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MLB Best Bets for June 18: Moneyline and YRFI Picks Today

Publish Date: 06/18/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

We've got a loaded slate on tap for Tuesday in Major League Baseball, and with a plethora of struggling pitchers taking the mound we should be in for a very exciting night of baseball with runs abound.

(Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

I'm eyeing one of the best offenses in baseball over in Philly, who should have a solid matchup versus a strikeout-reliant pitcher, and will be headed back to Toronto to back the Red Sox once again as an underappreciated road team. To spice things up, we've even got a YRFI today.

Let's get into the slate and give out our MLB Best Bets for Tuesday, June 18.

MLB Betting Resources:

MLB BEST BET FOR SAN DIEGO PADRES VS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

Michael King is a pitcher who I simply do not trust at the moment. The reliever-turned-starter has had an up-and-down first season in San Diego, attempting to work around some issues with walks with his strikeout prowess, but he's not reaching the heights he did out of the bullpen in New York and his issues are only getting worse despite some good results in June.

King's whiff rate was already down this year in a rather unassuming spot to put him slightly above average, and this month he's taken a dip down under 25% which is four percentage points off the number he produced in May. He's also watched fewer batters chase out of the zone, and while he's pitched to contact a bit better he's had the benefit of facing the Royals, Diamondbacks and A's.

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The Phillies are one of the best offenses in the game and one thing they've done considerably well this year is limit strikeouts. They're not only punching out at just a 20.5% clip over the past two weeks, but walking 9.1% of the time and coupling that with excellent power numbers and overall results at the dish.

King should be in for a much tougher test here, particularly away from the comfort of his spacious home park. Citizens Bank Park is a tough place to pitch to fly balls, something the righty has done a lot of, and without many strikeouts to save him the Phillies should prove capable of getting out in front early.

I also am quickly souring on San Diego, which is trending downwards once again on offense after a brief hot streak. Aaron Nola may not be the most attractive pitcher in the world, but he's at least produced a wealth of ground balls to few walks and in a game where pitching to contact will be imperative, given neither side strikes out a ton and will be aiming for the seats in a small stadium, I trust him more here than King.

Best Bet: Phillies ML (-135 at Caesars)

Looking to bet this one as the action unfolds? Check out our MLB Live Betting Guide.

MLB BEST BET FOR BOSTON RED SOX VS TORONTO BLUE JAYS

For a second straight night, I'm failing to understand how oddsmakers are pricing this Red Sox vs Blue Jays series.

Boston is red hot at the plate right now, doing an exceptional job of hitting for power over the last two weeks, and Chris Bassitt represents a positive matchup for a second consecutive night. The Red Sox teed off on a lefty on Monday, something they've done few times this year, and now facing a righty -- a better matchup for them in the splits -- I think they profile even stronger given Bassitt can't find the strikeouts he'll need to quiet a team that's really only been held down by their punchout numbers this season.

The righty has done a good enough job in the Expected Slugging category this year, but he's still allowed a large collection of baserunners on account of his .255 Expected Batting Average -- which would be the worst he's had since 2016 -- and an alarming walk rate which is over 9% for he first time in six seasons.

With Boston's ability not only to hit for power, but to steal bases when it populates the bases, Bassitt could be in for a long night -- something that's a long time coming given he's skated by for a month or so behind somewhat middling peripheral numbers.

Tanner Houck, meanwhile, has been an expert at pitching to contact with his ground-ball prowess, and the Blue Jays have hit just .230 against ground-ball arms this year to rank 20th in baseball. Mix in the fact that they've slashed just .227/.300/.341 over the last two weeks, putting a ton of weakly-hit balls in play to poor results, and the matchup should be strong for the surging Boston right-hander.

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Best Bet: Red Sox ML (-116 at FanDuel)

Not sure where to place your bet? Be sure to check out our ballislifebets section. 

BEST YRFI BETS TODAY

This total is incredibly high at 11 runs, something that's not uncommon at Coors Field, but I think we're getting a little bit of a discount on the first inning total which leads me to believe that the best MLB YRFI today is in the Dodgers vs Rockies game.

This price at DraftKings is considerably better than the ones you'll find elsewhere, and it comes in what should be an excellent matchup for both offenses.

The Rockies may not be a formidable offense, but against "finesse" pitchers like Walker Buehler, as classified by Baseball-Reference, they've hit .261 with a 20th-ranked .717 OPS. They've also been showing some quiet improvements at the dish over the last two weeks, and as a team which really just struggles with strikeouts, they should be ready to take aim at an arm who has struggled to generate punchouts and carries a high .273 xBA and 4.59 xERA into this start.

They also have some tantalizing bats at the top of the order who have crushed pitchers like Buehler who pitch to contact with few strikeouts. Ezequiel Tovar, who should hit third, is not only obliterating righties and hitting much better at home, but is slashing .346/.365/.624 against finesse pitchers. On top of that, Nolan Jones and Brenton Doyle have recently returned to the top of the order to give this team a stronger look, and in the cleanup spot Jacob Stallings owns a .771 OPS against finesse pitchers.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, won't have Mookie Betts at the top of the order anymore but will be replacing him with a lefty-masher in Will Smith whose excellence in the split will be on full display against soft-tossing southpaw Austin Gomber. If you've never heard of Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman, those guys are are pretty good as well -- and own solid marks against lefties.

Both pitchers are in trouble here, and while I like a bunch of different totals here I do believe in the top of both lineups enough to say this is great value.

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YRFI Predictions: Dodgers vs Rockies YRFI (-140 at DraftKings)

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