MLB Best Bets Today: Expert Picks & Predictions for Cubs vs. Cardinals, Nationals vs. Mets & More from Thursday’s Slate (7/27/23)

If you’re looking for MLB games to bet on Thursday, you won’t have to look far. There are only five games on the schedule, and that’s more than expected thanks to the Angels and Tigers being forced to play a doubleheader. There’s still some value on the board on a day headlined by Shohei Ohtani’s potential final start with the Angels. Let’s take a look at each game on this limited Thursday slate and make some MLB predictions and best bets.

MLB Best Bets For July 27

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

Mets Over 5 Runs (-115)

The Nationals have to be encouraged by the progress from Josiah Gray this season, especially after a big bounce-back start against the Giants his last time out, but his underlying numbers continue to point toward regression. Gray has a 4.77 FIP, well over a run higher than his 3.45 ERA, and his WHIP has actually worsened from last season.

Gray’s saving grace has been the fact he’s allowing about half as many home runs – he gave up 38 last season – but there’s clearly still some work to be done. Can the Mets take advantage?

New York’s offense has cooled down a bit after Francisco Alvarez and Francisco Lindor went into the all-star break hot, but the Mets have still scored 5+ runs in four of their last seven games. With the Nationals sitting on the NL’s worst bullpen ERA as well, the Mets should have a nice offensive day in them.

Dansby Swanson to Record 2+ Hits (+200)

Dansby Swanson came off the IL and made an immediate impact with three consecutive multi-hit games. He came back down to Earth with a four-strikeout night on Wednesday, but Swanson is well positioned to get a couple of hits on Thursday.

Miles Mikolas will be on the hill for the Cardinals, and the veteran is allowing 10 hits per nine innings this season. He got knocked around by Swanson and the Cubs in his last start and has given up at least seven hits in more than half of his outings in 2023.

With Swanson looking fully healthy and the Cubs’ offense hitting well enough to potentially get him an extra at-bat, +200 is a pretty nice line for multiple hits.

Guardians Moneyline vs. White Sox (+100)

The White Sox keep inventing new ways to lose, with Wednesday night’s loss to the Cubs the best example of how demoralizing the team is right now. As trade rumors swirl around the south side, it doesn’t feel like this is a game where Chicago should be favored.

Dylan Cease is on the mound, which has translated well for the White Sox this season (11-10 in Cease’s starts), but he certainly hasn’t looked untouchable even after a recent stretch of success. Two of Cease’s three lowest strikeout totals this season have come against the Guardians, who rely on making contact. More importantly, Cease hasn’t thrown more than 6 IP in any of his last 11 starts, and a bullpen that ranks among the worst in the AL is a huge vulnerability.

The Guardians have rock-solid rookie Tanner Bibee on the mound and are riding hot stretches by both Josh Naylor and Jose Ramirez right now. With Bibee carrying a 1.21 ERA over his last five starts and Cleveland having the bullpen advantage, the Guardians are a good value here.

Angels vs. Tigers Over 8 Runs (-104) Game 1

Shohei Ohtani and Michael Lorenzen match up on Thursday going in two different directions. Lorenzen has been dominant since the all-star break, while Ohtani can’t seem to figure things out on the mound. An over/under of just eight runs assumes both will be at their best.

Lorenzen’s 4.03 FIP indicates his 3.49 ERA is a bit of an aberration, and his strikeout rate is actually down from last season. There’s no denying his recent success (three consecutive scoreless starts), but the Angels are averaging 6.1 runs over their last nine games and are getting production from Ohtani’s supporting cast.

Until Ohtani returns to form on the mound, there’s reason to be skeptical. He continued to look at his hand in his last start after battling a blister, and the likely MVP has a 7.71 ERA in three starts since the issue popped up. The Tigers are no tough task for a pitcher, but they have developed some pop and have a red-hot hitter in Riley Greene. There’s a clear path to 8+ runs here.

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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