Just within the last week, it seems the injury bug has bitten many key players. Starting pitchers like Cy Young hopefuls Tyler Glasnow, Max Scherzer, and Shane Bieber have all landed on the IL, with Glasnow’s injury possibly as severe as keeping him out for the rest of the regular season. Among notable hitters, the Dodgers have once again lost Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy, while Chicago’s Kris Bryant and Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper both have left games this week with nagging injuries. In addition, the White Sox have lost promising young second baseman Nick Madrigal, for the season.
While some teams have played through critical injuries for quite some time, many of these injuries are brand new for teams to deal with. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been able to absorb Cody Bellinger’s injuries thus far, as they are 10-6 with him in the lineup and 31-20 without him. The Los Angeles Angels are 17-20 with Mike Trout in the lineup and 16-14 without him. While these are just two small examples, bettors should be reminded that some teams find ways to overcome injuries that appear catastrophic, so factor examples like that into the odds when looking for value.
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Thursday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
YTD: 83-71-3 (+3.82 units)
Cubs-Mets UNDER 7 runs (-105)
The Chicago Cubs and New York Mets have played three low-scoring games to open this series, and another one should be in store in the series finale. New York’s Marcus Stroman (6-4, 2.33 ERA) has very quietly had an outstanding season in the shadows of Jacob deGrom and is a big reason along with Taijuan Walker why the Mets have the best ERA in baseball. Stroman has been an innings-eater, completing at least six innings in each of his last seven starts and allowing three runs or fewer in six of them. He has also been lights out at Citi Field this year, posting a 1.88 ERA in five home starts.
Not many pitchers in baseball have been hotter than Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks (8-4, 4.46 ERA) over the last month. Hendricks is on an incredible six-game winning streak in his previous six starts and has pitched to a 2.93 ERA in that span.
The under is 4-0-1 in Stroman’s last five home starts and is 4-1 in the Cubs’ last five road games. The under is also 5-2 in the previous seven meetings in New York between these teams, so don’t be surprised by a lack of offense tonight.
Houston Astros ML (-130)
The Chicago White Sox are off to their best start (43-25) since their last World Series championship in 2005. However, much of their success is because of a Major League-best home record (27-12), while they are 16-13 on the road. Chicago has feasted on poor teams like Detroit, Baltimore, Minnesota, and Kansas City in the last month. However, they have not won a single road series against a team with a winning record this year. Thus, look for the Houston Astros to give them all kinds of fits starting tonight.
Houston’s Jose Urquidy (4-3, 3.77 ERA) has made quality starts in three of his five home appearances this year and is 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA at home. The Astros are 6-1 in Urquidy’s last seven starts and 4-0 in his previous four home starts. He is opposed by Chicago’s Dylan Cease (5-2, 3.38 ERA), who makes his first career start at Minute Maid Park. Cease has faced just one top-ten offense this year, while he has dominated many bottom-feeders like the Tigers and Orioles. He made history in his last start against Detroit as the first White Sox pitcher to win his first eight starts against a single opponent. However, this Astros lineup that ranks best in the majors in batting average and OPS should present a much more significant obstacle.
Houston has won six of their last eight home games against the White Sox and is a great value play to win this series opener.
Brewers-Rockies UNDER 10.5 runs (-118)
It seems dangerous to back an under in a game played at Coors Field, but not with the way tonight’s two starting pitchers have been throwing. Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff is 5-2 on the season and leads the Brewers’ fantastic trio (Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta included) with a 1.52 ERA and 0.72 WHIP. He has made 12 consecutive starts allowing two or fewer runs, and he has an outstanding 97:17 K:BB ratio this year.
Colorado’s German Marquez (4-6, 4.60 ERA) is coming off his worst outing of the season after getting tagged for eight earned runs in five innings at Cincinnati. The good news is that he has been lights out at home, allowing just two earned runs in his last 20 innings at Coors Field. Current Brewers hitters are a combined 6-for-39 (.154 BA) against Marquez and are slugging just .231 as one of their six hits went for extra bases (a home run by Christian Yelich). Marquez has allowed just two home runs in 49.2 innings at home this year, so he should once again be able to keep the Milwaukee hitters in the yard.
The under is 5-0 in Woodruff’s last five road starts against teams with a losing record and is 13-3 in the previous 16 meetings between these teams in Colorado. Now is not the time to fade two starting pitchers with great momentum.
MLB Prop Bets
J.D. Martinez Prop Bet Odds
Austin Meadows Prop Bet Odds
Francisco Lindor Prop Bet Odds
Brandon Woodruff Prop Bet Odds
Ronald Acuna Prop Bet Odds
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