Home | News | Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – June 19th, 2023

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – June 19th, 2023

By Hank Blaine

While the New York Mets have been disappointments so far this season, they did get a nice surprise Sunday with star slugger and NL MVP candidate Pete Alonso returning from injury much earlier than expected. Here’s a look at two intriguing early-week matchups around the majors, including one involving Alonso and the Mets. Check back for MLB odds.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (June 19th, 2023)

New York Mets vs. Houston Astros

  • When: Monday, June 19, 2023, 8:40 PM ET
  • Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
  • Radio: WCBS 880 AM (Mets) // 790AM KBME (Astros)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: Mets (+101) // Astros (-115)

It’s a potential World Series preview, although the Mets don’t look like a World Series team right now. As noted above, they did at least get slugger Pete Alonso back Sunday off the injured list — Alonso originally was given a recovery timetable of three to four weeks after he was hit on the left wrist by a pitch on June 7 against the Braves, so he beat that by a mile. Alonso still leads the NL with 22 homers. To make room for him, the Mets sent down rookie slugger Mark Vientos.

Houston is still without its top power bat in Yordan Alvarez. The 25-year-old is hitting .272 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs in 57 games this season but hasn’t played since June 8 due to an oblique injury and isn’t expected to return until after the All-Star break. Alvarez still ranks tied for third in the majors in RBIs while ranking second in the AL in OPS (.978), second in SLG (.589) and tied for third in homers.

Jose Abreu has rebounded after a tough first couple months in an Astros uniform to post a .300 average with four doubles, three homers, 13 RBI and an .845 OPS June. Abreu ranks tied for fourth in the AL in RBI this month and eighth in total bases (31).

It’s right-hander and future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer (5-2, 4.45) on the hill for the Mets. Scherzer did not factor into the decision last Tuesday, allowing six runs on seven hits over 3.1 innings in a 7-6 loss against the Yankees. He struck out two. Scherzer imploded in the fourth inning, allowing five runs on six hits before he was pulled. The 38-year-old Scherzer has now allowed 11 runs over his last two starts (nine innings). His ERA is up to 4.45 with a 1.24 WHIP and 60:14 K:BB through 11 starts (56.2 innings) this season.

Batters are slugging a whopping .660 against Scherzer’s slider, compared to just .232 last year, according to Statcast. It’s dropped about 1.5 mph since 2022. While his 4.45 ERA would be the worst of his career, he’s got an expected ERA of 3.60.

Houston’s Hunter Brown (6-3) is an AL Rookie of the Year candidate. Brown delivered an outstanding performance in Tuesday night’s victory over the Nationals, scattering four hits over seven shutout frames. The right-hander walked three and struck out four on the night. Only one of the four hits against him — a double by CJ Abrams — went for extra bases. Brown got seven whiffs on 99 pitches in the contest — four of those on his knuckle curve — while posting a CSW of 21 percent. The 24-year-old has a 3.35 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 83/26 K/BB ratio over 75 1/3 innings through 13 starts.

Brown has become the 13th Astros pitcher all time and the 1st since José Urquidy (9, 2019-21) to log 9+ quality starts through his first 20 career outings. It’s his first-ever look at the Mets.

MLB Betting Pick: Mets

Baltimore Orioles vs. Tampa Bay Rays

  • When: Tuesday, June 20, 2023, 6:40 PM ET
  • Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
  • Radio: Hearst’s 98 Rock FM (Orioles) // WGES 680 AM (Rays)
  • Live Stream: MLB.tv
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

Series opener between AL East rivals and only a two-game series. The Orioles won two of three at home vs. the Rays from May 8-10. Probably a good thing for Baltimore this opener wasn’t on Monday as there is a flu bug running through the clubhouse that forced young star infielder Gunnar Henderson to take a seat on Sunday. The 21-year-old top prospect has been tearing the cover off the ball this month, batting .364 (16-for-44) with five homers, 12 RBI and two stolen bases across 12 games since June 1. Overall this season among AL rookie, he ranks in triples (T-1st, 2), home runs (2nd, 10), runs scored (T-2nd, 35), slugging percentage (3rd, .449), walks (3rd, 31), on-base percentage (4th, .343), OPS (4th, .792), extra-base hits (4th, 20), and total bases (4th, 89).

Setup man Mychal Givens (shoulder) is unlikely to be activated during the series for Baltimore. Givens has made two rehab appearances, one at Double-A Bowie and one at Triple-A Norfolk. He’s allowed a run on three hits and two walks with one strikeout over those outings, which suggests he may need a bit more time to ramp up. He’ll thus likely be back next weekend.

It’s Tampa Bay’s first home game off a seven-game West Coast trip. The Rays have MLB’s best home record. The Rays were the first team in MLB history (since 1901) to record 100+ homers and 80+ stolen bases within their first 70 games of a season (113HR, 89SB). Tampa Bay has six players with 10+ homers, tied for the second most in the majors. The Rays have an MLB-best seven players with 7+ steals; no other team has more than four.

Tyler Glasnow (2-0, 3.43) takes the hill for the Rays. Glasnow allowed three runs with six strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday in a win over the Athletics. Glasnow was hit by a come-backer in the first inning, but would be just fine. He returned for the second and allowed two runners on with a pair of base hits before JJ Bleday took him deep for a three-run blast. Glasnow settled down for three more scoreless frames before he was relieved.

Glasnow is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA (34.2IP, 8ER) and a 0.87 WHIP in six career starts opposite Baltimore, holding Orioles hitters to a .190/.227/.294 (24-for-126) line. He has struck out 48 while issuing only six walks in those outings (8.00 SO/BB).

Baltimore’s Kyle Bradish (2-3, 3.90) took the loss last Wednesday, allowing one run on four hits with no walks over seven innings against the Blue Jays. He struck out one. Bradish is still looking for his first win since May 17. He has pitched to an 0-1 record with a 10.24 ERA (11 ER/9.2 IP) in two career starts against the Rays.

MLB Betting Pick: Rays

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

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