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Odds and Ends

MLB Best Bets for July 19

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: July 19, 2021, 3:05 pm ET

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If you're feeling the Monday blues, then a 13-game card on the diamond Monday night is just the thing you need. With plenty of tight lines, there is money to be made everywhere. Without further ado, here are some of my favorite bets.

San Diego Padres (-160) vs. Atlanta Braves (+135)

I believe two things to be true: Yu Darvish has regressed significantly because of depressed spin rates, and Kyle Muller is good.

Darvish's six-run outing last time out against the Nationals was a continuation of a downward trend for the veteran ever since the league's crackdown on foreign substances in late June. His spin rates have been down several hundred rpms since then, and his results have been poor.

Muller, on the other hand, has 16 strikeouts over his last two starts, spanning just 10 2/2 innings, and has really started to find his groove at this level. His 65-grade fastball should be super effective against a Padres team that hasn't been great against lefties or that pitch in particular this year.

The Braves have begun to heat up at the plate, closing the margin offensively between them and the Padres, and that should be enough here with a significant edge in the pitching department.

Edge: Braves +135

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San Francisco Giants (+115) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (-136) Total: 8

The Dodgers may have five wins in their last seven games, but I'm not too high on them at the moment. Two of those came against the lowly Diamondbacks, two came against the struggling Rockies, and one came against the Marlins. Additionally, though their wRC+ over the last two weeks sits at an impressive 140, their walk rate has crashed to 8.5% over that span.

Kevin Gausman is a guy who is really only ever vulnerable in the walk department, and the Dodgers are a team that ranks second in walk rate, so I'm just not sure things set up very well for LA. Aside from that, they won't have Gavin Lux in the order, and might not have Mookie Betts either as both are dealing with injuries.

Gausman's numbers are excellent, with a .337 xwOBA on contact and a gaudy 30.5% strikeout rate. He misses a lot of bats and doesn't really give up a lot of rockets, so it's not very likely the Dodgers will be able to build a lead. That's bad news with Tony Gonsolin on the hill, whose peripherals indicate he's likely to come back to Earth a little bit. Against a team as strong offensively as the Giants, that day should be today.

Edge: Giants +115

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Kenny Ducey

Kenny Ducey is a former member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, writing and editing for Sports Illustrated and Baseball Prospectus. His work also appears at DraftKings and The Action Network. Follow him on Twitter @KennyDucey.