MLB (0.5 Unit) Minnesota Twins Team Total Over 3.5 (-110): 8:40 PM CT on MLB Network
With Joe Ryan back on the mound for the Twins here, maybe they won’t need to score as many runs to compensate for what’s been some ugly pitching lately. But they still look like a good bet to keep the offense rolling here. Strong performances from Ryan plus the reputation of Blake Snell have this game’s total and thus the isolated Minnesota total pretty low, a full run below the season average for the Twins, in fact.
But Snell has not been the version of himself that his reputation implies, with the highest ERA and 2nd-highest WHIP of his career this season. That’s resulted in the opposing team going over this total in 7 of his 11 starts. He also seems to alternate good and bad outings, making him due for a bad one here. The Twins have plenty of right-handed bats to take advantage of Snell’s weakness to that side, so a team that’s been scoring well out of the break should find their way over this small number.
MLB (0.75 Unit) Philadelphia Phillies/Pittsburgh Pirates Over 8.5 (-110): 6:05 PM CT on SportsNet PT
After combining for 15 runs last night, these teams seem primed to eclipse what is a fairly low total. Usually, the Pirates are a team that can’t be counted on for much offensively, but tonight should be different against Bailey Falter. The Philly lefty can’t get anyone out right now and has posted a 6.23 ERA the past month. He also has short appearances, bringing in a Philadelphia bullpen that’s just middle of the pack and got beat up last night.
It’s possible the Phillies will struggle somewhat against José Quintana, who has put together some strong numbers at PNC Park. But this is likely a showcase start for him, as Pittsburgh is likely to trade him before the deadline. That makes me skeptical that he will go very deep tonight and run the risk of injury. His starts only average just over 5 innings anyway, bringing in the Pirates bullpen, which has surrendered the most runs in baseball. With the Phillies swinging hot bats, I see them producing enough to help get this game over the number.
MLB (0.5 Unit) St. Louis Cardinals Team Total Over 5 (-110): 6:05 PM CT on MASN
The Cardinals get their unvaccinated superstars Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado back tonight after the duo couldn’t play in Toronto. Even without them, St. Louis put up runs against the suspect Blue Jays pitchers, and their return should be a real shot in the arm for the offense against another terrible starter.
Aníbal Sánchez is being trotted out by Washington due to a lack of options, and it won’t be pretty tonight against this offense. In his two brief starts this season, Sanchez has been crushed by right-handed bats to the tune of a .462 average and 1.486 OPS. Goldschmidt, Arenado, and St. Louis’ other top bats are all righties, so they should do plenty of damage here.
And once Sánchez is done, the Nats bullpen that has allowed the 5th-most runs in baseball gets the call. This should be a fun welcome-back party for the big Cardinal bats, and I see them mashing Washington pitching all night to cash this over.
MLB (0.75 Unit) Milwaukee Brewers Team Total Over 5 (-110): 6:10 PM CT on ESPN+
Brayan Bello should not be at the big league level yet, he simply can’t handle it. But the Boston Red Sox are basically out of options for starting pitchers, so he gets another start here even though the first three outings have been ugly.
Bello has allowed 14 total runs across his 12 innings of work, with the opposing team averaging 8.3 runs in those games. And Bello does not last long either, going just 4 innings in all his starts which brings in a Boston bullpen that has allowed the 4th-most runs in baseball. Even though the Milwaukee bats have been inconsistent all season, they should tee off here. They’re very good against right-handed pitchers like Bello, ranking in the top-5 for scoring and power metrics.
Those power numbers will be aided by a solid wind blowing out of Fenway tonight, especially against Boston pitchers that tend to get hit hard. Milwaukee is averaging 7 runs per game since the All-Star break by taking advantage of bad pitching, and they should clear this total with ease.
Bonus Bet (0.25 Unit) Brewers/Red Sox Over 9 (-110)
Odds makers were getting pulled in opposite directions by Bello and Brandon Woodruff when they made this total. Woodruff’s presence offsets to some degree the runs that Bello and the Boston pen are expected to surrender. But I’m not convinced that Woodruff won’t give up runs himself here.
The Brewer righty has been eased back from his injury and faced some pretty weak offenses since returning. Boston is considerably better than any of the previous opponents, and Woodruff hasn’t been great on the road this season, posting a 5.26 ERA. While I expect Milwaukee to do most of the work on this total and perhaps all of it, don’t discount Boston’s ability to chip in here for a higher-scoring game.
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Tiny Nick is 817-685 ATS (+75.3 Units) on his Locks since joining Zone Coverage.
Every day he will offer his Locks and Degenerate picks. Locks are the games he’s confident in. Degenerates are entertaining but riskier picks.