Home | News | Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – July 17th, 2023

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – July 17th, 2023

By Hank Blaine

The Cleveland Guardians had probably the worst weekend of any MLB team out of the break as the defending AL Central champions were swept in Texas and learned that ace and former Cy Young winner Shane Bieber won’t pitch for at least a few weeks due to injury that might be season ending. Here are two intriguing early-week games around MLB, including the Guardians.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (July 17th, 2023)

Cleveland Guardians vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

  • When: Monday, July 17, 2023, 7:05 PM ET
  • Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Radio: WTAM 1100 AM (Guardians) // SportsRadio 93.7 THE FAN (Pirates)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Guardians (-120) // Pirates (+102)

The Guardians were swept in a three-game series in Texas on Sunday, 6-5, despite leading 5-2 in the eighth. All four runs in the bottom of the eighth for the Rangers came off Cleveland reliever Trevor Stephan, who walked Marcus Semien and Corey Seager with one out before giving up an RBI single to Nathaniel Lowe, an RBI double to Adolis Garcia and a single to Josh Jung. The Rangers were 0-27 trailing after seven innings before Sunday. The Guardians have lost four straight, their longest losing streak of the season.

While it’s not 100% clear whether Cleveland will be a seller ahead of the trade deadline, Pittsburgh definitely will be after being swept three at home by the Giants on Sunday. Michael Conforto and Patrick Bailey hit two-run doubles in a five-run 10th inning for San Francisco in the 8-4 win. Pittsburgh (41-52) has lost seven of eight, dropping a season-worst 11 games under .500. The Pirates are 21-44 after a 20-8 start.

“We have to continue to go, but we have to execute,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “That’s the main thing. We had opportunities to win that game today and didn’t execute. … I don’t know if it surprises me. It’s just, we have to play better.”

It’s a bullpen game for Cleveland on Monday starting with Xzavion Curry (3-0, 3.04 ERA). Curry was a starter throughout his minor-league career and received two starts during his first taste of the big leagues in 2022, but the Guardians have deployed him exclusively as a reliever thus far in 2023. Since he tossed a 20-pitch inning in relief Saturday in Texas and hasn’t logged more than three frames in any appearance since the beginning of May, Curry won’t be out there very long.

It will be Quinn Priester in his MLB debut for the Pirates. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Priester fills a void in the Pirates’ starting rotation left by the recent demotion of Luis Ortiz. Priester, 22, was the Pirates’ first-round selection, No. 18 overall, in the 2019 MLB Draft. He ranks as the No. 54 overall prospect in the sport and as the Pirates’ No. 4 overall prospect behind Termarr Johnson, Henry Davis and Endy Rodriguez.

This season, his first full campaign at Triple-A Indianapolis, Priester has a 7-3 record and 4.31 ERA over 872⁄3 innings, striking out 84 and walking 35 in 18 starts. He has a full arsenal, including a pair of low-90s fastballs, two breaking balls, and a changeup. Priester’s most effective bat-missing pitch this season, according to Statcast data, has been his slider (42.4% whiff rate).

MLB Betting Pick: Pirates

Chicago White Sox vs. New York Mets

  • When: Tuesday, July 18, 2023, 7:10 PM ET
  • Where: Citi Field, New York City, NY
  • Radio: WMVP AM 1000 (White Sox) // WCBS Newsradio 880 (Mets)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

Tuesday could be the final start in a White Sox uniform for right-hander Lucas Giolito. The Pale Hose are huge disappointments and Giolito is going to be a free agent this winter so he’s a goner. Giolito (6-5) allowed two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out five over seven innings in a no-decision versus the Cardinals on July 9 in his most recent start.

Giolito was able to limit the damage to a two-run home run by Willson Contreras in the fourth inning. Since the start of June, Giolito has posted five quality starts across seven outings but managed just two wins in that span. The right-hander finished the first half with a 3.45 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 117:34 K:BB through 112.1 innings through 19 starts.

Chicago will be without slugger Eloy Jimenez for this series as he was removed from Sunday’s win over Atlanta with left groin tightness. The No. 4 hitter in manager Pedro Grifol’s lineup, Jimenez is batting .270/.314/.465 in 62 of the Sox’ 85 games this season. It’s just the latest in a series of injuries that have kept him off the field during his career.

“He’ll get some tests done and we’ll see,” Grifol said. “I wouldn’t expect him in the next few days for sure, but I don’t want to jump the gun on anything. But right now it doesn’t look good for the next four or five days. But we’ll see what comes of it [Monday].”

Carlos Carrasco (3-3) starts on the mound for New York. Carrasco (3-3) allowed three hits and a walk while striking out four over eight shutout innings to earn the win over the Diamondbacks in his final start before the break, which was easily his best of the year. He ended a five-start winless skid with the gem but still only has a 5.16 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 43:27 K:BB through 61 innings across 12 starts on the year.

Chicago is 6-7 all-time against the Mets, going 3-5 at Guaranteed Rate Field and 3-2 at Citi Field. New York swept a three-game series in the last meeting from 7/30-8/1/19 in Chicago.

MLB Betting Pick: White Sox

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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