MLB picks: 3 best sides bets for Saturday (July 6) (2024)

July 4th weekend continues Saturday, with the wind blowing in at Wrigley, the Mets primed to explode, and the Blue Jays set to struggle.

Play 1: Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago Cubs -- Under 8.5 runs (-105) ESPN BET

While the East Coast sizzles on Saturday, temperatures in Chicago are downright springlike this afternoon, with a forecast high of 70 degrees at Wrigley.

And the wind is blowing in at 10MPH.

And the two pitchers on the mound -- Tyler Anderson for the Angels, and Kyle Hendricks for the Cubs -- can be best described as "crafty veterans" at this point in their respective careers, with 20 years of experience between them.

And while neither has been particularly effective this year, Anderson's flyball lean should play well with the wind blowing in, and Hendricks' ground ball lean always plays well, assuming he doesn't get BABIP'd to death, which, to be fair, he has this year to the tune of .325.

But Hendricks sets up well against the Halos, as they are expected to throw seven batters in the lineup with flyball rates north of 25%. If the wind was blowing out, this would be trouble for the groundball pitcher. But with the wind blowing in ... most, if not all, fly balls should stay within the friendly confines.

As for Anderson? He sets up even better. He's getting a ton of weak contact so far this year -- only a 27.4% hard hit rate -- and it shows in his world-class .232 BABIP on the year.

He is giving up a relatively high 9% barrel rate, so when he doesn't get weak contact he should probably duck, but again -- with the weather in Chicago leaning heavily toward the ball staying in the park, all Anderson needs to do is limit the Cubs stringing together a bunch of hard hits.

All told, I like the under.

Play 2: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. New York Mets -- New York Mets moneyline (-130) FanDuel

The Mets are lefty-mashers. They're fourth in MLB is ISO against lefties at .188, third in wOBA at .338, strike out 20.9% of the time (ninth-least in the majors).

Today, they're going up against lefty Bailey Falter, he of his 16.7% strikeout rate, 10% barrel rate, and unsustainable .229 BABIP against righties.

And the Mets are going to be sending up some righties.

Check out these numbers over the last two seasons against four-seam fastballs, which Falter throws half the time: Francisco Lindor, .319 ISO, .380 wOBA. J.D. Martinez, .356 ISO, .419 wOBA. Pete Alonso, .329 ISO, .375 wOBA. Francisco Alvarez, .340 ISO, .456 wOBA. And Mark Vientos, Tyrone Taylor, and Harrison Bader are all over .212 ISOs and .343 wOBAs.

In short: There is nowhere for Falter to hide. Add in hot and humid weather, and the Mets should do to the Pirates what the Pirates did to the Mets Friday.

On the other side, David Peterson -- who is about as workman-like as they come -- toes the rubber for the visiting Mets. Sure, there are clearly some Pirates hitters with pop (again, see: Friday) but even if Peterson gets knocked around a bit, the Mets offense should be scoring runs fast and furious this afternoon.

Play 3: Seattle Mariners vs. Toronto Blue Jays -- Mariners moneyline (-110) FanDuel

Two big questions in this game: Which version of Yariel Rodriguez will show up for the Blue Jays, and can the Blue Jays bats figure out Emerson Hanco*ck?

The answers, as I see them: Who knows, and definitely not.

Let's start with "who knows."

Rodriguez in his last start went 6.2 innings against the Astros, striking out six, giving up a pair of walks and hits.

Before that outing, he hadn't gone more than four innings, and was coming off a 1.1 inning shellacking against the Cleveland Guardians.

Now, the Mariners offense isn't world-class, but they can certainly get to Rodriguez, as evidenced by the projected lineup featuring no fewer than seven batters with ISOs north of .200 over the last two campaigns against righties who throw four-seam fastballs, which Rodriguez does 40% of the time.

The Mariners might get to Rodriguez, they might not.

But I don't think the Jays are going to do anything against Emerson Hanco*ck, who does one thing well: Get ground balls.

Well, at least he should be getting ground balls, as he's a sinkerballer, throwing the pitch 60% of the time.

And the Blue Jays big bats -- George Springer, Bo Bichette, and Vlad Guerrero -- have laughably terrible numbers against the sinker. Over the last two years, these sluggers have ISOs of .076, .092, and .119 respectively against the pitch -- and this is over 500 plate appearances.

The reason they're so terrible against it is because they are all heavy ground ball hitters to begin with.

And the rest of the Jays lineup features only two players -- Davis Schneider and Danny Jansen -- with anything resembling a fly ball lean.

I'm looking for the rookie to stymie the Jays this afternoon.

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Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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MLB picks: 3 best sides bets for Saturday (July 6) (2024)


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