Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, April 27, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
- See the best bets in baseball on June 4, 2021
- Max Scherzer and the Nationals face Zack Wheeler and the Phillies
- Two struggling pitchers meet in San Diego when the Mets’ Joey Lucchesi faces the Padres’ Blake Snell
The MLB slate for Friday, June 4, is stacked with 15 evening/night games. The first five commence at 7:05 pm ET, including Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals facing Zack Wheeler and the Philadelphia Phillies in the first of a three-game set at Citizens Bank Park.
Pick #1: Nationals vs Phillies – First 3 Innings Under 1.5
|Team (Pitcher)||Moneyline||First 3 Innings Total|
|Nationals (Scherzer)||+100||Over 1.5 (-137)|
|Phillies (Wheeler)||-117||—>Under 1.5(+112)<—|
Odds as of June 4 at DraftKings.
Two-time Cy Young-winner Max Scherzer is just 4-4 on the year, but you can blame a lack of run support for that mediocre record. He been sharp, with a 2.34 ERA and outstanding 0.82 WHIP. He’s mostly dominated this Phillies lineup in his career, too. In 216 career at-bats, they are batting just .151 with a .178 on-base and miniscule .298 slugging percentage.
That said, two Phillies have enjoyed a great deal of success against Mad Max: Odubel Herrera (15-for-42 with two home runs and four doubles) and Brad Miller (5-for-10 with three homers). But Rhys Hoskins is 0-for-17 with ten strikeouts and both Bryce Harper and Didi Gregorius are on the shelf.
For the season, the Phillies have a bottom-half-of-the-league offense (4.13 runs per game) and will be without two key players.
On the other side will be a Washington team that is 23rd in runs per game (3.87 RPG) and facing a pitcher who has been red-hot at home. Zack Wheeler (2.52 ERA, 0.93 WHIP) has exceptional numbers for the year as a whole and, in his last three home starts, has surrendered just 11 hits and one run in 23.1 innings of work. It’s also been nearly two years since the Phillies have seen him.
Pick #2: Mets vs Padres – Over 7.0
Odds as of June 4 at DraftKings.
Usually, when you see a total at 7.0 for a Mets game, it’s either a seven-inning affair or Jacob deGrom is on the mound.
Neither of those is the case today. Joey Lucchesi and his 6.56 ERA take the mound for the Mets while Blake Snell (5.55 ERA) is on the bump for the Friars.
Many oddsmakers are still giving Snell the benefit of the doubt (also evidenced by San Diego’s -195 moneyline). But he just isn’t the same pitcher who won the 2018 Cy Young. His WHIP has been over 1.200 ever since, and this year has ballooned to 1.596 as walks have become an issue.
He doesn’t have much history against this Mets batting order, but what history there is doesn’t bode well for him. They are 17-for-56 (3.86 BA) with a .868 slugging percentage and whopping 1.282 OPS.
Even if Snell pitches a gem, the Padres could meet this total on their own. Lucchesi (a former Padre) is having the worst season of his short and unimpressive career, with a 6.56 ERA and 1.29 WHIP.
He has managed two scoreless appearances in his last four, but the Mets haven’t asked him to pitch more than four innings, sometimes out of the bullpen.
The biggest threat to the total here might be the Mets’ rock-solid relievers, who are second in the majors with a 3.63 xFIP. But again, we’re looking at total of 7.0, not 8.5.
Lastly, the wind should be blowing slightly out to right field tonight. It’s not much (5.0 mph) but it at least indicates that weather will be neutral, at worst.
Sascha was a hockey player in his youth, a lawyer in his capricious mid-20s, and has now been an assigning editor, writer, and lead oddsmaker for SBD for over five years. He covers everything you can possibly put odds on, but specializes in football, baseball, hockey, and basketball.