We ring in the start of June with a small seven-game Major League Baseball slate involving two series openers between division rivals involved in heated races in the American League. Read on for our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Thursday based on the best MLB odds.
June 1 is an important date in the Major League Baseball calendar, and much statistical analysis has been done surrounding the relevance of the standings on this date. Per Elias Sports Bureau data, 58% of teams (90/155) in sole possession of first place when June 1 began in the wild-card era (excluding the shortened 2020 season) won their division that season.
Here are our top MLB prop picks and best bets for Thursday (odds via our best MLB betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).
Thursday’s MLB schedule and odds
(Odds via DraftKings)
- Milwaukee Brewers (+175) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (-205)
- Philadelphia Phillies (+145) vs. New York Mets (-170)
- San Diego Padres (-120) vs. Miami Marlins (+100)
- Colorado Rockies (+145) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (-170)
- Cincinnati Reds (+140) vs. Boston Red Sox (-165)
- Cleveland Guardians (+120) vs. Minnesota Twins (-140)
- Los Angeles Angels (+185) vs. Houston Astros (-215)
Thursday’s MLB best bets
- Player prop: Bo Bichette Over 1.5 total bases (-110 via FanDuel) vs. Brewers ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Player prop: Chris Sale Over 2.5 earned runs allowed (+120 via DraftKings) vs. Reds ⭐⭐⭐
- Player prop: Nick Castellanos Under 0.5 hits (+145 via DraftKings) vs. Mets ⭐⭐⭐
- Moneyline: Padres ML vs. Marlins (-115 via WynnBet) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Thursday’s MLB prop picks
Player prop: Bo Bichette Over 1.5 total bases vs. Brewers (-110 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Per StatsCentre, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette’s 78 hits were the Toronto Blue Jays’ most through the team’s first 54 games in franchise history. And Bichette has 169 multi-hit games in his career (since the start of 2019), the fifth-most among all AL players in that span.
Milwaukee Brewers righty Freddy Peralta has been the victim of a brutal schedule. In four starts against a top-10 offense, he has pitched to a 5.48 ERA, 5.9 K-BB%, and 5.16 FIP. And considering that half of those starts came in April, his decline from April to May is egregious.
In April, Peralta had an 18.2% K-BB%, 3.77 ERA, and allowed opponents a .229/.294/.349 slash line. In May, Peralta has a 10.9% K-BB%, 5.96 ERA, and allowed a slash line of .279/.370/.538. Bichette to go over his total bases prop is a three-star play considering Peralta had four quality starts in five outings before his last clunker against the San Francisco Giants.
We are making this wager at FanDuel, as other sportsbooks like DraftKings are at -120 or lower.
Player prop: Chris Sale Over 2.5 earned runs allowed vs. Reds (+120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
Naturally, it was going to take some time for Boston Red Sox southpaw Chris Sale to get re-acclimated to big-league action after being limited to just two starts last season because of a fractured wrist. But perhaps he has stepped on the pedal too quickly, as high pitch counts recently could be troubling for his future performance.
After five starts this season, Sale had an 8.22 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, and .316 opponent batting average. Since then, he has lowered his WHIP and OBA to 1.16 and .172, respectively, and has pitched to a 2.23 ERA over his last five starts. He now faces a Cincinnati Reds team that ranks fourth in BABIP (.348) and 13th in OPS against left-handed pitching this season.
Though Cincinnati has struck out at a top-12 rate (22.5%) against southpaws, Sale did not have his best stuff against Arizona in his last start, striking out three or fewer batters for just the second time this season. This is a three-star play as manager Alex Cora may have pushed Sale too hard recently, as his poorer outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks last week followed consecutive starts where he threw 110-plus pitches.
Caesars also offers plus-money odds for this wager (+111), but the best price is found at DraftKings.
Player prop: Nick Castellanos Under 0.5 hits vs. Mets (+145 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos leads all qualified team hitters with a .290 batting average and is second with 62 hits. However, he has done much of that damage at home this season, with a .363/.404/.615 slash line at Citizens Bank Park compared to a .236/.282/.333 slash line in 123 at-bats on the road.
Castellanos now faces New York Mets ace Max Scherzer, against whom he is 3-for-20 with zero RBIs. This is a three-star play, as 10 of Castellanos’s 17 outs against Scherzer have been strikeouts, but he figures to get at least one at-bat against Mets relievers since Scherzer has recorded more than 15 outs in just two of his previous six starts.
With Caesars and PointsBet at +133 and +140 odds, respectively, for this wager, the best value is found at DraftKings.
Thursday’s MLB game picks
Moneyline: Padres vs. Marlins (-115 via WynnBet) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
San Diego Padres starter Joe Musgrove has an xERA nearly two runs lower than his actual ERA (3.69 vs. 5.64) and broke a two-start stretch in which he allowed four earned runs in each game when he limited the New York Yankees to one run in 6 1/3 innings in a road victory. While many will point to Musgrove’s poor ERA as a reason to fade him, his xBA is up just two percentage points from last season, and we expect his 8.4% barrel percentage to regress back to the 6.1% rate he has pitched to over his entire career.
There does not appear to be anything wrong mechanically with Musgrove, as his velocity is up on all pitches across the board from last season. Thus, we also expect his 1.8 HR/9 rate (which is on pace to be the worst of his career) to start coming down, especially against a Miami Marlins team that's tied for the sixth-fewest home runs against right-handed pitching this season.
This is a five-star play, as the Marlins have won just 35% of their games as home underdogs (18-33) since 2022. In addition, we expect the Padres to have offensive success against Marlins lefty Jesus Luzardo and his .356 BABIP allowed.
WynnBet is the only one of our best sports betting apps where one can find the Padres at shorter than -120 odds.
MLB best bets made 6/1/2023 at 6:02 a.m. ET.
Here are our best MLB betting sites:
- FanDuel: $2,500 No Sweat First Bet | Read our FanDuel Review
- Caesars: Earn Up to a $1,250 Bet Credit | Read our Caesars Review
- DraftKings: Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets | Read our DraftKings Review
- PointsBet: Earn Five Second-Chance Bets Up to $50 Each | Read our PointsBet Review
- BetMGM: Get a Bonus Bet of Up to $1,000 | Read our BetMGM Review
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* Bonuses not applicable in Ontario.