Major League Baseball enters its last week of the regular season before the All-Star break, and it is an important week for many teams as they will use these games to determine if they will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. With one eye on futures odds, two teams have separated themselves in their division races even though we are in early July.
The Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers have seemingly taken control of their respective divisions. Per DraftKings Sportsbook, the White Sox and Brewers have overwhelming odds of -1115 and -835, respectively, to win the AL Central and NL Central. While Milwaukee has taken control of their division with 11 wins in their last 12 games(fell two wins shy of their franchise record), the White Sox have done so in large part because of the ineptitude of their divisional rivals. The AL Central has three teams at least eightgames under .500, while their biggest competition in the Cleveland Indians has lost six straight games.
The rest of the division races are separated by less than five games, which should make for an entertaining week as teams continue to jockey for position in the standings.
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Monday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
YTD: 102-85-3 (+6.69 units)
White Sox-Twins OVER 10 runs (-109)
The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins have gotten familiar with each other so far this season, as today’s series opener is their tenth head-to-head matchup of the season. While the White Sox have dominated with an 8-1 head-to-head record thus far, the value is far greater with the total. The over has cashed in five of their last six meetings, and we should be in for another high-scoring affair tonight.
The White Sox have either scored or allowed seven runs in six of their last seven games. That is a big reason the over has cashed in each game in that span. Tonight’s starting pitcher, Dylan Cease (7-3, 3.75), has been a much better pitcher at home than on the road. Cease is 4-0 with a 1.81 ERA in eight home starts but is just 3-3 with a 6.08 ERA in eight road starts. Current Twins hitters are slugging .524 against Cease, with their star slugger Nelson Cruz doing the most damage. Cruz is 6-for-11 (.545 BA) with a double and a home run in 14 career plate appearances against Cease and is one of five Twins hitters batting .333 or better against him.
Minnesota counters with Bailey Ober (0-1, 5.84), who has allowed nine total earned runs in 7.1 combined innings over two starts against the White Sox. He has allowed four home runs in that span, which is a big reason White Sox hitters are slugging a combined .840 against him.
Cease and Ober have faced the opposition a combined four times in two months, and that many appearances happening so close together has to favor the hitters.
Chicago Cubs ML (-143)
The Chicago Cubs have lost nine straight games and now sit at .500 for the first time since they were 21-21 on May 19. While all nine of their consecutive losses came on the road against three potential playoff teams (Dodgers, Brewers, Reds), they should find a reprieve at Wrigley Field against a struggling Phillies team.
The Cubs are one of the National League’s best home teams with a 26-13 home record. They are 22-8 in their last 30 home games and are 10-4 in their last 14 games versus a team with a losing record.
Philadelphia’s Matt Moore (0-1, 5.79) is making just his second start since May 20 after spending more than a month on the IL with a back injury. While the Cubs are winless in their last six games against a left-handed starter, they are 49-21 in their previous 70 home games against a lefty. Moore went five innings in his previous start but had not pitched more than 2.2 innings in any of his last seven appearances. Philadelphia has one of the worst bullpens in baseball and is in big trouble even Moore does not give them length tonight.
Moore is opposed by Chicago’s Zach Davies (5-5, 4.32), who has allowed just two earned runs on two hits in his last ten innings. He has allowed one earned run or less in three of his last five home starts and is a part of a good value play to beat a Phillies team that is 17-35 in their previous 52 road games. Though Philadelphia is 4-0 in the last four meetings with the Cubs, tonight is the night Chicago breaks their losing streak.
Red Sox-Angels OVER 10 runs (-112)
This series opener between the Red Sox and Angels is tied for the highest on Monday’s slate, and we are still not scared off by it. The Red Sox have pounded left-handed pitching this year, ranking in the top seven in the league in batting average, OPS, and runs scored against left-handed pitching. They face Los Angeles’s Jose Suarez (3-1, 1.98), who is competing for a spot in the rotation after making all of his nine appearances in relief this year. Pitchers are a creature of habit, and Suarez’s preparation to make a start is vastly different than him warming out of the bullpen, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts.
Boston’s Martin Perez (6-4, 4.04) has a 2.10 road ERA this year. However, take that split with a grain of salt as the Astros are the only top-ten offense that he faced on the road this year. Perez has gotten fat against the Rangers, Orioles, and Royals, while the Angels present a much more significant challenge.
The over is 3-0-1 in Boston’s last four road games against a lefty and is 3-0-1 in Suarez’s previous four starts against the AL East. The Angels are also 0-6 in Suarez’s last six home starts, which gives us confidence that the Red Sox will do their part in the scoring tonight.
MLB Prop Bets
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