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Chicago vs Minnesota – Early Bird Special
Before breaking down the top two MLB picks, here’s a look at early Wednesday’s action between Chicago and Minnesota. The White Sox and Twins end a three-game series with a 1:11 pm ET start at Minnesota. Before losing a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning and losing 5-4 last night, Chicago posted uneven victories during the first four meetings this season. The White Sox edged the Twins by a 42-17 margin. Both pitchers have struggled, as RHP Lucas Giolito (2-4, 4.97 ERA) versus RHP Matt Shoemaker (2-4, 6.62 ERA) is the matchup on the mound. Bet on the White Sox to score a high-scoring victory.
MLB accessory pick: Chicago White Sox / OVER 8.5 total runs (+190)
Cleveland Indians at Los Angeles Angels
In a rubber match contest, Cleveland and Los Angeles close out a three-game series. Playing time for the Indians vs. Angels showdown is 8:08 pm ET at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Cali. This is the third of six meetings, as these teams will play in Cleveland again in August. The Angels jumped to a 6-1 lead in the second inning and posted a 7-4 victory in the series opener. After the Indians scored five runs in the first inning, Josh Naylor hit a solo home run in the eighth and Cleveland posted a 6-5 victory last night. Prior to this series, Cleveland had an eight-game winning streak against Los Angeles.
Cleveland (22-18) are currently 6.5 wins above expectations, as they were listed with a total of 81.5 wins on Opening Day at DraftKings. They sit 2.5 games behind first-place Chicago and have a 6.0 game lead over Kansas City in the AL Central standings. Cleveland had streaks early in the season, as they were 8-11 on April 24. A combination of solid shots and tight pitches followed during a 13-3 winning streak. They limped into Anaheim after being outscored 19-12 during a 3-1 series loss in Seattle. Cleveland scores 4.07 runs per game and allows 3.87 runs.
Los Angeles (18-23) started with a 13-12 record, but the Angels have slumped during a 5-11 slump in the last 16 games. The Angels returned home after a pair of 2-1 series losses in Houston and Boston. Los Angeles posted a 5-4 victory before losing 5-1 and 9-1 to the Astros. After losing 4-3 and 9-0 to the Red Sox, the Angels avoided a sweep with a 6-5 victory. A hit to the Halos offense, AL MVP favorite Mike Trout suffered a right calf strain Monday and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. Los Angeles scores 4.51 runs per game, but its 5.61 runs allowed are the highest in the league.
An intriguing pitchers showdown comes as The Phenomenon of Angels RHP Shohei Ohtani (1-0, 2.10 ERA) takes on Indians RHP stallion Aaron Civale (5-1, 3.40 ERA). Ohtani has allowed six earned runs and 11 hits in 25.2 innings in five starts. He has 40 strikeouts and has walked 20. Civale enters this contest after his first loss of the season. He allowed five runs and seven hits, in 6.2 innings, during a 7-3 loss in Seattle on May 14. Ohtani’s hype is justified, but this opening was delayed due to fatigue. The Indians will take command of a close competition once they hit the Angels’ bullpen.
Pick: Cleveland Indians Money Line (+114)
Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics
Familiar enemies meet when Houston and Oakland play the second of a three-game series. The first pitch for the Astros vs. Athletics is scheduled for 9:41 pm ET at the RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, Cali. This is the third series of this season and the ninth of 19 games between these rivals in the American League West. Oakland scored four runs, one in each of the last four innings, and posted a 6-5 victory in the series opener last night. After Houston won the first five games this season, Oakland has rebounded with three straight wins. The Astros are fine chalk on the road.
Houston (24-18) ranks second in the American League West standings. The Astros are behind Oakland by 1.5 games and have a 5.0 game lead over third-place Seattle. Before last night’s loss, Houston had won six games in a row and was on a 9-2 winning streak. The Astros are on the road after a 10-game home run that began with a 2-1 series win against the red-hot Blue Jays. That was followed by a 2-1 series win against the Angels and a 4-0 sweep over the Rangers. The Astros won by a 65–37 margin in those 10 games. Relentlessly mocked, during their 2021 Heel Tour, the Astros are 9–9 on the road.
Oakland (26-17) was crushed 59-19 during its first eight games and opened the season with a 1-7 record. However, shooting and hitting improved dramatically after that, as the Athletics won 13 games in a row by an 81–36 margin. After a 5-7 slump, Oakland has won seven of its last 10 games. The Athletics returned home after a pair of 2-1 series wins in Boston and Minnesota. Oakland won twice, 3-2 and 4-1, before losing 8-1 to the Red Sox. Between 6-1 and 7-6 wins for the Athletics, the Twins avoided a sweep with 5-4 wins. After losing the first six games, Oakland is 14-11 at home.
RHP Zack Greinke (3-1, 4.18 ERA) is making his 10th start for Houston. RHP Frankie Montas (5-2, 4.93 ERA) makes his ninth start for Oakland. Greinke scattered three hits, in 6.0 scoreless innings, during the Astros’ 8-1 victory on Opening Day in Oakland. Montas allowed one run and six hits in 6.0 innings during the Athletics 7-3 victory in Houston on April 10. Oakland scores 4.20 runs per game and Houston is averaging 5.26 runs. The A’s allow 4.37 runs on defense and the Astros allow 3.95 runs. Trust Greinke, a little more than Montas, bet the money line and back Houston.
Pick: Houston Astros money line (-110)
2021 MLB regular season betting record: 26-30 (-2.64 points)
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.