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Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Tuesday, August 17th (2021)

by August 17, 2021
Paul Goldschmidt MVP

As we hinted at in yesterday’s daily picks column, oddsmakers are facing a bit of a conundrum with so many teams playing poor baseball lately. That issue was felt yesterday across all sportsbooks, particularly at DraftKings, where they had significant liability on the Dodgers and Rays. Both teams won outright, though the Dodgers failed to cover the -1.5 runline. One of these teams makes today’s column, as we suspect oddsmakers are getting a little too crazy with their numbers lately to limit their vulnerability.

Here are my MLB top betting plays for Tuesday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

YTD: 132-114-6 (+2.14 units)

New York Yankees ML G2 of Doubleheader (+120)

The Yankees are home underdogs for just the fifth time all season this afternoon when they take on the Boston Red Sox in the first game of a doubleheader. One of the biggest reasons the Yankees are home ‘dogs is the unfriendly way the schedule played out, with them making up a July rainout against the Angels when yesterday should have been an off day. Meanwhile, the Red Sox come into this game having Monday off and feeling good about themselves after routing the Orioles in a three-game sweep over the weekend.

Despite the inconvenient way the schedule broke for New York, the trends suggest that it is not such a bad thing. The Yankees are 5-1 when they have been at a rest disadvantage and are 3-1 in four games as home ‘dogs. Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (10-7, 3.86) has had his way with the Yankees this year, allowing just five earned runs in 26.1 combined innings this year. Unfortunately, Boston wasted some of those strong efforts, as the team is just 2-2 in his four starts against the Yankees this year.

Yankees rookie Luis Gil (1-0, 0.00) faces his toughest test yet, after starts against the Orioles and Mariners to open his big league career. We think he will be up for the challenge, as he has shown impressive command (14:3 K:BB ratio) and an OBA of .150 to go with an 0.82 WHIP. This is New York’s 20th game in their last 21 days, and that many games over an extended period typically mean a taxed bullpen. However, this seven-inning game mitigates that concern, provided Gil rises to the occasion and does not let the moment get too big.

The Red Sox are 0-5 in Eovaldi’s last five road starts and are 1-6 in their previous seven road games against teams with a winning record. In addition, a three-game sweep of the hapless Orioles does not mask that this team had lost 11 of their last 14 games.

St. Louis Cardinals ML (+120)

The St. Louis Cardinals have re-announced themselves as a team to be reckoned with, after six consecutive wins over the Royals and Pirates and eight wins in their last nine games. Though the competition has not been the stiffest, the winning streak should have revitalized a team that now finds themselves 4.5 games back of the second wild card.

St. Louis’s Nolan Arenado is catching fire at the right time, homering in three consecutive games. He is slugging .783 with a 1.196 OPS over the last week. Teammate Paul Goldschmidt has chipped in with a .348 batting average, and the team is hitting .282 in the current winning streak.

Betting against Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes (7-4, 2.23) seems like blasphemy, especially considering he is coming off a dominant 15 strikeout performance. Burnes has allowed just one earned run and struck out 20 batters over his last 15 innings. However, he is just 1-3 with a 4.40 ERA in nine career appearances (six starts) against the Cardinals. In addition, his 121 innings pitched so far this year are already more than double his previous career-high of 59.2 innings. Thus, we are betting on regression the rest of the way, as Burnes has never endured such a heavy workload.

Veteran Adam Wainwright (11-6, 3.27) is the perfect person to have on the mound to oppose Burnes in the series opener. Wainwright has allowed current Brewers hitters to bat .241 in 97 combined career plate appearances against him, but he has not allowed a home run in that span, and the Brewers have slugged just .310 against him.

The over is 5-0-1 in Burnes’ last six road starts, and we are hoping that means the Cardinals will do their part in scoring runs tonight.

Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 runs (+125)

There is not much to say about a team that has lost 12 of its last 14 games, including seven of its last eight road games. The Dodgers have also won 14 consecutive games against the Pirates, including last night’s 2-1 victory in the series opener. While we typically only play favorites laying the -1.5 runs on the runline, our feeling is that oddsmakers are overcompensating too much with this line, knowing that bettors are going to once again pound the Dodgers just like 93% of them did yesterday.

If Walker Buehler or Max Scherzer were starting for the Dodgers, this would be a complete stay-away. However, are we sure that David Price (4-1, 3.60) deserves to have moneyline odds of steeper than -300 at this point in his career? The Dodgers are just 1-5 in Price’s last six starts, including losses to the Rockies and Diamondbacks, two of the National League’s worst teams. 

Pittsburgh’s Wil Crowe (3-7, 5.27) has pitched well enough recently to warrant at least a runline bet, as he has allowed more than three earned runs just once in his last seven starts. If you dare to be bold, Pittsburgh’s moneyline odds have a lot more value, but we are happy enough to take the +1.5 runs at plus money.

MLB Prop Bets

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

Baseball, Picks