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Best MLB Bets Today: Yankees and Rangers in Play on Thursday, July 4

Publish Date: 07/04/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

Check out my Best MLB Picks for today

Happy Fourth of July, wherever you may be celebrating. Thursday should make for a great day of baseball, so if you'd like to sit back and let the A/C hit you in the face, we've got you covered.

(Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)

I'll be eyeing this Reds vs Yankees series to begin things, and previewing what should be a slugfest in Toronto. Then, I'll cover the night slate by fading a touted pitcher in a pretty rough spot out in Texas.

Let's get right into the slate and hand out our MLB Best Bets for Thursday, July 4.

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MLB BEST BET FOR CINCINNATI REDS VS NEW YORK YANKEES

Frankie Montas will take the ball on Thursday in New York as he attempts to get one over on one of the many teams who have given up hope on him, and I don't think this game will go particularly swimmingly for him.

Yes, the Yankees have struggled a bit at the plate over the last week, but they remain excellent in the strikeout and walk departments and have just been searching for a little more success on contact.

  1. That's where Montas should come in, the owner of a poor .259 Expected Batting Average and high 9.6% walk rate.
  2. This man has completely lost control and failed to deliver on his potential, and the scariest part here may be that he's abandoned the sinker that once had him ticketed for big things in this league.

He's opted to throw more four-seam fastballs which have only been hit harder, and he'll do so on Thursday against the sixth-best fastball-hitting team by run value.

On the opposite end, Marcus Stroman has been a one-dimensional pitcher this season, pitching to a lot of contact on the ground, and that should work in his favor here against the Reds given they rank in the bottom five of the league in average and OPS versus ground-ball types.

Cincinnati hasn't hit all year, and Wednesday's win was a product of a fly-ball team going against a fly-ball pitcher in a park that's ripe for homers.

The matchup couldn't be any different on Thursday, however, as these are pitchers who have had the Reds' number.

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Best Bet: Yankees First Five Innings -0.5 (-120 at DraftKings)

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

MLB BEST BET FOR HOUSTON ASTROS VS TORONTO BLUE JAYS

We've got two pitchers who are strikingly similar matching up here, and while they've got plenty of name value they've done little this season to show us that they're nearly as good as they once were.

Framber Valdez may have his ground ball rate back up near 70%, but for a second straight season he's allowed hard-hit balls at nearly a 50% clip to significantly decrease his chances of drawing outs on contact.

  1. He owns a .259 xBA heading into this outing, and with his already-low strikeout rate taking a five-point dive in 2024, those issues are going to be very present.
  2. Toronto and Houston both rank inside the top 10 in wRC+ over the past week, and in the Blue Jays' case they've hit the ball incredibly hard with an ISO over .200 and been held back from even more by a strikeout rate over 25%.

That shouldn't be much of an issue here, nor should the Astros have any problems scoring runs off Chris Bassitt.

  • The veteran righty has also pitcher to few strikeouts and an xBA over .250 against an Astros team which has been smoking the ball, and with Houston sitting sixth against ground-ball pitchers it should be more than capable of doing its part to get us to the Over.
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Best Bet: Over 8.5 Runs (-102 at DraftKings)

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

MLB BEST BET FOR SAN DIEGO PADRES VS TEXAS RANGERS

When you pitch to fly balls at Globe Life Field, bad things happen. The Rangers' home park ranks fourth in Park Factor for longballs, and it features a home team which loves to put the ball in the air.

There's no better example than their recent run, where they've rediscovered their power stroke over the course of this homestand.

  • Texas has now hit 12 homers over the last seven days with the second-best Isolated Power in baseball, and will meet Michael King -- a pitcher who allows a ton of fly balls.

King's been able to work around these issues effectively both inside his spacious home park and in general with his high strikeout rate.

  • The issue in this meeting is that the Rangers are striking out in under 20% of their plate appearances over the last week and have been one of the most disciplined teams in the league.

Max Scherzer certainly hasn't been a pitcher who's limited fly balls, either, but the Padres actually own much better numbers against ground-ball types as a team which loves to pound the ball into the dirt and limit strikeouts.

The veteran carried an xBA of .206 or better over the last two seasons and has posted a .188 xBA through just over 10 innings after returning from injury, so there should be no reason why he can't navigate this lineup well enough to let his offense do the rest.

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Best Bet: Rangers ML (-132 at FanDuel)

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