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Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – July 3rd, 2023

By Hank Blaine

It’s a very big week in Major League Baseball because of the American July 4 holiday on Tuesday and then the All-Star break after Sunday’s action. Here’s a look at two early-week matchups around the diamond. Check back for odds.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (July 3rd, 2023)

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees

  • When: Monday, July 3, 2023, 7:05 PM ET
  • Where: Yankee Stadium, New York City, NY
  • Radio: 1090 AM (Orioles) // WFAN 101.9 FM (Yankees)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Orioles (-122) // Yankees (-104)

Could we see MLB history on Monday? The answer almost assuredly is no but just once has a pitcher had back-to-back no-hitters and that was the Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer in June 1938.

New York Yankees right-hander Domingo German is the latest to have a chance to tie Vander Meer – except one better as German threw a perfect game last Wednesday in Oakland, only the 24th perfect game ever. There are a handful of guys who have had at least two no-hitters but never a single perfect game in their careers, much less two.

German struck out nine A’s batters in the first perfect game since 2012, when there were a single-season-record three, culminating in Felix Hernández’s on Aug. 15 for Seattle. That had been the longest drought between perfect games since the span from Catfish Hunter’s on May 8, 1968 for Oakland to Len Barker’s for Cleveland on May 15, 1981. Winless in six previous outings against Oakland, German threw 72 of 99 pitches for strikes. He mixed 51 curveballs and 30 fastballs that averaged 92.5 mph with 17 changeups and one sinker. German revealed after the game that he had lost an uncle earlier in the week and that motivated him.

It was the Yankees’ fourth perfect game all-time, breaking a tie at three with the White Sox for the most of any team. German joined David Cone, David Wells and Don Larsen. The Yankees won the World Series each of those previous seasons with a perfect game – of course, Larsen’s was in Game 5 of the 1956 Fall Classic. Finally, German, who is from the Dominican Republic, was only the third pitcher born outside the United States to throw a perfect game, joining Dennis Martinez (Nicaragua) and Hernandez (Venezuela).

German hasn’t faced the Orioles this season. Baltimore is a very talented team but limping a bit to the All-Star break as it had lost four in a row, all, at home, before a 2-1 win over Minnesota on Sunday – scoring both runs in the bottom of the eighth. Aaron Hicks (who had been mired in a 2-for-26 skid) delivered a game-tying one-out RBI single, before the O’s took the lead when rookie Jordan Westburg was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs. Hicks was only playing because fellow outfielder Aaron Hays left earlier injured. He’s day-to-day.

Tyler Wells (6-4, 3.21) will start Monday on the mound for the Orioles. The 28-year-old hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last six starts (35.2 innings), pitching to a 2.81 ERA in that span. His ERA is down to 3.21 with a league-leading 0.88 WHIP and 95:20 K:BB across 15 starts (92.2 innings) this season. Wells, though, has an 0-4 record with a 5.26 ERA (22 ER/37.2 IP) career against the Yankees.

MLB Betting Pick: Yankees

LA Angels vs. San Diego Padres

  • When: Tuesday, July 4, 2023, 6:40 PM ET
  • Where: Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA
  • Radio: KLAA 830 AM (Angels) // 97.3 The Fan (Padres)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

Arguably no single day on the annual calendar in the USA represents baseball more than July 4, and MLB’s biggest star right is due to pitch as well as hit as Shohei Ohtani and the Angels visit the San Diego Padres in a TBS national TV matchup.

Monday actually would have been Ohtani’s turn but he is dealing with a cracked fingernail on his pitching hand so the Halos pushed him back to Tuesday. Of course, he will start at DH just like he always does and will start as the DH in the All-Star Game as well.

Ohtani’s last time out on the mound was last Tuesday when he struck out 10 batters over 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball and launched two homers in a 4-2 win over the White Sox. He struck out two batters in a clean first inning, then took Michael Kopech deep in the bottom of the frame to put the Angels on the board. Ohtani allowed a single and a walk with one out in the seventh before he was removed at 102 pitches with that fingernail.

One inherited runner would come in to score. He struck out ten on the day on 18 whiffs. After leaving the game as a pitcher, Ohtani proved he was just fine as he hit his second homer of the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. He has a 3.02 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 127/39 K/BB across 95 1/3 innings as a pitcher while leading the Majors in opponent batting average (.180). He also leads the majors with 30 homers.

San Diego is scheduled to start Joe Musgrove (6-2, 3.80). Musgrove did not factor into the decision last Thursday, allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk over six innings against the Pirates. He struck out six. Musgrove made it through the first three innings unscathed before allowing the Pirates’ first run of the day on a sacrifice fly with two outs in the fourth. The right-hander has now allowed two runs or fewer in six of his last seven starts and hasn’t lost a decision since May 20 against the Red Sox.

The Angels lead the all-time interleague series 21-18, including 11-7 at Petco Park. They haven’t played since 2021. Ohtani has four career at-bats against Musgrove and no hits.

MLB Betting Pick: Padres

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

READ MORE: Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – July 10th, 2023