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MLB Best Bets for June 20: Moneyline and NRFI Picks Today

Publish Date: 06/20/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

We've got a load of day baseball on a getaway day in baseball on Thursday as many teams around the league wrap up their midweek series early to plan for travel, but we're still left with a pair of late-night games that should provide some betting value.

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

While none of the four pitchers pitching out West on Thursday are household names, and offer little reason to have any faith in them, the respective offenses they'll deal to might provide some insight into how both of these games should go. Let's pick a winner and find some value in two totals.

Let's get into the slate and give out our MLB Best Bets for Thursday, June 20.

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MLB BEST BET FOR SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

You can't convince me yet that Andre Pallante isn't a starting pitcher. The flamethrower, who was converted into a reliever last year due to his powerful fastball, owned an ERA under four runs as a starter over his career prior to getting stretched out once again to success down in Triple-A early this season.

He had one stinker of an outing in Houston, but around that he's been incredibly effective since moving back to the rotation this year and with just one home run and smattering of hits against him I think he should be more than capable of cooling down a Giants offense which has done a good job of cooling themselves down here.

San Francisco is now down to 13th in wRC+ over the last two weeks with much of its power fading and a batting average which is now back around the league norm at .239.

Yes, it's done a good job of taking walks, but that improved strikeout rate which led to a lot of success is back up to 23.6% over this span.

The Giants are technically the stronger of the two offenses here, but there are plenty of warning signs that a decline is here, and against the stronger of the two arms I think they'll be held in check at a similarly-spacious park as their own, where they've struggled for runs.

  • Then there's the Cardinals, who have gone backwards on account of a low 4.7% walk rate and .125 Isolated Power over the last 14 days.

This game will be played at Rickwood Field, which has a deep left field even with a slight adjustment from the league, and that's fantastic news for Keaton Winn. His two big pain points have been walks and slugging, and we've seen few reasons of late to believe those will be issues against the Cardinals.

That leads me to a contrarian spot on the Under here in St. Louis.

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Best Bet: Under 9 Runs (-110 at FanDuel)

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

MLB BEST BET FOR MILWAUKEE BREWERS VS SAN DIEGO PADRES

It's very tough to trust either Bryse Wilson or Adam Mazur in this one given the state of their numbers, but I think the call is rather easy if you're looking to pick a side here.

The Brewers' offense, which has been the driving force behind their success this year, is beginning to fade back to the mediocrity we saw last season.

  • Their 94 wRC+ over the last two weeks ranks 19th in the last two weeks and, like the Cardinals above, they've failed to produce anything in the power department with a .112 ISO over this span to rank among the worst in baseball during this time.

Mazur has had a rocky start to his big-league career since his promotion earlier this month, but you can really point to one glaring issue as to why he's been so bad -- and that's walks.

Yes, the Brewers have been a patient team, but I think you and I could draw walks off this guy right now.

He's missing the zone on just about every pitch, and while that would ordinarily be a concern with a young arm, it's important to note he had a sub-5% walk rate down in the minors and his expert control has been his carrying tool to get him to the big leagues.

Perhaps it's just jitters, but I'm willing to bet on some positive regression to the mean here for Mazur against a Brewers offense that has fallen into a rut. He does carry very solid expected numbers on contact, so as long as he can throw strikes for a change, he should be in much better spot.

The Padres are a team which is also slumping slightly at the moment, but they're still limiting strikeouts brilliantly and own a .192 ISO over the last two weeks. They also rank second in baseball in hitting finesse pitchers such as Wilson, and the righty has hardly done enough this year to be classified as a "pitcher."

Wilson's pitched to a .261 xBA and poor .437 xSLG, and with that much trouble on contact coupled with poor strikeout and walk rates, a disciplined Padres team that can hit for power should absolutely get the better of this matchup.

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Best Bet: Padres ML (-112 at FanDuel)

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

BEST NRFI BETS TODAY

We touched on the full-game Under here in Giants vs Cardinals, and as we hunt for a NRFI today I think we'll go back to this one given the state of both offenses.

  • It would seem the heart of St. Louis' ineffectiveness on offense would start with the top of the order. Masyn Winn is hitting just .241 over the last two weeks and has also been battling illness while Alec Burleson has gone back into a shell with an 86 wRC+ and Paul Goldschmidt's hot streak has come to an end with an OPS under .700.

On the other side, Brett Wisely has been the leadoff man by default with LaMonte Wade still missing in action and Luis Matos relegated back to Triple-A due to ineffectiveness.

  • His amazing story has also seemed to come to an end with just a .289 on-base percentage in the last two weeks and while Heliot Ramos has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball, that's about the only person who's scaring me when we look at the top of both lineups.

Both pitchers should be reasonably expected to pitch somewhat well in this matchup at Rickwood Field, which might actually be playing a bit bigger than we'd expect out of an exhibition game at an uncommon park.

Both offenses are heading the wrong way, so and this is probably the better bet of the two late games to see no runs in the first inning.

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NRFI Predictions: Giants vs Cardinals NRFI (-110 at DraftKings)

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