should fare well against Garrett. They are slashing .264/.343/.414 against lefties compared to .230/.310/.383 against righties. They are also scoring better on the road (4.44 runs per game) than they are at home (3.86) and they are better at night (4.5 runs on .250/.326/.421) than during the day (3.73 on .230/.312/.358).
Those numbers give me enough confidence to like the Pirates to get a much-needed win tonight, and the +134 odds make it even more appealing.
Royals vs. Rays over 7.5 runs (-120)
Starting pitchers: RHP Jose Cuas (3-0, 4.15 ERA) vs. LHP Shane McLanahan (11-1, 2.12 ERA)
The total in this game is depressed by the matchup between one of the best pitchers in baseball against one of the weakest offenses.
The Rays’ Shane McLanahan leads the league in ERA and wins and is the current frontrunner to win the AL Cy Young award. The Royals have scored the second-fewest runs per game this season (3.73) and have been even worse during the month of June (3.06, last in the league).
Last I checked, there is no rule that says both teams need to score runs for the over to hit, and the Rays are perfectly capable of pushing the total over 7.5 all by themselves. They are averaging 5.55 runs per game this season, though they have cooled off slightly in June (4.63). They also tend to show up when McLanahan is on the mound – they average 7.46 runs per 9 innings in his starts this season.
Helping matters further is that Kansas City is throwing a bullpen game today. Reliever Jose Cuas is making his first career start (he never started a game in the minors either). He has not pitched more than two innings in 79 career appearances, and has only completed six outs once in his short career.
As a unit, the Royals’ bullpen has a 4.82 ERA (28th) and a 1.47 WHIP (28th). Tampa Bay should have plenty of scoring opportunities today, and if the Royals can manage even 1 or 2 runs, then the total should clear 7.5 runs pretty easily.