MLB picks: Diamondbacks/Phillies, Orioles/Royals & Marlins/Astros

Minty Bets mourns the end of the NHL Western Conference Finals and digs into some of her favorite MLB bets for Friday’s slate of games, explaining why she likes to play first-5-innings totals and picking out a few pitching matchups that play well into it.

Video transcript


MINTY BETS: Welcome to "Yahoo Sportsbook Daily." It is Friday, June 10th. And I am your betting guide, Minty Bets. We have three MLB games that I'm targeting for totals. So let's get into it.


Of all the "Yahoo Sportsbook Daily" podcasts I've done every week, this will be my first MLB episode. In case you were wondering, MLB is not a new sport for me to bet on. Betting on the MLB is why I started my Twitter. It's how I initially grew my audience. It's a sport that I believe is the most difficult to bet on and requires the most research. But it's the one where I've most improved on.

And I'd like to say I improved on it quite a bit, as I have appeared as a guest on the MLB Network's "Bettor's Eye" from time to time. I haven't posted a ton of my MLB picks on Twitter this season because my sole focus is to finish off the NHL season and then dive deeper into baseball. I don't like to juggle multiple sports if I don't need to. But since the Avs and Oilers won't bless us with another playoff game, let's get into the MLB slate.

Starting with the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Philadelphia Phillies, we've got Zac Gallen for the D-Backs and Kyle Gibson for the Phillies. Gallen is such an underrated pitcher. He's posting an ERA of 2.4 with a WHIP of only 0.96. He's been consistent in all but one game this season. Other than the one outing against Kansas City where he allowed six earned runs, he's not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his other starts.

In the last 30 days, Philly is towards the bottom of the list when it comes to hitting. The team is ranked bottom 10 in batting average and middle of the pack in OPS. As for Kyle Gibson, he's not having the hottest season with a 4.4 ERA. But Arizona is one of the least impressive hitting teams in the league, batting at .217 and an OPS of .681.

I think you guys kind of know where I'm going with this. I like the first five to go under, hoping that it's set at around four or four and 1/2. Any lower than that and I will pass. Next up, the Baltimore Orioles at the Kansas City Royals. I know this is not an attractive matchup. But sometimes you find gems in the games that people don't really turn their attention to. You sometimes find better value as well.

In this matchup, neither of these teams are expected to make the postseason. Both have losing records. And both start some OK pitchers. I'm finding a great spot for an over here. Left-handed pitcher Bruce Zimmerman has allowed five or more earned runs in his last three starts, while Jonathan Heasley, although not allowing as many runs as Zimmerman, has consistently recorded an ERA of 6.4 or worse in his last three. Now, neither of these offenses are the top-performing offenses in the league.

But I believe there will be quite a few runs in this game, just due to bad pitching. On top of some shaky starters, the Royals have a bullpen posting the third-highest ERA, fourth-most hits, fourth-most runs, and the absolute most walks. Yes, I do lean Baltimore to win this. But I like the over anywhere between eight and 1/2 to nine and 1/2 runs.

And lastly, the Miami Marlins at the Houston Astros. Straight up, I really like the first five under. And for those wondering why I like betting the first five innings, it's because it takes the bullpen out of the equation. If you've bet on the MLB, you know that relief pitching can absolutely ruin your bet. We tend to know more about the starting pitchers.

We tend to pay attention more to starters. We feel like we have a better understanding of their patterns and have a large sample size of how they do against certain teams, how they perform at home versus on the road, and all kinds of factors like that. So, that being said, let's talk about those starters in this game-- Pablo López for the Marlins and Luis Garcia for the Astros.

López has been absolutely excellent. In his last two games, he did struggle a bit-- but nothing I'd be too worried about, as one of the games was in Colorado, which is a hitter-friendly park. And the other was against San Francisco, who have some great bats. Luis Garcia has been a bit inconsistent. But overall, he's a reliable starter with an ERA of 3.07.

Miami has been trending to the over lately. But against Luis Garcia, they should have a harder time scoring runs. As for the Astros, they're not the same potent hitters we've seen in the past. Houston ranks 21st in runs per game, and they've got a great pitching staff that has the second-best ERA in the league. The first five innings screams under for me-- so no lower than 3 and 1/2.


Now, to recap my picks, I've got the Diamondbacks and Phillies first five under, the Orioles and Royals over, and the Marlins and Astros first five under. You can follow me on Twitter over at @MintyBets and follow all of our content over at @YahooSportsbook.

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Scott Pianowski will be back on Monday on "Yahoo Sportsbook Daily." Until then, goodbye and good luck.


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