MLB Best Bets Today: Expert NRFI & Game Predictions for Thursday’s Slate (6/8/23)

Thursday’s slate of MLB games is a smaller one, but it’s still an active day with 20 teams in action and games spread out across the day. Between a Justin Verlander-Spencer Strider showdown and Elly De La Cruz facing Clayton Kershaw, there will be plenty to watch. Let’s take a look at some of the odds for NRFIs, spreads, and totals for the June 8th slate.

MLB Best Bets for June 8

Here’s a look at the best bets from Wednesday’s games.

Diamondbacks vs. Nationals NRFI (-113)

The Diamondbacks got off to a torrent start against Patrick Corbin on Wednesday night, but Josiah Gray represents a much tougher challenge than one of baseball’s most volatile starters.

Gray has thrown a scoreless first inning in 10 of his last 11 starts, including one against Arizona, and he’s also allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his last 11 starts.

As well as Corbin Carroll and the rest of the Diamondbacks’ lineup has been hitting, Gray has started to make serious strides and is positioned for success with Arizona’s offense playing a day game after a night game.

The same is true for the Nationals’ lineup, which put together some quick and lifeless at-bats Wednesday against Zach Davies. Merrill Kelly has allowed just 6.1 hits per nine innings this season, and with the Nationals a team that relies on stringing together hits, he’s in line for a strong first inning. A NRFI at -118 is worth it in this one.
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Blue Jays Under 4 Runs (-130)

The Blue Jays have one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball when everyone is clicking, but that doesn’t mean much against a pitcher like Framber Valdez.

Valdez is a ground ball specialist and should be able to keep Toronto from reaching its power potential if he pitches anything like he has lately. Valdez has a sparkling 2.16 ERA and 1.03 WHIP this season with his typical low HR/9 rate of 0.7. He’s been one of the league’s most consistent starters since last season and has allowed more than two earned runs in only one of his last six starts.

Considering Valdez can give the Astros plenty of length and prevent the bullpen from getting too many chances to ruin his start, the under on Blue Jays runs is a solid pick.
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Cubs Moneyline vs. Angels (+116)

This feels like more of a tossup game than the line indicates. The Angels have been playing better than the Cubs of late and have home-field advantage, but Reid Detmers just hasn’t seemed to be up to the task this season. Could the pitching advantage swing this game toward the Cubs?

Chicago has hit much better against left-handed pitchers this season, batting .272 with an OPS just a few points shy of .800. Detmers’ peripheral numbers, including his FIP and high strikeout rate, indicate he’s been better than his raw numbers suggest, but he’s given up a concerning number of hits and is going up against a Chicago offense that has a strong track record against lefties.

As long as Drew Smyly does his job and limits the damage, the Cubs are well positioned to close out the series with a win.

Dodgers Over 6 Runs vs. Reds (-105)

There are plenty of bets you could place on the Dodgers’ offense Thursday. Until Graham Ashcraft starts to pitch like he belongs in the majors, it’s going to be popular to bet against him.

Rolling with the Dodgers is risky considering how well the Reds have hit lately, but it sure looks like Los Angeles is poised to score runs in this one. Ashcraft has a 12.99 ERA over his last six starts, and he put any thought of progress to rest when he was hammered for 10 runs by the Brewers in his last outing.

The Dodgers’ offense is just too good for Ashcraft to get away with pitching even remotely like like that. Freddie Freeman is one of the most complete hitters in baseball, Mookie Betts has been scorching hot, and J.D. Martinez is on a tear. With power threats Will Smith and Max Muncy also in the mix, taking the Dodgers for 6+ runs is the way to go until Ashcraft proves otherwise.

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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