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MLB Odds, Betting Picks: Our Best Bets for Rays vs. Orioles, Rangers vs. Astros and More (May 21)

MLB Odds, Betting Picks: Our Best Bets for Rays vs. Orioles, Rangers vs. Astros and More (May 21) article feature image
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Stephen Maturen/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Verlander

  • The MLB slate for Saturday is already rolling along, but there's plenty of value still on the board.
  • Our analysts are targeting a pair of evening games, including Rays-Orioles and Rangers-Astros.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown and analysis from our best bets on Saturday's slate.

A doubleheader between the Mets and Rockies means we have a solid 16 games of MLB action on this Saturday and we’re looking for betting value all over the place.

Our analysts have found three areas to target, including an afternoon game in Toronto and evening starts in Baltimore and Houston.

Here are our three best bets from Saturday’s Major League Baseball slate.

MLB Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Cincinnati Reds vs. Toronto Blue Jays
3:07 p.m. ET
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles
7:05 p.m. ET
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros
7:10 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Reds vs. Toronto Blue Jays

Pick
Reds +220
Book
Caesars
Pitchers
Hunter Greene vs. Alek Manoah
First Pitch
3:07 p.m. ET

DJ James: Hunter Greene threw 7 1/3 shutout innings last week against the Pirates in a game where the Reds hilariously lost, 1-0. He’ll face the Blue Jays and Alek Manoah while his team misses multiple players due to the injured and restricted list since this game is played in Toronto and Canada requires a COVID-19 vaccination.

Joey Votto is back, however, and in May the Reds are actually an above-average offense against righties. They own a team 107 wRC+, and if people saw this in April they would be shell-shocked, considering how the season began.

Manoah is great, though. He owns a 2.41 xERA with an elite Statcast profile. He will go 5-7 innings for the Jays, as well. He has not necessarily been touched up against anyone this season, but the handicap is how poorly Toronto has hit righties.

The Blue Jays own an abysmal 75 wRC+ this month, which will not bode well. Greene may walk some hitters and throw a relatively flat fastball, but he still throws the ball in the upper 90s or low 100s. This should be enough to get through that struggling Toronto lineup.

Cincinnati holds value to squeeze out a tight, low-scoring affair here. Take the Reds at +220. Play to +175.

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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles

Pick
First Five Innings Under 4.5 (-110)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Jeffrey Springs vs. Kyle Bradish
First Pitch
7:05 p.m. ET

Anthony Dabbundo: It’s a youth movement in Baltimore as top prospect Adley Rutschmannmakes his MLB debut behind the plate and rookie Kyle Bradish starts on the hill for the Orioles.

Bradish has been very underrated in the market since joining the staff last month. He may have a 5.06 ERA, but he has above-average stuff+ metrics, based on Eno Sarris’ data from The Athletic. His xERA is below 4 and I trust his well above-average K/BB ratio to stick for him in MLB.

His command is clearly above average and has been since the upper minors. He’s striking out more than 25% of hitters, too. Bradish faced some difficult matchups thus far, but the Rays are not a particularly difficult one.

While Bradish has struggled to keep the ball in the yard, he should benefit from pitching with the pushed back fence in left field at Camden Yards.

Jeffrey Springs has quietly been elite for Tampa Bay as a 3-4 inning type pitcher as he’s allowed just a 3.6% barrel rate, isn’t walking anyone and is still striking out more than 25% of hitters.

I’m sticking to the first five innings because of last night’s long extra inning game that overworked the bullpens, but this total is too high given both pitchers are underrated.

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Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros

Pick
Astros -1.5 (-110)
Book
DraftKings
Pitchers
Jon Gray vs. Justin Verlander
First Pitch
7:10 p.m. ET

Jules Posner: The Houston Astros are finally looking like themselves again and have surged up the AL West standings, while overtaking the Los Angeles Angels. The Rangers have been playing better, going 6-4 over their last 10 games, but they are still under .500.

Justin Verlander takes the mound for the Astros and although his home splits don’t look as impressive in relation to his overall numbers, this could be a situation where he can positively regress.

The Rangers’ offense is 27th in MLB in team wRC+ against RHP on the road so far this month. Verlander’s 5.14 FIP home FIP might make bettors give some pause, but the Rangers’ offense could be a perfect get well situation for the Astros ace.

Additionally, the Astros offense has been mashing again. They are fourth in MLB this month in team wRC+ against RHP at home and Rangers’ starter, Jon Gray, has struggled on the road so far this season.

Although both bullpens are solid, the Astros’ pen has the slight edge and their offense might be too much for the Rangers’ pitching staff to overcome.

The Astros’ run line is -110 at the moment and if it stays around there up to -125, it should be taken. Looks like the big money is moving that direction as well.


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