Getaway days mean baseball betting all day and I’ve dug through the MLB odds to find you diamonds on... the diamond.
Today, I take a look at a trio of pitching props, breaking down which Alex Cobb we'll see against the Rockies, why Zack Wheeler should roll against the toothless Tigers, and Aaron Civale in his first tough test of the season.
Let’s not waste any more time and check out my favorite MLB player prop picks for Thursday, June 8 below.
MLB props for June 8
- Cobb Over 17.5 outs recorded
- Civale Over 4.5 hits allowed
- Wheeler to record the win
Picks made on June 8 at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.
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Best MLB bets today
Prop bet #1: Cobb gets comfortable on the mound
Pitching has not been a strong suit for the San Francisco Giants so far this season, and even their best starter Alex Cobb has been inconsistent. That said, the 35-year-old right-hander has been the Giants' most reliable starter and he’ll have a great chance to put on another great performance this afternoon against the Colorado Rockies.
Cobb is pitching to a solid (while unspectacular) 3.94 xERA this season but five of his last eight starts have been excellent, pitching at least seven innings in five and holding opponents to zero earned in four of those starts.
That includes a complete-game shutout of the Cardinals back on April 24, and he’s coming off 7 2/3 innings of five-hit shutout ball against a very good Orioles lineup last time out.
Now, the Rockies get a slight upgrade at home, per usual, but there are some reasons to believe they may be in for a bit of a regression, particularly when facing right-handed pitchers. The Rockies rank 18th in ISO (isolated power) and 25th in wRC+ vs. righties this season.
When Webb does get in trouble, it’s usually because he’s surrendering too many walks and that shouldn’t be a problem today. Colorado ranks 27th in MLB when it comes to walk rate vs. right-handers.
Don’t expect a blemish-less performance from Cobb here, but he will be effective enough to get through six innings and go Over 17.5 outs recorded, a number he's eclipsed in five of his last eight starts. At plus money, this bet is more than worthwhile in this spot.
Alex Cobb prop: Over 17.5 outs recorded (+115)
Prop bet #2: Civale struggles
The Cleveland Guardians rotation has been battered by injuries so far this season but got some reinforcements last week when Aaron Civale was reinstated from the injured list. And even though his return against the Twins was definitely a success, things get a little harder this time around, as he and Guardians host the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
Civale shut out the Twins on four hits over five innings in what was just his third start of the season, but that’s the Twins — one of the worst-hitting teams in the American League. In fact, Civale’s three starts this year have come against Minnesota and the Mariners (x2). And while his ERA sits at an impressive 2.04, his expected ERA is a much more average 4.43.
Civale’s expected batting average is also a lofty .286. Giving up contact has been a trait throughout his career with a .255 xBA over his 4+ MLB seasons. That won’t bode as well vs. a Boston lineup that rakes against right-handed pitching. The Red Sox rank fifth in batting average, seventh in OPS, and ninth in wRC+ when facing righties this season.
Civale also made one start against the Red Sox last June and surrendered three runs on eight hits in four innings of work. This play is a little juicy but I think this prop should be a whole number higher.
Aaron Civale prop: Over 4.5 hits allowed (-160)
Prop bet #3: Wheels up
Don’t let the Detroit Tigers' third-place standing in the AL Central fool you. They are bad... really bad, particularly when it comes to hitting. That means they could be in for a rough night when they dig into the batter’s box against Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Simply put, the Tigers can’t score. The 14-50 Oakland A’s have scored 20 more runs than the Tigers have this season and Detroit ranks 28th in batting average, dead last in OPS and wRC+, and has the sixth-highest strikeout rate when facing right-handed pitchers this season.
To make things worse, Wheeler has been pitching better than his 4.33 ERA suggests. The veteran right-hander is pitching to a 3.54 expected ERA, is limiting opponents to a .357 expected slugging percentage, and is striking out a solid 10.4 batters per nine innings.
Meanwhile, it’s a bullpen day for the Tigers and that's not a good thing. Detroit’s relievers rank 18th in xFIP and 26th in strikeouts per nine innings. And even though these Phillies’ bats haven’t performed up to their own expectations, this is still one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball when things are clicking and they still rank 12th in batting average and 11th in OPS.
The Phillies should be able to do enough damage to support a strong performance from Wheeler and help him secure the win in this matchup.
Zack Wheeler prop: To record the win (-125 at bet365)
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