Best MLB Bets Today: Can Verlander Once Again Stifle the Tigers?

Written by: Michael Savio
Published June 14, 2024
5 min read

We have a pair of great afternoon bets for you today. The first involves a pitcher’s duel between the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros. The other features an interleague matchup as the Tampa Bay Rays square off against the Houston Astros. 

Below, we will share our favorite bet for each game and provide insights into why we love them. We’ll use odds from FanDuel Sportsbook, which offers a welcome bonus of $200 in Bonus Bets to new bettors who sign up and win their initial wager of $5+.

For more betting opportunities, check out our list of the best MLB betting sites and our curated list of MLB promos and bonuses.

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Best MLB Bets Today: Tigers vs. Astros (4:10 PM EST)

Under 7.5 (-110 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

This game features a fantastic pitching matchup featuring two veteran starters. The first is Jack Flaherty (3-4, 3.22 ERA), who has revived his broken career in Detroit. While health is always a concern, the 28-year-old played 29 games last season. That was the most since 2019, which was when Flaherty went 11-8 with an impressive 2.75 ERA. All those injuries and missed games took a toll on Flaherty’s numbers last season, but it appears he has finally regained his old form.

Flaherty’s most significant problem over the four seasons has been his control. It has led to him posting a WHIP over 1.55 or higher in the previous three seasons. However, the righty posted an impressive 0.96 WHIP in 2024, similar to the one he posted during his 2019 campaign. Flaherty is an elite pitcher when his stuff is working, which appears to be the case this season.

As impressive as the Astros offense is, they saw their scoring disappear in their previous series. They did face Flaherty last month, scoring three runs over 6 ⅔ innings. While that isn’t perfect, it is good enough to hit the under bet tonight.

Starting opposite of Flaherty is former MVP and three-time Cy Young winner Justin Verlander (3-2, 3.95 ERA). While the ace is not the pitcher he once was, he’s been a solid piece of the Astros rotation. His previous two starts weren’t good, but he will face a familiar foe in the Tigers tonight. Verlander faced his former team last month, throwing seven scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and two walks. 

Bet on Under -1.5 (+100) at FanDuel 

Best MLB Bets Today: Rays vs. Braves (4:10 PM EST)

Rays ML (+118 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

Even with the losses of Spencer Strider and Ronald Acuna Jr, nobody expected the Braves to struggle like they have been. They lost five of their previous six games heading into this series with the Rays, putting them nine behind the NL East-leading Phillies. Their losses have come against mediocre and bad teams like the Washington Nationals, who the Braves lost to in six of their eight matchups over the last two weeks. The Rays are a mediocre team like Washington, and we expect a similar result from the Braves.

Tampa will have Ryan Pepiot (4-3, 4.17 ERA, 1.01 WHIP) making the start today. The 26-year-old has been decent for the Rays but has yet to live up to the high expectations set when the team acquired from the Dodgers. However, his struggles have come when he is playing at home, where he is 1-3 with a 5.36 ERA. Pepiot has been a totally different pitcher on the road, where he is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA. 

Atlanta has some elite bats in their lineup, but they rank in the middle of the league in both batting average and runs scored. The loss of Acuna won’t help improve that, especially with Auston Riley continuing to struggle. The 27-year-old third baseman has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the last three seasons but has managed a .200 average with just three home runs in 2024. Without Riley and Acuna, this Braves lineup is no longer the beast it was last season.

The Braves will have 40-year-old Charlie Morton taking the mound against the Rays. The righty has been all over the map in 2024, and his worst outings have come at home. Morton is 1-2 with a 4.59 ERA over six home starts this season. While the old Braves offense could have made up for Morton’s struggles, that isn’t the case anymore. Look for Pepiot to out-duel Morton, setting up a Rays win. 

Bet on Rays ML (+118) at FanDuel 

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Michael Savio

Sports Betting Analyst

Expertise:
Gambling News
MLB
NCAAB
Online Sports Betting
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Political Science
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: BetMGM Casino
Experience:
3 years
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