June 21, 2023
Three bets worth considering on a Wednesday night
Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Citizens Bank Park – Philadelphia, PA
6:40 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Philadelphia -125
Two of the hottest teams in the National League square off again tonight in Philly. The Phillies had won six in a row prior to losing last night to the Braves. That victory for Atlanta extended their winning streak to seven games.
Overall, however, the Braves are the better team. They have been all season.
Atlanta sits atop the NL East with a 47-26 record. They’ve scored the most runs in the National League (399). And they’re an impressive 23-11 on the road, tied for the most wins away from home in all of baseball.
The Braves are also 3-2 against the Phillies this season after winning the series opener on Tuesday night. Somehow, they’re a slight underdog, however.
Philadelphia is starting Aaron Nola tonight. The righthander has been disappointing this season, as he’s only 6-5 with a 4.66 ERA.
Atlanta counters with A.J. Smith-Shawver. The 20-year-old righty is a bit of a mystery, but the Braves have won all three games he’s appeared in this season. He’s 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA on the year.
The best team in the National League is a dog, while riding a seven-game winning streak. That’s too good to pass up.
Richard DeMala’s pick: Atlanta M/L (+106)
Boston Red Sox at Minnesota Twins
Target Field – Minneapolis, MN
7:40 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Minnesota -130
Don’t look now, but the Red Sox are on a tear. They’ve won six straight games, moving them comfortably above .500 and into the group of teams that figure to be contending for a wild-card berth all season.
Meanwhile, the Twins have been scuffling. They’ve dropped three in a row and are just 4-6 in their last 10 games.
That’s not the only thing that is deceiving about this one. The standings also can be tricky.
The Red Sox are still sitting in last place, 11.0 games behind the Rays in the American League East. Meanwhile, the Twins are atop the AL Central, clinging to a one-game lead over the Guardians.
But that’s just part of the story. Minnesota is only 36-38; their a division leader by default. Meanwhile, Boston is 39-35; they just happen to play in a stacked division.
The Red Sox are a much better offensive team. They’ve scored 65 more runs than the Twins this season, with a team batting average that is 34 points higher.
How are the Twins favored? Well, they’re at home, which gives them a slight edge. And they have the pitching advantage.
Sonny Gray is 4-1 on the season, with a stellar 2.37 ERA. Garrett Whitlock is 4-2, but his ERA is 4.38. Thus, the lean toward Minnesota.
That simply provides value. Boston is the hotter team. And they’re the better overall team.
The Red Sox lineup has a chance to get to Gray, while the Twins won’t beat up Whitlock. Look for the winning streak to continue tonight.
Richard DeMala’s pick: Boston M/L (+108)
Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox
Guaranteed Rate Field – Chicago, IL
8:10 PM ET
SuperBook Line: Even
This is an eyebrow-raising line. It doesn’t make sense in a lot of ways.
Texas is one of the best teams in baseball. They’re currently 5.0 games up in the AL West. They lead the league in batting average, RBI and hits. They’re also 5-2 in their last seven games against Chicago.
Meanwhile, the White Sox are 32-44. They’re only 18-18 at home, meaning the location for tonight’s game doesn’t even give them an advantage.
It’s not like the pitching matchup heavily favors Chicago, either. They’ll start Michael Kopech, who is 3-5 on the season with a 3.92 ERA. The Rangers counter with Martin Perez; the lefthander is 6-3 on the year, with a 4.54 ERA.
These two teams have split the first two games of the series. Texas won the opener 5-2, while Chicago squeaked out a 7-6 victory last night. Look for the Rangers to win the rubber match.
When it doubt, go with the better team. That’s obvious in this one.
Richard DeMala’s pick: Texas M/L (-110)