MLB 2021 Covering The Bases Weekly Betting Guide

by: Tom Isbister (@IsbisterTom) and Will Rosenblatt (@rozenwill)

Welcome to theBRKDWN’s midweek MLB betting guide. Here, you can find the matchups for each series, as well as betting advice based on finding value plays compared to the market odds. Come back on Friday for the weekend picks.

All lines are provided by Bet365 & FiveThirtyEight. Start times are in Eastern Standard. 


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Last Week: 4-0, Season 30-16

Braves @ Mets, POSTPONED
Blue Jays 5-Inning ML @ Indians, Win
Athletics vs Angels, Win
Padres @ Astros, Win
Rays vs Phillies, Win

Weekend Matchups

Dodgers @ BravesIndians @ OriolesNationals @ Phillies
Red Sox @ YankeesMarlins @ PiratesAstros @ Blue Jays
Rays @ RangersTwins @ RoyalsDiamondbacks @ Brewers
Reds @ CardinalsAthletics @ RockiesMariners @ Angels
Tigers @ White SoxMets @ PadresCubs @ Giants

Betting Advice

Nationals @ Phillies (Friday, 7:05pm)

We have a really good pitching matchup in this one with Zack Wheeler facing off vs Max Scherzer. Scherzer’s name has the star power, but Wheeler has been just a little better this year. He strikes guys out and commands the strike zone, giving him one of the ten best K/BB ratios in the MLB this year. He hasn’t allowed much hard contact either. This looks sustainable.

Betting against an ace like Scherzer is always risky. I don’t love doing it. The Nationals offence makes me feel a lot better about it though. Over the last week, only the Rangers have hit worse than Washington. Since May 27th, the Nats have only scored more than three runs twice. A couple of shutouts are mixed in there too. In that same time span, the Phillies offense has been one of the ten best in baseball, even without Bryce Harper. I think Wheeler takes advantage of a poor Nationals lineup and the Phillies create enough runs to get their second win in a row.


Indians, -110 @ Orioles (Friday, 7:05pm)

Somehow the line for this game is -110 aside. This could be a trap game but the line seems way too favorable for the Orioles, which is why I’m talking the Indians. Baltimore comes off taking two of three from the Twins, big whoop. Cleveland on the other hand is coming off a fantastic series versus the White Sox and Blue Jays. Neither team has anything major going for or against them in this one, pitching, hitting, all equal. Get this line early because Cleveland at -110 is a steal against the lonely Orioles.


White Sox vs Tigers, -145 (Saturday, 2:10pm)

Fade the Tigers season hasn’t been as profitable of late as one might think, the lines are starting to equalize a bit more. Detroit is sending lefty Tarik Skubal up against Lucas Giolito. The White Sox have hit lefties harder this year than right-handers (.277 vs .248). At home, during the day, the White Sox bats could really come alive here. I would have no worry with betting against the Tigers and hoping it works out, let alone versus the White Sox.


Athletics @ Rockies (Friday, 9:10pm)

We go to Coors Field here, which is always fun, isn’t it? Frankie Montas takes the ball for Oakland against Jon Gray for Colorado. Neither one has been stellar on the year, but they haven’t been disappointments. Montas has been plagued by inconsistency this year, but in four of his last five starts, he’s allowed two or less runs. Jon Gray has an ERA of 3.71, which is forgivable when a lot of your starts come at Coors. 

I like the Athletics here. I mentioned that Montas has been pitching well, which is a plus, but as a team, Oakland has the second-best run differential in baseball over their last three games and has been seeing the ball well. They are looking to make it three wins in a row against a Rockies team that really, well, just isn’t good. I like the Athletics to get the win here.


Sunday Night Special

Yankees vs Red Sox (7:08pm)

Normally it doesn’t take a third of the way through the season to see our first Red Sox vs Yankees series, but here we are, and they get the Sunday Night special. All year the Red Sox have been overachieving and being carried by the bat. In their last 5 games, they’ve scored on average just 2.4 runs. Including back-to-back one-run games against the Astros. The Yankees have been better of late, and getting back on track, but are still underachieving their full potential. They put up a fight against the really hot Rays and come into this series fairing better against a higher quality of competition than the Red Sox.

Both pitchers are of equal quality too. Richards is 4-4, 3.75ERA, 1.40WHIP, 52K’s. German is 4-3, 3.27ERA, 1.04WHIP, 52K’s. The slight edge goes to German, who is also coming off a strong no-decision versus the Rays, and a strong start versus the Jays a week prior. Depending on how this series plays out. If the Red Sox bats stay cold, I think it is easy to take the Yankees in this one. Even if they pick up, the Yankees should wake up and get ready for this battle, it will be a good series either way. 

Some Other Notes and Injury Updates

  • Some hot teams you might want to back include the Royals, Blue Jays, Phillies, and Dodgers
  • Some cold teams you might want to fade include the Rangers, Nationals, Rockies, and Angels
  • If you like strikeouts, check out the aforementioned Phillies and Nationals game. Since May 12, Zach Wheeler is striking out batters over 40% of the time. Scherzer, 38% of the time.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr leads the majors with 3.5 Wins Above Replacement. Nick Castellanos is second with a 3.0 WAR. The difference between first and second is as big as the difference between second and ninth.
  • More on Vlad, through 54 games he’s slashing .335AVV/ .440OPB/ .665SLG. It’s been over 90 years since anyone has hit that well at this point in the year. He also has a mind-boggling 1.475OPS at home. 
  • Madison Bumgarner and Stephen Strasburg were both placed on the IL this week.
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