MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Odds, Predictions for Tuesday, June 4, 2024

George Kirby
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JULY 08: George Kirby #68 of the Seattle Mariners reacts during the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at T-Mobile Park on July 08, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Yesterday was a tough watch. The Padres ran into outs on three separate occasions, killing the rally every time. They hit the ball hard, but it wasn’t enough. I have cut our unit size in half during this cold stretch, but I’m not hiding from horrible results. No excuses; I have to be better.

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.

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

2024 Record: 56-67 (-13.25 U)

Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland A’s @ 9:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: George Kirby vs. Mitch Spence

We have some warm weather in Oakland, but with these two starters backed by rested bullpens, I think scoring runs will be a struggle today.

Mitch Spence is… good? I think so. He’s sitting with a 3.52 ERA, and he deserves it. Through 38 innings of work this season, he’s rocking a 3.17 xERA and 3.52 SIERA. His xFIP and FIP are all below 3.65.

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He’s not allowing hard contact (64th percentile); most contact is on the ground (79th percentile). He’s getting hitters to chase outside the zone with two solid breaking balls (slider and curveball). Spence gets a lot of spin on them, with RPMs above 2700.

He’s good against lefties and righties; both sides of the plate have a .670 OPS or lower against him. Spence doesn’t tend to give the A’s much length, as he’s averaging 3-5 innings per game. He’s coming off an excellent start where he didn’t allow a run through 5.1 innings against the Rays. I don’t see him throwing a shutout, but he can be effective in 80-ish pitches.

He gets a Mariners team with the 22nd-best wRC+ against righties this season and the 28th-ranked OPS. Since May began, it’s more of the same story, ranking 21st in wRC+ and 25th in OPS. It was even worse in the last two weeks (26th ranked wRC+, 27th ranked OPS). This team chases a lot, as they’ve ranked well within the top five in strikeout rate.

That’s what Spence does. He gets you to chase with his hard, spinning, breaking balls to make weak contact on the ground. This feels like a game where Spence twirls five innings while allowing 1-2 runs.

George Kirby lines up on the other side. He made two starts against the A’s last year, allowing three runs in seven innings on both occasions. If he can replicate that, we have a great shot at hitting this under. I have no reason to believe that he can’t.

The A’s have the 15th-ranked wRC+ and 21st-ranked OPS against right-handed pitching this season. Since May began, they’ve been solid, rocking a 111 wRC+ and the seventh-highest OPS. In the last two weeks, that wRC+ has fallen to 92, and they have the 24th-ranked OPS against righties. They are a below-average offense against righties.

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Kirby’s 4.08 ERA has to come down at some point. Nothing in his pitch mix leads me to believe something is off. He’s walking fewer batters than ever, maintaining his strikeout rate, and his Hard-Hit rate is the lowest of his career. His groundball rate is the problem, as much of his contact has been in the air. The Oakland Coliseum is massive, so most fly balls should get caught.

His 3.32 SIERA, 3.56 xERA, and excellent FIP and xFIP marks agree. He is due for positive regression, and this feels like a spot where we see a classic six-inning outing with 1-2 runs allowed. I’ll take a seven-inning, three-run performance like he’s done in the past against these A’s.

Both bullpens are top ten units and rested after an off-day yesterday. Runs should be limited after both starters exit. Even if one pitcher has a rough outing, it ends up similar to the Cubs vs. Reds, where the offense dies in the later innings.

I got the worst of the number on this one, as I see some 8s in the market or even money at 7.5. I pride myself on consistently beating the market, but that hasn’t made a profit this year. Hopefully the move against us works in our favor.

The Pick: Mariners vs. A’s Under 7.5 (-115) Risk to win 0.5 Units