American League Recap & Best Bets – July 31, 2022

American League

Last Night’s American League Highlights

Judge on pace for 67 HRs

Aaron Judge hit his American League leading 42nd HR of the season in the Yankee’s 102nd game. Some simple math gives us a pace of 66.7 HRs projected for him over the course of the full season. Roger Maris’ club record of 61 HRs in 1961 appears in serious jeopardy at this point. The MLB record of 73 by Barry Bonds would require a huge final two months of the season for Judge to equal, but it is not out of the question.

With the homer, Judge aged 30, also became the second fastest player in MLB to reach the 200 HR total for his career in his 671st game. Aaron was able to retrieve the ball from an outfield fan and said it would likely be placed on his parent’s mantel beside a growing collection of mementoes.

The Yankees won the game easily 8-2 over the Royals extending their lead in the American League to 12.5 games over the Blue Jays.

Today’s Marquee Matchup

Astros (Odorizzi) Vs Mariners (Kirby), 2:10 EST

The best game of the day in the American League once again takes place in Houston with the Mariners in town. Seattle won a highly emotional game last night 5-4. Abraham Toro hit a 2-run single in the bottom of the 9th vaulting the Mariners to their first win over the Astros in their last 7 attempts.

Toro was pinch-hitting for rookie All-Star Julio Rodriguez who was struck in the hand by a pitch while striking out. He was pulled from the game before his next at-bat after being unable to properly grip his bat. Mariners fans hold their breath today waiting for the result of the x-ray, but the play did not look good for Julio and a broken finger seems likely.

The pitching line-up for this matchup features two starters further down the depth chart for the clubs. Jake Odorizzi has been inconsistent with flashes of brilliance this season, but still holds down the 5th spot in what may be the best rotation in the American League.

The Mariners put their faith in rookie George Kirby to start a critical game. Kirby has performed above expectation for his club thus far as Seattle tries to win the weekend series in Houston.

Today’s American League Best Bets

July’s Best Bets: 32-24, +6.36 Units

UFC 277 took place last night in Dallas and the card was better than many had expected. There were several quality finishes, but the most entertaining fight was the main event. Julianna fought bravely but in the end, the talent differential between her and the UFC female goat, Amanda Nunes, was too great. I had just a small wager on the underdog champion dropping my July results slightly with one more day of action left in MLB.

MLB: Brewers (Ashby) [-135] @ Red Sox (Winckowski) $

There is very little to convince to lay money on the Red Sox right now. They are simply playing bad baseball. Boston cannot field the ball without making their fans tense up at even routine plays. Their starting pitching is unreliable and features a couple of raw rookies. They cannot get clutch hitting when they need it either.

The Brewers come into this game with a sparkling 31-24 road record on the season including two wins at Fenway already this weekend. They picked up 7 wins in their last 8 tries, and hold a solid 4-game lead in the NL Central over the Cardinals. Aaron Ashby had some struggles this season so far, but I like him in this matchup over the rookie Josh Winckowski for Boston.

I’ll lay the road money here on the team playing much better ball at the moment.

MLB: Orioles (Voth) [+110] @ Reds (Lodolo) $

The Orioles continue to get very little respect from the betting public. I expected to see more of an adjustment on Baltimore after the tremendous 16-8 July they put together. I would certainly rank them high than Boston right now, so I was surprised to see them still listed as underdogs today against the dismal Reds.

A wild card birth in the American League is not yet out of the question for the Orioles and rumours have them potentially being buyers at the trade deadline for the first time that I can even remember.

Austin Voth gets the start today for Baltimore but he is more of a spot bullpen starter right now and is likely to be on a short hook if he gets in trouble early. But the Oriole’s bullpen is much better than the Red’s which is the primary reason for Cinncinati’s poor record this year. Rookie starter Nick Lodolo makes just his 8th career start today for the Reds.

The Orioles are simply the better team in this matchup and I like taking the money.


Subscribe to my SubStack to get my daily Best Bets for MLB American League, NCAAF, NBA, & UFC delivered directly to your inbox by Noon EST daily. 

I also coach live poker players, helping them win more often.  Of course, you can follow more of my NBA writings here at Last Word on Sports or find me on Twitter to stay updated on my latest blogs and helpful tips to grow your bankroll. CloudBet provides American League Odds as of writing time.

Legend: $ one unit regular bet, $$ two units best bet, * prop bets .5 units

Picture of Jason Grad

Jason Grad

Helping serious betters and collectors win more often and grow their portfolios. Follow me on Twitter for my daily sports picks and NFT portfolio management advice.

Recent Posts

Sign up for My Newsletter

Exclusive handicapping reports right to your inbox.