MLB Betting Value Picks for Sunday, July 21

By: Al Walsh – Follow him on  Twitter @14AdotWalsh

* 2019 MLB Record: 148-122-7 (54.8%) *

[1:10 p.m. EST] Chicago White Sox at Tampa Bay Rays (1.5-run line: -114)
CHW: Dylan Cease – R (1-1, 5.73 ERA/1.55 WHIP)
TB: Blake Snell – L (5-7, 4.55 ERA/1.27 WHIP)

Enough is enough already for the Rays, who have lost five straight games, including the first two of this series against the White Sox. Tampa Bay had a great shot to win yesterday, but it was not meant to be as Chicago engineered a late comeback.

I find it very difficult to believe the visitors will come in here and sweep this series, considering the matchup on the mound today. That’s why we’re rolling with the Rays on the 1.5-run line at -116, as opposed to the massive -270 number on the moneyline.

After a few rough outings, Blake Snell has gotten back on the good foot. The electric lefty has now allowed a total of four runs over his last three starts, with two of them coming against the vaunted Yankees. It does speak for volumes today for the optimism of Snell, considering the White Sox have the lowest implied run total (3.0) of any team on today’s schedule.

Over the last 21 days, the White Sox have an anemic .306 xwOBA (quality of contact) against left-handed pitching. Look for this lineup to struggle once again versus Snell – the current roster owns a massive 39.4% K-rate in 71 combined plate appearances.

Dylan Cease has only made two career MLB starts and the latest one didn’t go so well, allowing eight hits and six runs (four earned) over six innings. Despite the Rays’ recent offensive woes (against a good majority of quality starting pitchers), this is a great spot for them to get back in the win column. Tampa Bay owns the eighth-best wRC+ (108) in baseball against right-handed pitching and they should be able to manufacture some runs against the youngster.

All in all, this is a spot where a team lets their ace go out and do their thing in order to stop a losing streak and avoid the sweep. Look for Snell to have a huge day on the mound and the Rays to get to Cease early.

* Final Score Prediction * Tampa Bay Rays: 6 – Chicago White Sox: 2

 [4:10 p.m. EST] Los Angeles Angels (ML: -170/1.5-run line: +110) at Seattle Mariners
LAA: Dillon Peters – L (1-0, 4.15 ERA/1.50 WHIP)
SEA: Yusei Kikuchi – L (4-6, 5.01 ERA/1.46 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge system has all the California love today – cue Dr. Dre and Tupac music. In fact, the Angels moneyline (-170) and 1.5-run line (+110) are the second- and third-most likely outcomes in the SK system for the entire day. We’ll play it safe on the moneyline, but just know that the 1.5-run line is certainly there for the taking as well.

Look no further at the reasoning than to Yusei Kikuchi, who has gotten absolutely blasted by Los Angeles this season. Get ready for this one – in four starts against the Halos this season, Kikuchi has allowed 31 hits, 11 walks, 20 runs (19 earned) and six homers over 15 2/3 innings of work. Wow, wow and wow! Seattle has struggled to win ball games when Kikuchi is on the mound, with a 1-8 record over his last nine starts.

We saw the Mariners’ defense cost them last night’s game on an absolutely horrific error on an infield pop-up with two outs in the ninth inning – the Mariners proceeded to give up four runs after that mishap. I have no idea how they pick themselves up off the floor after losing a game in heartbreaking fashion, especially when this team has already had their spirits broken many of times lately.

Dillon Peters will be recalled from Triple-A to make today’s start. He hasn’t done a lot of great things at the MLB level, but it’s not like the Mariners have been consistently putting up big numbers either. Despite Friday’s 10-run outburst, Seattle has scored three runs or fewer in six of its last seven.

Once again, I feel like last night’s loss will have the Mariners in a world of hurt and that they won’t be able to rid. Look for the Halos to take advantage early and often.

The Angels are a whopping 23-5 over the last two seasons when being favored on the road by -125 to -175, while the Mariners are 12-37 versus teams with a winning record this season.

* Final Score Prediction * Los Angeles Angels: 13 – Seattle Mariners: 2

[4:10 p.m. EST] Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Dodgers (1.5-run line: -152)
MIA: Jordan Yamamoto – R (4-0, 1.59 ERA/0.94 WHIP)
LAD: Walker Buehler – R (8-1, 3.44 ERA/1.00 WHIP)

The SpreadKnowledge system has the Dodgers moneyline (-280) as the most likely outcome of the entire day, while the 1.5-run line isn’t too far behind. In order to keep things civil, we’ll take the Dodgers on the 1.5-run line and save nearly $170 to lay, in order to win $100.

Walker Buehler has had a couple of funky outings recently, but we really don’t see that being the case today. After all, he’s taking on a Marlins team that either dead-last or bottom-three against most advanced metrics against right-handed pitching. Looking at the Marlins recent games, only one starting pitcher has allowed more than two runs against them over the last seven contests.
Buehler has been particularly good at home, posting a 3-0 record and 3.16 ERA in eight starts there this season.

Here’s where things get interesting. Jordan Yamamoto has actually been a great find by the Marlins in the Christian Yelich trade. The rookie righty is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in six starts this season, but this will certainly be his toughest test of the season.

It was a bit peculiar to see the game total increased from 8.0 to 8.5 and the IRTs (implied run totals) – Dodgers: +0.4, Marlins: +0.2 – do the same. To me, that’s a big knock on Yamamoto, considering we all know damn well those increases aren’t speaking to Buehler.

There’s a scenario where this game could come down to the bullpens, and if that’s the case, you have to like the Dodgers chances even more.

* Final Score Prediction * Los Angeles Dodgers: 6 – Miami Marlins: 2