With only 22 teams in action it is certainly not the busiest Thursday of Major League Baseball. But have no fear, our tipsters have still found five free moneyline picks for your Thursday afternoon!
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Miami Marlins – 12.10PM ET
The Dodgers and Marlins will kick off our Thursday afternoon MLB schedule when they meet for the fourth game of their series in Miami.
The Marlins will have a rare opportunity to complete a series sweep against the Dodgers on Thursday afternoon. Miami went against the grain in the first two matches of this series, winning games one and two by just one run each and subsequently improving their record in one run games to 8-19. However, the Marlins wrapped up game three with a 9-6 victory thanks to Jesus Aguilar’s three run homer at the bottom of the ninth.
Edwin Uceta took the loss with the ball for Los Angeles after being clubbed for Aguilar’s three run homer in the ninth. Uceta allowed three earned runs on two hits in just 0.2 innings of action.
Walk it off, Miami! 😎
Jesús Aguilar’s first HR at home seals the W over the Dodgers 🔥
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 8, 2021
Los Angeles will send Julio Urias to the mound for his 18th start of the season. Urias has a 10-3 record, 3.81 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 110 strikeouts from 99.1 innings of work this year. The southpaw has thrown 11.1 innings across his last three starts, allowing just three earned runs on eight hits in that time.
Sandy Alcantara will make his 19th start of the season for Miami. The Marlins ace has a 5-7 record in 2021, to go along with a 2.96 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 97 strikeouts from 112.2 innings of action. Following a June that saw him own a 2.59 ERA through six starts, Alcantara has continued his good form in his one July start, allowing one run on five hits in six innings at the mound.
The Marlins luck looks to have finally turned this season, winning games one and two of this series by one run respectively and winning game three with a three run walk-off homer. Miami will boast the more accomplished starting pitcher in this matchup, however the question must be asked whether their offense is capable of hitting a fourth consecutive winning score against the reigning champs. Seeing as the Marlins have already wrapped up the series victory, we are going to take the more determined Dodgers to salvage a win in their final game in Miami. Urias has been a solid performer on the road this season and the Marlin’s streaky offense is due to come back down to earth.
Oakland Athletics @ Houston Astros – 2.10PM ET
The top two teams in the AL West will wrap up their three game series in Houston on Thursday afternoon when the first placed Astros host the second placed Athletics.
As a result of their 4-3 victory on Wednesday, Houston have taken a 2-0 lead in this two game set heading into Thursday’s series finale. After Matt Olson gave the A’s a one run lead in the first, Jose Altuve clubbed a pivotal three run homer in the third to give the Astros the lead.
Sean Manaeae took the loss with the ball for Oakland on Wednesday, allowing three earned runs on four hits in 6.2 innings.
Frankie Montas will make his 18th start of the season for the A’s on Thursday afternoon. The right hander is 7-7 with a 4.63 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 95 strikeouts from 93.1 innings of action this year. Montas has thrown 16.1 innings across his last three starts, conceding 12 earned runs on 16 hits in that time
Houston will send Lance McCullers Jr. to the mound for his 14th start of the season. McCullers Jr. has a 6-1 record in 2021, to go along with a 2.97 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 81 strikeouts from 72.2 innings of work. The right hander has won each of his last three starts, conceding just six earned runs on 13 hits across 16.2 innings in that time.
Given their offensive advantage and their superior starter at the mound, we can’t go past the Astros at home in this series finale. Houston have won each of their past six games and they have scored 5.5 runs per game in that time. Whereas Oakland have lost eight of their past 11 games and they will be coming up against an in-form Lance McCullers Jr., who has won each of his last three starts.
Toronto Blue Jays @ Baltimore Orioles – 7.05PM ET
The Blue Jays and Orioles will conclude their series in Baltimore on Thursday afternoon when the two AL East rivals meet for the third time this week at Oriole Park.
After dropping the series opener 5-7, Toronto tied this series up at 1-1 heading into Thursday’s decider thanks to a 10-2 victory in game two on Wednesday night. The Blue Jays broke out to a 7-0 lead by the middle of the fifth and never looked back, winning the game by eight runs. Bo Bichette clubbed the only homer of the night (two runs in the sixth), as he finished with two runs on three hits with three RBIs.
Matt Harvey took the loss with the ball for the Orioles after allowing six earned runs on nine hits in just 3.2 innings.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) July 8, 2021
Baltimore will send Keegan Akin to the mound for his eighth start (12th appearance) of the season. The southpaw has an 0-4 record, 7.46 ERA, 1.68 WHIP and 38 strikeouts from 41 innings of action in 2021. Akin has given up 15 earned runs across his last three starts, throwing just 11.1 innings in that time.
Alek Manoah will make his eighth start of the season for Toronto on Thursday night. Manoah is 2-0 in 2021, to go along with a 2.70 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 43 strikeouts from 36.2 innings of work. After throwing a shutout seven innings in his last outing, Manoah has allowed just one run (zero earned) across his last two starts.
Although Baltimore drew first blood in this series, we can’t go past the Blue Jays on the road in this series finale. Seeing as Toronto’s lineup has scored 5.2 runs per game this season and they will be coming up against an out of form Keegan Akin, we like the Blue Jays to build on their solid road record (25-20) on Thursday. Especially when considering that Akin has allowed 26 runs across his last five starts.
Kansas City Royals @ Cleveland Indians – 7.10PM ET
A pair of AL Central rivals will kick off their four game weekend series in Cleveland on Thursday night when the Indians host the Royals at Progressive Field.
Kansas City recently wrapped a six game homestand with a 3-3 record after winning just one of their three games against Cincinnati throughout the week. With the series tied at 1-1, the Royals went down 2-5 in Wednesday’s decider, which resulted in Kansas City being outscored 11-17 throughout the three games.
As for the Indians, they will be looking to bounce back after being swept for the second consecutive series. Cleveland lost each of their three recent matches against the Rays in Tampa Bay, which has extended their active losing streak to nine consecutive games. The Indians were outscored 9-21 across their three most recent losses to the Rays.
Zach Plesac will look to bring an end to Cleveland’s losing streak when he makes his 11th start of the season on Thursday. The right hander has a 4-3 record, 4.14 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 38 strikeouts from 58.2 innings of action. Thursday will be Plesac’s first start since May 23, as he has now recovered from a fractured thumb.
The Royals will counter with Danny Duffy on the mound on Thursday. The left hander has a 4-3 record in 2021, to go along with a 2.60 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 57 strikeouts from 52 innings of action. Duffy also hasn’t pitched a great deal lately, throwing four innings in his last start after tossing just 6.1 innings in June.
Although Plesac’s return will give the Indians depleted pitching staff some confidence in this series opener, we believe that Kansas City will cause the upset in this matchup. Neither offense has been dominant this season, however Danny Duffy has been a solid performer at the mound this year and we like the Royals starter to be the biggest factor in this matchup by holding the Indians to a beatable score.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ New York Mets – 7.10PM ET
The Pirates and Mets will close out our Thursday night MLB schedule when they meet for the first match of their four game series in New York.
Pittsburgh recently wrapped up a seven game homestand with a 3-4 record after winning two of their three games against Atlanta. Although they lost Wednesday’s series finale 3-14, the Pirates won games one and two by a combined score of 13-2.
Similarly, the Mets dropped the final game of their most recent set and still managed to take a 2-1 series victory against the Milwaukee Brewers. New York won Monday’s game 4-2 and Wednesday’s game 4-3 before they concluded the series with a 0-5 loss in the second match of their Wednesday doubleheader.
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 4, 2021
Taijuan Walker will make his 16th start of the season for the Mets on Thursday. The right hander has been a solid performer in 2021, owning a 7-3 record, 2.44 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 87 strikeouts from 85 innings of action. Walker has been phenomenal at home this season, boasting a 4-0 record, 1.52 ERA and 0.90 WHIP from seven starts.
The Pirates will send JT Brubaker to the mound for his 16th start of the season. Brubaker has a 4-8 record, 4.09 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 81 strikeouts from 83.2 innings of work this year. The right hander has lost each of his last three starts, allowing 10 earned runs across 18.2 innings in that time.
Although Pittsburgh has found some momentum recently with three wins from their past seven games, we can’t go past the NL East leading New York Mets at home for Thursday’s series opener. Seeing as the Pirates have a 13-29 record on the road this season and their 3.5 runs per game make them the worst scoring offense in baseball, we can’t see Pittsburgh hitting a winning score against Taijuan Walker on Thursday. Especially when considering that Walker owns a 4-0 record, 1.52 ERA and 0.90 WHIP from seven starts at Citi Field this year.
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