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MLB American League best bets & top odds – Friday, July 8

MLB best bets

Friday is another full day of Major League Baseball (MLB), headlined by two of the top young pitchers in the game – Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan and Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo – doing battle in an interleague matchup. Also playing starring roles in the American League are a pair of Grays, with Minnesota’s Sonny and the Rangers’ Jon to go at it in Arlington. Here are the best bets on games featuring American League teams scheduled for July 8, starting at 6:40pm ET.

Tampa Bay Rays (-130) @ Cincinnati Reds (+110)

Shane McClanahan has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, going 9-3 despite Tampa Bay having one of the worst offenses in MLB. The Rays’ .683 OPS is ranked 24th overall, but thanks to McClanahan’s minuscule ERA (1.74) and WHIP (0.81), the Rays have managed to win most of his starts. McClanahan will also have unfamiliarity on his side, as Cincinnati has no plate appearances against him.

Perhaps making one of his last starts in a Reds uniform before the Trade Deadline is Luis Castillo. He hasn’t blown folks away this season, but that shouldn’t affect the awesome haul the Reds will get for trading him. He’s 3-4, which isn’t his fault, and has a 3.09 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. Half the league would love to have him down the stretch and even Game 1 of a playoff series.

The Rays are three-for-10 against Castillo, with Francisco Mejia collecting all three hits, with two going over the fence. Bet on Mejia to have multiple total bases on Friday and maybe even a homer.

Take the Rays in the first five innings and on the moneyline. Also take them to win by two or more, as their relievers have the eighth-best ERA in baseball (3.29).

Tampa Bay Rays to win


Minnesota Twins (-120) @ Texas Rangers (+100)

Sonny Gray has been magnificent this season. He’s 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. He’s allowed plenty of hits to Texas hitters (22 in 89 at-bats) but only four have gone for extra bases (all doubles). Almost all of the Rangers’ hits off Gray have been by Kole Calhoun (8) and Brad Miller (10), though, including all four doubles. Bet on either or both to have multiple total bases on Friday.

Jon Gray has been fine for Texas: 4-4 with a 3.96 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Only Carlos Correa and Sonny Gray have seen him before, with Correa going two-for-five with a double against him. You might consider placing a player prop bet on him to have multiple total bases.

Bet on the Twins to have the lead after five innings and for their middle-of-the-pack bullpen (17th-ranked WHIP) to hold it together the next four innings. Don’t be surprised if the Rangers make a run in those innings, however. They have the sixth-best OPS in baseball after the sixth inning. In the first six innings, however, Texas is ranked 23rd in team OPS. Minnesota is third with a .772 OPS in the first six innings. Parlaying Minnesota and Tampa on the moneyline pays +224 with Bovada.

Minnesota Twins to win


Houston’s Jose Altuve vs Oakland’s Paul Blackburn

Jose Altuve is six-for-11 against Oakland’s projected starter for Friday. He’s got one homer for a 1.402 OPS against Blackburn. Bet on him to have multiple total bases.

Jose Altuve 2+ total bases

Best odds

White Sox’s Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson vs Tigers’ Tarik Skubal

Tim Anderson has seven hits in 13 at-bats, including five doubles and a dinger. Jose Abreu is six-for-13 with two doubles. Bet on either or both to have multiple total bases on Friday. You might also consider taking the White Sox in the first five innings and on the moneyline, as they are 25-for-68 with nine doubles and three dingers against Skubal. Parlaying Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and Chicago on the moneyline pays +440.

Tim Anderson 2+ total bases

Best odds

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