Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Thursday, July 1st (2021)

Are you the type of bettor or fan who believes not all losses are created equal? If so, then you may want to fade the Chicago Cubs on Friday in their series opener at the Cincinnati Reds. Chicago’s historic collapse leaves them six games behind the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central, and suddenly a competitive division now looks like a one-team race.

The Chicago Cubs (+140) before game) were up 7-0 on the Milwaukee Brewers today.

They ended up losing 15-7.

Per @JesseRogersESPN, teams with a 7-run lead this season were 234-1 (.996) entering today's games.

— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) June 30, 2021

Here are my MLB top betting plays for Thursday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

YTD: 99-83-3 (+6.35 units)

Texas Rangers Team Total UNDER 3.5 runs (-132)

After a stretch of winning five of six of Sean Manaea’s starts, the Oakland Athletics have lost the last two, though those losses have not been Manaea’s fault. While Manaea has allowed just three earned runs over his previous two starts and struck out a combined 18 batters, his offense has failed to back him up with just one total run scored in his last two starts. While we cannot count on Oakland’s bats to provide Manaea with run support lately, we can still wager on him to shut down the opposition.

Manaea (6-4, 2.91) leads all Athletics starters in ERA, WAR (2.6), home runs allowed (30), and is second in pitches per start (93.4). He has pitched to a 1.24 ERA over his last seven starts while striking out 48 batters in his previous 43.2 innings. Manaea’s .778 winning percentage (7-2 record) against Texas is his highest against any opponent he has made more than three starts against, and he has pitched to a 3.41 ERA in 13 career starts against them.

Manaea faces a Rangers offense that has struggled against lefties this year. Texas is 2-9 in their last 11 games against a left-handed starter, and the Rangers rank 24th in the league with a .676 OPS against lefties. With Manaea as on fire as he has been, the Rangers are not the offense that will break his rhythm.

Los Angeles Dodgers ML (-143)

With a rotation that features Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, and Walker Buehler, bettors likely figure the only time one can find value betting against the Dodgers is when one of their “big three” does not start. However, the rest of their rotation are no slouches. Julio Urias has nine wins on the season, which is one off of the Major League lead. In addition, tonight’s starter Tony Gonsolin has pitched well in limited action this year.

Gonsolin (0-0, 2.77) has made four starts this year, allowing just one earned run in each. Though he has not yet completed five innings in any start, his four innings in his last start were a season-high, which is a sign he is getting comfortable the more he is stretched out. Gonsolin has thrown just 65.5 pitches per start, but in today’s day and age of analytics, that could be an advantage as no one in the lineup is likely to face him more than two times. The Dodgers do not seem to mind that the bullpen is responsible for many outings in Gonsolin’s appearances, as they are 4-0 when he toes the rubber.

Washington is 14-3 in their last 17 games, but the Dodgers are 9-3 in their previous 12 meetings in Washington. Behind another strong outing from Gonsolin, the Dodgers should once again cool off the red-hot Nationals.

Padres-Reds UNDER 9.5 runs (-124)

Tonight’s starting pitching matchup between the Padres and Reds is one that pits a pitcher who has bounced back and forth from the minors against one with a 3-10 record and an ERA north of 5.00. Seeing as both pitchers are set to face top 12-offenses in terms of runs per game, that does not exactly scream the under is the right side. Consider this a contrarian play, with trends to back the under being the right side of the total.

San Diego’s Ryan Weathers (3-2, 2.47) appears in his first big league action since June 14th. In his short MLB career (14 games), Weathers’ numbers are better across the board on the road than at home. In the same amount of innings at home and on the road (23.2 each), Weathers’ record, ERA, OBA, WHIP, and strikeout total are all better on the road. He is opposed by Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo (3-10, 5.14), who has pitched to a 2.81 ERA in his last seven starts. Castillo’s numbers are still inflated by two starts where he allowed eight earned runs, but he comes into this matchup with a ton of momentum after allowing just two earned runs in his last 20 innings.

The under is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams in Cincinnati and is 9-4 in their previous 13 meetings overall. Do not oppose these trends tonight just because it does not appear to be the best pitching matchup on paper.

MLB Prop Bets

Trea Turner Prop Bet Odds
Luis Castillo Prop Bet Odds
Carlos Rodon Prop Bet Odds
Nolan Arenado Prop Bet Odds
Eugenio Suarez Prop Bet Odds

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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