Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Tuesday, May 18th (2021)

Of the six new series starting on Tuesday, five of them are between division rivals. The two most anticipated of these matchups are between the Red Sox and Blue Jays and Astros and Athletics. Both of these series feature matchups between the top two teams in their divisions, and a sweep by the Blue Jays or a series win from the Astros would mean first place in those respective divisions would change hands. 

The other three new divisional matchups are the Rays-Orioles, Marlins-Phillies, and Pirates-Cardinals. The lone non-divisional matchup starting today is an interleague series between the Brewers and Royals.

Do any of these games catch our eye from a betting perspective?

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: 52-39-3 (+9.05 units)

Washington Nationals ML (-113)

Last week we rode the momentum of Nationals pitcher Patrick Corbin to a win, as he was getting great value as a home underdog against the Phillies. We are back on the Corbin train on the road against the Cubs, as his numbers still do not reflect how well he has pitched of late.

Corbin (2-3, 6.19 ERA) has thrown three straight quality starts and is coming off a dominant outing against the Phillies, where he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings. He also struck out a season-high nine batters and did not walk anybody, which means he has zero walks in his last 13 innings. His 8.16 road ERA this season leaves something to be desired, but he should be confident against a Cubs lineup that he has had success against in his career. In eight appearances (seven starts) against Chicago, Corbin is 5-2 with a 3.80 ERA, including a 3-1 record at Wrigley Field.

Cubs starter Zach Davies (2-2, 5.60 ERA) also comes into this matchup with positive momentum. He has lowered his ERA from a 9.47 ERA after his first five starts to a 5.60 ERA currently as he has pitched to a 1.10 ERA in three May starts. However, Davies has made it through six innings just once in his last seven starts, which means plenty of at-bats are in store for Nationals hitters against Cubs relievers. It could be a great homecoming for Nationals slugger Kyle Schwarber, as he has four home runs in 30 career at-bats against Davies.

The Nationals are 4-2 in their last six games at Wrigley Field and are good value as small favorites again tonight.

Milwaukee Brewers ML (-160)

A premier pitching matchup is on tap in the series opener between the Brewers and Royals. Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff (2-1, 1.64 ERA) faces Kansas City’s Danny Duffy (4-3, 1.94 ERA), as both pitchers rank in the top seven in the league in ERA. However, Woodruff looks like he is getting stronger as the season goes on while Duffy has regressed slightly. Thus, there is value on the Brewers as road favorites.

Woodruff has made seven consecutive quality starts, posting a 1.10 ERA and a .120 OBA in that span. Woodruff is top four in ERA, WHIP, and OBA. In addition, his SO/9 and K/BB ratios rank in the top-13 of the league. The Brewers are 6-2 in Woodruff’s eight starts and scored just two runs in the two losses combined.

While runs may once again be hard to come by when facing Danny Duffy, he has shown he is coming back to earth after a blistering start. Duffy allowed just two earned runs through his first 30 innings, which both came off solo home runs. However, in his last 11.2 innings, he has been tagged for seven earned runs, despite facing Cleveland’s and Detroit’s inferior lineups. The Brewers entered Monday ranked in the top half of the league in batting average and OPS against left-handed starters, and Duffy has a 6.52 ERA in two career starts against Milwaukee.

The Brewers are 6-1 in their last seven games against Kansas City and are a no-brainer play once again with Woodruff on the mound.

Arizona Diamondbacks Team Total UNDER (odds not yet posted)

When people talk about the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rotation, most of the discussion revolves around their “big three” of Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, and Walker Buehler. However, lefty Julio Urias has been just as effective without receiving nearly any of the praise. We love him as an under-the-radar play to keep Arizona’s bats quiet tonight.

Urias (5-1, 3.26 ERA) has allowed three runs or fewer in six of his eight starts this season. He is unbeaten in four home starts this year, going 2-0 with a 4.18 ERA. Urias has held current Diamondbacks to a combined 4-for-31 (.129 BA), and all four of those hits were singles. Meanwhile, he has struck out nine Arizona batters in 32 combined plate appearances and has at least six strikeouts in five of his last six starts.

After starting the year on fire offensively, Arizona has been held to two or fewer runs in five of their last six games. The Diamondbacks are 1-10 in their previous 11 games as an underdog, and another poor offensive performance will be why they could suffer a similar fate tonight.a

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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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