If you are an avid follower of this column, you know that we like to check in on futures odds frequently. For today’s article, we take a different spin on futures odds and look back on how the preseason favorites in the American League have underperformed in relation to their preseason odds.
Worst Record for Preseason AL favorites on July 4th (Since 2000)
1) 2013 Blue Jays 41-44
2) 2007 Yankees 40-42
3) 2021 Yankees 42-41
— Bets Stats (@betsstats) July 5, 2021
New York’s slow start has not changed the mind of oddsmakers much, as the Yankees have been underdogs in just seven of their 83 games. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees continue to get the benefit of the doubt from an odds perspective, or if they will eventually snap out of their funk and play up to the level that has made them favorites in 91.5% of their games.
Here are my MLB top betting plays for Tuesday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
YTD: 103-87-3 (+5.61 units)
Pittsburgh Pirates Team Total UNDER 3.5 runs (-124)
The Pittsburgh Pirates are the worst offensive team in the league by a wide margin, as their half-run gap from their last-place ranking to the St. Louis Cardinals (ranked 28th) in runs per game entering Monday was the same as St. Louis to the 14th-ranked offense in the league. The Pirates have scored more than two runs in a game just once in their last eight games. They are 27th or worse in nearly every offensive category, including batting average, OPS, total bases, and AB/HR. Given Atlanta’s Ian Anderson’s recent success, tonight is not the night to bank on an offensive outburst from the Pirates, despite the fact that they scored 11 runs yesterday.
Anderson (5-4, 3.35) has pitched better on the road this year than at home, as his road ERA is 2.66 compared to 4.03. Most of his other statistics are comparable to his home stats, as his OBA and WHIP are within .04 of each other based on home/road splits. Anderson does an excellent job of keeping the ball in the yard, as he has allowed eight home runs in 88.2 innings this year.
Anderson tied a season-high with seven innings pitched in his last start against the Mets. If he can give the team length again, he can hide a bullpen that entered Monday ranked 22nd in the league with a 4.61 ERA. The under is 3-0-1 in Anderson’s last four road starts against teams with a losing record, making us confident that he will do his part and keep Pittsburgh from scoring runs.
Texas Rangers -1.5 runs (+110)
The Texas Rangers are 5-1 in their last six games as a home favorite and are 4-1 in their previous five home games against the Detroit Tigers. Behind a starting pitcher who has been much better at home this season, we look for another big win from the Rangers.
Dane Dunning (3-6, 4.38) is 3-2 with a 2.63 ERA in eight home starts this year. His OBA is 0.55 points lower at home, while his WHIP is 0.50 lower. In 41 home innings, Dunning has allowed just two home runs and has a K:BB ratio of better than 4:1.
Dunning is opposed by Jose Urena (2-8, 6.22), who has pitched to a 9.10 ERA in his last seven starts. Four current Rangers have faced Urena, and they are a combined 7-for-14 with two doubles. Urena has failed to complete five innings in any of his last four starts, and his strikeout total has been his lowest of the season twice in that span.
Despite being 19 games under .500, the Rangers are nearly .500 at home and should once again protect their home field in a big way tonight.
Athletics-Astros UNDER 8.5 runs (-118)
The Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros begin a big three-game series with the Astros leading the AL West by 3.5 games. Each team has a hot starting pitcher on the mound, as between them, Chris Bassitt and Framber Valdez have won 12 of their last 13 decisions.
Bassitt (9-2, 3.04) is 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his last seven starts. He has allowed two earned runs or less in seven of his previous eight starts and has allowed an OBA of .212 this season. Valdez (5-1, 2.18) makes his fourth home start, where he is 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA. He has allowed an OBA of .191 in 18 innings at home, with a WHIP of 1.06.
The under is 5-2 in Oakland’s last seven games as an underdog and 4-1 in Houston’s last five games following a win. Though the over has cashed in each of the last four head-to-head meetings between these teams, that is reason to believe there is value in an inflated total tonight.
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