If you've been betting the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles on a daily basis in July, your rent or mortgage is basically taken care of. In fact, you might even be able to squeeze a mini-vacation out of the two teams as well.
On June 19, the Seattle Mariners fell to 29-39 after losing four of five to the Los Angeles Angels. It looked like it was going to be a disappointing season for the Mariners, a team that finished with 90 wins last year and narrowly missed the postseason on the final weekend of the year. They added Robbie Ray, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez and, of course, AL Rookie of the Year favorite Julio Rodriguez. They were supposed to take a step forward this year, not a step back.
Well, it looks like they've finally taken that step forward. The Mariners have won 11 straight games and have won 19 of their last 22. They're now six games over .500 and sit comfortably in a wild-card spot in the AL.
If you've bet the Mariners in every game during their 11-game winning streak, you'd be up 11.9 units. It looked like the streak was going to end on Thursday night, but the Mariners erased a 5-1 deficit against the Texas Rangers with a two-run seventh and three-run eighth inning. The Mariners are -165 favorites on Friday night against the Rangers, with Robbie Ray on the mound for Seattle.
While the Mariners have been impressive, there might be an even more surprising team on the circuit.
Last season, the Baltimore Orioles won 52 games. They finished the season 58 games under .500 and tied for the worst record in baseball with the Arizona Diamondbacks. This year, the Orioles find themselves over .500 entering the final weekend before the All-Star break, and the playoffs are suddenly not a crazy thought. Baltimore is just 1.5 games behind the reeling Toronto Blue Jays for the final playoff spot in the AL wild-card race.
Baltimore has won 10 straight games, and bettors are up 10.6 units if they've backed Baltimore throughout the winning streak. What's most surprising is that Baltimore has been favored or very short underdogs in most of these games, a far cry from the wild numbers we were seeing on Baltimore earlier this season and last season. They've played some lesser competition in the Rangers, Angels and Cubs, to be fair. They face a stiffer test this weekend when they visit Tampa Bay. The Orioles are short +105 underdogs on Friday night.
What else is on the MLB schedule?
It's a Friday, which means a loaded 15-game slate for baseball in Its final weekend before the all-star break.
There's one lone afternoon game, the traditional Friday afternoon game at Wrigley between the Cubs and the New York Mets. The Mets thumped the Cubs by a score of 8-0 in the series opener on Thursday, but they're just a short -130 favorite on the road on Friday afternoon. Taijuan Walker takes the mound for the Mets, and he's been phenomenal holding down the fort while Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer return from injury. Walker has a 2.63 ERA on the season. UPDATE: The Mets-Cubs game has been postponed.
The Red Sox and Yankees meet for a second straight weekend after the two teams split a four-game set last weekend at Fenway. This time around, the Yankees are home and are -165 favorites in the series opener with Jordan Montgomery on the mound. Quietly, the Yankees are struggling a bit. They just dropped a series to the lowly Cincinnati Reds and are just 6-7 over their last 13 games. Still the best team in baseball, but more pedestrian as of late.
The Blue Jays lost as -350 favorites on Thursday night, and they're once again massive -350 favorites against a Kansas City Royals team that had to leave half their roster at the border due to being unvaccinated. You can't trust this Toronto team right now, especially at that number.
Johnny Cueto pitched a gem for the White Sox on Thursday night to get them the win in the series opener against Minnesota. The White Sox are four games back of the Twins in the AL Central and have three games remaining in this series to attempt to close that gap. Chicago is a +120 underdog with Michael Kopech on the mound.
What else is there to bet on?
The Open Championship is in progress as the second round is ongoing. At time of writing, Cameron Smith is atop the leaderboard at 10-under through eight holes on the second day. He is now a +320 betting favorite at BetMGM on the live lines.
Pre-tournament favorite Rory McIlroy has the second best odds at +450. He just tee'd off in Round 2, but had a solid 6-under 66 in the opening round. Cameron Young is +800, Dustin Johnson is +900 and Scottie Scheffler is 10-to-1.
UFC Fight Night hits the brand new UBS Arena on Long island on Saturday and Brian Ortega is a -175 favorite in the main event against Yair Rodriguez. You can check out a more in depth breakdown here.
For the basketball fans, there are seven summer league games and two WNBA games on Friday's schedule.