MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Saturday, June 15, 2024

Andrew Abbott #41 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during a game against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park on August 05, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - AUGUST 05: Andrew Abbott #41 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches during a game against the Washington Nationals at Great American Ball Park on August 05, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/Getty Images)

We witnessed an electric game last night, but the Orioles fell short. We had our chances, but the Phillies outlasted them in extra innings. It looked as if the Orioles grabbed the momentum late, but it was halted by an hour-long rain delay. The Phillies scored two in the 11th on a double inches from Austin Hays’ glove, and then they closed it.

I’m looking at a total that I think is too high today. Let’s bet back on track.

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

2024 Record: 61-73 (-14.00 U)

Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers @ 4:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Andrew Abbott vs. Bryse Wilson

I wouldn’t mind backing the Brewers on the ML today, but they can’t hit lefties. The reason to back them is Wilson, and a rested bullpen should keep the Reds offense in check. It’s also less expensive to go with the total rather than backing the Brewers, and it’s the better bet.

The Brewers are a top-five offense in the league against right-handed pitching but have fallen short against left-handers this year. Since June began, this team ranks second to last in wRC+ against lefties (60). Over the last month, they have a 78 wRC+, good for 27th in the league, just behind the 26th-ranked Marlins. Over the entire season, it’s the eighth-worst offense against lefties.

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They get southpaw Andrew Abbott today, who they’ve never really been able to square up. Through 57 PA against the Brewers’ current roster, Abbott posted a .314 xwOBA against, a .212 opponent batting average, and a 31.6% strikeout rate.

ERA estimators need help figuring out Andrew Abbott (3.28 ERA). His xERA is 3.42, but his SIERA/xFIP/FIP all range in the fours. He doesn’t rack up strikeouts but does an incredible job at limiting hard contact. Not only does Abbott find a way to strike out these Brewers bats, but the Brewers haven’t barreled him either. Abbott should hit his projections today, with six innings of 2-3 run ball. We aren’t asking for a shutout when we have a nine-run total to play with.

The Reds’ offense is league-average against right-handed pitching. Over the entire season, they have an 89 wRC+, ranking 27th in the league. In the last month, they have a 100 wRC+. In the previous two weeks, they have a 126 wRC+, but it’s aided by 29 runs in the Colorado series at Coors Field.

What we do know is that Bryse Wilson has been fantastic against the Reds. Through 77 PA, the Reds’ current roster is hitting .178 against him with a .293 xwOBA. It’s mostly in 1-4 inning spurts, as he’s spent a lot of time as a reliever, but in whatever situation, the Reds haven’t hit him.

He’s coming off a start where he allowed seven runs to the Tigers. His ERA entering that game was 3.35, and while he’s most likely going to be in the low to mid-fours this year, he’s still a fine pitcher. He’s also been much better at home, posting a 3.27 ERA in 22 innings compared to a 4.75 ERA on the road.

The books are pricing him at five innings and allowing two runs. If we get that, we should be in a great spot, as the Brewers bullpen is set up nicely for this one. They got three innings from Hernandez yesterday, and they had an off-day Thursday, so everyone is available. It’s an elite bullpen with rest; I doubt the Reds will score more than one run once Wilson exits.

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The Reds also had an off-day Thursday and threw little of their better arms. Farmer (2.64 ERA), Moll (1.84 ERA), Suter (3.75 ERA), and Sims (3.97 ERA) are all fully rested. I like that two of those arms are lefties, so we force Milwaukee into its worst split for most of the game.

If the starters allow five runs between them, I don’t see these bullpens giving up five themselves. With how rested they both are and the quality of arms we should know, I see at most three runs allowed by the bullpen. Even if either starter has a rough outing, the bullpens can keep us close until the end.

The Brewers should decide to open the roof, as they typically do when there is no rain and temperatures above 60 degrees. That fits the bill today, but the wind is blowing in if they decide to open it. I like this more if the roof is open, but I still think it hits even with the roof closed.

All in all, we have two starters with excellent track records against their opponents, two bullpens with rested key arms, a Brewers offense in its lesser split, and the Reds have a matchup they’ve rarely succeeded in.

I’m projecting five runs from the starters and three from the bullpens. Nine is a critical number in baseball, as a 5-4 game is a push. I don’t see ten runs being scored today in Milwaukee, and it would take it to 9 (-120).

The Pick: Reds vs. Brewers Under 9 (-110) Risk 0.55 Units