MLB weekend best bets: Blue Jays will overwhelm slumping O's
We're carrying a 30-16-1 record on our MLB picks into this weekend, where we love a handful of value plays on undervalued pitchers. Here are our favorite bets:
Blue Jays -1.5 (-115) at Orioles
June 18, 7:05 p.m. ET
Few pitchers are performing better right now than Robbie Ray, who is coming off consecutive starts against the White Sox and Red Sox - two of the better lineups in baseball - in which he allowed a combined four runs and struck out 23 batters against three walks in 12 1/3 innings.
His next challenge? The Orioles, who have lost eight straight games and averaged 2.9 runs across those losses. The Blue Jays have averaged 5.6 runs in that same span despite a 3-6 record. With a little help from their surging starter, expect a better result Friday.
Phillies-Giants under (TBD)
June 19, 4:05 p.m.
Is Aaron Nola back to true ace form? The Phillies veteran tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings against the Yankees on Sunday and coaxed 15 swinging strikes - his sixth straight start with at least 12 whiffs after hitting that mark just twice in his first eight starts.
He'll be matched by Alex Wood, who has surprisingly been one of the more consistent pitchers in baseball this season. The Giants lefty has allowed two or fewer runs in four of his last seven starts with a 5-2 record to the under in that stretch, and he's allowing a .195 batting average at home thus far.
Wood is 3-1 to the under in his previous four home starts, while Nola is 3-1 to the under in his last four away from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Bank on another under with these two on the mound.
Brewers-Rockies 1st 5 innings over (TBD)
June 20, 3:10 p.m.
Both of the starting pitchers in this contest have struggled mightily as of late, especially early on, and both are in for a tough test at Coors Field on Sunday.
Brewers lefty Eric Lauer gave up four runs in the first two innings of his last start and has ceded a combined 13 earned runs across 11 innings in June. Chi Chi Gonzalez also allowed a four-spot through two frames in his last start, raising his ERA to a ghastly 8.80 through three June starts.
The Rockies have scored a combined 23 runs across their last three games, and many of those came early. This number almost can't be high enough.