Pitcher props in Blue Jays-Mets and a fun Friday baseball parlay: Best Bets for June 2

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New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) in the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Friday, June 2:

TOP PLAY

The play: Chris Bassitt OVER 4.5 strikeouts and Justin Verlander UNDER 5.5 strikeouts in Blue Jays vs. Mets

The odds: +270

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:10 p.m. (MLB TV)

Our take: Anyone who has been paying attention to baseball this year knows that Justin Verlander looks to have fallen off a cliff. Although I have confidence the 40-year-old will recover eventually, tonight likely won’t be that night, at least not as far as strikeouts are concerned.

The Toronto Blue Jays don’t strike out much at all. In fact, Milwaukee Brewers pitchers failed to record a single strikeout in Wednesday’s game versus the Jays. Toronto strikes out just an average of 7.72 times per game — 3.00 in its last three — which is good for fifth in the league.

Verlander has only reached 6+ strikeouts once this year. That was on May 10 against the Cincinnati Reds when he fanned seven batters. Otherwise, the $86 million man has fallen short of expectations with only 22 strikeouts and a 4.80 ERA in five starts.

On the other side of the aisle, I like Chris Bassitt to record more than his projected strikeout total (4.5). Bassitt is facing his old team for the first time, so he’ll be eager to earn bragging rights over some familiar faces.

Even though the New York Mets don’t strike out too often (7.26 times per game, third best in the league), Bassitt claims many strikeout victims with his elite eight-pitch arsenal. He has reached 5+ strikeouts in eight of his 10 starts this season and boasts a strikeout percentage over 20%, which is exactly why we like him to sit down at least five Mets hitters tonight.

FUN FRIDAY BASEBALL PARLAY

The play: Astros/Angels ZERO first inning runs, LSU money line over Tulane, Texas A&M money line over Cal State Fullerton

The odds: +221

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: Tulane at LSU, 3 p.m. (ESPNU); Angels at Astros, 8:10 p.m. (MLB TV); Cal State Fullerton vs. Texas A&M, 10 p.m. (ESPN+)

Our take: Two parlays in one day? We’re here to have a bit of fun this Friday. We’ve taken three plays with juiced odds — responsible ones that I feel good about — and parlayed them all to give us a plus sign on the ticket.

For the first pick, “No Run First Inning” plays have been taking over the baseball betting scene this season. This game is an excellent candidate for this type of wager as you have two ace pitchers on the mound in Shohei Ohtani (Angels) and Framber Valdez (Astros). There is a lot of pop in both lineups, we’re banking on the pitchers to get it done early tonight, though.

The next two picks need little explanation.

LSU is one of the best teams in the country. As for Tulane, well, it simply isn’t on the same level and it is lucky to even be playing postseason baseball after posting a 19-40 record in the regular season. The Green Wave will be overwhelmed by the Tigers’ high-flying offense.

As for Texas A&M, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Aggies in Omaha in a few weeks’ time. They’re getting hot at just the right time after marching through a gauntlet of Arkansas (x2), LSU and South Carolina to reach the SEC Championship Game. Texas A&M would go on to lose to Vanderbilt, but it announced its presence to the country nonetheless. Watch out, Cal State Fullerton.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

NBA Finals Game 1: Heat +9 over Nuggets (LOST)

NBA Finals Game 1: Under 219 (WON)

Thursday’s record: 1-1, 2 pending

Total for the week: 2-4, 2 pending

Total for June: 1-1

Total for 2023: 121-133, 2 pending

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).

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