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Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (June 27th, 2022)

By Hank Blaine

It might be time to start fading the Kansas City Royals if you weren’t already as it appears their fire sale has begun. The Royals traded first baseman/DH Carlos Santana to Seattle on Monday. The Mariners didn’t give up much to get him and needed a fill-in at first with Ty France on the injured list with an elbow strain. Check back for MLB odds.

Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (June 27th, 2022)

Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays

  • When: Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 7:07 PM ET
  • Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
  • TV: NESN, MLBN (out-of-market only), SNET, TVA Sports
  • Radio: WEEI 93.7 (Red Sox) / SN590 (Blue Jays)
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

The Red Sox will play this series without excellent rookie outfielder Jarren Duran, the club’s leadoff hitter, and closer Tanner Houck because neither is vaccinated for COVID. All travelers to Canada must be vaccinated against COVID-19, so any unvaccinated players are not eligible to play games in Toronto this season. Since vaccinations became available last spring, Boston manager Alex Cora and other Red Sox officials have encouraged the team’s players to get their shots but the team cannot mandate that players get vaccinated.

Durant his hitting .327 and his emergence has been key with former leadoff hitter Kiki Hernandez on the injured list.

“He’s been really good — the dynamic player we envisioned,” manager Alex Cora told reporters in Cleveland. “Running the bases, being an athlete, hitting the ball the other way. Not trying to do too much, and he played good defense too.”

Houck’s emergence as a trusted ninth-inning option has allowed Cora to finally structure his bullpen on a nightly basis with John Schreiber, Matt Strahm and others serving setup roles. Houck was actually in the rotation the last time the Jays visited Toronto and he wasn’t there for that, either. Cora said he still views Houck as a starter on a long-term basis. Boston’s early-season bullpen issues necessitated Houck’s switch to a late-inning role in the short term.

Michael Wacha (6-1, 2.34) is scheduled on the mound for the Red Sox. Wacha yielded two runs in six innings last Wednesday in a win over the Tigers. It was just the third time this season that he’s completed six innings. His seven strikeouts were also a season high.

The Jays will start Ross Stripling (4-2). Stripling tossed six innings of one-run ball last Wednesday in a win over the White Sox. He allowed five hits — all singles — and one walk while notching five strikeouts. Stripling has a 3.08 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 43:11 K:BB across 52.2 innings and his spot in Toronto’s starting rotation is secure since Hyun Jin Ryu (elbow) recently underwent Tommy John surgery.

READ MORE: Astros vs. Mets MLB Odds, Preview and Prediction – June 28th, 2022

Los Angeles Angels vs. Houston Astros

  • When: Friday, July 1st, 2022. 8:10pm ET.
  • Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
  • TV: Apple TV+
  • Radio: KLAA 830 (Angels) / KBME 790 AM (Astros)
  • MLB Betting Odds: TBA

We are obligated to remind you that the only pitcher to throw back-to-back no hitters was the Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer of the Reds on June 11 and June 15, 1938.

Technically, Houston’s Cristian Javier didn’t throw a no-hitter on Saturday at the Yankees as he and relievers Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined for the first no-hitter against the Yankees in 19 years. Neris relieved Javier in the eighth inning and allowed two walks before getting out of the inning on a fly ball to the warning track by Joey Gallo and a hard grounder by Aaron Judge for a fielder’s choice. Ryan Pressly finished off the save in the ninth. That trio accounted for a total of 15 strikeouts. Only four no-hitters have had more with the record 17.

The Astros now have 14 no-hitters in their history, the most in the majors since Houston began play in 1962. Three have been combined efforts, also a record. It was Houston’s first no-hitter since Justin Verlander no-hit the Blue Jays on Sept. 1, 2019 in Toronto. It marked the Astros first combined no-hitter since Aaron Sanchez, Will Harris, Joe Biagini and Chris Devenski did it on Aug. 3, 2019 vs. Seattle. Martín Maldonado was also behind the plate for this combined no-hitter. Maldonado thus became the first catcher in MLB history to catch multiple combined no-hitters.

Javier will take the mound Friday and is scheduled to be opposed by Michael Lorenzen (6-5, 4.24). Lorenzen allowed two runs with five strikeouts over three innings in a loss against the Mariners last Friday. He was erratic, walking five batters and needing 85 pitches to get through three innings.

MLB Betting Pick: Astros

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

READ MORE: Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week (July 4th, 2022)