Home | News | Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – July 8th, 2024

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – July 8th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

This is the last week of the first half of the 2024 MLB regular season with the All-Star break hitting after Sunday’s games. The rosters for next Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Arlington were finalized over the weekend and it will feature 32 first-time All-Stars and 19 players under the age of 27 as the sport skews younger. Here’s a look at two intriguing matchups early this week.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (July 8th, 2024)

Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox

  • When: Monday, July 8th, 2024, 8:10 PM ET
  • Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
  • Radio: KMNB 102.9 FM The Wolf (Twins) // WLS-AM 890 (White Sox)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Twins (-1.5) // White Sox (+1.5)

The Twins expect to have All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa in the lineup at a bad White Sox team to open a series. Correa exited Sunday’s 3-2 win over Houston with a bruised right finger in the first inning, but he said after the game that he doesn’t expect the injury to sideline him moving forward. Correa is having a huge bounce-back season in hitting .305 with 11 HRs and 45 RBIs. It’s the third All-Star honor of Correa’s career, and his first with the Twins, after previously making the AL team in 2017 (as the starting shortstop) and 2021 (as a reserve) with the Astros.

Assuming no other Twins are named as last-minute replacements, it would be the team’s first season — ignoring 2020, when the midsummer classic was canceled — with only one All-Star player since 2018, when José Berriós went solo.

Christian Vázquez led off the ninth inning with a home run to give the Twins the win on Sunday over Houston. Vázquez, who had two hits and drove in all three Twins runs, hit a full-count sinker from Josh Hader high and deep to left field for his fourth homer of the season.

“I think it’s fun to hit in the ninth against the closer,” Vázquez said. “I get locked in there.”

Jhoan Duran (4-3) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the win, meaning the Twins’ closer might not be available for this game. Duran has dialed in with 11 scoreless outings over his last 12 appearances, allowing just two runs with a 10:3 K:BB in that span. For the year, the closer has a 3.25 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 25:9 K:BB through 27.2 innings while converting 13 of 14 save chances and adding one hold.

Right-hander Chris Paddack is scheduled on the mound Monday. Paddack landed on the IL on June 25 due to right forearm fatigue, a possible side effect of the 28-year-old pitching in a full season for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2022. After responding well to his recent throwing sessions, Paddack looks like he’ll be ready to come off the IL without having made a rehab start beforehand.

Paddack’s first 15 post-surgery starts were a mixed bag. He had a handful of encouraging outings, including a few legitimately impressive starts, but his velocity varied wildly and he served up 13 homers in 78 1/3 innings on the way to a bloated 5.20 ERA (and an only slightly better 4.69 xERA).

The White Sox counter with righty Chris Flexen (2-7, 5.06). Flexen did not factor into the decision in last Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to the Guardians, allowing six runs (three earned) on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts over six innings. Flexen entered the sixth inning in a 3-3 tie, but an error by Paul DeJong led to three unearned runs before he finished the frame at 101 pitches. It wasn’t the most appealing quality start, but Flexen has now logged two in his past three outings. The 30-year-old has not recorded a win since May 8 and owns a 5.08 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 63:33 K:BB over 85 innings.

Paddack has gone 0-0 with a 3.68 ERA (3 ER/7.1 IP) over his two appearances (one start) against the Twins this season. The White Sox have lost eight straight games vs. the Twins since 9/17/23, and are 1-14 since 5/4/23 (outscored 98-47).

MLB Betting Pick: Twins

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies

  • When: Tuesday, July 9th, 2024, 6:40 PM ET
  • Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
  • Radio: AM 570 LA Sports (Dodgers) // WIP 94.1 FM (Phillies)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

TBS has the national telecast to open one of the biggest series of the year in the National League and it would be an upset if it’s not a preview of the NLCS with the Phillies running away with the NL East and the Dodgers doing the same in the NL West.

The 2024 Phillies have a chance to set a franchise record for regular season wins, and post a bunch of other all-time great statistics this season. More importantly, they’re among the front-runners for a World Series trip. They have seven All-Stars, the most in team history. The National League record for most players sent by one club is eight — done by the 2023 Braves. The Phillies fell just short.

One of those is first baseman Bryce Harper, who is likely to be activated off the injured list on Tuesday along with outfielder and leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber. Both players ran the bases prior to Sunday’s loss in Atlanta. Schwarber has now been running at full intensity for two straight days, while Harper was running “either at or close to 100% intensity.” Schwarber was sidelined with a groin strain and Harper with a hamstring strain, so baserunning is essentially the final step in assessing whether either player is fully ready to return. It’s not a sure thing Harper is back Tuesday but very well could be.

The Phillies could use them. They are seeing the limits of a depleted lineup. They did not have an extra-base hit in Saturday’s loss. They were held scoreless Sunday for only the third time this season. A compromised roster had to avoid being swept at Truist Park, and the Phillies accomplished that. They will look different the next time they come here in late August.

Ace righty and Cy Young contender Zack Wheeler (9-4) is scheduled to start against the Dodgers on Tuesday. Wheeler allowed two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings in a no-decision versus the Cubs last Wednesday. Wheeler has posted quality starts in eight of his last nine outings, the lone exception being an eight-run disaster at Baltimore on June 16.

He left Wednesday’s game with a lead, but Matt Strahm couldn’t maintain it, though the Phillies went on to win, 5-3, anyway. Wheeler is now at a 2.74 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 119:33 K:BB through 111.2 innings over 18 starts this season.

The Dodgers had a chance to finish a home sweep of NL Central-leading Milwaukee on Sunday but lost 9-2. Shohei Ohtani stole a pair of bases. With 28 home runs and 20 stolen bases, he joins Davey Lopes (1979) and Matt Kemp (2011) as the only Dodgers players to reach the 20-20 mark before the All-Star break. Ohtani will be headed to the All-Star Game along with teammates Will Smith, Teoscar Hernández, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Tyler Glasnow. Betts — who is on the injured list and won’t be able to play in the game itself — earned his selection as a shortstop for the first time as a Major Leaguer, a childhood dream for the six-time Gold Glove Award winner in right field.

It’s young righty Bobby Miller (1-1) on the mound Tuesday. Miller pitched decently in a no-decision against the Diamondbacks last Tuesday, allowing two runs on four hits over his five innings of work. The 25-year-old right-hander punched out four batters while issuing three free passes. All of the damage done against him came on one swing of the bat by Christian Walker in the fourth inning.

Miller generated 10 swings and misses on 90 pitches on the night — seven of those on his heater which averaged 96.5 mph — while posting a CSW of 23 percent. Miller now sports a 6.12 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and a 25/15 K/BB ratio over 25 innings through his first six starts on the season. He’s struggled in three starts since returning from the injured list, posting a combined 7:9 K:BB with a 6.75 ERA and 1.73 WHIP.

Miller will face the Phillies for the second time in his career. He is 1-0 after tossing six scoreless innings on June 10, 2023, giving up three hits and three walks while striking out seven.

MLB Betting Pick: Phillies

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

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