MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Predictions for Saturday, July 6, 2024

Vladimir Guerrero Jr
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 4: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. #27 of Toronto Blue Jays smiles in the dugout befor playing the Baltimore Orioles in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 4, 2024 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

Sharp pick on the Phillies yesterday, square pick on the Reds. Thankfully, we came away with 0.1 units of profit. Not much, but better than being in the red!

I was worried about the Phillies; they left six on base in the first three innings. Trea Turner said enough of that and hit two home runs to lead us to victory as a +120 underdog.

I got duped with the Reds. I bought into them turning the corner and getting hot, but it was clearly a let down spot after a sweep of the Yankees. I can admit when I was on the wrong side. The Reds at least made it fun at the end. Would I have liked to see them tie it with a runner on third and less than two outs? Sure, but we haven’t gotten a break like that all year, so why start now?

We have to earn our wins around here. We will earn this one today, but you have to have a strong will to tail this one.

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

2024 Record: 76-83 (-10.70 U)

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Seattle Mariners @ 7:10 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Yariel Rodriguez (4.63 ERA) vs. Emerson Hancock (4.79 ERA)

We were doing some line reading here. Does anyone remember that weird three-game slate five days ago? Hunter Brown was a slight favorite (-120) against Yariel Rodriguez and the Blue Jays. It seemed like a strange line, but credit to the Jays; they kept it close until the end, and it was off the backs of a stellar start from Rodriguez. Now, they are +105 underdogs against a young pitcher with an xERA over six and coming off an injury?

I don’t like the Blue Jays as a whole, but this is a complete overreaction. I refuse to believe that the home field means that much. The Mariners with Hancock are the same price as the Astros with Brown. The Mariners still have the lesser offense, and their crucial bullpen arms have thrown two straight days. The Blue Jays have the better offense and pitcher right now, and they have their key relievers ready to go. I know it’s gross, but the weekends can be weird, as we all know.

Emerson Hancock has had a bumpy road this year. He started the season in the Mariners rotation, putting up a 5.87 ERA with a well-below-average strikeout rate. He got sent down after back-to-back rough outings and was called up for a spot start against the White Sox. He threw seven innings of two-run ball, but the White Sox still won, and they put up a .283 xBA with plenty of hits.

After that start, he was put on the IL with a right shoulder strain. His last rehab start was scoreless, but he only struck out two and allowed five hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. Now, he makes his return, and I have little confidence in him against any offense.

Hancock’s ERA predictors are in the fives or sixes. He’s allowed a 48.6% Hard-Hit rate in the second percentile. His 13.5% strikeout rate is in the third percentile. That would be fine if he kept the ball on the ground; he isn’t. His groundball rate has fallen to 36%, in the 20th percentile. When he was fully healthy, he was struggling, and now this is his first start off a shoulder strain.

I’m not jumping for joy to back Yariel Rodriguez, but he has upside in this spot. He gets to pitch in the best pitchers’ park and face a reeling offense.

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We’ve faded the Mariners before, taking righties who are fastball/slider/curveball dominant against them. They have struggled all year against this mix, putting up the third-worst xwOBA in the league. He also throws a sinker and splitter, so against this mix as a whole, they have the 24th-ranked xwOBA.

The Blue Jays have the better offense. Over the entire season against righties, they have the higher wRC+, OPS, wOBA, walk rate, lower strikeout rate, batting average, OBP, SLG; you name it.

If we look at the last two weeks, the difference is even more significant. The Blue Jays have a 98 wRC+ compared to Seattle’s 78. The Mariners have a 32.6% strikeout rate in that time, by far the most in the league. The Mariners are hitting .197 compared to the Jays’ .210. The Jays have a .682 OPS compared to the Mariners’ .601. The Blue Jays offense is not electric, but it’s an average offense taking on a terrible offense.

The Jays also come to play in day games. They have a .714 OPS during the day compared to a .656 OPS at night. The Mariner’s OPS during night games is .662; it drops to .654 in day games. At home, the Mariners have a .640 OPS, compared to the Jays, with a .677 OPS on the road.

We faded the Blue Jays bullpen hard when they were without Chad Green and Trevor Richards. Luckily, they are both ready to go today. I also don’t mind Brendon Little or Nate Pearson coming in, both have xERA’s under four. I genuinely have more faith in these guys holding it down than the Mariner’s offense breaking out.

Andres Munoz has thrown in two straight, so he’s likely to be unavailable unless it’s a prime save situation. Ryne Stanek and Austin Voth both threw in back-to-back games, albeit not much, but three times in a row is not easy. Saucedo threw 26 pitches a few days ago as well. The 13th-ranked bullpen by ERA without a good rest schedule doesn’t scare me.

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The Jays have the better pitcher and better offense. I’ll always risk it throughout the game when I have the better offense, especially when I don’t see a massive edge in the bullpens. I make the Blue Jays a slight favorite, so anything to -105 is a play for me; I would prefer +100 or better.

The Pick: Blue Jays ML (+105) Risk 1 Unit