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MLB Picks for July 18: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

Matt LaMarca gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Tuesday’s MLB betting card.

After a light day on Monday, baseball is back in full swing. All 30 teams will be in action, including a 14-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.

Let’s dive into three of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Tuesday’s slate.

Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers:

The Pick: Rays Moneyline (+115)

Tuesday’s matchup between the Rays and Rangers features a very intriguing pitching matchup. The Rangers will hand the ball to Nate Eovaldi, who has been incredibly successful to start the year. He’s pitched to a 2.83 ERA, and his 3.18 FIP and 3.41 xERA suggest he’s been basically as good as advertised. He does have some room for regression — particularly his .266 BABIP and 8.1% HR/FB rate — but he’s ultimately been very good this season.

Still, Taj Bradley might be better. That might seem like an odd declaration with Bradley pitching to a 5.43 ERA through his first 13 MLB starts but he entered the year as one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. He’s also been really unlucky with his leading ERA indicators all well below his traditional ERA. Specifically, his 3.35 xFIP — which neutralizes his HR rate to the league average — is outstanding.

In terms of pure stuff, Bradley is already one of the best in the business. He ranks 12th among pitchers with at least 60 innings this season in terms of Stuff+, which aims to measure how “nasty” a pitcher’s arsenal is. That puts him right between Shane McClanahan and Yu Darvish on the leaderboard. For comparison, Eovaldi ranks 41st in Stuff+, checking in at just slightly above the league average.

Both of these teams can do damage offensively, but the Rays have been slightly better against right-handers for the year. They’ve come back to the pack after a scorching-hot start to the year, but they still grade out as the best team in baseball in that split. Overall, I’ll take my chances with them as slight underdogs.

Los Angeles Dodgers at Baltimore Orioles:

The Pick: Orioles Moneyline (-120)

The Dodgers managed to come back and beat the Orioles on Monday, but they’re going to face a tougher task on Tuesday. They’re facing a pretty significant pitching disadvantage on the mound, with the Orioles handing the ball to Tyler Wells. Wells doesn’t jump off the page the same way that Bradley does, but he excels at limiting the damage on balls in play and doesn’t hand out free passes. He’s probably not as good as his 3.18 ERA says he is but his 3.74 xERA is still a quality mark.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers will send Michael Grove to the bump, and he’s been a disaster this season. He’s pitched to a 6.89 ERA across 47 innings and owns a 5.09 xERA. Grove also pitches in a very friendly home ballpark, so it’s not surprising that he’s been even worse on the road. His ERA jumps to 11.15 when pitching outside of Los Angeles, and he averages more than four fewer strikeouts per nine innings in that split.

Baltimore has a solid offense, ranking ninth in the league in wRC+ vs. right-handers, so they should be able to take advantage of this matchup.

San Diego Padres at Toronto Blue Jays:

The Pick: Padres Moneyline (-130)

Alek Manoah made a triumphant return to the lineup for the Blue Jays before the All-Star break. He spent more than a month in the minor leagues after a dismal start to the season, but he bounced back with eight strikeouts over six innings of one-run ball vs. the Tigers. It was his third start of the year with less than two earned runs allowed and his first since late April.

Of course, a matchup vs. the Tigers comes with a major caveat. They’ve been one of the worst offensive teams in baseball since the start of 2022, particularly against right-handed pitchers. They’re 29th in wRC+ in that split this season with only the lowly Royals grading out worse. Ultimately, it was the perfect spot for Manoah to dip his toe back into the MLB water.

It’s going to take much more than one start vs. the Tigers before we can trust Manoah again. He still ranks 94th out of 121 pitchers with at least 60 innings in terms of Stuff+, and he remains in the fourth percentile in terms of xERA.

Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Padres is going to be a much stiffer test. They got off to a slow start offensively, but they’re eighth in wRC+ vs. right-handers over the past 30 days. Their lineup is loaded with star power, and Juan Soto and Manny Machado are both scorching hot at the dish.

The Padres will also have a quality arm on the mound in Joe Musgrove. He owns a 3.29 ERA and a 3.07 xERA for the year, so he’s a much safer investment than Manoah. I don’t normally take favorites in MLB betting, but -130 feels like a great price for San Diego.

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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.