We didn’t trust our judgment on Thursday. After we laid out the ingredients for an Oakland
upset in Boston
, we didn’t go with it and got burned.
But after a 4-3 A’s win over the Red Sox, our remaining two bets came through with San Diego beating the Cubs on the run line and Texas getting a great outing from Martin Perez as predicted, but it took the Rangers until the ninth inning to score on Detroit to win 3-1.
Today, the Braves open a three-game series in Chicago with a great chance to keep extending their 14-game winning streak, and how will the Dodgers respond after falling out of first place and now hosting a Cleveland team that’s won seven out of eight games?
It’s a full Friday night of action in Major League Baseball, and we sort through it all to present our best bets.
Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs
The Bet: Over 8 (Caesar’s Sportsbook)
Atlanta has fully taken advantage of a stretch of games against weak teams by winning 14 in a row, and that continues at horribly slumping Chicago this afternoon. The Cubs have lost 10 in a row and allowed 41 runs in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Padres this week. Atlanta, meanwhile, totaled 27 runs in three games at Washington on Monday through Wednesday.
With Atlanta sending Charlie Morton to the mound, the Cubs can get a few runs of their own. The Braves offense has bailed out Morton in winning four of his last five starts, but the veteran has struggled all season with a 5.67 ERA and a 6.89 ERA on the road. He’s allowed four runs in each of his last four starts, but his strikeout totals have been up, punching out 12 of the 18 batters he retired against Pittsburgh last week and eight in Colorado two weeks ago.
The Cubs, who are now tied for last in the NL Central with Cincinnati at 23-40, counter wiith Keegan Thompson. He’s been dazzling at home, going 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA, but his last three starts have ranged from shaky to dreadful. Three starts ago at home against St. Louis, Thompson allowed three runs in five innings. It got worse in Baltimore when he gave up seven runs in three innings, and last Sunday in New York, he couldn’t get out of the first inning after giving up five runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks in just two-thirds of an inning pitched.
With the Braves scoring at an incredible clip and the Cubs allowing runs at nearly the same pace, even the wind blowing in a bit at Wrigley probably won’t prevent at least eight runs from being scored.
New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays
The Bet: New York +100 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
After the Yankees won three-straight tight games at home to top one of their AL East competitors in Tampa Bay, New York heads north of the border to battle another contender in Toronto.
The Yankees had a perfect 6-0 homestand against the Cubs and Rays and are 14-1 in the month of June. The Blue Jays were hot early in the month, but after winning eight in a row, they’ve been a bit pedestrian against middling teams. Against Minnesota, Kansas City, Detroit, and Baltimore, the Jays were just 7-6 over the past two weeks.
It’s a solid pitching matchup with Jordan Montgomery going against Ross Stripling. The Yankees have won Montgomery’s last four starts. He’s allowed no more than three runs in any start this year (that only happened twice), and he is coming off seven shutout innings in a win over the Cubs.
Stripling has been on a tear as of late. After a shaky run as a starter earlier in the season, he had six solid relief efforts and has been great since joining the rotation again, throwing 11 shutout total innings in wins over Detroit and Kansas City. Those were the Tigers and Royals, however, not the Yankees.
The teams have met nine times already this year with the Yankees winning six of those nine and taking two of three at Rogers Center earlier this year. In a toss-up game, we’ll take our chances with the best team in baseball.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Bet: Cleveland +1.5, +110 (Bet MGM)
Cleveland has enjoyed a stretch of 19 games against teams under .500, and the Guardians took full advantage, going 14-5 in that stretch to sit at 32-27 on the season. They face a Dodgers team that got two much-needed wins against the struggling Angels but are 6-9 in their last 15 contests.
Clayton Kershaw is building himself back up after a month on the injured list, making his second start tonight after a four-inning effort in San Francisco where he allowed two runs and took the loss last Saturday.
Zach Plesac goes for the Guardians. He’s worked his ERA down to 4.70 after giving up seven runs in Houston at the end of May. His last three starts have been better, giving up six runs total over 18 innings and not walking a batter in that stretch.
Cleveland is coming off a three-game sweep in Colorado, so they’re feeling confident going into this series, and the Dodgers aren’t playing with their full swagger. LA may win based on the pitching matchup, but we like getting the Guardians at near even runs with an extra run in their pocket.