As we have every Friday, Apple TV+ will be showcasing two of the 15 games on the MLB schedule. First up, we have the Rays at Twins, followed by the Mets at Angels. I’ll provide four bets you can make for these games that you can follow along with as you watch tonight.
This Twins team has been on fire lately. They’re coming off a game where they torched Gerrit Cole for seven runs on eight hits, FIVE of which were home runs. To put this into perspective, the five home runs off Cole are more than five teams have hit in the month of June! Anyways, the Twins have scored 41 total runs this month, averaging 5.1 per game. Tonight, they’ll be facing Drew Rasmussen of the Rays. His numbers on the road are extremely different from when he’s at home and not in a good way. Through 21 innings, Rasmussen has a 5.14 ERA, allowing 12 of the 18 runs he’s allowed. Opposing hitters are also generating a lot of hard contact against him, doing so 30.3% of the time.
Through the month of June, the Twins are slashing .265/.320/.491. They’re currently third in the league in home runs hit with 16, thanks to the outburst last night. Facing a pitcher who relies on contact to generate outs like Rasmussen should help continue for this team to roll offensively. The cherry on top is getting the team total at plus money, especially for a team that is hitting as well as they are this month.
Buxton is one of the most dynamic and exciting players in all of baseball right now. While he’s missed several games due to injury, when he’s on the field, he’s a production monster. Therefore, I like him to go over 1.5 bases tonight, something he’s done in 17 of the 42 games he’s played, good for 40% of the season.
For the most part, players to go over 1.5 bases are usually set with plus money. As a leadoff hitter, naturally, Buxton will get the most at-bats in this game. We’re essentially paying a premium because of that but it also gives us the best chance to hit the over. During the month of June, Buxton has nine hits. Of those hits, six have gone for extra bases, which include four home runs and two doubles. Most of his home runs have come at home as well, hitting 12 of his 15 here. I think this is a great spot to take him over 1.5 bases against a contact pitcher in Rasmussen.
This feels like a very fair price against an Angels team that was finally able to snap its 14-game losing streak last night against the Red Sox. Granted, this Mets team is dealing with some significant injuries to their lineup, as both Pete Alonso and Starling Marte have been sidelined. That said, Marte does have the possibility to play tonight, as he was only expected to miss a couple of days. Alonso seems unlikely but he also is expected to miss a trip to the IL. Nonetheless, the Mets will be getting back Tylor Megill, who is expected to start this game. While his 4.41 ERA looks a bit inflated, his xERA (expected ERA) sits at 3.84, meaning he’s been a bit unlucky when taking the mound. Against a very weak Angels lineup without Mike Trout, I like the Mets chances here.
As road favorites, the Mets currently own a record of 12-6. They’ve also done very well against teams that are under .500, owners of a 24-10 record. The Angels are starting Jhonathan Diaz, who was scratched from his start in Triple-A last night — a good indication he’ll pitch tonight. Diaz has some decent numbers on the surface as a starter, owning a 2.87 ERA but he’s absolutely been bailed out by his defense. When you’re walking 14 batters through 15 2/3 innings, it’s going to catch up to you at some point. He’s also allowed seven of the 12 hits when starting to go for extra bases. With the spot start in front of him against a Mets team that’s hit lefties very well, -130 doesn’t feel like much of a premium to pay.
This coincides with my thinking of the Mets winning this game. I’m a firm believer that they’ll be able to get to Diaz, so the likelihood of them scoring over 2.5 runs against him seems favorable. This is going off as +120, which further entices me to take this play. On the season, the Mets have been one of the best scoring offenses in the league through the first five innings, averaging 2.83 runs per game. That average ranks them fourth in the league, behind only the Dodgers, Cubs and Giants. Granted, as mentioned, they are down a couple of their best hitters, but this team has been strong against lefties. Guys like Eduardo Escobar, Brandon Nimmo, Luis Guillorme, and Mark Canha have posted strong numbers against lefties. With that in mind, I think the Mets will score early against Diaz, especially if he’s putting a lot of traffic on the basepaths as we’ve seen during his short time in the majors.
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