The state of Florida isn’t exactly known for its incredibly rabid fan bases, especially when it comes to baseball, but however few Marlins and Rays fans are out there should be salivating at their teams’ matchups today.
Miami is taking on the division-leading Mets, but they’re putting staff ace Sandy Alcantara on the mound, and he makes every game absolutely winnable.
Tampa, meanwhile, is in the thick of the wild card hunt for what feels like the 15th year in a row, and they get a juicy matchup today with Baltimore and are putting former Cy Young winner Corey Kluber on the mound. It would be hyperbole to say the MLB runs through Florida today, but our bets bets certainly do.
Best MLB Bets Today
Miami @ New York Mets
The Bet: Marlins ML (+119)
It’s not often that you can back Sandy Alcantara as a moneyline underdog, so we’re going to go ahead and just do that, even though it’s against the vaunted Metropolitans.
He has yet to take the mound against the NL East leaders this season, but last time he faced them, he threw a complete game with 14 strikeouts last September. And the Marlins’ offense is averaging more than five runs per game over its last ten.
Chris Bassitt is pitching for the Mets, and while his last start was excellent (eight shutout innings), he gave up 23 earned across his five starts before that.
Tampa Bay @ Baltimore
The Bet: Rays -1.5 (+125)
The Rays didn’t quite cover the spread yesterday against the O’s despite winning the game by one and putting 14 hits on the board. The offensive did the work, which is not exactly the Tampa Bay way. Ironically, it was a starter (Jeffrey Springs) who didn’t bring his A-game, and that’s unlikely to happen two days in a row, especially with Kluber on the mound.
Kluber is not exactly the pitcher he was during his heyday in Cleveland, but he’s still pretty effective with a 3.50 ERA, and he’s facing an Orioles lineup that – yesterday aside – has been pretty deficient this season with the fifth worst average and the sixth lowest slugging percentage.
Meanwhile, the Tampa lineup that found its pop yesterday gets Jordan Lyles on the mound for Baltimore. He’s given up 14 earned runs over his last 15 innings. His struggles will continue today at home.
Minnesota @ Arizona
The Bet: Under 9.5 Total Runs (-110)
It’s been a little while since Chris Archer has been considered a super reliable, top of the rotation type arm, but his performance so far this year for Minnesota has been excellent. He’s not getting very deep into games, but he kept the Mariners scoreless in his last and only gave up one to the Yankees in his start prior to that.
His Twins will show down with Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly on Sunday. He started the season wonderfully but has hit a rough patch of late. Outside of a one-hit shutout against Cincinnati earlier in June, he’s given up at least three earned in every start since early May.
That said, the Twins haven’t been able to hit much of anything over the last week. Over their last five games, they’ve only scored ten total runs, which means Kelly could re-find his form, while Archer maintains his. All that would lead to a low-scoring affair that stays well below this inflated total.