All 30 MLB teams are in action on this summer Sunday, and most series are closing out as we head into a Monday holiday with a smattering of action. It’s a somewhat unusual spot on the calendar, as most fans associate Independence Day with baseball, but the league will mostly be resetting as the actual holiday arrives.
Today’s best bets are all about reverting to the mean – finding teams at prices that are better than they should be mostly due to recent results. It’s a classic spot in a 162-game season and should make your July 3 quite profitable.
Texas @ New York Mets
The Bet: Mets -1.5 (+142)
The Mets are mired in their worst stretch of the season having lost four of their last five games, including yesterday’s contest against these Rangers 7-3. Carlos Carrasco isn’t necessarily the guy amongst Mets pitchers who you want to have the ball in his hand when a series (or your money) is on the line, but he’s also the reason why we can get such a nice plus-money price for the Amazins spread today, and there’s still plenty of reason to think they can and should cover against a sub-.500 Texas team.
Rangers starter Jon Gray isn’t someone who this Mets lineup should fear. His ERA has fallen from the sixes and sevens early in the season to just below four today, but that’s on the back of a cupcake schedule for much of June. The Mets are the best hitting team in baseball vs. right-handed pitching, and if he can’t make it far into the game, New York will face the Rangers bullpen, which ranks in the bottom ten in the league in terms of walks and home runs surrendered.
Tampa Bay @ Toronto
The Bet: Blue Jays ML (-135)
The Rays took two from the Jays yesterday in a doubleheader, which evened this particular series against the two AL East teams. We like Toronto to win the series 3-2 with a victory on Sunday because starting pitcher Ross Stripling projects quite well against this Rays lineup.
He has only been a regular starter for the Blue Jays over the last month, but his results suggest he should remain in that role for some time. As a starter, he’s given up just five earned in nearly 26 innings, and he’s pitched against some scary-looking lineups, including the Yankees, Red Sox, and White Sox.
Tampa also has the third worst strikeout rate and sixth worst batting average in the league against right-handed pitchers. Shane Baz is on the mound for the Rays and is talented enough to keep the total under, but we prefer the relatively low-juice bet on the Jays to win at home.
Kansas City @ Detroit
The Bet: Tigers ML (-127)
There’s not necessarily a mean to revert to in the Kansas City-Detroit rivalry. These two teams are very evenly matched historically with the Royals holding a 383-372 edge over the Tigers. This season, it’s a 3-2 advantage for Detroit following last night’s game when Victor Reyes and Riley Greene hit back-to-back homers in the ninth to clinch the win. The two teams also have the second- and third-worst run differentials in the AL with -98 for Detroit and -102 for KC – nearly identical.
The mean reversion we’re looking at instead is that of Tigers starter Tarik Skubal. After a stellar April and May, his June was – to say the least – underwhelming. His ERA ballooned from 2.15 at the start of the month to 3.75 as it closed, but his starts were against some pretty tough teams – Toronto, Texas, Boston, San Francisco.
Against KC earlier in the season, he threw 5.2 innings of four-hit ball with seven Ks, no walks, and no earned runs. The Royals lineup he’s facing today is in the bottom third of the league over the last week when it comes to average and slugging. And they don’t hit lefties over the entire season much better.