MLB Thursday best bets: Fade Rockies at home vs. Woodruff, Brewers
We're feeling good after another 2-1 mark Wednesday, bringing our record to 29-14-1 since early in the MLB season. Here are Thursday's best bets:
Despite legit firepower in these lineups, the White Sox are 18-8-1 to the under since May 19 - the second-best mark by any team in that stretch - while the Astros are 8-6 to the under in June. Expect those runs to continue with two rising stars facing off Thursday and a total that should likely be a full run lower.
Dylan Cease has mixed growing pains with flashes of brilliance, and he's coming off two starts against the Tigers in which he allowed two runs with 17 strikeouts across 12 innings. Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy has posted five quality starts in his last seven outings and went seven strong vs. the Twins in his last go.
The Rockies have been MLB's greatest case of Jekyll and Hyde, owning the worst record on the road (5-25) and the eighth-best record at home (23-14) in the thin Colorado air.
That shouldn't intimidate the Brewers, who've been MLB's fourth-best road team (18-12) and had won 14 of their previous 19 games before a recent three-game skid. Milwaukee's offense scored a mere four runs combined across those three losses, so the timing of a trip to Coors Field is perfect.
On the other side, the Rockies have plated eight runs in back-to-back games but face a stiff test in Brandon Woodruff, who ranks fourth among qualified starters in ERA (1.52) and fifth in fWAR (2.5). The Brewers have won 10 of Woodruff's 13 starts this year, with eight of those coming by at least two runs.
When Shohei Ohtani pitches, you should always be on high alert, especially when it's against a lineup as meager as the Tigers'. The Angels' two-way star has allowed three or fewer runs in eight of nine starts this year and struck out 18 batters across his last two starts - to say nothing of him hitting a home run in back-to-back games at the plate.
He'll be matched up against rookie Matt Manning, who makes his first career start after a shaky start to his minor-league season. The top-20 prospect posted the highest ERA in Triple-A (8.07) thanks to an absurd 3.1 HR/9 rate, worst among all qualified pitchers in the minors.
Manning's start comes out of necessity with the Tigers' rotation thinned due to injury, so don't expect a sterling debut from the talented but unseasoned hurler. Lay the chalk on the better team with a superstar on the mound instead.