MLB Odds & Picks: 3 Best Bets, Including Rays vs. Blue Jays & Athletics vs. Angels (Saturday, May 22)
Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images. Pictured: Oakland’s Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty and Ramon Laureano.
- A Saturday full of MLB baseball brings a day full of value for bettors.
- Our team of MLB betting analysts broke down the full slate and found value on two games, with opposing picks on the Rays vs. Blue Jays game.
- Check out the trio's breakdowns below for the picks that MLB bettors should target on Saturday.
There's a plethora of games throughout the day of Saturday, including six set for first pitch under the lights. Here are three best bets from the night slate from two games, including dueling picks on Rays-Blue Jays.
MLB Odds & Picks
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Collin Whitchurch: Shane McClanahan has been steady and effective since joining the Tampa rotation at the end of April. While he gave up a pair of dingers and was somewhat hit around his last time out against the Mets, he can pretty much be counted on to limit the damage over 4-5 innings for the Rays each time out.
In a limited sample size, his xFIP is more than a full run lower than his ERA, which makes sense because he's mostly limited baserunners, misses bats at an above-average rate, and has been dinged for a .333 BABIP in the early going.
Robbie Ray is one of the most frustrating pitchers on which to gamble, regardless of which side you're taking, but he's held his own for Toronto, and over his last five starts has 42 strikeouts against just one walk in 30 1/3 innings, which is simply unheard of from Ray even when he was at his strongest during his time with the Diamondbacks.
Ray faced his namesake team once this season, in the start that began that impressive streak. On April 24 he went six innings, allowed three runs, struck out nine and walked zero in Tampa's 5-3 win. Given how he's going right now, we should expect more of the same this time around.
It's a solid and underrated pitching matchup, one in which the total is simply set too high. Tampa has some bullpen reinforcements, too, who may or may not be ready for Saturday's game. I like McClanahan to limit runs through the first half of the game, Ray to continue his stretch of effectiveness, and the bullpens to not let anything crazy happen. Under 9.5 is my best bet at -105, and I would bet it down to -115.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Mike Ianniello: These two teams combined for 16 runs Friday with a 9-7 Tampa Bay victory. I think we could see some fireworks in Dunedin again on Saturday night.
Both of these teams rank Top 10 in wOBA this season with Tampa Bay sitting 10th and Toronto at sixth. They are fifth and sixth in wRC+ and fifth and seventh in runs per game.
Over the last two weeks, Tampa Bay is second in the league with a .362 wOBA and Toronto is fourth with a .358 wOBA and over the last seven days they rank first and second. The Rays have a .432 wOBA and the Jays are at .400 over the last week.
Dunedin has been a hitter’s paradise this season. In 18 games at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, there has been an average of 11 runs per game, and Toronto leads the league in runs per game at home, scoring seven runs per game during their stay in Florida.
Neither Shane McClanahan nor Robbie Ray inspire a ton of confidence, and both allow a decent amount of fly balls will be trouble in this park. The over is 7-3 in Tampa Bay’s last 10 games in 11-7 in Toronto’s games at home this season.
With two red-hot lineups in a very hitter-friendly ballpark with subpar pitchers on the mound, this has all the makings of a prime over play.
Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels
Tanner McGrath: This is a great spot to fade a banged-up Angels team on a bullpen day.
Patrick Sandoval has made three relief appearances and one start this season, and he’s posted a 5.56 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP in the process. However, behind a 14.7% barrel rate and a 11.8% walk rate, he’s got an xERA up around 10.
Today, he’ll get to face an Oakland lineup that’s top 10 in OPS (.840), wOBA (.356) and wRC+ (134) over the past week. I’m looking for Sandoval to get crushed and the lowly Angels bullpen to struggle just as much.
Meanwhile, Chris Bassitt is having a fine season. He’s posted a 3.88 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over nine starts this season, and the A’s are 6-3 in those games. Additionally, he seems to be getting better, as he’s thrown 19 innings over his past three starts while allowing just 15 hits, striking out 21 batters and walking only two.
I’m expecting Bassit to have a high-quality start against the Angels, as the Halos have posted a lousy .291 wOBA over the past two weeks.