Expert MLB best bets, picks and predictions today, 7/21: Lance Lynn keeps losing

Chicago White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn (33) pitches against the Boston Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Yesterday was pretty fun, huh? I went 2-0 on my best bets which featured a plus-odds winner. Today, I’m back with 2 more picks as I’m hoping to extend my streak to 4-0. Let’s get into my MLB best bets for Friday, and be sure to also visit our MLB predictions for all of today’s games.

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San Diego Padres vs Detroit Tigers F3 Under 2.5 (+100)

Available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing

San Diego’s offense showed some life in their first few games after the break, but as soon as they encountered a strong pitcher like Chris Bassitt – they crumbled. I’m still not convinced that San Diego has a competitive lineup after their shutout loss to the Blue Jays on Thursday which featured them recording just 6 hits. The Padres are unable to put up enough runs to support their pitching staff, despite the presence of Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Xander Bogaerts in the heart of the order. When San Diego takes on rookie Reese Olson on Friday night, I anticipate more of the same. Olson struggled in his first few appearances as rookie jitters seemed to grab a hold of him, but he went into the break on a very high note. Olson has surrendered just 3 runs and 8 hits in his last 12.1 innings to the A’s, Blue Jays and Mariners. However, focusing on just the first 3 innings, Olson has a 1.93 ERA and is allowing just a .206 batting average.

Seth Lugo is no longer a reliever, but he still has a lot of reliever qualities. A prime example of that is opponents have a .202 batting average against him in the first at-bat and a .318 batting average in the second time through. Because of that, I’m targeting just the first 3 innings, which should hopefully cover the first time through the lineup with just a few players getting a second look. In innings 1-3, Lugo has a 3.32 ERA and is allowing just a .240 batting average. The right-hander will be facing a young Detroit lineup that has a lot of potential, but has just a .217 batting average and a 77 wRC+ in the second half of the season. Between a pair of underrated pitchers and underperforming offenses, I’m a fan of the first 3 innings under.

Don’t forget to check out our MLB YRFI/NRFI best bets — we’re on a 6-2 run!

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Minnesota Twins ML (-155) over Chicago White Sox

Available at DraftKings Sportsbook at time of publishing

Would you believe me if I told you the Twins had the second-best offense in baseball since the all-star break? It might seem far-fetched, especially after getting shut out on Thursday, but Minnesota’s lineup has a 141 wRC+ in the second half of the season. During the 7 games, the Twins’ offense has a .271 average, .358 on-base percentage and .872 OPS, which becomes even more impressive when considering Minnesota has faced Luis Castillo, George Kirby, Logan Gilbert and Bryan Woo in the last 4 games. Those are 4 very difficult arms, so Minnesota should breathe a sigh of relief as Lance Lynn comes to town on Friday. Lynn is a very difficult pitcher to understand because he has an incredibly high strikeout rate, but also a sky-high barrel and hard-hit rate. In his last 8 starts, Lynn has a 6.55 ERA along with a 31% strikeout rate and a 42% hard-hit rate. He might strike out 7 or more, but he’s also very likely going to allow at least 3 runs.

To be frank, this line is disrespectful to Joe Ryan. The right-hander has a 3.77 ERA but just a 2.99 xERA in 19 starts and is one of the most exciting young pitchers in the game. He’s striking out nearly 30% of hitters, has a below-average barrel rate and just a .217 xBA, so his advanced metrics back up Ryan’s exceptional season. And fortunately for Ryan, this start comes at home. It’s not that Ryan has been bad on the road, but it’s more that he’s incredible at home. He’s allowing just a .200 batting average, a .231 on-base percentage and a .538 OPS in 9 starts at Target Field this year. I had this line projected closer to -170, so there’s value at -155 to me.

Lock in my +910 MLB mega parlay for today’s action

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