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MLB Picks for July 23: Baseball Best Bets, Predictions, Odds on DraftKings Sportsbook

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

MLB: San Diego Padres at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

We’re deep into the dog days of summer, and the MLB trade deadline is less than two weeks away. It’s ultimately the final opportunity for teams on the bubble to make a push and prove to the front office that they should be buyers instead of sellers.

All 30 teams will have a chance to make a statement on Sunday. There’s a 10-game main slate starting at 1:35 p.m. ET, followed by a three-game afternoon slate and Sunday Night Baseball.

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

Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics:

The Pick: A’s ML (+195)

The A’s got off to a comically bad start this season, going just 12-46 through the first three months. Their owner has been consistently criticized for penny-pinching and trying to move the team to a new stadium in Las Vegas, basically making the A’s the real-life version of the movie Major League.

However, the A’s have quietly shown some signs of improvement. They went 10-16 in June and are 6-11 in July. Don’t get me wrong; they’re still not good. They’re just not as historically bad as they were through the first three months.

They managed to beat the Astros on Saturday, and they’ll have a chance to split the four-game series with another win on Sunday. They’ll be facing right-hander Hunter Brown, who has cooled off massively after starting the year red-hot. His FIP jumped up to 5.28 in June, and he’s followed that up with an 8.76 ERA across three July starts.

Meanwhile, the A’s will turn to one of their more reliable starters in Luis Medina. That’s an extremely low bar to clear, but Medina’s 4.61 xERA and 4.48 xFIP make him a serviceable major league starter. The Astros’ lineup isn’t nearly as formidable as it has been in past years, ranking just 17th in wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.

Ultimately, the A’s are still being priced like the worst team in baseball, but I’m not sure they fit that description any longer. The sharps are taking a flyer on Oakland on Sunday, and I’m happy to join them.

Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners:

The Pick: Mariners ML (-140)

The most recent installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise just came out, and I’m on my own mission currently. It’s called Mission Possible: Fade Alek Manoah. Manoah has been so bad this season that the Blue Jays felt the need to send him all the way down to rookie ball to try and figure out his issues. He was far from dominant in the low minors, but the Blue Jays decided to bring him back up to the big club just before the All-Star break.

Things looked good for Manoah in his first start back, but that was against the lowly Tigers. They’ve been historically bad against right-handers dating back to last season. He proceeded to come crashing back to reality in his following outing, surrendering four runs in just three innings vs. the Padres. For the year, Manoah’s ERA, xERA, and FIP all sit at 6.18 or higher.

For some reason, we can get Seattle at just -140 at home vs. Manoah. Making matters even better, the Mariners will have a solid starting pitcher on the mound in Bryan Woo. His 4.74 ERA doesn’t jump off the page, but his 3.34 xERA and 3.90 FIP are both excellent. Woo has also been a strikeout machine at the MLB level, ranking in the 84th percentile in strikeout rate.

I don’t normally bet favorites this large in baseball, but I’m willing to make an exception in this spot.

New York Mets at Boston Red Sox:

The Pick: Mets ML (+125)

The Red Sox have gone 11-5 in July, but they haven’t been firing on all cylinders as of late. They lost two of three vs. the A’s earlier in the week, and they dropped the first game of their current series vs. the Mets. They managed to bounce back with a win on Saturday, but things got shaky despite taking a five-run lead into the ninth inning.

They’ll turn to their bullpen for the series finale on Sunday Night Baseball. That’s not the most comfortable scenario for Boston, with their bullpen ranking 12th in team ERA.

The Mets have also quietly made some strides in recent weeks. They lost two of three games to the Dodgers coming out of the All-Star break, but they’re still 10-6 in July. Carlos Carrasco has been their worst starter—he’s struggled to a 5.35 ERA and a 6.12 xERA this season—but their offense should help pick up the slack. The total on this game currently sits at 10.5 runs, so scoring on both sides figures to be plentiful.

I ultimately view this game as a toss-up, but it’s being priced with the Red Sox as moderate favorites. That makes the Mets a clear value.

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All odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds are 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.