Make sure you tune into Friday’s Free MLB Picks to ensure that you get your weekend off to the right start!
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
Kansas City Royals @ Chicago White Sox – 3.10PM ET
A pair of AL Central rivals will face off twice on Friday when the first placed Chicago White Sox host the struggling Kansas City Royals in the first game of their double header.
As a result of their 4-2 victory on Thursday, the White Sox have now swept their opponents in back to back series, having defeated the Royals three times in Kansas City and most recently the Twins three times in Chicago.
Lance Lynn allowed just two hits and one run (zero earned) in Thursday’s two run victory, striking out nine Minnesota batters in his five innings with the ball.
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 9, 2021
As for Kansas City, they have now lost 11 consecutive games, including sweeps by Chicago, Cleveland, and the Detroit this week.
Brad Keller will be given the task of returning the Royals to the winners list on Friday, taking the ball for the opening game of the double header. Keller pitched against the White Sox in his last start, allowing three runs on five hits in six innings. However, the right hander has been in poor form throughout the first six weeks of the 2021 regular season, currently with a 7.31 ERA and a 1.91 WHIP in 28.1 innings of action.
Lucas Giolito (4.54 ERA) will give the White Sox an advantage at the mound on Friday when he makes his eighth start of the season. Although he has had a rough start to the year by his own standards, Giolito has strung together some better performances with the ball recently, holding the Royals to one run in five innings during his last outing.
As these two teams are having frighteningly contrasting seasons, we like the White Sox to build on their active six game winning streak with another big win at home, extending the Royals active 11 game losing streak to 12 in the process.
Chicago’s offense has been piling on the runs recently, posting nine or more runs in four out of their last five games, and Lucas Giolito will give the White Sox a strong edge with the ball, having allowed just two runs in his last two starts.
New York Yankees @ Baltimore Orioles – 7.05PM ET
The Baltimore Orioles will host the New York Yankees on Friday for what will be the first of a three game series between these two AL East rivals.
The Orioles will enter Friday’s matchup having recently dropped each of their two games against the Mets in New York. After conceding two runs in the ninth inning to lose Tuesday’s game 2-3, Baltimore failed to tie the two game series on Wednesday, going down 1-7.
Freddy Galvis’ run on Chance Sisco’s infield out in the seventh inning was the only highlight for the Orioles offense, while Matt Harvey took the loss with the ball. Harvey allowed seven earned runs on eight hits in his 4.1 innings at the mound.
As for New York, they failed to wrap up a sweep against Tampa Bay in their last outing, going down 1-9 in the final match of their three game series. Jameson Taillon and Michael King were both costly with the ball for the Yankees, allowing eight hits and seven earned runs in a combined seven innings at the mound.
With a 2-2 record, 3.06 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 35.1 innings this season, Corey Kluber is scheduled to make the start for New York. However, Kluber has been in solid form recently, boasting a 1.33 ERA in his last three starts.
Dean Kremer will make his seventh start of the season for the Orioles on Friday. Kremer is 0-3 this year with a 6.43 ERA. In his last start Kremer allowed five hits and three runs against Boston in Sunday’s 4-3 loss.
As both Kluber and the Yankees batting lineup have begun to find form recently, we like New York to win this one on the road. Especially when considering that Dean Kremer has made two starts against the Yankees this season, resulting in two losses for the Orioles by scores of 7-2 and 7-0.
Los Angeles Angels @ Boston Red Sox – 7.10PM ET
The Los Angeles Angels are headed to Boston to take on the Red Sox this Friday for what will be a battle between two American League Rivals.
After defeating the Dodgers twice in three games last weekend, the Angels entered their midweek series against the Astros in Houston full of confidence. However, after winning game one on Monday, Los Angeles dropped the next two games to their AL West rivals, as the Astros won Tuesday’s game 5-1 and Wednesday’s clash 9-1.
Phillip Gosselin was the only Los Angeles batter to pass home plate on Thursday, while Andrew Heaney took the loss with the ball. Heaney gave up five earned runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings at the mound.
— Boston Sports Syndicate (@BostonSportsSYN) May 13, 2021
As for the Red Sox, they recently drew level with the A’s for the most wins in the American League as a result of their 8-1 victory over Oakland on Thursday. However, the A’s won the series at Fenway Park 2-1.
Xander Bogaerts (one run, three hits, three RBIs) was the star with the bat, while Garrett Richards struck-out four Oakland batters in his six scoreless innings with the ball.
Nick Pivetta will make his eighth start for Boston on Friday, looking to continue his undefeated start to the season. With a 5-0 record and 3.19 ERA, Pivetta will give the Red Sox an advantage at the mound over Los Angeles’ Griffin Canning. Canning has a 5.19 ERA from 26 innings with the ball this season.
With Pivetta giving Boston an advantage at the mound at home, we can’t go past the Red Sox to win Friday’s series opener. Especially when considering that the Angels have scored just one run in each of their past two outings, while Boston’s potent lineup is averaging 5.03 runs per game.
Chicago Cubs @ Detroit Tigers – 7.10PM ET
The Tigers and Cubs will kick off their three game weekend series in Detroit this Friday night.
Having now won four consecutive games, the Tigers are off the bottom of the AL Central division standings. Detroit won their most recent encounter against Kansas City on Thursday, capping off a three game series sweep over the Royals with a 4-3 victory.
Spencer Turnbull set up the win for the Tigers will the ball, allowing just one earned run in 6.1 innings at the mound, while also striking out seven Royals batters in that time.
Contrastingly, the Cubs have now lost three games in a row as a result of dropping each of their two games against the Indians in Cleveland.
With the scores tied at 1-1 at the top of the 10th in their most recent outing, Chicago sent Keegan Thompson to the mound. With the extra-innings runner on second, Thompson walked two Indians before allowing Eddie Rosario to hit the game winning walk-off single with the bases loaded.
Jake Arrieta will be given the task of returning the Cubs to the winners list when he makes his seventh start of the season. With a 4.31 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 31.1 innings with the ball this year, Arrieta will give Chicago an advantage at the mound, in this encounter as Tarik Skubal will be taking the ball for Detroit. Skubal has an 0-5 record so far this season as well as a 5.67 ERA from 27 innings of work.
It’s tough to get a read on the Tigers this season as their two most confident series victories have come against the COVID-19 riddled Astros and the Royals in the midst of a tailspin. Similarly, the Cubs have been maddeningly inconsistent this year making this a tough game to pick.
Seeing as Chicago will have the opportunity to take advantage of the Tigers 28th ranked bullpen, we’re going to take the Cubs to win this one on the road. Especially when considering that each of Chicago’s last four losses have come by just one run.
Milwaukee Brewers @ Atlanta Braves – 8.10PM ET
The Braves and Brewers will kick off their three game series in Milwaukee this weekend, with both sides looking to respond from recent series defeats.
As a result of Thursday’s 0-2 loss to St Louis, Milwaukee lost their midweek series 1-2. The Brewers have now lost three consecutive series since defeating the Dodgers in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Corbin Burnes allowed just five hits and one earned run in his five innings with the ball. However, as has been the case recently, Milwaukee’s lineup continued to struggle, having now scored two runs or fewer in five of their past seven matches.
Let it Burnes!
52 Ks and 0 BB to start the season for Corbin Burnes, an MLB record! pic.twitter.com/oQ0mXS7vs4
— MLB (@MLB) May 13, 2021
As for the Braves, their rollercoaster season has continued. After winning five out of six games prior to their series against Toronto, Atlanta were recently swept by the Blue Jays in a three game series.
Atlanta were outscored 17-8 against Toronto this week, failing to score more than four runs in any of their games.
The Braves will send Drew Smyly to the mound with a 6.12 ERA so far this season. Smyly will make his fifth start on Friday as he is looking to improve on his own form and the form of Atlanta’s 23rd ranked pitching staff (4.54 team ERA).
Adrian Houser will get the start for Milwaukee, fresh off a career high 10 strikeout performance against Miami in his last outing. Houser is 3-3 with a 3.44 ERA overall this season.
With Ronald Acuna Jr expected to miss for Atlanta, we don’t trust the Braves lineup to put up a defendable score in his absence. Especially when considering that the Brewers are entering this matchup with the ninth best team ERA in baseball (3.51) and will have Houser giving them an advantage at the mound.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.