MLB Best Bets, Picks Today, Predictions for Thursday, June 6

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 11: Ryan Mountcastle #6 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates with teammates after hitting a Grand Slam in the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 11, 2023 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Thought we were about to heat up; I was wrong.

We took the under between the Cubs and the White Sox, which got out of hand quickly. It looked good early, but a four-run inning against Jameson Taillon put it out of reach. With that many runs being scored, we’d unlikely see any of the good relievers—the wrong side.

I love the board today. I have three plus money picks that have a lot of value. Being cold doesn’t mean I won’t jump at value when I see it. I’m not scared of the plus sign; give it to me.

I’m going to keep grinding to find us winners. I have one for you today. I’ll also be back with the daily TikTok lives. Feel free to follow here; we’ll start it up at 12:30 pm EST.

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These picks are available on BetMGM. Code “JustBaseball” for a first bet offer up to $1500.

2024 Record: 57-68 (-13.30 U)

Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays @ 1:07 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Cade Povich vs. Yusei Kikuchi

We take the Orioles against lefties when they are playing during the day. We’ve done this a few times, and it’s worked out in our favor. We could go with the Orioles on the ML, but I won’t bet on a rookie making his debut. Let’s key in on Yusei Kikuchi.

This is a day game, which is important for both sides. The Orioles have a .812 OPS during the day and a .731 OPS at night. They love waking up early to rake.

Yusei Kikuchi does not like waking up early. It’s well documented that Kikuchi sleeps 13-14 hours per night. They wrote an article about it on USA Today. Here is a quote from that article. “Kikuchi continued, explaining that he typically gets 13 or 14 hours of sleep. He usually goes to bed around 11 p.m. and wakes up at 1 p.m. the following day.”

He normally wakes up at 1 p.m., but now he has a 1 p.m. game. He adjusts his sleep schedule to be ready, but the numbers show he’s not as effective during the day.

Since he joined the Jays, he put up a 6.08 ERA during the day in 2022, 3.97 ERA in 2023, and a 4.98 ERA this season. He also has not had much success against the Orioles. Orioles bats are hitting .280 with a .358 xwOBA against Kikuchi in 146 PA.

He’s faced the Orioles five times and has only ever been over this number once. This is a plus price because he’s typically over this. He’s been over his pitching outs line in seven of his last ten starts. He’s also been over this in five of his last six home games.

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He went under in his previous home start, a day game. It wasn’t as early as this one, starting at 3:07 pm EST. He’s only thrown one game this year at 1 pm and got 16 outs.

The Blue Jays bullpen isn’t in an ideal rest spot, but six relievers have thrown less than 25 pitches in the last three days. They’ll go to the bullpen is Kikuchi is in trouble. Take this as long as it’s plus money.

The Pick: Yusei Kikuchi Under 17.5 Pitching Outs (+110) Risk 0.5 Units

Chicago Cubs vs. Cincinnati Reds @ 7:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Javier Assad vs Hunter Greene

This isn’t necessarily a fade on Hunter Greene; we are fading the Reds bats after a series at Coors Field with no off-day in between. Factor in Greene’s less than ideal experience against the Cubs and being worse off at home; I’m backing the Cubs.

Hunter Greene is a great pitcher, but there are better spots than this. I’m looking at his 4.23 xFIP, an ERA predictor that “estimates a pitcher’s Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) by using a projected home run rate instead of the actual number of home runs they allow.” This means that negative HR regression is occurring. He’s due to give up some long balls.

He’s always disliked pitching in Great American Ballpark because of this. His ERA at home is 4.57, and while he’s been great this year overall, he has a 3.97 ERA and 4.34 FIP at home. As we discussed yesterday, this Cubs offense is league-average against righties, but they’ve succeeded against Greene.

They faced Greene in his last start, scoring five runs in six innings. Greene’s command was out of wack, walking five in that start. He’s been a mixed bag against the Cubs in his career. He has two blowups (5 ER or more), two six-inning shutouts, and one start where he allowed three runs in four innings. Through 78 PA, Cubs bats are only hitting .215, but they have a .264 xBA and a .362 xwOBA. Those are solid quality-of-contact numbers, worse than Kikuchi against the Orioles.

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Javier Assad lines up on the other side. He’s facing a Reds offense that ranks 27th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching and 24th since May 1st. Against righties at home, in an easy ballpark to hit in, they have the sixth-lowest OPS in baseball. They’ve also had little success against Assad.

Assad has 74 PA against the Reds’ current roster, and his xwOBA against is .310 with a .250 xBA. The Cubs did lose his last start facing the Reds, but he was perfectly fine, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings. He’s the lesser talent than Greene, but he’s not far off. He also gets a much easier matchup, especially with the Reds coming off a series at Coors with no off day.

The Reds bullpen is better than the Cubs but has less rest. Almost every reliever threw yesterday for the Reds, as Ashcraft only gave them 3.2 innings. I don’t love the Cubs bullpen, but I want to soak up every inning of delayed Reds bats.

I’m backing the Cubs as the underdog down to +100.

The Pick: Cubs ML (+110) Risk 0.5 Units

Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals @ 6:45 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Reynaldo Lopez vs Mitchell Parker

Sooner or later, Reynaldo Lopez is going to have a rough start. On the road, where he’s struggled more against a scrappy division rival in the Nationals, it feels like a sneaky spot for it to happen. This is a value play mixed with a gut feeling of mine.

The Nationals and Braves just played each other a few series ago in a four game set. The Nationals went on the road and played really well, winning three of the four games. They won by a combined score of 18-9; the only win for Atlanta was a 2-0 win.

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Mitchell Parker won one of those games, throwing 6.1 innings while allowing three runs. Parker has been objectively good for the Nationals, pitching to a 3.60 ERA and a 3.47 xERA. It’s almost unbelievable, but Parker has the better xERA than Lopez does (3.72 vs. 3.47).

The Braves offense is just different from what it was last year. They’ve been a middle-of-the-pack team against lefties in the previous 30 days, ranking 14th in wRC+ at 103. Over the last two weeks, they rank 18th in wRC+ against lefties. It’s an overvalued offense.

Reynaldo Lopez is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now from a production standpoint. Eventually, his ERA will get closer to his 3.72 xERA and 3.86 SIERA. His HR/FB rate is 3.4%, and his strand rate is 82.8%; sustaining these numbers is challenging.

If you’re going to fade Lopez, let it be on the road, where his ERA is a full run worse and his xFIP sits at 3.95.

Lopez is getting all of his strikeouts on his nasty slider. It’s truly fantastic, and this will be the pitch that decides how the Nationals do. The Nationals rank 11th in xwOBA against right-handed sliders with the ninth lowest whiff rate. They don’t swing and miss much against that pitch and the quality of contact is above average. If the Nationals can get to the slider, he’s in for a rougher start.

If the Nationals can get a lead, they have their two best relievers, Hunter Harvey (2.08 ERA), and Kyle Finnegan (1.88 ERA) on perfect rest. Derek Law (2.78 ERA) did throw 37 pitches two days ago, so he should be in line to throw. We also might see Dylan Floro (1.19 ERA). I like how the Nationals bullpen is set up; they wasted all of their bad relievers in that series against the Mets.

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The Braves bullpen is completely rested. AJ Minter is on the shelf, but overall, it’s a great unit. If they have a lead, winning this game will be tough. However, if it’s tied or the Nationals have a lead, they are set up well to win.

This line on the Nationals is too high. Both teams have little momentum, and the Braves are just 15-13 on the road. +155 implies a 39% chance of winning when it’s closer to 55/45. I’d take the Nationals down to +140.

The Pick: Nationals ML (+155) Risk 0.5 Units