Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and what better way to kick off summertime than to bet on some baseball?
An even 1-1 day last Saturday brought the overall season record to 11-9 with a profit of 2.1 units. On this Memorial Saturday, I’ve got a favorite and an underdog on tap as we look to close out the month of May on a winning note.
View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>
Toronto Blue Jays ML (-120)
The Blue Jays finally snapped out of their free fall. Winners of three of their last four contests, Toronto looks like they’re finally getting back to their usual high-scoring selves. They’ve plated 22 runs in the last four games, three of which were seven inning affairs. And on Saturday, they’ll face Cleveland’s Sam Hentges, who’s had a really rough go of it since he moved from the bullpen into the starting rotation.
Hentges, a rookie, wasn’t so great even when he was coming out of the bullpen. He allowed an earned run in three of his four relief appearances, and despite not allowing a run in his first start of the year, he walked four and allowed four hits in his 4.2 innings of work. His subsequent two starts have been rough as well. He’s allowed nine earned runs in just 6.2 innings, walking six in the process. Control has been an issue for the young lefty, and if he’s going to issue free passes, Toronto is a team that’ll make him pay. The Blue Jays hit homers at the second-highest rate of any team in baseball (1.51 per game) and have been especially hot of late, smashing six in their last three.
Ross Stripling will go for Toronto. His numbers this season aren’t great – 0-3 with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.500 WHIP – but his last outing was fantastic and probably went unnoticed. He entered the game in the second after the Blue Jays allowed five in the first, and all he did across the next seven innings was fan seven hitters and allow no runs on two hits. I think that’ll be a springboard for him, and a date with a team hitting just .215 on the year is the perfect way to string together consecutive quality outings.
Cincinnati Reds ML (+105)
It’s a bit scary backing Luis Castillo after the way he’s started the season. Despite not pitching very well in many starts this year, one of his better outings was against the Cubs. Back on May 1st, Castillo struck out five Cubs and allowed three earned runs in 5.1 innings of work. Nothing spectacular, but another start of the same quality should be more than enough to keep the Reds within striking distance against a pitcher who’s been roughed up a bit himself this season.
Zach Davies will take the hill for Chicago, and it hasn’t been easy for him so far this year; he’s struck out 26 hitters and walked 25, a ratio that’s not going to go over well against the sixth-highest scoring team in all of baseball. Davies hasn’t been so strong historically against the Reds either, and he certainly wasn’t the first time he faced them this year.
He allowed two runs but lasted only four innings thanks to the Reds working three walks and forcing Davies to use 76 pitches to get just 12 outs. In his career, current Reds are hitting him at a .288 clip with an expected batting average of .291, so the success isn’t a fluke. Cincinnati hitters have a .515 slugging percentage off Davies, and four different Reds have taken him deep.
The Reds were shut out on Friday but racked up seven hits and couldn’t find a way to get any of them across the plate. I don’t anticipate the offensive ineptitude to roll over another day for one of the best hitting teams in baseball.
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Mike Wagenman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @mjwags23.
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