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Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Tuesday, August 31st (2021)

by August 31, 2021
MLB Wild Card Same Game Parlay Picks & Predictions: Mariners vs. Blue Jays (10/8)

As our run of consecutive profitable days has reached seven, we are getting a little unconventional with today’s picks, as we are wagering on two games between opponents who played yesterday and facing opponents who had an off day. In addition, we are diving into a player prop for a certain slugger who is on the verge of getting hot, and who we like to go deep tonight.

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: 150-123-7 (+10.08 units) 

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. To Hit a Home Run (+275)

Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is tied for second in the majors in home runs with 38, which trails the 42 by Shohei Ohtani and is tied with Salvador Perez. He had homered just once in his previous 19 games and had hit three total home runs in August after hitting at least seven in every month prior. Guerrero hit two against the Orioles last night, and we are banking on the fact that seeing one go over the fence can start a home run streak.

Guerrero Jr. faces Baltimore’s Keegan Akin (1-8, 7.26), against whom he is 2-for-6 in his career with two home runs. Two of Guerrero’s outs against Akin have been strikeouts, so it seems Vladdy takes an “all or nothing” approach when facing the lefty. Guerrero has hit six home runs in 112 at-bats against lefties this season, with an OPS of .844. However, Akin has allowed four home runs in his last 16 innings and has an OBA of .313 and a WHIP of 1.70 this season.

Akin’s 7.26 ERA is the highest among starting pitchers with at least 64 IP. His .611 slugging percentage allowed against the opposition’s heart of the order since the start of last season is the fourth-highest among qualified starters. Akin is as good a bet as any to serve one up to Guerrero Jr., and we are getting decent odds that he will finish August on a high note tonight.

Oakland Athletics ML (-120)

The Oakland Athletics benefited from having yesterday off while the Detroit Tigers played the Minnesota Twins in a makeup game of a contest that was postponed earlier. That is a big deal involving these teams, as the A’s are 8-0 when they have a rest advantage over their opponents, while the Tigers are 3-4 when they are at a rest disadvantage. 

Oakland looks to build off the momentum of halting the Yankees’ 13-game winning streak and taking the last two games against them to earn a four-game split. While Detroit is looking to claw back to .500 for the rest of the season, the A’s are the more motivated team fighting for their playoff lives. They enter this game twogames back of the Red Sox for the A.L.’s second wild card spot and have a better winning percentage on the road than at home this year.

Oakland’s Cole Irvin (9-12, 3.68) has an ERA more than a half-run lower in 12 road starts than 13 home starts, and his OBA, WHIP, and K:BB ratio are all better on the road as well. On the other hand, Detroit’s Tarik Skubal (8-11, 4.01) has won just once in his last seven starts and has pitched to a 5.63 ERA in that span. 

The A’s are 38-16 in their last 54 road games against a left-handed starter and are 9-3 in their previous 12 against teams with a losing record. In addition, they have won 15 of their last 18 road games against the Tigers, which has us confident in backing them at especially low odds.

Minnesota Twins ML (-145)

While we are backing the A’s, who have the rest advantage in their matchup, we also have money on the Twins, who have the rest disadvantage in their matchup. Minnesota is 1-3 in the four games where they have been at a rest disadvantage and hosts a Cubs team that is just 2-4 when they have had a rest advantage over their opponents. Given that these two teams appear headed in opposite directions, the value lies with the home favorites tonight.

Despite being sellers at the trade deadline, the Twins have played inspired baseball of late. In the last month, they have won series against four division leaders (Brewers, Rays, White Sox, Astros) and have lost two or more games in a row just once in that span. They enter this game having won three of their last four and have pitched exceptionally well in that span, allowing four or fewer runs three times. Tonight it is John Gant’s turn to keep the stellar pitching going. Gant (4-8, 4.00) is coming off two consecutive short outings against the Red Sox and Yankees but should have a much easier time against a Cubs lineup that ranks 20th or worse in batting average, OPS, and runs scored in August.

In his last seven starts, Chicago’s Zach Davies (6-10, 5.00) has just one win and a 6.88 ERA. He has won just two of his 12 starts on the road this season and has issued 34 walks compared to 45 strikeouts in 54.2 innings pitched on the road.

The Cubs are winless in Davies’ last four road starts, and the Twins are a great value to add to his road woes 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.

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