MLB Thursday parlay at mega +863 odds today 7/20: Spencer Strider bounces back

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider (99) in a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Thursday’s are usually the slower day of the week in Major League Baseball, and today is no different. Ten teams have the day off which means only 10 games are happening today, but I’ve looked through today’s MLB games and found 3 picks that combine for a +863 payout at FanDuel Sportsbook. Be sure to check out our MLB predictions for all of today’s games, but for now, let’s get into my MLB mega parlay for Thursday.

Braves -1.5 (+102)

Padres vs Blue Jays alternate total under 7.5 (+164)

Cubs ML (-124)

MLB Parlay odds: +863

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Atlanta Braves -1.5 over Arizona Diamondbacks (+102)

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Zac Gallen can’t pitch on the road. Away from home, Gallen is 2-4 with a 5.11 ERA and a 1.349 WHIP in 10 starts. Opponents have a .318 batting average and a .749 OPS against him in that time. That’s drastically different from his 9-0 record at home with a 1.48 ERA, 0.851 WHIP and .198 batting average against. It’s easy to think that his away stats could be skewed from a few bad starts at the beginning of the season, but in Gallen’s last 4 road starts, he has a 5.47 ERA. He’s just consistently bad on the road which is not ideal against a Braves offense that started the second half slow but has since woken up.

Spencer Strider is a weird case study. His advanced metrics indicate that he is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, yet he continues to get knocked around every few starts. In his first start in the second half of the season, Strider had a cakewalk against the White Sox — or so he thought. Chicago shelled Strider for 5 runs on 8 hits, including a home run, in 6 innings. He struggled to put hitters away with 2 strikes which ended up coming back to bite him. But even with that poor start, Strider is still allowing just a .206 batting average at Truist Park. I’m backing the better pitcher in this spot with the better offense and taking the Braves for a multi-run win.

Don’t forget to check out today’s YRFI/NRFI best bets — we’re on a 5-1 run!

San Diego Padres vs Toronto Blue Jays Under 7.5 (+164)

It might not seem like a pitching duel since the game total is at 9, but trust me — the oddsmakers are making a mistake. Blake Snell has been the best pitcher in baseball through the last two months since he has a 0.62 ERA in his last 10 starts. During that span, opponents have just a .156 batting average, .170 xBA, 24% hard-hit rate and an absurd 40% strikeout rate. His last 10 starts haven’t been a cakewalk either since he’s had to face the Phillies, Rays, Marlins, Angels and more in the last few weeks. A big reason for Snell’s success may seem like a surprise, but Gary Sanchez has been crucial for Snell. In 9 starts as a pair, Snell has a 0.51 ERA in 53 innings — that’s domination.

This is a spot that I’ve looked to back throughout the season: Chris Bassitt at home. The right-hander has been decent this season with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP, but there’s a huge difference between Bassitt on his home mound and anywhere else. The comfort of home can be a significant factor for a lot of pitchers, but for Bassitt, it’s crucial. The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA and a 0.874 WHIP and has limited hitters to a .165 batting average, .259 on-base percentage and .499 OPS in 9 starts in Toronto this season. But on the road, he has a 5.71 ERA and a .304 opponent batting average. For that reason, I’ve stayed away from Bassitt when he’s not pitching at home. Between these two aces, I’m expecting a low-scoring affair.

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Chicago Cubs ML over St. Louis Cardinals (-124)

I’ve never been a huge Steven Matz fan, and that’s continued into this season. The lefty has a 4.86 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP through 76 innings for the Cardinals. The southpaw started the season in the starting rotation, but after posting a 5.72 ERA and 1.72 WHIP as a starter, he was demoted to the bullpen. He was better in a relief role since he posted a 2.81 ERA in 8 games, however, he still struggled to limit walks and extra-base hits. His bullpen stint didn’t last too long since Matz has been moved back to the rotation and has allowed 5 runs, 6 hits and 3 walks in 9.2 innings in 2 starts. It’s important to note that those 2 starts were against the White Sox and Nationals who don’t exactly possess the most dangerous offenses in the league.

The most common name being thrown around at the trade deadline this season is Marcus Stroman. It’s not hard to see why — Stroman has a 2.88 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP in 20 starts. He’s dependable, consistent and a guy who can make an immediate impact in any rotation. Stroman opened the second half of the season against the Red Sox at Wrigley Field and went 6 strong innings, allowing just 1 run and 3 hits which earned him his 10th win of the season. Here’s the closing argument: Stroman is at home. At Wrigley Field this season, Stroman has a 2.69 ERA, a 0.864 WHIP and has limited hitters to a .167 batting average and .485 OPS. For Thursday’s game in the North Side of Chicago, I have to go with Stroman and the home team.

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