Welcome back for another Sunday. MLB’s crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances is set to officially begin tomorrow, but we’ve already seen a dramatic decrease in spin rates and pitchers complaining about not being able to grip the ball properly. Red Sox starter Garrett Richards, for example, completely abandoned his curveball in his last start. He cited not being able to use sunscreen to improve his grip as the reason he didn’t even attempt to throw a pitch he normally threw more than 15% of the time. As for how this crackdown will affect the sports betting industry is still somewhat to be determined, but I will be keeping an eye on pitchers with dramatic drops in their spin rates and will most likely be avoiding unders for a couple of weeks.
Here are my top betting plays for Sunday, June 20. Have questions or want to talk baseball or betting? Feel free to reach out on Twitter @mikeMaher.
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Oakland Athletics ML (+120)
Sean Manaea vs. Jordan Montgomery. The A’s and Yankees are ranked 13th and 14th in batting average against lefties this season, and they’re fourth and fifth in home runs off lefties on the year. The A’s are batting .247 with 33 home runs, while the Yankees are batting .245 with 31 home runs. At least in terms of surface-level stats, these two teams are pretty even against southpaws. Then, it comes down to the matchup. Montgomery has been perfectly cromulent for the Yankees this season, with a 4.20 ERA and some underlying numbers that are slightly better. He has allowed seven earned runs over his last 11 innings, however. For the A’s, Sean Manaea has been excellent over his last several starts. Since May 18, Manaea has allowed one or fewer earned runs in five straight starts. He has also never allowed a run in 12 innings in Yankee Stadium. At +120, taking Oakland today is an easy call.
Minnesota Twins ML (-118)
A number of books have this one at -120, but you can get it at -118 on FanDuel and DraftKings. The Twins have not been good this season, and neither have the Rangers. The Twins should be better than they have been, while this is kind of who we expected the Rangers to be in 2021. The Twins are going for the series sweep on Sunday and are sending Kenta Maeda to the mound to make his second start since returning from the injured list. Maeda hasn’t been very good this season, but it sounds like he was pitching through a couple of injuries before he finally landed on the IL. Now that he is back and presumably healthy, we should hopefully see Maeda look more like the savvy righthander he has been over the last few seasons. For the Rangers, Dane Dunning has a 4.57 ERA and hasn’t won a game since May 9. He has also pitched five innings or fewer in five of his last six starts. Roll with Maeda and the Twins, who also just got Byron Buxton back from the injured list, in this one.
Phillies-Giants OVER 8.0 Runs (-120)
I was debating this over and the over in the Indians-Pirates matchup. I have more faith in these two offenses and was happy to find a lower number, which made the decision easier. This matchup features Zach Eflin of the Phillies facing off against Sam Long, who will be making his first start for the Giants after two long-relief appearances. Long has allowed five earned runs over his first nine innings of work this season, including four earned runs over five innings in his last trip to the mound against the Diamondbacks. For the Phillies, Eflin hasn’t won a start since May 7, and his ERA has crept up steadily from 3.38 to 3.99. And over the last week, the Giants have the second-best team wOBA in baseball, at .403. Philadelphia has a less consistent offense, but they have plenty of firepower in the middle of their lineup, especially with Rhys Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen heating up.
#Phillies start Zach Eflin will be trying to earn his first win since May 7 today against the San Francisco Giants.
Since that win, Eflin is 0-4 in six starts. #RingTheBell
— mike Maher. (@mikeMaher) June 20, 2021
That’s it for today. Have questions or want to talk baseball or betting? Feel free to reach out on Twitter @mikeMaher.
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Mike Maher is an editor and featured writer at FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and visit his Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.
The post Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Sunday, June 20 (2021) appeared first on BettingPros.