The good teams are beginning to separate from the not-so-good, just in time for the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline. At this time next week, rosters will be (nearly) locked in, and the push for the postseason will have officially begun. Buckle up.
Today’s MLB slate features a ton of heavy favorites – seven of the 15 favorites are listed a -150 or higher on the moneyline, in fact. With so little value on the board, we’re going to have to dig a bit deeper today to find some winners. In today’s selection of best bets, I’ve picked out my favorite moneyline bet, a first five-inning total, and one bonus strikeout prop. Let’s dive in.
Seattle Mariners ML (+115)
Don’t look now, but the Mariners are right in the thick of the American League Wild Card race. They’re the first team on the outside looking in and sit just 3.5 games behind the team they just so happen to be playing the rubber match against today: Oakland. They’ll be motivated to close this series out with a win.
Seattle will also get a second crack at A’s ace Chris Bassitt. They battled Bassitt back on June 1st, and despite roughing him up to the tune of six hits and four runs in just four innings of work, Oakland captured a 12-6 win. Don’t let the result fool you. The Mariners were all over Bassitt, and he posted a negative win probability added to prove it (-0.258). He’s also struggled since the calendar flipped to July. His ERA this month is 4.42, over a full run higher than his season ERA of 3.31, and he’s allowing essentially a hit per inning (18 hits in 18.1 innings). The A’s are also just 1-2 in his July starts. Look for that trend to continue today.
The Mariners will send rookie Logan Gilbert to the mound. Gilbert had a rocky start to his MLB career, allowing seven runs in just 6.2 innings across his first two starts – both losses. But in the nine starts since, his ERA is a sparkling 2.64, and the Mariners are a perfect 9-0. What got Gilbert on the right track after he struggled out of the gate? Two starts against these Oakland Athletics.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) July 8, 2021
In his third and fourth career starts, both against Oakland, Gilbert allowed just two runs in each outing and struck out nine A’s hitters while allowing just a single walk. The A’s may have some familiarity with Gilbert, but they’ve struggled mightily, and Gilbert has been way too hot of late to fade today. I’ll ride with the home ‘dog to take the series and inch a game closer in the Wild Card race.
Milwaukee Brewers / Chicago White Sox F5 U 3.5 (-115)
This may seem like a very low total to jump on, but we’ve got one of the best pitching matchups of the year on tap today in Milwaukee.
In a battle of All-Stars, Carlos Rodon and his 2.14 ERA will take the hill for Chicago, while Milwaukee will turn to Corbin Burnes and his 2.16 ERA. Safe to say, runs will be at a premium today. More specifically, runs will be at a premium early because not only are these pitchers giving up next to nothing this year, they’re also giving up next to nothing in the first half of games.
Corbin Burnes vs Carlos Rodon tomorrow! 🍿
Burnes – 96 IP, 2.16 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 140 K
Rodon – 96.2 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 140 K pic.twitter.com/UnVUn1tXU0
— Jorge Montanez (@Roto_Nino) July 24, 2021
Burnes has been especially impressive in the first three innings, posting an ERA of just 1.88, an opposing batting average of .174, and he’s struck out 73 batters in just 48 innings. He’s dominating the first time around the order, and the second time around hasn’t gone much better for opposing hitters. Burnes’s fourth inning ERA is 0.56, and in the fifth, that number rises to just 1.20.
Rodon hasn’t posted the same other-worldly numbers in the first half of games, but his ERA totals are still easy to get behind. His ERA in innings 1-3 is 2.44, and in innings 4-6, that drops to 1.90. Rodon gets stronger as the game goes on, so even if he happens to allow an early run to the Brewers, expect him to right the ship quickly and start mowing hitters down. He’s been in a groove lately – just a single earned run in 13 innings across his last two starts, both victories – so look for that to continue against the Brewers today.
Alec Mills Over 3.5 Strikeouts (-120)
This line isn’t going to last long, and I would bet it down to -135. If it rises to 4.5, I will bet it only at plus money. Mills has been impressive of late, striking out 20 hitters over his last 15 innings, and now he gets to face the light-hitting Diamondbacks, a team he has a 40.0% strikeout rate against in his career.
Arizona is in the bottom 10 in strikeout rate against righties and ranks 20th in baseball in strikeouts as a team. What’s more: Zach Davies fanned eight yesterday against the Diamondbacks, and he’s in the bottom 5% of the league in K-rate this year. Mills should feast.
Alec Mills over the past 30 days:
-2.96 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 23.8% K%, 5.7% BB%
-.347 BABIP, 66.5% LOB%, 2.51 FIP
Mills' season-long numbers:
-4.64 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 19.8% K%, 7.8% BB%
-.329 BABIP, 64.4% LOB%, 4.42 FIP
The WHIP stinks, but the sinker/changeup combo looks interesting pic.twitter.com/ehkoIwo58W
— Corbin (@corbin_young21) July 21, 2021
Mills’ strikeout rate is just 19.8% on the year but is 30.9% across his last three starts, so he’s starting to figure it out on the mound, and the books have yet to take notice.
MLB Prop Bets
- Jesse Winker Prop Bet Odds
- Joey Votto Prop Bet Odds
- Ramon Laureano Prop Bet Odds
- Rafael Devers Prop Bet Odds
- Alex Verdugo Prop Bet Odds
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