BN’s Diamond Daily (June 16): Rays vs White Sox, Reds vs Brewers, Phillies vs Dodgers highlight Wednesday’s top matchups

Matt Wiesenfeld

I hope you caught the debut of the BN Diamond Daily yesterday, as we look to aid your MLB betting efforts in every way possible. Yesterday’s best bets only brought a 1-2, but I am feeling we were on the right side in those losses with the Braves and Blue Jays frittering away opportunities at home. Shaky bullpens will get you every time right? As for the win, I suppose that falls into the “good beat” category. Five runs in extra innings got the over we needed in Houston.

Looking ahead to today, we have some great afternoon games as series wrap up in Chicago and Milwaukee this afternoon. Don’t wait too long to get down on the action. Especially on that Reds/Brewers game. That has been a fun series.

MLB Betting Matchup: Tampa Bay Rays vs Chicago White Sox

Probable Pitchers: Ryan Yarbrough (4-3, 3.63 ERA) vs Lucas Giolito (5-5, 3.81 ERA)

These teams have split a couple of games and are just a half-game apart. Tampa is doing what it always does, defying the odds with their ability to win with less than elite talent. They were shut out yesterday, and I wonder if offense becomes their Achilles heel. Their lineup pales in comparison to other AL contenders. Lefty Ryan Yarbrough is on a heater. He is 2-0 n June including the Rays' first complete game in forever (2016). It won’t be easy against Chicago though. They often beat up lefties. Like really beat them up.

With the win yesterday Chicago is in a great position to take the series. They are in good form too, having won 7 of their last 10. The White Sox are a great story. Not only are they winning but they are doing so without two of their projected starters in the outfield, big-time prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. Still, they are 6th in scoring. They are also 3rd in team ERA, a number that could drop now that ace Lucas Giolito is finally finding his form. He just has to watch the homers, which are way up this season.

With Giolito on the hill, there is always a premium to be paid, especially with Tampa and Yarbrough not getting a lot of respect in the marketplace. If Tampa was starting a righty, I would say back Chicago on the money line. But they have been so good against lefties let's take a shot at the run line. The White Sox are 17-4 against lefties this season.

Rays vs White Sox Best Bet: Chicago White Sox -1.5 (+143) (Play of the Day)

MLB Betting Matchup: Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers

Probable Pitchers: Tyler Mahle (6-2, 3.56 ERA) vs Freddy Peralta (6-1, 2.25 ERA)

The Reds have continued their hot play in this series. After yesterday’s 2-1 win, they have now won five in a row and are closing the gap on the Brewers and Cubs in the NL Central. Yesterday’s win was a big one as they won without needing to score 10+ runs, and ace Luis Castillo might be finally finding his form. If that is the case, the Reds can definitely turn the NL Central into a three-team race. Starter Tyler Mahle has been surprisingly good for Cincinnati this season. He has won four straight starts and at 6-2 is one win away from tying a career-high.

Milwaukee is looking to get at least one win in the series. They have been playing really well too, but the offense dried up with just three runs over the first two games. They can take some comfort that Cincinnati has not had to face any of their trio of aces. That is not the case today. Freddy Peralta might have the best stuff on the team even if he does not get the publicity of Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes. He can be a little wilder than those guys, but his ability to miss bats is tough to beat. He pitched four strong innings in a win over the Reds last week.

The Reds have the momentum, but the Brewers have the advantage on the mound on Wednesday. This is the final game of the homestand, and even though their top relievers pitched yesterday I think they can be available for this one too if need be. The super-tight 10-inning game last night took a lot out of both bullpens, but Milwaukee still has the advantage there. Look for Peralta to have another strong outing.

Reds vs Brewers Best Bet: Milwaukee Brewers (-139)

MLB Betting Matchup: Philadelphia Phillies vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Probable Pitchers: Zack Wheeler (4-3, 2.29 ERA) vs Clayton Kershaw (8-5, 3.39 ERA)

Philly is looking to get one win in L.A. before they head up the coast to San Francisco. If they are going to do so they are going to need starter Zack Wheeler to dominate. The righty is having his best season as he has been striking out batters at a much higher rate than ever before. I am not hearing his name in “cheating” talk either, so it might be legit. He is more than capable of limiting a good Dodgers lineup, and with the likes of OF Bryce Harper and 2B Jean Segura out he probably has to.

The Dodgers are having an interesting season. They are playing well, but it definitely has not been the victory lap that was expected after last year’s World Series title. They have won three in a row and 7 of 8 but suffered a blow recently with OF Cody Bellinger getting hurt, again. With him and 1B Max Muncy out, they are leaning on the likes of 1B Albert Pujols much more than could have been expected. There are a lot of tough outs in their lineup, but nobody is really killing it at the plate. Clayton Kershaw might only have the third-best stuff on the staff right now, but he is as good a winner as there is in the league. He will never be what he was but fade him at your own risk. Especially because the team is just so strong in every area.

However, the value with the Phillies is too much to ignore in this one. Wheeler is the better pitcher of the two at this point, and even though his supporting cast is nowhere near as good, when he is on it sometimes doesn’t matter. I am looking for Philly to steal a low-scoring game before they leave town.

Phillies vs Dodgers Best Bet: Philadelphia (+130)

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