MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Sunday, June 30, 2024

Joe Ryan
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 1: Joe Ryan #74 of the Minnesota Twins delivers a pitch in his Major League debut against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning of the game at Target Field on September 1, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Photo: Getty Images

How about those Cubbies?! They got off to an early 2-0 lead before I could blink, and things looked good until they didn’t. The Cubs had one of the worst innings on defense this year, which led to a tie game. It was 3-3 going into the 8th, and Ian Happ came up clutch for us with a home run, cashing our +100 ML.

Today, we have another road ML at a similar price. Let’s end the month with a bang.

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

2024 Record: 71-81 (-13.99 U)

Minnesota Twins vs. Seattle Mariners @ 4:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Joe Ryan (3.31 ERA) vs. Luis Castillo (3.79 ERA)

I’m lower than the market on the Mariners. I’m fully aware of how good they’ve been at home this season and how Castillo’s numbers have also improved at home, but the Twins have been the better team this series overall, and they deserve to win this game.

The Twins had 11 of the 13 hardest-hit balls in the series’ first game, putting up a .314 xBA. However, the Mariners found a way to win in the tenth inning even though they only had five hits and posted a .163 xBA.

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Expected Batting Average (xBA) is a Statcast metric that measures the likelihood that a batted ball will become a hit. In yesterday’s game, the Twins won easily 5-1, putting up ten hits and a .289 xBA. The Mariner’s offense faltered again, putting up a .219 xBA. The Twins have outplayed the Mariners, and in the rubber match, they should be rewarded with a win.

The pitching matchup is razor-thin. By the numbers, Joe Ryan has had the better season thus far and is projected to do so for the rest of the season. Joe Ryan holds the edge if we look at ERA, xERA, K-BB, SIERA, FIP, or xFIP. For how good Castillo is at home (2.96 ERA), Ryan has been as lethal in road starts (2.92 ERA).

Both pitchers have not looked their best in June, with Ryan putting up a 4.06 ERA and Castillo at 5.08. The books think Ryan will have the better start, as he’s +130 to surpass 2.5 earned runs, while Castillo is +100. Whichever way you look, Ryan appears to be the option, especially considering how much easier his matchup is.

If we look at how both offenses have done against these starters’ pitch mixes, we see the Twins having the edge. Luis Castillo features a four-seam slider, sinker, and changeup mix. Against those pitches from right-handers, the Twins have the 11th-best xwOBA in the league at .332. Joe Ryan features a four-seam, splitter, and sweeper. He rocks with a sinker occasionally, but it’s mostly those three pitches. The Mariners have the second worst xwOBA against that mix in the league at .299, just ahead of the Rockies.

Over the last 30 days against right-handers, the Twins have the fifth-ranked wRC+ (124) and the fourth-ranked OPS (.791). They have the fourth-highest ISO (.190) and the seventh-highest Hard-Hit rate (33.5%). In that time frame, the Mariners have a 98 wRC+, a .676 OPS, a .165 ISO, and a 33.4% Hard-Hit rate. Seattle also strikes out at the second highest rate, while the Twins strikeout at the third lowest rate.

It’s even more drastic over the last two weeks in the Twins’ favor. The wRC+ rises for them to 131, while the Mariners fall to 90. The Twins have the highest Hard-Hit rate in that span, and the Mariners have the highest strikeout rate.

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The Mariners have won consistently at home, but their OPS is .649 compared to .677 on the road. The Twins have a .723 OPS on the road; they hit everywhere. The Mariners are so good at home because of their pitching, but they usually lose when they play teams with equal starting pitching and a way better offense.

That’s why I’m lower in the Seattle market; the offense isn’t good enough to compete when they face starting pitchers of a similar caliber.

The Twins should get six innings from Ryan, as he’s upwards of -200 to go over that. From there, we have Josh Staumont (0.00 ERA) and Jhoan Duran to cover the late innings. We also have Caleb Thielbar, who is not off to a good start but has proven to be a good reliever. Sands (4.00 ERA) and Okert (3.25 ERA) will also be available. The Mariners have key arms ready to go, but the bullpen edge is so close that I’ll take the better offense throughout.

I would take the Twins to -125.

The Pick: Twins ML (-110) Risk 1 Unit