MLB Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Braves vs. Guardians, Rangers vs. Red Sox & More from Wednesday’s Slate (7/5/23)
The Fourth of July is over, but baseball rolls on. All 30 teams are in action again on Wednesday, and the lack of aces on the mound means we could see some offense. Here are some of the odds and best bets for the July 5th slate.
MLB Best Bets For July 5
Here’s a look at the best bets from Wednesday’s MLB games.
Blue Jays Over 4.5 Runs (-111)
This one follows the same logic as recent bets against Adam Wainwright: It’s now July, and Lance Lynn’s struggles aren’t a fluke.
Lynn’s 16-strikeout performance against the Mariners gave the indication he may have found something, even in a loss, but he was pounded for three home runs in his last outing and saw his FIP go back up to 5.11. It’s officially time to sound the alarm.
The Blue Jays aren’t hitting the way they expected to, but Bo Bichette’s reliably great contact bat plus Vladimir Guerrero Jr.‘s recent signs of life in the power department are positive signs. Toronto averages 4.64 runs per game on the road — 5 or more should be a reachable target with the way Lynn has been shelled this season. The White Sox’ bullpen also has the fifth-worst ERA in baseball and is without Liam Hendriks.
Red Sox Moneyline (-116) vs. Rangers
It’s hard not to love the way Brayan Bello has been pitching for the Red Sox lately. The 24-year-old arguably had an all-star case despite not earning a spot, carrying a 3.08 ERA through 13 starts. He’s only improved as the season has gone on, pitching to a sparkling 2.33 ERA since his ugly first two starts this year and consistently giving the Red Sox at least six innings.
Boston is 8-5 in his starts this season, and three of the last four losses have come when the team scores one run or fewer. Bello should be in position for another nice outing at home against a tough Rangers lineup that hit a rough patch late last week.
All the Red Sox should have to do is perform against Jon Gray. That’s easier said than done with the way they’ve been struggling at the plate, aside from Rafael Devers, but Gray has allowed 5+ ER in two of his last three outings and is going on the road in this one.
Braves Over 5.5 Runs (-102)
5.5 runs is a higher than usual total, but recent history indicates it should hit. The Braves have scored 5+ runs in 16 of their last 20 games, including four games with double-digit runs in that span.
Regardless of the pitcher they’re facing, betting on this Atlanta offense and its ridiculous power to score runs feels smart right now. Against Cal Quantrill, it feels like the only choice.
Quantrill had a strong 2022 but has allowed 6+ ER in each of his last three starts and carries a 6.18 ERA and 1.50 WHIP into this outing. Quantrill hasn’t actually given up more home runs than he did last season, but he’s getting impaled by hits and has seen his walk rate worsen.
This Braves lineup can do it all. Right now, it’s hitting well enough to make Quantrill pay for mistakes with their power. This could be a big-time scoring day for Atlanta after a loss.
Nationals Moneyline (+110) vs. Reds
This is a sneaky play for anyone feeling daring enough to bet against the Reds right now. The pitching matchup could be the difference.
Graham Ashcraft has been struggling for much of the season, both before and after an IL stint, and last week’s strong start against the Padres team in disarray shouldn’t be taken as a definitive sign he’s back. Ashcraft’s FIP is still dangerously high at 5.43, and he’s allowing an uncomfortable amount of home runs – including four between his last two starts.
The Nationals haven’t been hitting especially well, but Jeimer Candelario and Lane Thomas remain pretty hot and are the top options to hit one out for Washington.
On the other side, all-star Josiah Gray takes the hill to face the Reds. He’s going to give up runs, in all likelihood. Cincinnati’s lineup is too hot to get shut down. The damage can be limited, though.
Gray’s biggest vulnerability is his walk rate, and he’s actually gotten his control issues in much better shape over the last month – Gray walked 2.8 batters per start over the first two months and 2.0 per start in June. Better control has made the difference for Gray, and it might pay off against the Reds if the offense can do its job against Ashcraft.