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Top MLB Betting Picks for Saturday, July 31st (2021)

by July 31, 2021
Giancarlo Stanton

That was one crazy deadline, eh? The MLB trade deadline unfolded with fervor over the final 48 hours. The results have several contending rosters aligned nicely for the stretch run of the season.

Massive movement around the league means bettors need to prepare for changes on the fly for the Saturday slate. Scheduled starters that were traded must be replaced in their former team’s lineup. Keep your eyes peeled for all the news around the game before locking in your bets this weekend.

We’re targeting an afternoon over and a couple of ‘Big Apple’ run lines in the evening for this Saturday’s slate.

(Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

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

Kansas City Royals / Toronto Blue Jays, Over 10.0 (-115)

The Blue Jays enjoyed their return to Toronto Friday amid the loosening COVID restrictions in Canada. They celebrated the occasion with a 6-4 win over the Royals. The runs should rain down at Rogers Centre once again on Saturday.

Toronto’s Alek Manoah has demonstrated an exceptional strikeout weapon so far in his rookie season. In his previous two starts, he mowed down 19 batters in just over 10 innings. Should he take the mound Saturday, though, it will be his first outing since July 9th. The rookie starter spent his last few weeks on the injured list with a back contusion. Manoah suffered a slip-and-fall on some rain-soaked dugout steps—Ouch.

For a young pitcher to find his groove as Manoah had in early July only to be forced out of action suddenly due to a bizarre injury must have been a frustrating experience. He’ll surely be raring to go Saturday. That eagerness could work to his detriment depending on how effectively he begins the game. If Manoah finds himself a bit over-amped coming into his first start fresh off the IL, this feels like a game that has the potential to get sloppy on Saturday afternoon.

Manoah has failed to escape the fourth inning in three of his eight starts this season. The Jays may play things conservatively with his health should he make the start as expected on Saturday. On the other side, it’ll be Mike Minor taking the ball for the Royals.

Minor hasn’t had a great season, scuffling with a 5.32 ERA in 21 starts. He suffered a particularly troublesome stretch of outings in late June/early July, in which he surrendered a whopping 24 earned runs in 20 innings. Though Minor has since settled things down over his last couple of starts, we’re looking for him to revert to those difficult days when he gets a load of the Blue Jays lineup on Saturday.

The Royals lefty has faced the Blue Jays once this season. The contest came back on April 17 when he allowed four earned runs and two long bombs in a loss. Toronto has the punch in their lineup to contribute to another scoring barrage against Minor before hopefully adding to their total against the Kansas City bullpen. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has a blast to his name against Minor, so perhaps that success will continue in the pair’s next meeting Saturday.

Another feather in our cap for this wager is the possibility that either Brad Hand or Jordan Romano is unavailable for the day game Saturday after appearing for Toronto in Friday night’s win. We’re looking to get both starters out early in this game. Then, the questionable bullpens can do their part to push this total over 10.

New York Yankees -1.5 (+115)

The Bronx Bombers are aptly named following the additions of Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo to the lineup.

In his Yankees debut Friday, Rizzo unloaded on one into the second deck at Marlins Park. Just wait until he gets to Yankee Stadium to take advantage of that short porch in right field.

Nevertheless, the trade waves have left the Yanks with a lineup that features a modern-day Murderers’ Row. Gallo, Aaron Judge, Rizzo, and Giancarlo Stanton—it’s preposterous power. Then consider that the Marlins went to bed Friday night without announcing their starting pitcher for the next day. You’ve got the potential for a good old-fashioned beatdown on Saturday evening in Miami.

The Yankees will turn to Domingo German fresh off of one of the best outings of his career. 2021 has been an up-and-down affair for German, but he was absolute nails on July 25 against the Red Sox. German carried a no-no into the eighth and ultimately allowed just one run, punching out 10. Though he was a long reliever as recently as mid-July, German has a chance to build off his recent success as a starter.

Look for him to shove on a depleted Marlins team Saturday. And expect the Yankees bats to impose their will more heavily than they did in a 3-1 win Saturday en route to covering this -1.5 run line posted at DraftKings Sportsbook.

New York Mets -1.5 (+160)

Mets fans must feel as though they died and went to… well, wherever Mets fans believe they go when they die. Port St. Lucie? Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment? I have no idea. The point is, Mets fans are pretty ecstatic following a trade deadline that left their favorite team with a middle infield alignment of Francisco Lindor and Javier Baez.

The fans in Queens weren’t thrilled about Friday’s 6-2 loss to the Reds. But that happened without the benefit of Baez in the starting lineup. Baez should join his new team in time for Saturday evening’s matchup against Cincy starter Wade Miley. The 34-year-old pitcher has had a surprisingly good run in the Reds rotation this season (8-4, 2.86 ERA). He looked pretty mediocre in his most recent outing, however. If Miley struggles again with command on Saturday as he did with five walks on Monday, it’s going to be a long night against a New York lineup that should be rejuvenated by El Mago’s arrival.

Here’s another fun possible tidbit for this matchup: Baez could face off once again against Reds reliever Amir Garrett just days after the game-ending confrontation, for which Baez was fined for being a little too enthusiastic during a walk-off hit over Garrett. The potential for more fireworks is tantalizing.

The Mets will send Rich Hill to the mound for his second start with his new club following last week’s trade. Hill provided an underwhelming but passable performance (5 IP, 3 ER) in his first start with the Mets. He will look to impress to a greater extent Saturday against a talented Reds lineup that features Joey Votto on an incredible streak of seven straight games with a home run.

The lefty Hill snaps that streak in a quality start Saturday as LGM officially welcomes Javy Baez to the New York family.

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Brenden Schaeffer is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Brenden, check out his archive and follow him @bschaeffer12.

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