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Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Tuesday, August 24th (2021)

by August 24, 2021
Madison Bumgarner

After a seven-game slate in the MLB to start the week, we ramp things up like usual on a Tuesday with all 30 teams in action. Of the new series to commence today, the three most captivating ones are between the Rays and Phillies, Giants and Mets, Reds and Brewers, and Dodgers and Padres. The Phillies, Reds, and Padres are all underdogs and are similarly fighting for their playoff lives. However, the games are equally crucial to the Giants and Dodgers, who seem destined to duke it out for the NL West crown until the last day of the regular season.

Do any of these intriguing contests make today’s best bets column?

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: 139-120-7 (+3.34 units)

Angels-Orioles OVER 10.5 runs (-115)

The Los Angeles Angels arrive in Baltimore looking to extend the Orioles’ 18-game losing streak. If Los Angeles sweeps the three-game series, the 21 consecutive losses will match Baltimore’s franchise record set in 1988. Unfortunately, oddsmakers have taken all the value out of the Angels’ moneyline odds, given how poorly Baltimore has played of late. However, the fact that they are sending a pitcher to the mound with a 6.04 ERA suggests we should see some offensive fireworks tonight.

Los Angeles’s Dylan Bundy (2-9, 6.04) has made four consecutive starts after his previous four appearances were out of the bullpen. Bundy had an ERA of at least 6.89 in each of the last three months, so the trends suggest he is due for some regression to the mean after pitching to a 3.00 ERA thus far in August. His 6.04 ERA is the tenth-highest among pitchers with at least 61 innings pitched. Even if Bundy fares well early in the game, his 1.128 OPS allowed when he faces a lineup for the third time in a game is the fourth-highest among all starting pitchers.

Baltimore’s Spenser Watkins (2-5, 5.63) has allowed four earned runs in each of his last five starts. Watkins’ recent failures are part of a team-wide struggle to keep runs off the board, especially at home. Baltimore has allowed a league-most 6.26 runs per game at home this season, and their .292 OBA allowed by starting pitchers is the highest in baseball. Watkins is allowing a .313 OBA through four August starts, which summarizes how much he has struggled compared to the rest of the league.

The over has cashed in each of Watkins’ last four starts as a home underdog and is 5-2 in the previous seven meetings between these teams. So while there is not much value in the other lines on this game, the over still provides some.

Arizona Diamondbacks ML (-120)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road over the last several years, winning ten of their previous 12 road meetings. Arizona’s road woes have been well-documented, as they are just 15-48 away from home this year. However, they have their ace toeing the rubber and face the second-worst home team in the majors.

Madison Bumgarner (7-7, 4.06) has been on fire of late, pitching to a 1.93 ERA over his last seven starts. Bumgarner’s OBA and WHIP are better on the road than at home this season. He held the Pirates to one run in five innings in a no-decision on July 21 and will be out to prove that his one strikeout that day was a fluke. The top of Pittsburgh’s lineup better do damage to Bumgarner because he has dominated the bottom of opposing lineups all season. His .203 OBP and .214 slugging percentage allowed to the bottom of opposing batting orders ranks seventh and tenth-best respectively among starting pitchers with at least 61 IP.

Pittsburgh’s JT Brubaker (4-13, 5.49) has not won a start since May 29. On that day, his ERA was 3.74 but has ballooned primarily due to his 9.09 ERA over his last seven starts. He has allowed an OBA of .328 and a WHIP of 2.00 in three August starts, and the Arizona lineup should feast on him tonight.

The under is 4-0-1 in Bumgarner’s last five starts and is 4-0-2 in Pittsburgh’s last six games against a left-handed starter. Both of those trends have us confident in the Pirates’ inability to score runs tonight.

Tampa Bay Rays ML (-125)

Tonight’s series opener between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies should see plenty of relievers called upon to get outs. Tampa Bay’s Drew Rasmussen (1-1, 3.64) has not thrown more than four innings in any appearance this season, while Philadelphia’s Ranger Suarez (5-4, 1.47) has also not reached the fifth inning in any of his four starts. Thus, in what will turn into a quasi-bullpen game, the clear advantage goes to the Rays.

Tampa Bay’s bullpen leads all of baseball with a 6.8 WAR and a 3.05 ERA. That ERA is a half-run lower than the major’s fifth-best bullpen. Comparatively, Philadelphia’s bullpen ranks 22nd in ERA and 29th in WAR.

The minute that Philadelphia regained first place in the NL East, they went into a 4-8 skid, and many of the vulnerabilities they showed much of the year resurfaced over the last two weeks. The Rays are a much more complete baseball team, but the thing giving them the most significant edge tonight is their advantage in the bullpen.

The Rays have won five consecutive games against the Phillies and will make it six straight tonight.

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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