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MLB American League best bets & parlay odds – Friday, June 17

MLB best bets

Headlining Friday’s action in Major League Baseball (MLB) is veteran Dodgers hurler Clayton Kershaw in an interleague battle with Zach Plesac and the Cleveland Guardians, surprisingly undefeated Twins starter Devin Smeltzer doing battle with Diamondbacks veteran Madison Bumgarner, and Houston’s Framber Valdez hosting Lucas Giolito and the White Sox. Here are the best bets on games featuring American League teams scheduled for Friday, starting at 1:05pm ET.


Cleveland Guardians (+250) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (-303.03)

The Dodgers are baseball’s biggest favorite on Friday, and for good reason. Clayton Kershaw has been outstanding again for Los Angeles this season, going 4-1 with a 2.12 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. Cleveland is also unfamiliar with Kershaw, which gives the longtime ace an even bigger advantage in this one.

Cleveland’s Zach Plesac has struggled to miss bats, leading to a 2-4 record, 4.70 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He’s struck out just 43 batters in 61.1 innings pitched. While the Dodgers are unfamiliar with him, it shouldn’t matter given their fourth-best team OPS in MLB (.747). Cleveland is ranked 16th in team OPS (.707).

Take the Dodgers in the first five innings and on the moneyline.

Los Angeles Dodgers to win

-303.03
@
Bovada

Minnesota Twins (-140.85) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (+120)

Madison Bumgarner probably remembers his last start against Minnesota. He allowed eight runs and faced just 10 batters, but none of those batters are Twins anymore, because that was back in 2011. Bumgarner has been his usual self this season: 3.50 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. His 2-6 record is indicative of Arizona’s struggles to hit. The Diamondbacks are sixth-worst in OPS (.676) and second-worst in batting average (.217).

The Twins have not struggled to hit or slug. They have the American League’s best hitter in Luis Arraez leading a team batting average of .251, which is ranked 10th in MLB. Their eighth in OPS (.731), buoyed by Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa. And Devin Smeltzer has been quite the pleasant surprise given injuries the pitching staff has sustained thus far this season. He’s 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA and 0.97 WHIP despite striking out just 16 batters over 34 innings pitched.

The improved infield defense behind him has allowed Smeltzer to rely on his 90mph fastball thanks to his improved ability to locate that pitch. The results have been a high chase rate (70 percent) and a low hard-hit rate (38 percent). Expect the Diamondbacks to struggle with Smeltzer more than the Twins will struggle with Bumgarner. And expect Minnesota to score plenty in the late innings given Arizona’s fifth-worst bullpen when it comes to WHIP beyond the sixth inning (1.41).

Take Minnesota on the moneyline. Parlaying the Twins and Dodgers on the moneyline pays +133 with Bovada.

Minnesota Twins to win

-140.85
@
Bovada

Chicago White Sox (+160) @ Houston Astros (-188.68)

Framber Valdez has gone at least six innings in 10 of his 12 starts this season, going 6-3 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Only Yoan Moncada roughed him up last season, going two-for-five with a double and a homer. The rest of the White Sox had pretty pedestrian at-bats against him in 2021, and it only gets harder in Houston after the sixth inning.

The Astros have the fifth-best WHIP (1.13) in the seventh inning and beyond. The White Sox have the fourth-worst (1.42), so Lucas Giolito has to be extra special for Chicago to win on Friday. Giolito has seldom been special thus far this season, going 4-2 despite a 3.88 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. He handled Houston last season (.333 OPS allowed), but that Giolito posted a 1.10 WHIP.

Take Houston on the moneyline, and turn your head-to-head parlay featuring Minnesota and Los Angeles into a trifecta for +248 odds.

Houston Astros to win

-188.68
@
Bovada

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