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MLB Picks for Wednesday, June 22

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

Starting Pitchers: Keegan Thompson vs. Jerad Eickhoff

Thompson has been impressive on a pretty poor Cubs team, putting in solid work as both starter and reliever while forging a 6-2 record, 3.27 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, along with a respectable 1.0 HR/9. The right-hander has also allowed an impressively modest 7.3 percent barrel rate, .230 xBA and 34.7 percent hard-hit rate, and he's already flummoxed the Pirates over nine scoreless innings with nine strikeouts over two outings this season. Pittsburgh does have a .333 wOBA against righties at home in the last month, but that's accompanied by a middling .239 average.

Eickhoff is making his 2022 big-league debut after posting a shaky 4.84 ERA at Triple-A Indianapolis, albeit with a solid 1.08 WHIP. Following a promising first two seasons back in 2015-16, the right-hander has limped to a 7-15 record, 5.41 ERA and 1.52 WHIP across 44 appearances (39 starts) at the big-league level. The Cubs haven't been especially dangerous against right-handed pitching, but they're averaging a respectable 2.4 runs per first five innings per road game and have an appreciable starting pitcher advantage in this spot.

MLB Best Bets for Cubs at Pirates

The Pick: Cubs -0.5 – 1st 5 innings (+104) for 1 RW Buck

Secondary Pick: Keegan Thompson 4+ Strikeouts & Cubs To Win (+166) for 1 RW Buck


Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels

Starting Pitchers: Daniel Lynch vs. Shohei Ohtani

Lynch has been knocked around for a 5.19 ERA and 1.53 WHIP, and before picking on the hapless A's in his most recent start, he'd been blasted by the Guardians, Blue Jays and Orioles for a 9.60 ERA, 1.93 WHIP and 3.0 HR/9 over his three starts prior. The left-hander now deals with an Angels team that's posted a .288 average and .347 wOBA against southpaws at home over the last month of play. Additionally, Lynch has given up six earned runs on three occasions already, twice in outings in which he pitched five innings or fewer, and he's given up four earned runs in two other instances as well.

Ohtani was dominant as a hitter in Tuesday night's wild 12-11 extra-inning loss for L.A., and he's recorded at least five strikeouts in nine of 11 starts. The two-way phenom has been victorious in five of his last seven decisions as well, and he's carrying a 3.14 ERA and 0.98 WHIP across 28.2 home innings. What's more, Ohtani comes in hot after posting an 0.69 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over his last two starts, and L.A. is already one of the best teams in MLB at run prevention over the first half of home games, allowing the second-fewest runs in the AL (1.8) in that split. KC also has an abysmal first 5 innings moneyline mark on the road, going 8-18-7 in that scenario.

MLB Best Bets for Royals at Angels

The Pick: Shohei Ohtani 5+ Strikeouts & Angels To Win (-118) for 1.18 RW Bucks

Secondary Pick: Angels -1.5 – 1st 5 innings (+102) for 1 RW Buck

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MLB Best Bets Today Recap

  • Cubs -0.5 – 1st 5 innings (+104) for 1 RW Buck

  • Keegan Thompson 4+ Strikeouts & Cubs To Win (+166) for 1 RW Buck

  • Shohei Ohtani 5+ Strikeouts & Angels To Win (-118) for 1.18 RW Bucks

  • Angels -1.5 – 1st 5 innings (+102) for 1 RW Buck

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