A Friday night MLB play on a slow sports day: Best Bets for June 23

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Texas Rangers' Adolis Garcia (53) and Jonah Heim (28) exchange gestures after Heim's three-run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 21, 2023, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Quinn Harris)

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 23:

TOP PLAY

The play: MLB, Rangers money line over Yankees

The odds: -105

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:05 p.m. (MLB TV)

Our take: It’s a loaded weekend slate in Major League Baseball, with intriguing series between the Cincinnati Reds (11-game winning streak) and Atlanta Braves (8-game winning streak), plus the always-contentious Astros-Dodgers matchup on the West Coast.

Then there’s this series, between the surprising Texas Rangers, who have built a commanding 5½-game lead in the AL West, and the New York Yankees, who cruised to the AL East title a year ago but find themselves in the wild-card scrum in 2023, far behind the torrid pace of the Tampa Bay Rays.

That makes this a big series, and although you’re usually better off searching for plus money in MLB games, especially when backing road teams, we’ll break that rule here by going with the Rangers at a reasonable price. Texas has the better starting pitcher — Dane Dunning is 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA and has given up more than three earned runs in a start just once all season, while Clarke Schmidt hasn’t pitched into the seventh inning once and last won on May 19.

What’s more, the Yankees lineup without Aaron Judge hasn’t been close to the same, and the Rangers have the fourth-best road record in baseball at 22-15.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Thursday’s best bets

College World Series: LSU-Wake Forest, Paul Skenes UNDER 11.5 strikeouts (WON)

College World Series: LSU money line over Wake Forest (WON)

Thursday’s record: 2-0

Total for the week: 4-3, 1 pending

Total for June: 21-22, 1 pending

Total for 2023: 141-156, 1 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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