This is our first weekend of the summer without either NBA or NHL action as those seasons concluded this past week. We are now officially in the “dog days.” But that just means it’s time to focus 100 percent on baseball and here are three bets I recommend to check out in the MLB odds for Sunday action.
You are probably not paying attention to Arizona pitcher Robbie Ray unless you are a die-hard MLB fan, but the lefty might be the National League’s best pitcher right now and I would back the Snakes behind him on Sunday in Philly – shoot, we might see a no-hitter with how well Ray is going (7-3. 2.62).
Ray won last Sunday against the Brewers after tossing 6.2 shutout innings, in which he struck out 12, walked four and allowed just three hits. Ray has now won five starts in a row, and has allowed just two runs in those games (37 innings, 0.24 ERA). In that span, Ray has struck out 48 hitters.
Only one other pitcher in Diamondbacks history went 5-0 with an ERA that low over a five-start span: Brandon Webb went 5-0 with a 0.00 ERA over five starts in 2007.
Who Will the Phillies Choose?
The Phillies go with young right-hander Ben Lively (1-1, 3.00). Lively has thrown seven innings and allowed three runs or fewer in each of his first three big league starts despite tallying a 5-to-7 K/BB ratio in that span. He’s going to have a tough time keeping that up if he doesn’t find a way to miss more bats.
In conclusion the Diamondbacks are favored in the MLB odds, so you should consider placing your bets on the Snakes.
Kansas City Royals at Los Angeles Angels
When you think of AL Cy Young candidates this season, your mind probably focuses on Boston’s Chris Sale or Houston’s Dallas Kuechel (who is now hurt). One guy has been as dominant as both of those two: Royals lefty Jason Vargas, and he takes the mound Sunday in Anaheim to close a series vs. the Angels. Vargas (9-3, 2.10) leads the AL in wins and is second in ERA.
Vargas won after allowing one run on five hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings Tuesday against the Giants. He won his fourth straight start, breezing through seven innings in 102 pitches (65 strikes). He’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of those victories and holds a 1.68 ERA during that time. Vargas has been able to sustain his hot start through strong command (65:18 K/BB ratio) and some good luck.
Who will the Angels send out?
The Halos go with JC Ramirez, who makes his first career start against the Royals on Sunday. The right-hander appeared in two contests for the Angels against Kansas City as a reliever in 2016.
After not pitching more than five innings in either of his previous two starts, Ramirez (6-4, 4.19 ERA) nearly completed seven in a strong outing against New York on Tuesday. His seven strikeouts were his most since April 30, as he’d managed just 23 strikeouts over 43 innings in the intervening seven starts.
Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
This is one of the series of the year in the AL and could be a preview of the ALCS. The Red Sox were spring favorites to win the pennant and now Houston is favored to do so for the first time since moving to the AL. This is also the ESPN Sunday Night Game.
Which Pitcher Will Take the Mound on Sunday?
It’s lefty David Price for Boston. Price (1-1, 5.09) gave up three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six over six innings but came away with a no-decision in Tuesday’s 4-3 win over the Phillies. It’s the second straight start in which Price has walked four batters, but he was able to limit the damage this time.
Price’s return from an elbow injury has hardly been smooth, but his velocity has ticked up from last season and his results should improve once he shakes off the last of his rust and sharpens his command. He faces an Astros squad that sits fifth in the league with a .336 wOBA against southpaws.
Who Will Pitch for Houston on Sunday?
Joe Musgrove (4-5, 4.81) will take the mound for Houston. Musgrove pitched 4 2/3 innings Monday, his first start since hitting the 10-day DL on May 27 (shoulder discomfort). Over 75 pitches, he allowed two runs on five hits vs. the Rangers.
I’m going with the Astros in the MLB odds, since they are simply dominating this season and it will be hard to see them fall any time soon.
We hope this MLB betting prediction can give you the edge you need to get some action this upcoming Sunday. Best of luck to all!