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MLB Best Bets for Thursday, June 13

Publish Date: 06/13/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

We've got an abbreviated MLB slate on Thursday with some teams getting the day off or playing earlier in the day to allow for travel, but there are still some lines out there with a ton of value later in the day despite the light schedule.

(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

I'm going to be betting on one of the most under-appreciated teams in baseball as a slight road favorite early in the evening before shifting my focus to two West Coast games. Yes, the Chicago White Sox are in play against the Seattle Mariners, and no, both pitchers in Rangers vs Dodgers are now.

Let's get into the best ways to bet baseball as we give out our MLB Best Bets for Thursday, June 13.

MLB Betting Resources:

BEST BET FOR CHICAGO CUBS VS TAMPA BAY RAYS

I'm continuing to wait for the day that we respect the team that the Chicago Cubs have. Has it been a tough stretch for Chicago? Sure! It's coming off a month of May which produced 10 wins in 28 games, but things are slowly turning around with a 5-5 start to June and two wins in the last three games.

The Cubs have an offense that can hit, top to bottom, and after dealing with a plethora of injuries this team is now back to full health with Nico Hoerner being the most recent player to return to the lineup after an absence.

  • In the last week, they own a perfectly acceptable 105 wRC+ and have cut down their whiff rate, leading to a much more reasonable 22.5% strikeout clip.
  • Most notably, this team continues to display it can hit for power, and a .152 ISO and .393 SLG over the last seven days offer plenty of reasons to believe on Thursday.

Taj Bradley, like many strikeout arms, has struggled with limiting loud contact when the ball does come back in play against him.

The issue is, these numbers are far more shocking than you see with most swing-and-miss arms with a disastrous .526 Expected Slugging and 17.3% barrel rate.

With more contact at the plate for the Cubs and their affinity for extra bases, I believe in them to get to Bradley -- or at least score enough to support the surging Justin Steele.

  • The lefty has brought his whiff rate back up six points from where it was last month, and his expected numbers continue to pop with a 3.17 xERA and .228 xBA.
  • The biggest thing here is that the Cubs have ranked seventh in the game with 3 Outs Above Average in June, showing a steady improvement after a very poor start in the field.

The Rays have been abysmal at the plate over the last week, sitting around the bottom five of the league in wRC+, and as a heavy ground-ball team rely on a string of hits to score runs. That should be tough against Steele and this defense, and with some more strikeouts creeping in I think he'll spin a gem here and deliver the Cubs another much-needed win.

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Best Bet: Cubs ML (-115 at DraftKings)

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

BEST BET FOR CHICAGO WHITE SOX VS SEATTLE MARINERS

I said it at the outset of the season, but there are some real concerns with Luis Castillo right now. The velocity on his fastball is down, and as a result he's seen a 17-point increase in Expected Batting Average on the pitch and a near-six point drop in whiffs on it. This has caused him to lose his strikeout prowess, and in turn his average performance on pitching to contact has come to light.

The White Sox may not be amazing at making contact, but in this specific matchup they're head and shoulders above their opponent in that regard.

On top of that, they've found a little life with a 91 wRC+ over the last week to bring them out of the abyss, and while home runs are hard to come by in Seattle I do think with the dip in production from Castillo this team is capable of landing a few big blows.

On the flip side, it would seem impossible that the Mariners run up the score against Garrett Crochet.

The lefty owns one of the better whiff rates around at nearly 31%, leading to a sky-high 34.3% strikeout rate, which puts him in a dream spot against a Mariners team which once again leads the league in strikeout rate and has refused to make contact this year.

Seattle ranks 21st in wRC+ to lefties on top of all that, and at home its power -- which is the only redeeming quality to be found here -- is nonexistent given the pitcher-friendly nature of T-Mobile Park, where fly balls go to die.

I think this game is a virtual coin-flip, which would mean the White Sox offer at least 30 cents of value here in Seattle.

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Best Bet: White Sox ML (+130 at FanDuel)

Not sure where to place your bet? Be sure to check out the Best MLB Betting Apps in 2024.

BEST BET FOR TEXAS RANGERS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

I'm not the biggest fan of either guy pitching here, which naturally would lead me to the Over here. Yes, Michael Grove is being used as an opener in this one, so the handicap becomes a bit tougher when you try and figure out how Dave Roberts will navigate this one, but the arms behind Grove can't be considered to be strong ones -- at least in the early innings.

The righty has pitched to a lot of strikeouts and decent expected numbers, but the Rangers provide a really tough test to start with their ability to get the ball back in play and limit strikeouts.

  • Behind him should be Ryan Yarbrough, who owns incredibly poor numbers this year as a long reliever, coughing up a .267 xBA and .452 xSLG.

The Rangers may be slumping, but it's only a matter of time before this team turns around with some bats recently returning from injury.

They hit well on Wednesday night and put up seven runs against the Giants just a few days ago, and with a strange look coming from L.A. in the form of Grove, Yarbrough and middling relief arms like Anthony Banda and Yohan Ramirez, I think they should do enough here to cover their part of the total.

On the flip side, it's much easier to sell Michael Lorenzen struggling with the red-hot Dodgers, who own the best wRC+ in baseball over the last week and have begun to take walks again.

This is an area where the righty has struggled mightily over his career, and he's currently working on a career-worst walk rate which is just a shade under 12%.

Lorenzen's pitched to contact, and done so pretty poorly, with a .425 xSLG and despite this defense's best efforts I simply don't see him making it out of this one alive.

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Best Bet: Over 8.5 Runs (-122 at FanDuel)

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