Two MLB Games and Prop Bets to Consider for Tonight

Two MLB Games and Prop Bets to Consider for Tonight
© USA Today

Looking at the Thursday MLB betting card, there are six matchups each starting a four-game series. 

We give you betting advice on two of those matchups, plus some prop bets we like.

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New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies

6:45 p.m. ET
The Phillies’ 2-1 extra-inning loss to the Texas Rangers on Wednesday was especially disappointing with pitcher Zack Wheeler having such a good game.

Wheeler went 7 ⅔ innings, gave up six hits, no walks and got seven strikeouts. Despite having great command of every pitch and throwing 97 MPH four-seam fastballs into the seventh inning, he was removed from the game. 

Tonight’s Pitching Matchup

Many would argue that Aaron Nola, who is tonight’s starter, is the Phillies’ ace. He and Wheeler are both off to 1-3 starts. He has lost two of the last three starts and the team is winless in those. 

In his five starts this season, 68% of his pitches have been strikes, 20% of those the batter was caught looking. 

He has induced far more ground ball outs than fly ball outs with a 1.40 GO-FO ratio.

Nola has posted a season-to-date game score of 58, which is significantly above the average MLB score of 50.

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The Phillies offense ranks ninth with a 111 OPS+ ratio, which is OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) adjusted for the teams’ home park. 

They also are tied with the Mets for ninth-best scoring with an average of 4.44 runs per game and rank eighth with 26 home runs and fifth-best with 44 doubles. 

The Mets will start Taijuan Walker, who has pitched twice against the Phillies this season and lost both. 

Walker has faced the Phillies eight times in his career and has posted a 1-2 record and a 4-4 team record with a 2.75 ERA and a 0.915 WHIP.

How We See Tonight’s Game

In 22 career starts against the Mets, Nola is 9-5 with a 12-10 team record including a 3.32 ERA and a 1.171 WHIP. 

Given his recent form, I expect the Phillies to get the win tonight. Plus, the Mets are 8-20 on the moneyline, losing 14 units per unit wagered in road games following a game in which they scored two or fewer runs spanning the last two seasons.
I am betting the Philadelphia Phillies on the moneyline.

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Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners

9:40 p.m. ET
Despite hitting in one of the friendliest hitting ball parks in baseball, the Mariners have struggled offensively. 

They are coming off a three-game sweep by Houston in a series they scored just two runs.

Home teams that are priced as underdogs on the moneyline between +110 and +135 and have scored three or fewer runs over their last three games have been 42-77 on the moneyline. That’s a loss of $2,556 per $100 bet wagered for a -21.5% return-on-investment (ROI) in the last 10 seasons. 

That works against the Mariners as does the fact that their starting pitcher Robbie Ray has a career 14-25 on the moneyline, losing 15 units per unit wagered when facing teams that hit 0.9 or fewer home runs per game.

How We See This Game

The Rays are 30-11 on the moneyline when facing a team that has a bullpen posting an ERA of not more than 3.45 in games played over the past two seasons.
My money is on the Rays on the moneyline.

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MLB Prop Bets for Thursday

Other bets I like tonight:

  1. Bet on the Over four runs at -140 for the first five innings of the Marlins vs. Padres game as offered at BetMGM Sportsbook.
  2. Bet one-game parlay at +500: Boston Red Sox win, Over eight runs scored, and Shohei Ohtani hits a home run as offered at BetMGM Sportsbook.
  3. Bet Yes +240 that both teams will each score four runs in the Minnesota Twins vs. Baltimore Orioles game as offered at BetMGM Sportsbook.
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