As the trade deadline inches closer and division races across Major League Baseball begin to heat up, each game begins to mean more and more. A hot streak could turn a team from a probable seller at the deadline to a buyer looking for the final piece or two to the championship puzzle. With a tight race in nearly every division – four of the six second-place teams are within two games of first place – this year could be one of the more interesting deadlines in quite a bit. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. There are still 16 games to be played today.
Today’s slate of games is jam-packed with all 30 teams in action. There are plenty of heavy favorites to sift through, but still tons of value on the board. Here’s who I like best on another MLB Saturday edition of best bets.
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Reds / Rockies Over 9 (-115)
The Reds have been able to score runs all year. They’re sixth in the league, averaging 4.87 runs per game, and are suddenly one of the hotter teams in the National League. They’ve won eight of their last 11 games, averaging 5.72 runs per game over that span, nearly a full run per game more than their season average. For context, the Astros average 5.42 runs per game, the highest mark in baseball. Cincinnati’s bats are officially on fire.
Wade Miley will take the mound for the Reds, which may scare off some over bettors as he’s been fantastic this year. But a deeper dive into his numbers should ease the tension. Despite having a sub-3.00 ERA, Miley just doesn’t go very deep into games. Aside from his no-hitter, he hasn’t thrown more than six innings in a start this year, and he’s averaging just 4.2 innings per start in four outings since the aforementioned no-no.
The Reds bullpen isn’t great either; in fact, they’re worst in baseball with a 5.88 ERA. They’ll be relied upon for at least three innings if Miley pitches to expectations today, and I’m not sure they can hold the fort for that long. Miley has also historically struggled against Colorado. The Rockies are hitting .328 against him lifetime, and his strikeout rate against Colorado is just 13.3%.
The Rockies will send German Marquez to the mound to take on a Reds lineup currently clicking. Marquez has pitched better the last month or so, but like Miley, he’s historically been hit hard by the lineup he’s set to face. Cincinnati has an expected batting average of .280 against Marquez, and their average exit velocity is 92.9 MPH. They’re not just making contact, they’re hitting the ball really hard. And in such a hitter-friendly park, that smells like runs. Colorado’s bullpen is better than Cincinnati’s, but not by much. Their ERA is second-worst in baseball at 5.43, ahead of only the Reds.
These two teams piled up 16 runs on Friday night, and there’s no reason to doubt that Saturday won’t be more of the same.
Boston Red Sox ML (-120)
The Red Sox have caught fire again and have ripped off seven wins in their last nine games as they prepare for game two of a four-game wraparound set against the Blue Jays. Boston will send Nick Pivetta to the mound, and he’s been as close as it comes to automatic this year. Despite Pivetta’s 3.78 ERA – which isn’t all that bad but certainly isn’t sparkling – the Red Sox are 10-2 in games he starts, including a win against these Blue Jays on May 20th. Pivetta struck out eight in that contest, his second-highest total of the year.
Nick Pivetta is the most profitable ML pitcher in the Majors (+6.8u)
The Red Sox are -157 ML on the @BSSportsbook with him on the bump
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— Bets Trends (@betstrends) June 7, 2021
*Note: The odds posted in the above tweet reflect the Red Sox odds on June 7th, not today.
Boston, as expected, is one of the better offensive teams in baseball this year. They average an even five runs per game, good for third in the league, and they’ll look to beat up on Steven Matz as they’ve done each time they’ve faced him in his career. Current Red Sox own a lofty .362 average off the Toronto left-hander, and they roughed him up to the tune of five runs on 10 hits in a losing effort back in May.
The Red Sox have been in control of the season series, coming out on top in four of the six meetings with the Blue Jays this year. Boston should be a much heavier favorite than -120, so I don’t mind laying a little extra juice on the Red Sox here. I like them down to -130 and would also consider the over on their team total at 5.5 (+120).
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Mike Wagenman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @mjwags23.
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