Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Thursday, April 22nd (2021)

Though we entered this MLB season fully expecting that COVID-19 would continue to disrupt the schedule, we did not expect snow in late April to be just as big of a nuisance. The Reds and Diamondbacks finished Tuesday’s game after being suspended in the 8th inning because of snow. The series finale between the White Sox and Indians was also postponed because of frigid conditions and precipitation. Bettors who bet on Cubs home games are used to factoring in the wind and the weather to their wagers, but now there are other factors to consider. Will the weather impact any of our plays today?

Here are my MLB top betting plays for Thursday. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook):

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

YTD: 26-15-1 (+8.92 units)

Yankees-Indians UNDER 8.5 runs (-108)

Yesterday’s game between the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians was postponed due to snow, cold weather, and unplayable field conditions. While no precipitation is in the forecast for tonight, temperatures should be in the high 30s to low 40s. That is not conducive to many runs, especially from a Yankees lineup that relies heavily on the long ball for its run production.

New York’s lineup has not done much of anything lately. They entered Wednesday ranked dead-last in the majors with a .636 OPS. They are usually one of the most prolific home run-hitting teams but rank just 22nd in that category with 17. The Indians and Yankees entered Wednesday ranked 28th and 29th respectively in batting average, and Cleveland’s offense also ranks in the bottom half of the league in OPS.
Cleveland’s Aaron Civale is pitching on an extra full day’s rest given yesterday’s postponement. Civale is 3-0 through his first three starts, making him one of five MLB pitchers with three wins in as many starts. His 0.73 WHIP ranks him in the top ten in baseball, and his 2.18 ERA ranks in the top 20.

Civale is opposed by New York’s Jordan Montgomery, who is 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA. Montgomery’s WHIP is an outstanding 0.88, but he has allowed four earned runs in each of his last two starts because the long ball has burned him. Montgomery has allowed two home runs in each of his previous two starts. Cleveland’s lineup is not feared for their home-run hitting, and the ball will not be flying out of the yard with tonight’s conditions. Thus, Montgomery should turn in a much more solid outing and will be able to do his part in keeping the scoring down.

Entering Wednesday, both teams were a profitable 10-6 to the under, so we are getting good value on the under again despite the low total.

San Francisco Giants ML (-140)

The San Francisco Giants are exceeding many people’s expectations in the early part of the season, as they are off to an 11-7 start and own the second-best winning percentage in the National League. They narrowly missed an opportunity for a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, as Philadelphia won on a walk-off after a furious rally by the Giants. Nevertheless, the Giants can build off the momentum of winning their fourth of their last five series and look to exact some revenge on the Marlins, who beat them in two out of three games last week.

Both Miami’s Daniel Castano and San Francisco’s Aaron Sanchez are looking for their first wins of the season, despite each sporting lower than a 2.50 ERA. Each pitcher faced the opposition last week and pitched well in their starts. Castano allowed just one run on three hits in five innings of their 4-1 win over the Giants last Friday. Sanchez also allowed just one run but walked three batters and lasted just 4.2 innings on Saturday against the Marlins.

The biggest reason to give the Giants the edge in this matchup is that Castano did not strike out a single batter in his five innings last week. Despite San Francisco only pushing one run across, their hitters were not fooled by Castano. With some better luck from a BABIP standpoint, and with the faith that Sanchez will have a better command of the strike zone, the Giants should be able to win this series opener.

San Francisco is 4-1 as a home favorite this season, and we like them to defend their home turf once again.

Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 runs (+120)

The Dodgers and Padres played a very entertaining three-game series last week and left many fans hoping these teams are on a collision course to meet in October. Before that to happen, the Padres need to right the ship and start playing better baseball. Given how poorly San Diego played in getting swept at home in a three-game series against the Brewers, the Dodgers should be able to expose their flaws and add to the Padres’ frustrations.

San Diego scored just three runs in their three losses against the Brewers. Things do not get much easier against Walker Buehler, who has allowed just four earned runs in 18 innings this year. Buehler is 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA in six career starts against the Padres and held them to two runs over six innings in his start against them last Friday.

Though both Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. were back in the lineup yesterday, they have both received time off lately to nurse lingering injuries. Machado was rested on Tuesday because he was banged up their last series with the Dodgers. Tatis was also held out Tuesday to rest his left shoulder, which has nagged him since spring training. With neither at 100%, it is hard to see them scoring enough runs to take down a red-hot Dodgers team.

Los Angeles is 41-16 in the last 57 meetings with the Padres and 48-19 in their previous 67 home games against them. Thus, getting plus odds to lay -1.5 runs in this matchup is too good to pass up.

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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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