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Odds and Ends

MLB Best Bets for June 23

by Kenny Ducey
Updated On: June 23, 2022, 4:36 pm ET

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Welcome to Thursday. We've got baseball on in the afternoon, we've got baseball on in the evening, and we've got baseball on late at night. Without further ado, let's get into how to bet this exciting slate of games.

Houston Astros (+110) vs. New York Yankees (-131) Total: 8

The Yankees are up against statistically the best offense in baseball over the last week, but that won't stop me from backing them as short home favorites here. That's because New York, a top-five offense against left-handed pitching, is in for a treat against Framber Valdez.

As a sinker-baller, Valdez pitches to contact a bunch. He has a below-average strikeout rate that's just over 20%. That doesn't really fly against a team like the Yankees, in a park like Yankee Stadium on a summer night. New York's only Achilles heel of late has been punchouts, and with more contact being made in this one, more runs should come.

Jameson Taillon has been excellent this season with a low 34.2% hard-hit rate and elite 3.1% walk rate, and he was able to hold the Astros to two runs when he saw them last season. I believe in him here, and do not believe in Valdez ever.

Edge: Yankees -131

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Philadelphia Phillies (+145) vs. San Diego Padres (-176) Total: 7

This one hurts, because I want so badly for the Phillies to thrive. I think they have an outside chance at the NL East crown, and love what I've seen lately.

With that said, Ranger Suárez appears to be a one-hit wonder. His sinker simply hasn't been as effective this season, yielding a 4.43 ERA and 4.21 xERA in 13 starts. The lefty is walking an alarming 10.1% of hitters and striking out just 18.8%.

The Padres have been beasts over the last week, ranking near the top of the league in walk rate at 10.1% and fourth in wRC+. This is a pretty awful matchup for Suarez, and making matters worse, Joe Musgrove is on the hill for San Diego. He's arguably been the most dominant starter in the NL and will face a team in the bottom five of wRC+ in the last week. Take the home team.

Edge: Padres -1.5

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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.