MLB Picks Today, Best Bets, Predictions for Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Bryce Harper
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a two run home run during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres in game five of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

I made a lousy pick yesterday. Logan Gilbert dominated, and Adam Mazur needs more time to be ready. We dropped a unit yesterday on the Padres ML (+120). The worst part was we had to wait until 9:40 PM EST to watch them not even get close. That’s my bad.

I will attempt to make it up to you with my favorite play of the month. I also have one more play worthy of a unit, going right back to Padres vs. Mariners.

My play of the month does not mean you throw your entire paycheck on it. This is a two-unit play, and that’s it. We know how crazy baseball can be, so don’t overload on any singular play. If we lose it, we’ll be fine. If we win, we celebrate. Managing the bankroll is the most essential part of gambling!

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

2024 Record: 78-85 (-10.80 U)

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies @ 7:00 PM EST (Play of the Month)

Pitching Matchup: Gavin Stone (3.03 ERA) vs. Cristopher Sanchez (2.96 ERA)

Yesterday, I watched two outstanding teams duke it out, but one is clearly on another level. I thought to myself, people will be interested in investing in the Dodgers on a bounce-back, but I’ve learned not to fade the Phillies on a roll at home. Just on the overall feeling, I thought the Phillies would stay hot today. Then I saw the pitching matchup and the weather, and the further I dove in, the more I realized the Dodgers don’t have a single advantage today.

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There is no better pitcher to take at home than Cristopher Sanchez this season. He has been out of this world at the Bank, putting up a 1.35 ERA, 1.69 FIP, and 2.35 xFIP. His K-BB ratio at home is 22.3%, compared to 3.4% on the road. This man levels up to be the best pitcher in baseball at home.

That may sound like an overreaction, but let’s compare it to Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has a 1.77 ERA at home, a 2.60 FIP, 3.14 xFIP, and a 22.4% K-BB ratio. I’ll take Sanchez’s numbers over those.

The only pitcher that rivals Sanchez at home is Reynaldo Lopez, rocking a 1.24 ERA. However, his 3.23 FIP and 3.70 xFIP are much higher than Sanchez’s. Sanchez has also thrown nine more innings at home than Lopez. The next best ERA at home is Tarik Skubal, at 1.74. Based on this season, there isn’t a better bet than Sanchez at home. They are 7-2 in his home starts.

Sanchez also has something working for him: the wind blowing out. It sounds counterintuitive, but he has the luxury of rocking a 60.2% ground-ball rate. Wind shouldn’t affect him much, as he’s seen wind at the Bank before and routinely turns in incredible starts.

Gavin Stone doesn’t have a 60% ground-ball rate; he’s at 43%. It’s a lot tougher for him to keep the ball on the ground than Sanchez, so based on the environment and matchup today, the Phillies are likelier to hit balls in the air, which tends to make good things happen, especially when the wind is swirling at 10-14 MPH.

I love Gavin Stone. I think he was an All-Star snub, but I think the same with Sanchez, who has objectively been better in every metric this season. Sanchez has the lower ERA, FIP, xFIP, xERA, and his 3.47 SIERA is an entire run better than Stone at 4.35. Sanchez also has the higher strikeout rate and lower walk rate, and the ground-ball rates aren’t close.

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Gavin Stone also has yet to succeed against the Phillies. They’ve seen him once already, a luxury the Dodgers don’t have with Sanchez.

He faced the Dodgers in 2023, and I’m not putting a ton of stock into it because he’s developed since then, but it’s worth mentioning. It was also his first start, but it was at home. He allowed eight hits and four runs in four innings with only one strikeout. They hit .400 against him in that game, and everyone got a hit except for Schwarber and Stott.

The Dodgers are the number one offense against lefties this season, but they have a matchup against the best lefty at home, whom they have yet to see. This year, the Phillies are a top-five team against righties, including data without Schwarber and Harper. I’m sure the Dodgers would prefer a right-handed bat in Mookie Betts in that lineup, hitting .319 against lefties this year.

The Dodgers have some solid platoon bats, but the offense runs through Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman. We’ll have to watch out for Will Smith and Andy Pages in this one, but Sanchez has allowed a .488 OPS to left-handed batters this season. He has an excellent shot at slowing the best part of the offense.

Gavin Stone faces a fully loaded lineup with lefties and righties throughout. Normally, you expect a team like the Dodgers to bounce back, but I actually expect the Phillies top half to perform a lot better. The Phillies put up 10 runs yesterday with a .338 xBA, and yet, Schwarber, Harper, Bohm, and Castellanos combined to go 1-16. I don’t think they’ll perform that poorly today.

The Phillies are 4-2 the day after they put up ten runs. This isn’t a team that puts up ten and then flounders the next game. They’ve lost twice, so they aren’t perfect, but this isn’t a team I’m hesitant to back after a blowout game.

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Stone should see home run regression against lefties with his 4.69 xFIP, which normalizes HR/FB rate. He’s due for some left-handed fly balls to leave the stadium. Enter Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper. Not to mention Bryson Stott, Brandon Marsh, and Rafael Marchan, who is posting a .936 OPS in Realmuto’s absence.

Stone’s schedule has also been straightforward. He faced the Rockies twice, the struggling Yankees, the Royals at home (the Royals stink on the road), and the White Sox. He’s coming off a bad outing, but so is Sanchez, so no value is being derived from fading Stone after a bad start, considering Sanchez’s was worse.

The Phillies and Dodgers can go toe-to-toe at the top of the lineup, but the Phillies have a much deeper lineup. I prefer the Phillies offense and starter, but let’s talk bullpens.

The Phillies have their four best relievers ready to go. Jeff Hoffman (1.21 ERA), Matt Strahm (1.59 ERA), Orion Kerkering (1.34 ERA), and Jose Alvarado (3.75 ERA). The Dodgers also have four excellent arms: Alex Vesia (1.36 ERA) and Daniel Hudson (1.72 ERA), Evan Phillips (2.28 ERA), and Blake Treinen (2.61 ERA). If the game is tied (I don’t think it will be), I give the slight edge to Philadelphia. If the Phillies have the lead, we’ll get the Phillies best and I don’t expect the Dodgers to waste these guys, get them ready for tomorrow behind Landon Knack.

The Phillies also fit a very profitable system. When two teams with a win percentage over .590 play each other, the favorite is 143-66, winning at a 68% rate for a 20% ROI. This is the most profitable system in baseball that I track.

The Phillies are 30-8 in their last 38 home games. They have their number one home pitcher, who can excel in the wind with a 60% ground-ball rate and only two home runs allowed all season. You don’t want to try to catch the falling knife when the Phillies get hot. They also have their four best relievers behind him, and three have All-Star cases. This is the Dodgers, so we aren’t bumping it to a 3U Max, but this is as confident as I’ve been on a play all season.

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Play at 2U to -150—anything above that (doubt it gets there), lower to 1.5 units.

The Pick: Phillies ML (-130) Risk 2 Unit

Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres @ 6:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Bryce Miller (3.84 ERA) vs. Michael King (3.51 ERA)

Michael King has been silently pitching his butt off for two months. Bryce Miller is a great talent but has struggled on the road and hasn’t been sharp over the past two months. This is a two-game series, which we often see split, and I’m willing to sell the Mariners offense after one good game.

Adam Mazur wasn’t ready, but let’s see how Seattle does against Michael King. As stated earlier, he’s been on a heater. He threw 30 innings in May with a 34-8 K/BB ratio at a 3.00 ERA. In June, he put up a 2.67 ERA over 33.2 innings with a 41-10 K/BB ratio. His last start against a hot Rangers squad was a good one, throwing into the sixth inning while only allowing one run.

We’ve talked about the Mariners’ offense so often that we all know the deal. They still have the worst batting average in the major leagues, the worst this season against righties, and the worst over the last 30 days. They also have the highest strikeout rate in both spans.

The Mariners still struggle against breaking balls. Mazur had no command of anything besides his curveball, and the Mariners are big-league hitters; they can sit on something and crush it if a pitcher can only throw one pitch. King is a lot better, and as long as he has command of multiple pitches, that should give the Mariners trouble.

This is also a fade of Bryce Miller. He is up there for the widest gap between home and road starts. On the road, his ERA is over six, and his ERA is 2.10 at home.

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He was unbelievable in April, posting a 1.19 ERA. In May, that rose to 5.22; in June, it was another below-average month, posting a 4.68 ERA.

King has the edge in ERA, xERA, FIP, xFIP, and SIERA. He also has a higher strikeout rate and lower walk rate. I view King as the superior pitcher, and while he’s struggled in home starts to an ERA over four, it’s better than Miller’s road numbers.

In terms of offense, the Padres have a clear edge. They are still tied for the number one wRC+ at home and even scored three late runs against Gilbert.

I decided to take the Padres through the entire game because of how their bullpen stacks up. King is -160 to go over 17.5 pitching outs, so if we project six innings from him, the rest of the game should be cleaned up. The Padres have an off day tomorrow, while the Mariners have a game against the Angels tomorrow.

The Padres’ three best relievers, Robert Suarez (1.77 ERA), Jeremiah Estrada (2.84 ERA), and Adrian Morejon (2.33 ERA) all haven’t thrown in three days, and they have another off-day tomorrow. It’s almost a guarantee we see all three today. The Mariners also have a solid bullpen, and they are pretty rested, but I always go full game when I have the better offense, especially at home.

I am hesitant about something, but I still locked it in. That’s why I’m not laying juice here. The Padres might be going through a “dead streak” as they’ve lost three straight. When the Padres crumble, it’s often for prolonged stretches. I’m trusting them today, and with all the advantages at home, they will win this one to grab a split series. Keep this one to -140 or better.

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The Pick: Padres ML (-135) Risk 1 Unit