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The Twins' Brian Dozier hasn't been living up to expectations this season - can he get it going against Brewers lefty Brent Suter on Monday?
Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB picks column for Monday, July 2nd. We picked up a win with Sunday’s pick - San Diego’s Tyson Ross had the rough start we were looking for in a 7-5 Pirates win. Jameson Taillon didn’t quite shut down the Padres like we expected, but the Pirates offense had his back, and ours - shouts to Colin Moran for the grand salami, his second of the season.
That was our first bet of the year on the Pirates, and on Monday we’re ready to make our first bet of the year on a different team. We’ll be looking at the first game of an interleague matchup between the Brewers and the Twins - let’s get into it.
Minnesota Twins (Gibson) at Milwaukee Brewers (Suter)
We haven’t bet on either of these two teams once this season - we have wagered against the Twins six times, twice with Gibson on the mound. However, the Brewers have become our favorite target - we’ve bet against them 17 times already this year, and despite their .578 winning percentage and hold on first place in the NL Central, we’re 10-7 in those bets. We’ve believed that the oddsmakers have overreacted to Milwaukee’s hot start, and today’s line is another example.
Neither of the pitchers in Monday’s matchup are world-beaters, but it’s clear that Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson is the guy you’d rather have on the mound at this stage. Gibson has posted a 3.48 ERA in his first 16 starts this season, and while he might be flirting with disaster with his elevated walk rate (3.76 per nine), he’s at least pairing that with a solid strikeout rate (8.75 per nine), and he’s not allowing many homers. He’s not elite, but he certainly rates as a better bet than Milwaukee’s Brent Suter.
Suter has been back and forth between the bullpen and the rotation for Milwaukee since arriving in the big leagues as a 26 year old. It’s clear from the numbers that Suter’s stuff just isn’t very good - his career K rate is below average (7.14 per nine) and he allows homers at an above average rate. He’s serviceable in that he doesn’t walk many guys, but that’s about it - he’s going to allow hard contact too often to be reliable.
The only way the moneyline makes sense in this game is if you believe the Brewers have a huge edge on offense, and we don’t. The Twins rank 23rd this year in wRC+, but we’re one year removed from a similar lineup finishing 6th in baseball. Several of their hitters who are projected to provide at least league average production have not done so - none more damaging than Brian Dozier’s slow start (.239/.304/.385) in a team-leading 349 PAs. Dozier is better than that - he’s hit lefties very well in this career (135 wRC+), and Brent Suter is a lefty that gives up solid contact; we’re predicting that Dozier has a solid day at the plate on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Brewers haven’t been that much better as a lineup this season, ranking 18th, and two of their three leaders in offensive WAR will likely miss Monday’s game - Lorenzo Cain is recovering from a groin strain and Christian Yelich has been out the last three games with a back injury. Without those guys, this is a clearly below average offense - the matchup with the Twins is a wash, at best.
We’re going to keep betting against the Brewers as long as the odds are this good - we’re taking Minnesota +124 on Monday. We’ve got the better pitcher on the mound and the healthier lineup at an underdog price - what could be better?
That’ll do it for today - did you hear about the 4-1 parlay we hit on Saturday in our World Cup picks? Go check out our pick for Monday’s knockout game between Belgium and Japan
Good luck everyone, let’s get a win!
Bet the Twins +124
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