MLB Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Red Sox vs. Cubs, Dodgers vs. Mets & More from Friday’s Slate (7/14/23)

Baseball is back! Sure, it’s only been a few days without games that count, but the next day without any games won’t come until the regular season ends. The second half begins with a few key matchups, including another Brewers-Reds series and a fun interleague battle between the Marlins and Orioles. Let’s take a look at some of the odds for these matchups along with the best bets on the board this Friday.

MLB Best Bets For July 14

Here’s a look at the best bets for Friday’s slate of MLB games.

Red Sox vs. Cubs Under 9.5 Runs (-120)

We’re still riding the Brayan Bello train until oddsmakers catch up. Bello’s dominance has helped numerous Red Sox and under bets hit in recent weeks, and there isn’t any reason to believe he’s ready to slow down against a Cubs offense that has a sub-.300 OBP in July and hasn’t posted an OPS north of .700 since April.

Excluding his first two starts of the season, Bello has a 2.35 ERA — and a 1.19 WHIP overall on the year. He allowed eight hits to a talented Rangers lineup last time out but was able to limit the damage to two runs. Even in a decent hitting environment at Wrigley, Bello should be able to handle this Cubs lineup.

The Red Sox are facing a still-solid Kyle Hendricks and hit dramatically worse on the road than they do at home, with an AVG 55 points lower and an OPS 128 points lower. Boston shouldn’t be a major threat to ruin the under.

Mets Moneyline vs. Dodgers (+108)

The Mets haven’t exactly been a model of consistency this season, and they lived up to that theme by dropping their last two games before the all-star break after finally showing signs of life in early July. Some of those signs shouldn’t be ignored, though.

Justin Verlander looks like he’s quickly settling in with the Mets, while both Francisco Alvarez and Francisco Lindor have been excellent of late. If the Mets can get Pete Alonso going after the HR Derby, they’ll have better days ahead.

Verlander has a 2.70 ERA since the start of June and didn’t allow an earned run on either of his last two home starts. He’s well equipped to handle a potent Dodgers lineup, even with Max Muncy back in the fold alongside Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts.

The Mets get Julio Urias, who hasn’t pitched cleanly of late and has a 4.76 ERA plus a 4.90 FIP on the year. Considering the Dodgers haven’t yet addressed their serious bullpen struggles, New York could be in line for some run-scoring on Friday night.

Rangers Over 4.5 Runs (-102)

The Rangers hit a bit of a rough patch before the all-star break. Much of that was thanks to their offense, though the pitching staff but some bumps in both Boston and D.C. Texas averaged 5.8 runs per game on its last homestand, however, and more than half of the team’s lineup has likely put that tough finish to the first half out of mind after spending a couple days in Seattle. Texas is positioned well to score a few runs Friday night.

The value here is the result of Guardians starter Aaron Civale. Civale has a 2.56 ERA and shut down the Royals in his last start, but his 3.62 FIP is more than a full run higher and indicates regression is coming. Civale’s walk rate is already up from last year — if the hits are going to come, the Rangers are probably the team to do it in this road matchup for Cleveland. Over 4.5 runs is a great value at -102.

Astros Moneyline (+132) vs. Angels

This line might be putting a little too much faith in the Angels’ ability to win with Shohei Ohtani on the mound. This Angels team is 1-9 over its last 10 games and no longer has Mike Trout or Brandon Drury in the lineup.

Ohtani aside, Los Angeles’ lineup shouldn’t be too difficult for J.P. France to quiet down. France has been rock solid early in his rookie season – while his FIP indicates regression is inevitable, it’s hard to argue with six consecutive quality starts – the team behind him certainly helps.

There’s also reason to be hesitant about Ohtani, who left his last start with a blister after a rough five innings. Is he ready to give the Angels a strong outing and some length after that issue? There’s enough value on the Astros to give Houston a shot.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and graduate of Boston University. He’s covered several sports on Instagram since he was 12 and now writes about everything from betting trends to breaking news for Lineups.

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