As Thursday’s game between Boston and New York was postponed due to COVID-19, today will be the opening day of the second half of the 2021 MLB regular season and (hopefully) all 30 teams will be in action on this Friday’s of baseball!
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Minnesota Twins @ Detroit Tigers – 2.10PM ET
Detroit and Minnesota will kick off the second half of the 2021 MLB season with the first match of their Friday double header. The Tigers will host the Twins for four games over the weekend as the two AL Central rivals are both looking to make up some ground in their division. This is a preview for the first match of Friday’s double header between Minnesota and Detroit.
Although the Twins are entering this series having won each of their last four games, all of which came against the Tigers, I am going to take Detroit at home in this matchup. Detroit has a 4-2 record from their last six games at Comerica Park, which includes a series win against the division leading Chicago White Sox. As well as that, Jose Urena held Minnesota to just two runs in their previous meeting in a game Detroit won 7-3. The Twins have also lost five out of their last six road games.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Detroit Tigers (+100)
I’m siding with the Twins here. Four straight wins over Detroit, albeit all at home, is a massive confidence for Minnesota. While the Twins have struggled on the road, their four wins over the Tigers came by a combined 12 runs! While Urena is starting on the mound for the Tigers and performed admirably against Minnesota last time they played, he is out of form at the moment and the Twins should capitalize. In Urena’s last start, against the Rangers, he gave up five runs before being dragged in the fifth inning. Combine that with Minnesota being top-10 for both OPS and hits and the Twins should get their fifth straight.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Minnesota Twins (-120)
It seems like it is a bridge too far to save the season for the Twins, but this hasn’t stopped them playing some of their best baseball before the mid-season break. They have won four games in a row, and those four wins just happen to be against the Tigers. The Twins actually have a lot of talent within the team, and I think they will be about to put on a great winning performance against the Tigers again.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Minnesota Twins (-120)
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 11, 2021
Miami Marlins @ Philadelphia Phillies – 4.05PM ET
A pair of NL East rivals are set to face off in Philadelphia on Friday night when the second placed Phillies host the last placed Marlins. This is a preview for the first match of Friday’s double header between Philadelphia and Miami.
Despite their 5-15 record from their past 20 road games, I like Miami to win this series opener against their division rivals in Philadelphia. The Marlins will take a lot of confidence out of their recent 3-1 series victory over the Dodgers prior to the All-Star break and given that they will be starting Sandy Alcantara, I think Miami are set to correct their recent road on Friday. Alcantara has held the Phillies to just two runs in 14 innings this season, while Phillies’ starter Matt Moore owns a terrible 5.40 ERA this year and was hit for two runs in just two innings in his lone meeting against the Marlins.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Miami Marlins (-125)
While the Phillies are at home and are second in the NL East, compared to the Marlins being last, I like Miami to get the win in this one. Sandy Alcantara is getting the start for the fish and has conceded just two runs to the Phillies so far this season, and that’s across 14 innings. That is a massive plus for Miami, given Philadelphia ranks 13th overall for runs per game. That is where the game will be won, with the Marlins having a superior bullpen to the Phillies and actually have a 5-4 record against Philadelphia this season. I like Miami to be able to keep the score low in a fizzer for the road team.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Miami Marlins (-125)
The Marlins are playing on the road for this clash, and I don’t like the look of their recent record on the road – they are 5-15 in their previous 20 road games! The Marlins have also had a mixed bag with recent results, they are 5-5 in their last 10 games. Whereas the Phillies have won seven of their last 10 games. But when you look at their record when it comes to the first game of a series, it leaves something to be desired, 5-11 in their previous 16. The Phillies look like the lesser of two evils here.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Philadelphia Phillies (+100)
San Diego Padres @ Washington Nationals – 7.05PM ET
San Diego and Washington will kick off their respective second halves of the 2021 MLB season in the nation’s capital on Friday night when the two sides meet for the first match of their three game series.
Both Washington and San Diego somewhat limped into the All-Star break last week, as was evident by their recent 2-2 split series on the west coast. In that series, Chris Paddack was smoked for eight earned runs on nine hits in just two innings with the ball. Seeing as Paddack will be getting the start for the Padres on Friday, I am going to take the Nationals at home in this series opener.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Washington Nationals (+116)
These two sides played each other in San Diego in the weeks leading up to the All Star break and Washington was able to escape with a 2-2 split. The biggest margin for either side in those four games was the Nationals winning 15-5 in the third game. Chris Paddack started for the Padres in that game and was absolutely disastrous, so Washington should be licking their lips when they see him with ball in hand to start the game tonight. San Diego is clearly the better team, but I have no confidence in them with Paddack on the mound and the home side should be able to take advantage in a massive result.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Washington Nationals/Over 9.5 (+380)
The mid-season break couldn’t have come soon enough for both these teams. The Padres have won just four of their last 10, and the Nationals have one just two of their last 10. The Padres are also on a two game losing streak, while the Nationals are on a four game losing streak. The two likely starting pitchers with Paddack (for the Padres) and Fedde (for the Nationals) have struggled recently against the respective teams, and offense seems to be the order of the day. Take the overs.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Over 9.5 (-102)
Chris Paddack’s ERA has gone up almost a full run since the start of this game and we’re only in the third inning.
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) July 8, 2021
Houston Astros @ Chicago White Sox – 8.10PM ET
Two American League division leaders will commence their three game set in Chicago on Friday night when the AL Central’s White Sox host the AL West’s Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field.
With both teams looking to extend their lead at the top of their divisions, this has the makings to be an awesome matchup. Chicago entered the All-Star break as one of the in-form teams in the league, closing out the first half of the regular season on a five game winning streak. Seeing as Chicago are at home and starting Dylan Cease at the mound, I like the White Sox to continue their good form against this hard hitting Houston outfit and at least cover the spread in this matchup.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Chicago White Sox +1.5 (-134)
This is the clash of the night, with two division leaders facing off and that plays into the hands of the Astros, despite being on the road. While Chicago is riding a five game winning streak, those wins were against two teams with a combined 0.376 record. Yes, the White Sox are at home where they are 31-14, but they are just 16-24 against teams above 0.500. Houston on the other hand is just as good on the road, 26-17, as they are at home, 29-19, and are a massive 42-22 against teams above 0.500.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros (-146)
Out of all the games on today, this is the one I am looking forward to the most, both the Astros and White Sox are at the top of their respective divisions, have a similar record this season, and they have both won seven out of their last 10 games. The White Sox are on a decent five game winning streak, and they have limited their opponents to only one run in three of those games. When you have two high quality teams going up against each other, you tend to see defense come into play, and this is why I think the best bet is unders for this game.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Under 9 (-120)
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies 8.40PM ET
A pair of NL West rivals will close out our Friday night MLB schedule when the fourth placed Rockies host the second placed Dodgers for the first match of their three game series at Coors Field.
Although the Dodgers have shown that they are still one of, if not the team to beat throughout the first half of the 2021 MLB season, it’s hard not to give the Rockies a chance at Coors Field. Don’t be fooled by their overall record (40-51), Colorado are one of the most dominant home teams in the league this season, owning a surprising 31-17 record at Coors Field. Their home field advantage may not be enough to see them defeat Los Angeles with Julio Urias on the mound, however we do like them to cover on Friday.
Jesse’s MLB Pick: Colorado Rockies +1.5 (+105)
Colorado comes into this one winning two straight and going 3-1 in their four, all on the road, including beating the Padres (53-40) in a three game series. After knocking off third place in the division they now face second place, but get the luxury of returning home. Colorado are 31-17 at home this season and that has to give them confidence heading into tonight’s clash. However, Antonio Senzatela is starting for the home-side and that isn’t a good thing, especially against the Dodgers. LA comes into this one winning two straight games, having a total net run differential of +24 in those two games. That may be a sign that they come in to this clash a bit complacent but the Dodgers have high aspirations for this season and a win tonight is a must.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-196)
Both the Rockies and Dodgers have the same recent record, winning six of their last 10 games. The Rockies also put up a brilliant fight against the Padres, but I think the step up to the Dodgers is likely to be a bridge too far. Senzatela doesn’t really have a good record when playing against the Dodgers either. So, I think this will be a walk in the park for the Dodgers, who are rested and ready to go.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-126)
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) July 11, 2021
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