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Odds and Ends

MLB picks & predictions for July 24

by Covers.com
Updated On: July 26, 2020, 4:26 pm ET


MLB picks for July 24

Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Diego Padres 

There’s no shortage of confidence on the mound for the San Diego Padres’ season opener. Right-hander Chris Paddack gets the nod as the Opening Day starter seven months after making that prediction. 

Paddack had a stellar rookie campaign in 2019 – made even more impressive by coming off Tommy John surgery – as he went 9-7 with a 3.33 ERA and 153 strikeouts over 140 2-3 innings of work. He also ranked fifth in the majors in WHIP at 0.98.

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He was especially strong at home, where he went 6-3 with an ERA just north of 3.00, and pitched three starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks, going 1-0 with a slim 1.08 ERA over 16 1-3 innings of work. The Diamondbacks were roughed up in their opening Summer Camp games, getting blasted by a combined score of 21-3 in two games with the L.A. Dodgers.

PREDICTION: San Diego -130

Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox

The Chicago White Sox hand the ball to righty Lucas Giolito for their season debut versus the Minnesota Twins. He picked up 14 wins in 2019 and ranked seventh for strikeouts (228) in the American League. 

That included some solid efforts against the Twins, in which he recorded 32 Ks over 25 innings pitched against the AL Central rivals. The Twins counter with Jose Berrios, who was great against Chicago last season, and the ChiSox and Twinkies have stayed Under the total in five of the previous seven meetings.

PREDICTION: Under 8.5 (-110)


Kansas City Royals vs Cleveland Indians 

Given the situation, using the term “Bieber Fever” may be a little touchy in the middle of a global pandemic. But we’re only referring to one of our favorite MLB betting trends: betting Under the first-five inning totals when Cleveland’s ace toes the rubber.

While Shane Bieber and this first-five trend stumbled a bit to end 2019, you can’t deny the profits from this derivative play. Cleveland games have stayed Under the first-five total in 22 of Bieber’s last 33 starts, with a 22-9-2 run for the Under (a near 71 percent winner). 

Bieber looks good entering the shortened season and told reporters his intensity feels like normal despite the less-than-normal preparation for the 2020 schedule. The Kansas City Royals were among the slowest-starting offenses in 2019, averaging only 2.5 runs through the first five innings last season. That's good enough for us to jump on one of our favorite MLB bets.

PREDICTION: First five innings Under 4.5 (-110)


Opening Day betting card

  • San Diego -130
  • Chicago White Sox vs. Minnesota Under 8.5 (-110)
  • Cleveland vs. Kansas City First five innings Under 4.5 (-110)