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Kansas City Royals @ Boston Red Sox – 1.10PM ET
The Red Sox and Royals will wrap up their midweek set at Fenway Park on Thursday afternoon, with Boston looking to complete a four game series sweep at home.
As a result of their 6-2 victory on Wednesday, Boston took a 3-0 lead over Kansas City heading into Thursday’s fourth and final match of this series. After the Royals broke out to an early 1-0 lead, J.D. Martinez’s go-ahead three homer at the bottom of the third proved to be enough to steer the Red Sox to their 50th win of the season and their sixth win in a row.
Mike Minor took the loss with the ball for Kansas City, allowing five earned runs on seven hits in five innings at the mound.
Taking the lead brought to you by J.D. pic.twitter.com/PbhxL5mUzN
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 1, 2021
Kansas City will send Kris Bubic to the mound for his seventh start (14th appearance) of the season. The southpaw has a 2-3 record, 4.47 ERA and 1.49 WHIP from 48.1 innings of action this year. After allowing three runs on three hits in just 0.2 innings, Bubic took a loss in his last start and he has only thrown 5.2 innings across his last three appearances.
Nathan Eovaldi will make his 17th start of the season for Boston on Thursday. The right hander owns a 8-4 record in 2021, to go along with a 3.67 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 84 strikeouts from 90.2 innings of action. Eovaldi threw 7.2 innings for one run on seven hits in a game the Red Sox won 4-2 in his last outing. He has allowed just four earned runs in his last 18.1 innings across three starts.
Seeing as the Royals have started the summer with a 7-19 record through June, we can’t see them upsetting the in-form Red Sox at Fenway Park on Thursday. Having won their past six games, Boston will look to close out the series sweep on Thursday with Nathan Eovaldi giving them an advantage at the mound. As well as that, this Red Sox lineup is averaging 5.06 runs per game this season and we think that they will get the better of Kris Bubic on Thursday, as Bubic has started the summer with a dismal 9.16 ERA through six appearances in June.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals – 7.05PM ET
The Dodgers and Nationals will kick off their four game weekend series in Washington on Thursday night.
Washington have continued their hot start to the summer after recently sweeping Tampa Bay in their short two game set. As a result of their 15-6 win on Wednesday, the Nationals outscored the Rays 19-9 in the two game series. Washington now owns a 9-2 record from their past 11 games.
As for the Dodgers, they will enter this series with a four game winning streak behind them. Los Angeles recently defeated San Francisco in both matches of their two game set at home, outscoring their division rivals 6-3 in the two victories.
Tony Gonsolin will look to continue the Dodgers winning ways when he makes his fifth start of the season. The right hander has not factored in a result this year, however he still owns a 2.77 ERA, 1.54 WHIP and 18 strikeouts from 13 innings of action. Gonsolin has thrown 11.1 innings in his last three starts, allowing one earned run in each appearance.
Washington will send Patrick Corbin to the mound for his 16th start of the season. Corbin has a 5-6 record, 5.33 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 68 strikeouts from 82.2 innings of action. The southpaw is renowned for pitching deep into games, having thrown 20.1 innings in his last three starts, and allowing just six runs with 20 strikeouts in that time.
There are very few teams in the league that are playing as well as the Nationals are at the moment. Washington owns a 8-2 record from their last 10 matches and their lineup has scored 6.4 runs per game in that time. Kyle Schwarber has thrived since his move to the leadoff spot, clubbing 15 home runs last month and subsequently tying for the second-most homers ever recorded in June in a single season, trailing only Sammy Sosa. As well as that, Patrick Corbin is coming off his best month of the season, as the lefty boasted a 2-2 record, 3.82 ERA and 27 strikeouts from 30.2 innings of action. Seeing as Corbin will give the Nationals an advantage at the mound over the inexperienced Tony Gonsolin, we like Washington to take this one out at home.
Milwaukee Brewers @ Pittsburgh Pirates – 7.05PM ET
A pair of NL Central rivals will kick off their four game weekend set on Thursday afternoon when the first placed Brewers host the last placed Pirates in Pittsburgh.
Milwaukee recently extended their lead at the top of their division after sweeping the second placed Chicago Cubs in their three game series at home. The Brewers outscored the Cubs 31-12 across their three wins, including a 14 run performance in game one and a 15 run performance in game two. Milwaukee are now six games ahead of Chicago in the NL Central and their active winning streak has extended eight consecutive games.
Contrastingly, Pittsburgh recently wrapped up their seven game road trip by being swept by the Rockies in Colorado. The Pirates were held scoreless twice in the three game series and they were outscored 2-16 across the three losses.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) June 30, 2021
Wil Crowe will look to return Pittsburgh to the winners list on Thursday when he makes his 11th start (12th appearance) of the season. Crowe is 1-4 this year, to go along with a 6.50 ERA and 1.62 WHIP from 45.2 innings of action. The right hander recorded his first win of the season in his last start, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in five innings with the ball.
The Brewers will counter with Corbin Burnes at the mound on Thursday. Burnes has a 3-4 record from 13 starts this season, while also owning a 2.53 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 115 strikeouts from 74.2 innings of action this year. Although he allowed just eight earned runs and zero homers in four starts, June was Burnes’ worst month of the season to date, as he threw a 3.22 ERA in 22.1 innings.
Even though Burnes is coming off a rough June that saw him post a 1-0 record and 3.22 ERA from four appearances, Thursday’s series opener against Pittsburgh is the perfect opportunity for him to rediscover his pre-summer form. Especially when considering that Colin Moran will not feature in the Pirates lineup due to a wrist injury. As well as that, Milwaukee have an impressive 22-15 record on the road this season, and their lineup is scoring an average of 6.5 runs per game through their past 12 matches.
New York Mets @ Atlanta Braves – 7.20PM ET
A pair of NL East rivals will conclude their three game series in Atlanta on Thursday night, as this series between the Mets and Braves is still well and truly up for grabs.
As a result of their MLB season high 20 run performance on Wednesday, the Atlanta Braves have tied this series at 1-1 heading into Thursday’s decider. After dropping game one 3-4, Atlanta clubbed New York all over SunTrust Park to take game 20-2. Ozzie Albies finished with the best statline in the Braves lineup on Wednesday, recording four runs on five hits with seven RBIs in the 18 run victory.
The Mets sent four pitchers to the mound on Wednesday, all of whom gave up three earned runs or more in the demoralising loss.
Ian Anderson will make his 16th start of the season for Atlanta on Thursday night. The right hander has a 5-4 record, 3.42 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 88 strikeouts from 81.2 innings this season. Anderson has a 1-1 record from his last two starts, having allowed three runs on eight hits in 11.1 innings during that time.
New York will counter with NL Cy Young favorite Jacob deGrom on Thursday. deGrom owns a 7-2 record from 13 starts this season, to go along with his league leading 0.69 ERA, his league leading 0.53 WHIP and his 122 strikeouts, which are the seventh most in MLB. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits in six innings in his last start, marking the first time this season that the two time Cy Young award winner had conceded more than one run in a match.
Although the Braves offense is fresh off an MLB season high 20 run performance, they will not be able to replicate a performance like that with two time Cy Young award recipient Jacob deGrom on the mound, as deGrom has allowed one run or fewer in all but one of his starts this season. However, seeing as New York’s offense is scoring a league low 3.57 runs per game in 2021 and Atlanta’s Ian Anderson is having a solid season in his own right, we don’t believe the Mets will be capable of hitting a winning score against Anderson in the series decider, which will result in the Braves wrapping up this series with a low scoring win at home on Thursday.
San Francisco Giants @ Arizona Diamondbacks – 9.40PM ET
A pair of NL West rivals will close out our Thursday night MLB schedule when the first placed Giants host the last placed Diamondbacks in Arizona.
Since becoming the first team to pass the 50 win mark this season, the Giants have lost each of their past three games. San Francisco dropped the final game of their set against Oakland before they were swept in their two game series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Giants were outscored 3-6 in the two losses in LA.
As for Arizona, they recently became the first 60 loss team in baseball after being swept by the Cardinals in St Louis in their three game series. The Diamondbacks were outscored 7-17 across the three losses and they will enter Thursday’s series opener with a four game losing streak behind them.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) June 27, 2021
Merill Kelly will look to lead Arizona to an upset win at home when he makes his 17th start of the season on Thursday. The right hander has a 4-7 record, 4.73 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 82 strikeouts from 91.1 innings this year. In his last two starts, Kelly owns a 2-0 record after allowing one earned run on 10 hits in 13 innings. Kelly brought an end to Arizona’s franchise record 17 game losing streak on last Monday before he snapped the team’s MLB record 24 game road losing streak on Saturday.
San Francisco will send Johnny Cueto to the mound for his 13th start of the season. Cueto has a 6-3 record in 2021, to go along with a 3.63 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 53 strikeouts from 67 innings of action this year. The right hander is coming off his best start of the season, having thrown seven shutout innings against Oakland in his last appearance.
Although Merill Kelly has been ‘Mr Fix it’ for the Diamondbacks of late, we don’t think that Arizona’s offense is capable of upsetting the division leading Giants on Thursday. San Francisco have won their last 10 matchups against Arizona, improving their recent record to 19-7 from their past 26 encounters. As well as that, Johnny Cueto is coming off his best start of the season and we think he will be able to get the better of a Diamondbacks lineup that is averaging just 3.6 runs per game through their last nine matches. Along with their advantage at the mound, San Francisco have also had the stronger performing lineup recently, as the Giants have averaged 4.9 runs per game across their last 10.
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