MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Tuesday, June 25

Gerrit Cole
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 5: Gerrit Cole #45 of the New York Yankees in action against the Detroit Tigers during a game at Yankee Stadium on September 5, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Congrats to Tennessee on winning the College World Series! Quick thought: did you have to balk the runner to third and then allow a passed ball for him to score? I lost the under because of it, so while you’re drinking your champagne and celebrating, please think of my pain. Or don’t, which is far more likely.

Thankfully, the Reds steamrolled the Pirates, so we came out without a scratch.

Today’s board revealed three plays worth wagering on. With the NBA and NHL closing the doors on the season, welcome to the dog days of summer.

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

2024 Record: 67-77 (-14.00 U)

Seattle Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays @ 6:50 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Luis Castillo vs. Zack Littell

Alright, fine, I’ll say it. The Mariners are overrated. Especially on the road, as this team is just 18-24 in road games. The pitchers perform much better at T-Mobile Park, and the offense in any park could be better. The Rays have the better offense and a more rested bullpen; they are the underdog at home. It’s worth a shot on Tampa.

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Over the last two weeks, the Rays offense is finally coming into form. They have posted a 120 wRC+ against right-handed pitching with a .755 OPS. Compare that to Seattle’s 114 wRC+ with a .734 OPS. Over the entire season, the Mariners have a tiny edge on offense (99 wRC+ vs 96 wRC+), but the Rays are the hotter offense. Over the past week, the Rays jump to a 124 wRC+ while the Mariners fall to 102.

Littell has proven thus far that if you’re going to tail him, make sure it’s at home. He has a 3.56 ERA, 3.30 FIP, and 3.56 xFIP at home with a 21.5% K-BB ratio. That’s fantastic and way better than his ERA over five on the road and a 4.29 FIP.

He hasn’t faced the Mariners this year but has exceptional results in a limited sample. Through 26 AB, Mariners hitters have four hits for a .154 batting average against and a .247 xwOBA. Notably, Julio Rodriguez is 0-5 with two strikeouts against Littell.

Luis Castillo lines up for Seattle. His 3.91 xERA isn’t far off from Littell’s at 4.16, and he’s been far worse on the road, as most Seattle pitchers have been. Castillo’s numbers at home are phenomenal, but he can be beaten on the road. He’s rocking a 4.34 ERA, 4.53 FIP, and 4.33 xFIP with a 12.5% K-BB ratio. It’s far worse than Littell’s numbers in Tampa.

In yesterday’s game, the Mariners scored three runs on three hits, while the Rays scored four on 11. The Rays ate through the Mariners bullpen, so nobody who didn’t throw yesterday outside of Eduard Bazardo (7.30 ERA) will be available. Every other reliever on the Mariners will be pitching a back-to-back, which could be better for them.

The Rays are playing better baseball right now, and with the apparent home road splits of each starter, I have to go with Tampa (Play to +100).

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

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox @ 7:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Kevin Gausman vs. Brayan Bello

If you’re ever feeling down, read Blue Jay’s Twitter. When I’m having a bad day, I’ll search “Blue Jays stink” on social media and scroll through the most hilarious breakdowns from Blue Jays fans. Jays fans, you should put up runs today, but the Red Sox will also. Factor in the wind blowing out in a small ballpark; we should see runs on both sides.

Kevin Gausman’s season illustrates Blue Jays fans’ frustrations. He’s different from the guy he was last year. His 4.24 ERA is the worst since 2019, and his 5.15 xERA implies that more regression is coming. We should see that come to fruition against a Red Sox team that has had his number.

He’s racked up 109 PA against the Red Sox’s current roster, and they are hitting .316 against him. The quality of contact against him isn’t thunderous (.324 xwOBA), but they find gaps.

He just allowed four earned runs against this team in his last start, and I was looking for ways he could adjust. I’m left wondering what he can do. His fastball and splitter velocity were higher than usual, which is 80% of his arsenal. He allowed seven balls to be hit over 95 MPH in those five innings. Normally, I’ll side with the veteran to adjust, but I don’t see how he maneuvers through this lineup with how hot they are.

I’m aware of Gausman’s elite road numbers, but his competition was the Yankees (5 ER in 1.1 IP), a quality start against the Royals. He dominated the Nationals, Tigers, White Sox, and A’s. He’s not a road warrior; he’s just had easy matchups. When he had more difficult matchups, he didn’t rise to the occasion.

The Red Sox have a 122 wRC+ over the last two weeks against righties with a .801 OPS, vaulting them into the top ten offenses. Everyone is hot right now, and I see it bleeding over into Gausman’s start. No wonder his ER line is juiced towards the over at -155.

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Brayan Bello isn’t safe, either. The only thing he’s doing right now at an elite rate is keeping the ball on the ground. His strikeout and walk rate aren’t impressive, and his Hard-Hit rate is in the 29th percentile. The Blue Jays rank 12th in xwOBA among all teams against his pitch mix, and they’ve hit him well in the past.

Through 87 PA, the Blue Jays’ current roster is hitting .359 against Bello. The only player without a hit against him is Davis Schneider, who has only faced him three times. I wouldn’t say I love this Jays offense; how could you be? However, they have a 102 wRC+ against righties over the last two weeks, and they get a lesser pitcher today than they’ve hit around before. Over the entire season, they do rank 14th in wRC+, they should contribute here. Bello’s ER line is also juiced at -135 to the over.

Bello has looked like the worst version of himself in June. He’s rocking a 6.23 ERA this month over 21.2 innings. He’s allowed 11 walks, 18 strikeouts, 30 hits, and 15 earned runs during these starts against the Blue Jays, Yankees, White Sox, and Tigers. I would go with the Red Sox ML today, but I can’t get past how bad Bello has looked and how poorly he’s performed vs. the Blue Jays’ current roster.

I like Boston’s bullpen, but it’s not in a good rest spot. Key arms like Chris Martin, Zach Kelly, Greg Weissert, and Brennan Bernardino will make their third appearance in the last four days if they pitch. Kenley Jansen won’t be available, and Chase Anderson and Isiah Campbell pitched yesterday. The Blue Jays bullpen is also not rested, and it is full-blown bad.

It’s supposed to be in the mid-80s at Fenway tonight with 8-10 MPH wind blowing out. Fenway Park is already one of the better hitters parks in the league, and tonight, it’s playing up. There were some juiced 8.5s available, but I’m taking the plus money on the over as I expect we’ll exceed ten runs. Take this to 9 (-120).

The Pick: Over 9 Runs (+100) Risk 0.5 Units

New York Yankees vs. New York Mets @ 7:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Gerrit Cole vs. David Peterson

The Mets are hot, and the Yankees are not. I don’t usually take this bet, but I can’t get this vision out of my head. Gerrit Cole is not losing against the Mets after losing in his debut.

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Cole goes to another planet when facing his cross-town rival. He has obliterated this team at every stop over his career. Through 147 PA, Mets bats are hitting .173 with a .306 xwOBA while striking out north of 28%.

Cole’s last start gave me hope that he can dominate today. He has one under his belt against the best team in baseball against righties right now, allowing two earned runs in four innings while striking out five. His velocity was slightly down, but that’s understandable in his first start. He should be on a pitch count of 75, but I think he carves in his time on the mound.

I trust that the best pitcher in baseball will build off his last start and be the guy to turn this Yankees’ cold stretch around. I’m also not sold that this is a “cold stretch.” The Yankees have lost three straight series to a streaking Red Sox team in Fenway, the Orioles, and the Braves. The Mets’ “hot streak” has been against the Cubs, Rangers, Padres, and Marlins, four teams that aren’t playing good baseball.

The Yankees lesser split is against lefties, sitting with a 103 wRC+ this season compared to a 124 wRC+ against righties this year. The Mets have a 106 wRC+ against righties this year. While the Mets offense has been feasting, let’s see them do it against Gerrit Cole.

David Peterson has been enjoying a nice run, rocking a 3.97 ERA over four starts. He hasn’t exactly dominated any of the teams he’s faced; Dodgers, Nationals, Marlins, and Rangers, but he’s been solid. However, the underlying metrics from those starts tell me he got very lucky, as his xERA has ballooned to 5.64 and a SIERA of 4.88.

He has 12 strikeouts and 8 walks in 22.2 innings. He allows hard-contact, but he’s been able to keep it on the ground. The Yankees don’t put the ball on the ground much against lefties (10th lowest GB rate), and Peterson’s pitch mix is a perfect match for New York.

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Against pitchers who throw sinkers, four-seamers, and sliders, the Yankees have the number one xwOBA in the league against that mix.

The Yankees also have a clear bullpen advantage. It’s been a top-five unit this year, while the Mets are on the outside looking into the top ten. Edwin Diaz was suspended for the Mets, and Sean Reid-Foley (1.66 ERA) was put on the IL three days ago. With both teams having an off-day, the Yankees bullpen is better and even more rested, given how the schedule went.

I’m not laying juice, as I know the Mets are playing better baseball right now, and they are at home. I’m playing this for me; my vision, Gerrit Cole, ain’t losing today.

The Pick: Yankees ML (-140) Risk 0.5 Units