Finish off your workweek with five free Friday MLB moneyline picks!
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Cleveland Indians @ Baltimore Orioles – 7.05PM ET
The Indians and Orioles are set to kick off their three game weekend series in Baltimore on Friday night, as the two sides meet for the first time this season.
As a result of their 7-4 victory on Tuesday, the O’s brought an end to their 14 game losing streak. As well as that, Baltimore won the third and final game of their set against Minnesota on Wednesday to claim their first series victory since May 5th.
Cleveland will also enter Friday’s game full of confidence, having recently claimed a 2-1 series win of their own against the AL Central leading White Sox. Although they dropped game one of the series 6-8, the Indians won the final two games against their division rivals 3-1, 6-5 to wrap up the series.
🚨THE BALTIMORE ORIOLES HAVE WON A BASEBALL GAME AND THE LOSING STREAK STOPS AT 14🚨pic.twitter.com/RaQXQrBeTc
— BMOREcenter (@BMOREcenter) June 2, 2021
Jean Carlos Mejia will make his first start (fourth appearance) of the season for the Indians on Friday. Mejia has thrown five innings this year and is yet to allow an earned run from just one hit.
Baltimore will also start an inexperienced pitcher at home on Friday when they give Keegan Akin the ball for his second start (sixth appearance) of the season. Akin has a 4.80 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 14 strikeouts from 15 innings with the ball. The southpaw has thrown 10.2 innings in his last three outings, allowing five runs on 13 hits in that time.
Although they are not a top 10 team in the league when looking at runs scored per game (21st) and team ERA (13th), Cleveland have been in good form recently with three wins from their last four matches. Given that they boast an impressive 16-12 record on the road in 2021, we like the Indians to continue their strong recent form against the struggling Orioles on Friday. Especially when considering that Baltimore are the 23rd ranked MLB offense (3.84 runs per game), 27th ranked pitching staff (4.91 team ERA) and have recently lost 14 consecutive games.
Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees – 7.05PM ET
Two of the fiercest rivals in not only baseball but professional sports will face off on Friday night in New York when the Yankees host the Red Sox for the first time this season at Yankee Stadium.
Having played their last four games in Houston, Boston will be looking to bounce back in New York as they continue their seven game road trip. The Red Sox lost three of their four games against the Astros earlier this week, avoiding a series sweep with a 5-1 victory on Thursday. Boston were outscored 9-19 in the four game set.
As for the Yankees, they recently split their four game series against the division leading Tampa Bay Rays. New York won games two and three on Tuesday and Wednesday, however failed to wrap up the series at home on Thursday, going down 2-9.
Michael King is expected to make just his second start (ninth appearance) of the season for the Yankees on Friday. King is 0-2 with a 2.86 ERA. 1.32 WHIP and 20 strikeouts from 22 innings of work this year. The right hander has given up four earned runs on 11 hits in his 7.1 innings across his last three outings.
Boston will counter by sending Nathan Eovaldi to the mound for his 12th start of the season. Eovaldi is 6-2 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 58 strikeouts over 60.2 innings this year. Eovaldi is coming off a solid performance in his last outing, having allowed zero runs on just four hits in 5.1 innings.
When looking at offense, Boston are scoring 5.01 runs per game despite recent struggles that have seen them fail to score more than five runs in any of their last six outings. New York on the other hand are scoring 3.73 runs per game this season and they have scored two runs or fewer in seven of their last 10 games.
Although their pitching staff has been solid in 2021, New York’s less talented offense is battling a lot of injuries at the moment and Aaron Judge won’t be able to carry the side to a defendable score against Nathan Eovaldi. As for Boston, the more experienced Eovaldi will give them an advantage at the mound and their superior offense found some form in their last game against the Astros on Thursday. We’ll take the Red Sox on the road in game one of this AL East rivalry.
Houston Astros @ Toronto Blue Jays – 7.07PM ET
Two American League teams with legitimate playoff aspirations will kick off their three game series on Friday night when the Blue Jays host the Astros.
Toronto will be fresh and full of confidence heading into Friday’s series opener, having not had to travel since Sunday or play since Wednesday. As well as that, the Blue Jays have won four of their past five games after winning each of their two matches against the Marlins earlier this week.
Houston will also be feeling confident entering this series, having recently defeated Boston on three occasions in their recent four game series. The Astros outscored the Red Sox 19-9 in their four games, missing out on a series sweep after losing game four 1-5 on Thursday.
Good Afternoon 😃
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) June 3, 2021
Zack Greinke will make his 13th start of the season for Houston on Friday. Greinke has a 5-2 record, 3.67 ERA, 1.127 WHIP and 57 strikeouts over 73.2 innings of work this year. The right hander has been in solid form in his last three outings, owning a 2-1 record, 2.45 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and 17 strikeouts over 22 innings of action.
Toronto will counter with Hyun Jin Ryu for Friday’s series opener. Ryu comes into this game with a 5-2 record, 2.62 ERA, 1.046 WHIP and 58 strikeouts in 58.1 innings across his 10 starts this year. In his last three starts, Ryu is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 20 strikeouts over 18.2 innings of work.
As both bullpens will be starting their in-form ace pitchers, the team with the superior lineup will go a long way to winning this game. Entering Friday’s set, Houston owns a 5.21 runs per game average, while Toronto is also a prolific scoring team, boasting a 5.03 runs per game average of their own.
As both teams are entering this series with momentum behind them, their best pitcher at the mound and a lineup that is averaging 5+ runs per contest, we are going to have to take the Blue Jays at home for Friday’s series opener. Hyun Jin Ryu has been performing marginally better than Greinke this year and seeing as the Astros are a below .500 team on the road, we like the Blue Jays to improve on their recent 4-1 record from their past five games.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves – 7.05PM ET
The Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to Atlanta for their first match of the season against the Braves. This series will be a rematch of the 2020 NLCS.
As a result of their 14-3 victory on Wednesday, the Dodgers wrapped up a 2-1 series victory over the Cardinals and concluded a seven game stint at home with a 3-4 record.
It did not take long for Cody Bellinger to reestablish himself in LA’s lineup after returning from a stint on the IL, as the 2019 NL MVP recorded two runs from two hits with six RBIs during Wednesday’s 11 run victory.
As for the Braves, they recently won the final match of their four game home series against the Nationals, resulting in a 2-2 split series. Ozzie Albies scored once from three hits to go along with two RBIs in Thursday’s 5-1 victory.
Atlanta’s Ian Anderson will make his 11th start of the season in the series opener. Anderson has a 4-1 record, 3.27 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 59 strikeouts over 55 innings of work. The right hander has thrown 14 innings in his last three starts, allowing five earned runs on 15 hits in that time.
Julio Urias will make his 12th start of the year on Friday. Urias is 7-2 this season with a 3.61 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 75 strikeouts from 67.1 innings of work. The southpaw’s stats were recently blown out after allowing six earned runs on 11 hits in five innings during his last start.
Offensively, the Dodgers 14 runs on Wednesday saw them become the most prolific scoring lineup in baseball, now averaging 5.31 runs per game. Atlanta comes in with the eighth best runs per game average this season, as the Braves are averaging 4.79 runs when they take the field.
Seeing as Atlanta are at home, looking for revenge after last year’s NLCS and coming up against Julio Urias after his worst start of the season, we are going to take the Braves at underdog odds in this matchup. Los Angeles have been fairly inconsistent since their hot start to the season and even though Atlanta has also lacked consistency, the Braves lineup is also one of the best in the league and Ian Anderson has been a solid performer with the ball. The Dodgers are also just 14-13 on the road this season.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Texas Rangers – 8.05PM ET
The Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers will close out our Friday night MLB schedule when the two American League teams meet for the first match of their three game series.
As a result of the Rays 9-2 victory over the Yankees on Thursday, Tampa Bay split their four game series in New York and improved to a 36-22 overall record, which is the best in baseball. Austin Meadows scored two runs from two hits and collected five RBIs in Thursday’s seven run victory.
As for the Rangers, they were recently swept by the Rockies in Colorado. Texas were outscored 11-20 across their three losses, which has extended their active losing streak to nine consecutive games.
To Texas we go
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 3, 2021
Kyle Gibson will take the mound for Texas on Friday when he makes his 11th start of the season. Gibson is 3-0 with a 2.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 48 strikeouts over 60.1 innings of work. The right hander has thrown 6+ innings in each of his last three starts, allowing four earned runs on 12 hits across 19 innings in that time.
The Rays will give Josh Fleming the ball for his fifth start (10th appearance) of the year on Friday. Fleming has a 5-3 record, 2.98 ERA , 1.04 WHIP and 28 strikeouts from 45.1 innings of action this year. The southpaw has thrown 15.2 innings in his last three starts, allowing six earned runs on 13 hits in that time.
Seeing as Texas have lost their past nine consecutive games and their lineup has scored two runs or fewer in six of their past seven outings, we can’t see them upsetting the No. 1 team in baseball when they face Tampa Bay on Friday. Especially when considering that the Rays have an impressive 21-9 record on the road this season and they are scoring an average of 4.97 runs per contest.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.