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MLB Best Bets for June 17: Back Two Road Underdogs on Monday

Publish Date: 06/17/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

We begin another week in Major League Baseball with a loaded slate on Monday which brings plenty of great spots to bet.

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

I'll be looking towards some under-appreciated arms who have been having some promising campaigns, while fading some household names along the way. I think one favorite is being short-changed by oddsmakers, and there are two underdogs who deserve our attention as well.

Let's dive further into the slate and give out our MLB Best Bets for Monday, June 16.

MLB Betting Resources:

MLB BEST BET FOR ST. LOUIS CARDINALS VS MIAMI MARLINS

We're going to pay up a little but here, but the Cardinals certainly deserve it.

They're set to throw Sonny Gray on Monday, who began to fall a bit in the month of June before rebounding last time out against the Pirates by tossing seven innings of one-run ball with nine punchouts.

Strikeouts continue to be a strength of the right-hander, and Miami has been one of the worst teams in baseball when it comes to avoiding punchouts, around being one of the very worst lineups in baseball.

Braxton Garrett, meanwhile, is a young arm whose stock is falling fast. He enjoyed a nice breakthrough year in 2023, but there were some glaring problems beneath the surface like a 45.1% hard-hit rate and awful expected numbers on contact.

  • Those have persisted into an injury-shortened 2024, and have actually gotten a bit worse, with fewer strikeouts to save him.

St. Louis has struggled big-time against lefties this year, which is why we see the line somewhat cheap on the visitors, but it has been improving over the last two weeks at the dish with nearly-average marks across the board and will have a dream matchup here with Garrett.

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Best Bet: Cardinals ML (-155 at DraftKings)

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

Nick Pivetta continues to produce very adequate results on the hill, yet he fails to get any respect from the public.

  • The right-hander is quietly putting together a career year under the tutelage of Red Sox pitching coach Andrew Bailey, posting a 3.88 ERA in nine starts behind an even-better 3.61 Expected ERA.

His Expected Batting Average is once again firmly below the league average, and dating back to the start of his career the one spot of bother for him has been in the slugging department.

Enter the Blue Jays, who can't seem to find the seats this year and have come up with horrific power numbers since the start of the year.

  • Their Isolated Power sits at just .104 over the last two weeks, coming along with low strikeout and walk rates, meaning they are swinging early and often and coming up with weakly-hit ground balls.

Toronto is just 19th in OPS to fly-ball arms like Pivetta, who is more or less cruising at the moment with an excusable poor start last time out against the formidable Phillies.

I like him to do his job here, and on the flip side, it's hard not to love what this Red Sox offense is doing right now.

Their numbers against lefties continue to climb, and as a team which packs a real punch in the power department they should be licking their lips on Monday against Yusei Kikuchi.

  • The lefty has watched his xSLG rise with each month this season, rocketing all the way to .434 in June which has come along with a steady dip in strikeouts.

The matchup here for Boston is too good to ignore.

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Best Bet: Red Sox ML (+108 at FanDuel)

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

BEST BET FOR DETROIT TIGERS VS ATLANTA BRAVES

It's breaking my heart to see so many people disparage poor Reese Olson. It's true that he's had a June to forget, allowing 17 runs over 14 2/3 innings, but it's not as if there were any reasons to expect this out of him.

  • Olson's been an expert ground-ball arm, ranking just outside the top 10% of the league in that area, and as a result his xERA sits at a cool 3.61.

He's continued to limit walks, and while his strikeouts have come up a bit in the last few starts that seems to be an issue for the youngster.

  • The Tigers' starter on Monday will draw a Braves team swinging at 50.2% of the pitches they've seen over the last two weeks, ranking sixth in baseball, so the issues he's had when it comes to nibbling around the zone and hunting punchouts should go by the wayside.
  • The Braves are also just 17th in OPS to ground-ball pitchers this year which should further throw some cold water on a mediocre stretch at the plate.

Detroit, like St. Louis, doesn't own great numbers against southpaws -- and that's probably why the line has skewed so far towards Atlanta. The thing to consider is that the Tigers own poor numbers across the board this year, so in a small sample size their numbers aren't going to pop in that split.

  • They've improved lately with a 93 wRC+ over the last two weeks, posting some encouraging power numbers compared to what we've seen this year.

That should put Max Fried in another spot of bother amidst a very strange season. He's arguably been the same pitcher as Olson, feasting on ground balls and posting perfectly average marks across the board elsewhere, yet he's being treated like an ace with this line.

I'm liking what I'm seeing with this Detroit offense, and even on the road I wouldn't set this line given the similar natures of both starters.

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Best Bet: Tigers ML (+170 at DraftKings)

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Allan HoweDan TraceyGarrett KermanKenny DuceySara Jane Gamelli
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Sara Jane Gamelli
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