MLB Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Astros vs. Mets, Cubs vs. Pirates & More from Tuesday’s Slate (6/20/23)

All 30 teams will be in action on Tuesday, as the Orioles and Rays start a huge AL East series while the Astros try to snap their skid against the desperate Mets. Let’s take a look at some of the odds and best bets on the board from Tuesday’s action.

MLB Best Bets For June 20

Here’s a look at the best bets from Tuesday’s slate of MLB games.

Astros Moneyline (-130) vs. Mets

The Astros are in the midst of their losing streak in more than two years, but if anyone can serve as a stopper, it’s Framber Valdez.

Valdez has been excellent this season, inserting himself right into the AL Cy Young mix with a 2.27 ERA, 2.84 FIP, and 95 strikeouts. Valdez’s best asset is his ability to be a ground ball pitcher, and he’s lived up to that in his last five starts with zero home runs allowed.

A Mets team that hits .240 isn’t very likely to string together enough hits to really get to Valdez and knock him out early. The Astros have won six of Valdez’s last seven starts, and he hasn’t shown any indication regression is coming.

On the other side, the Astros offense should know Justin Verlander, who’s been hit or miss all season, pretty well from their familiarity. There’s enough value on the Astros moneyline to take it.
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Diamondbacks vs. Brewers Over 9 Runs (-110)

The Brewers’ offense is uninspiring, even in what’s been a bit of a resurgent year for Christian Yelich, but lately the results have been better with Willy Adames back in the fold. Milwaukee has scored 5+ runs in five of its last seven games, and the Brewers get to face a rare struggling Diamondback on Tuesday.

Ryne Nelson has a negative WAR, 5.30 ERA, and allowed 10 hits in just four innings in his last outing. Nelson still could have a bright future, but his diminished strikeout rate and 1.54 WHIP are a reminder there are still plenty of growing pains ahead.

The Diamondbacks can flat-out hit. They torched Corbin Burnes in the early innings on Monday and should be able to tack on at least a handful of runs against Colin Rea with his 4.81 FIP and 1.4 HR/9 rate. As long as Corbin Carroll and Christian Walker are hitting the way they have been, this is a dangerous Arizona lineup. 9+ runs is well within reach for these two offenses.
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Cubs Moneyline (-125) vs. Pirates

This line feels a little generous to the Pirates, who have lost seven in a row. All losing streaks end at some point, but this season has proven that the bad times for the Pirates can be very, very bad. Pittsburgh’s offense has gone through some abysmal stretches, and this one is no different. Is a matchup with Marcus Stroman and a hot Cubs team going to change that? Unlikely.

Stroman has been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball this season, carrying a 2.45 ERA and 1.04 WHIP through 15 starts. The Pirates hit .224 with a sub-.300 OBP in May. Stroman is allowing just 6.1 hits per nine innings and keeping home runs low as well. With Johan Oviedo on the mound, the path to a Pirates win is more distant than the odds indicate. Cubs -125 is the pick here.

Gerrit Cole Over 8.5 Strikeouts (+120)

This is as high of an over/under on strikeouts as you’ll see for Gerrit Cole (or any pitcher) this season, but it’s worth a shot at +120 because of how this Mariners team operates. Seattle has four of the AL’s top 10 strikeout leaders, and this lineup strikes out at a high rate even when it’s scoring runs.

Lance Lynn striking out 16 Mariners in a White Sox loss was enough proof that +9 strikeouts is attainable for a pitcher like Cole. Even with his strikeout rate down considerably to 9.6 per nine innings, Cole’s 16 swinging strikes in his last start – his highest total since mid-April – were a positive sign. +120 is enough value to bet against the Mariners’ ability to make contact.

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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