Top 3 MLB Betting Picks for Tuesday, May 25th (2021)

If you are a fan of starting pitching, then you should be glued into today’s National League action. Five of the top ten pitchers on DraftKings Sportsbook’s futures odds for the NL Cy Young Award are on the mound tonight. Jacob deGrom is still the odds-on favorite at odds of -143 despite having his turn in the rotation skipped twice as he dealt with tightness on his right side. He makes his anticipated return to the mound, along with high-profile pitchers like Corbin Burnes, Max Scherzer, Jack Flaherty, and Clayton Kershaw.

Which of these stars provide us with enough value to wager on 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: 62-45-3 (+11.82 units)

Washington Nationals -1.5 runs (+118)

The Washington Nationals feel like the forgotten-about team in the NL East, despite being just 2.5 games out of first place in the division and owning a better run differential than the first-place Mets. Washington has climbed up the standings as a result of feasting upon poor teams. Though they lost three out of four games at Wrigley Field to the Cubs, the Nationals swept the Orioles in three games and took two out of three from the Diamondbacks. Tonight marks another chance to beat up on a losing team in their series opener with the Reds.

Nationals ace Max Scherzer (4-2, 2.24 ERA) ranks tenthin ERA and seventh in the majors with a 12.14 SO/9 ratio. Even when opponents put the ball in play against him, he ranks 18th with a .243 BABIP. In his time with the Nationals, Scherzer has dominated Cincinnati, going 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 55 strikeouts in five combined starts against them. 

Washington’s hitters face Tyler Mahle (2-2, 4.20 ERA), who has pitched to a 7.45 ERA in four May starts this year. Current Nationals hitters are batting .281 and slugging .526 against Mahle in their careers, and his recent form suggests he is not up to the task of matching zeros with Scherzer.

The Nationals have owned the Reds recently. They have won five consecutive home games against them and are 21-5 in their last 26 meetings overall. With their ace on the mound, Washington is once again a great bet to continue their winning ways.

Atlanta Braves ML (-118)

The Atlanta Braves received a much-needed confidence boost after falling four games below .500 for the first time this season last week. They won their series finale with the New York Mets and then outscored the Pittsburgh Pirates 33-3 over the final three games of their series to enter this short two-game series on a three-game winning streak. Atlanta’s starting pitcher is no stranger to the Boston Red Sox or Fenway Park and should be able to give his team a great chance to beat the American League’s second-best team.

Charlie Morton (2-2, 4.60 ERA) is 6-1 with a 4.01 ERA in 11 career starts against Boston. His numbers are even better at Fenway Park, going 3-0 with a 3.43 ERA in four career starts. Morton comes into this start with great momentum, as his previous start against the Mets was his best in a Braves uniform. He limited New York to one run on two hits over six innings while walking none and striking out eight.

Atlanta has averaged 8.4 runs per game over their last five games. They are 4-0 in their previous four games at Fenway Park, and Charlie Morton is due for a win, having won just once since April 9th. Look for Atlanta to improve their record to a 7-5 with a win as road favorites tonight.

Los Angeles Dodgers Team Total OVER 4.5 runs (+108)

The Los Angeles Dodgers enter this series opener against the Houston Astros on fire, having won 11 of their last 12 games and 12 of their previous 14. A resurgent offense has a lot to do with that dominant stretch, as they have averaged six runs per game over that span. They just scored 19 runs in a three-game sweep of the Giants, exposing a pitching staff that ranks sixth in the majors in ERA. Given their hot bats, the over on their team total makes the most sense tonight.

Los Angeles hitters face Houston’s Zack Greinke (4-1, 3.77 ERA), who has won back-to-back starts. While his last start against Oakland (eight innings, one run) was impressive, his start before that was against the light-hitting Rangers. Those two starts should not mask the three before he did not pitch past the fourth inning. Even though he has thrown two of four quality starts in May, Greinke still ended the month with a .261 OBA and a WHIP of 1.22.

Current Dodgers hitters are 37-for-127 (.291 BA) with eight home runs and a .591 slugging percentage. Of the six Dodgers hitters with a minimum of four plate appearances against Greinke, only two are hitting worse than .300. One of the players with a worse batting average, Chris Taylor, is still slugging .524 against Greinke, as four of his five hits (three doubles and one home run) have gone for extra bases.

The over is 4-0 in Los Angeles’s last four games following an off day, and their offense should do their part in scoring runs tonight.

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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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