Our free MLB Picks are out for Monday, August 30th, 2021! Make sure you check our MLB Picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for the five best games on today’s schedule!
St Louis Cardinals @ Cincinnati Reds – 6.40PM ET
The flailing Cincinnati Reds host division rivals, the St Louis Cardinals, in the first of a three game series. The sides are ranked 2nd and 3rd in the NL Central respectively and have everything to play for, with Wild Card slots on the line.
While Cincinnati had a bad week last week, the Cardinals have played the Pirates and Tigers over their last nine games and gone just 4-5 in those games. Given those teams have a combined record around 0.400, this is a big step up to play the Reds, in Cincinnati. While I wasn’t impressed with the Reds’ series loss in Miami, they return home where they play much better baseball and should be too good for St Louis, on both sides of the ball. Luis Castillo isn’t an inspiring starting pitcher choice but he still has better figures than the Cardinals’ Jon Lester and it should give the Reds an early advantage that they can hold on to.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds (-196)
— MLB (@MLB) August 28, 2021
This will be the first time the Cardinals and Reds face off this month. The last time the two teams played each other was in July, and the Reds were victorious in that series, winning 2-1. The Cardinals are coming off a series tie with the Pirates, and the Reds are coming off a 1-2 series loss to the Marlins. The Cardinals have won 42 of their previous 62 games on a Monday and they have won eight of their previous 10 games on the road. Looking at the Reds now, they have won all four of their previous games played at home and they have won 12 of their previous 17 games on a Monday. The Reds have won four of their previous five meetings with the Cardinals in Cincinnati and have won six of their previous seven against the Cardinals overall. For that reason, I’ll be on the Reds for this matchup.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds (-196)
The Reds take on the Cardinals for the 14th game of this series between the division rivals. The Reds have had the edge during this series with 8 wins against the Reds while the Cardinals have had just 5 wins. In the last 7 games in the series the Reds have won 6, highlighting their dominance. The Reds are also firmly in the playoff race and are highly likely to advance while the Cardinals are essentially out of contention. This tells me that the Reds have a lot more to play for than the Cardinals outside of the division rivalry. Neither team is taking their best foot forward pitcher-wise with both teams starting pitchers with below average ERAs and losing records. Just like the teams as a whole, the Reds have the slight edge at pitcher starting Luis Castillo who has a 4.29 ERA and 151 strikeouts in 151 innings. The Cardinals are unlikely to win this one in my opinion, especially playing away from home.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Cincinnati Reds-1.5 (+106)
Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays – 7.10PM ET
The Tampa Bay Rays host the Boston Red Sox in an AL East showdown. The Rays are six games clear on top of the division while the Red Sox are eight games back in third, but are just clinging on to the last Wild Card slot. Find out below who we have striking first in this four game series.
The Rays should get this one. Neither starting pitcher has figures worth writing home about but Tampa is in much better form, at home and should get the job done. These sides met three weeks ago, in Boston, and the Rays managed to pick up a 2-1 win. Now they get back home, where they are 41-23 for the season, and that is a massive advantage. Boston is just 42-39 on the road this season and is 1-9 in their last 10 games on the road against teams above 0.500, which includes a 0-3 series against the Rays to start the month. Those are some damning figures and Tampa should be too powerful tonight.
The Red Sox and the Rays go at it again in late August / early September. After the Rays won the series against the Red Sox earlier this month, 2-1, the Red Sox are looking for revenge. The Red Sox are coming off a 2-1 series win against the Indians. The Rays are also coming off a 3-0 series win against the Orioles, and have currently won seven games in a row. The Rays have won 39 of their previous 53 games played on a Monday, and they have won six of their previous seven when it comes to the first game of a series. Looking now at the Red Sox, they have won all seven of their previous games on a Monday, and have won four of the previous five when it comes to the first game of a series. Now, these stats, and a lot of other stats will put these two teams pretty close to each other. So, if you are looking for something to differentiate the two this is for you – the Rays have won all five of their previous meetings against the Red Sox in Tampa Bay, and have won seven of their previous eight meetings overall with the Red Sox. Give me the Rays for this clash.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays (-134)
2 of my favourite teams in the league face off in the first game of a new inter season series between the 2 juggernauts. The Red Sox are playing to catch the Yankees who are just 2 games ahead in the standings, while the Rays sit comfortably atop the AL East division. In the 12 games played so far, the Rays have won 7 while the Red Sox have won 5. However, that doesn’t tell the full story. The games between both these teams have been amazing to watch, from dominating defensive performances from the Rays, to explosive batting from the Red Sox. In the last game the Rays held the Red Sox to 1 run but in the game before that the Red Sox had 20 runs. This matchup is a toss up on so many markets. With no differences in terms of pitching with both teams starting near identical pitchers average-wise, I have to look at the batting statistics to decide my winner. The Rays do have the slight edge statistically and many of the Rays wins have been by wide margins so I’m taking the Rays line. It’s either that or the Red Sox explode again for 10 plus runs.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -1.5 (+152)
Milwaukee Brewers @ San Francisco Giants – 9.45PM ET
Two National League divisional leaders square off in Oracle Park for the start of a four game series tonight. Both the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Brewers are coming off a series loss over the weekend and will want to get back on track with a win in this one.
I’m taking the Brewers as road favorites in this one. While the Giants got the better of the Brewers earlier in the season, winning the three game series in Milwaukee 2-1, I am all about Milwaukee’s pitching decision. Corbin Burnes is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball this season and is a big reason why the Brewers have a top five bullpen. Over his last seven games he is 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA and actually performs better when on the road, posting a 5-0 record with an absurd 1.87 ERA from 10 games. While the Giants are an incredible team on both sides of the ball, especially at home, those numbers may be too much to overcome. I don’t like betting against the Giants at home, and them with a run in the spread is tempting, given they are the best against the spread team this season, but Burnes and Milwaukee should get the win in this one.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers (-146)
— Bally Sports Wisconsin (@BallySportWI) August 29, 2021
The Brewers and the Giants go at it again in late August / early September. After the Giants won the series against the Brewers earlier this month, 2-1, the Brewers are looking for revenge. The Brewers are coming off a 1-2 series loss to the Twins. The Giants are also coming off a 1-2 series loss, but to the Braves on this occasion. The Brewers have won 35 of their previous 51 games when they started as a favorite, and they have won 22 of their previous 30 games on the road. Looking at the Giants now, they have won nine of their previous 11 games played on a Monday and have won 26 of their previous 37 when it comes to the first game of the series. This one is going to be tricky, as the Giants are one of the best teams in the league at the moment, but the Brewers have a great record on the road and I think they have the pitching advantage in this game with Woodruff. For this reason I’ll be going with the Brewers.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Milwaukee Brewers (-146)
The Giants look to hold onto their division lead in the NL West, being just 2.5 games ahead of the red-hot Dodgers. The Giants play the division leader of the NL Central Brewers who have been average recently. Recently the Brewers have dropped easy games to the lowly Nationals, Twins and Pirates as well as their division rivals in the Reds and Cardinals. The Brewers need to start playing better if they want a chance in the tough National League and they get a taste of this potential playoff baseball against the Giants. In just 3 games this season the Giants have won 2 with the Brewers winning 1. I don’t feel like the Brewers will be able to equalize the series based on form. A silver lining for the Brewers is that they are starting Corbin Burnes who is the 2nd best pitcher in the league in terms of ERA. Burnes has been average lately but he does have the potential to put on a masterclass against the Giants slightly better batting unit. However, the Giants as the underdogs don’t happen often and I have to take the Giants to win here purely based on value.
Mike’s MLB Pick: SF Giants (+124)
Houston Astros @ Seattle Mariners – 10.10PM ET
For the second time in a week and a half, the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros will square off in a three game series. Houston took that series 2-1 but this one will be played in Seattle and the Mariners have much more to play for as the season comes closer to its end.
Seattle is just 4.5 games back from a Wild Card slot while the Astros have top of the AL West all but locked up, meaning the Mariners have more on the line in this series, on their home field and I think that will show tonight. I worry that Seattle just went 1-3 against the Royals at home but it is now or never and the Astros are vulnerable, highlighted by their 2-13 loss to the lowly Rangers last night. Luis Garcia is starting for the Astros and while he is an impressive 10-6 with a 3.21 ERA, when pitching on the road he is 4-3 with a 4.97 ERA. Compare that to Chris Flexen who is 11-5 with a 3.54 ERA but improves to 6-4 with a very handy 2.70 ERA at home. Given the Astros have shown signs of slipping lately and there is a big disparity in each pitchers’ stats on the road and at home respectively, I like the Mariners to steal one at home tonight.
The Astros and the Mariners go at it again in late August / early September. After the Astros won the series against the Mariners earlier this month, 2-1, the Mariners are looking for revenge. Looking at both teams previous series, the Astros are coming off a 2-1 series win against the Rangers, but the Mariners are coming off a 1-3 series loss to the Royals. Let’s look at a couple of key stats for the Astros now, they have won 43 of their previous 63 games when they started as the favorite, they have also won just one of their previous five games on a Monday. Looking at the Mariners now, they have won all six of their previous games on a Monday, but haven’t won any of their previous four games at home. I’m going to have to go with the Astros on this one, considering they have won 24 of their previous 33 meetings in Seattle and won 48 of their previous 67 meetings with the Mariners overall.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (+106)
The Astros take on the Marines in another inter division matchup. The leader of the AL West Astros have been playing relatively well despite getting absolutely obliterated by the bottom of division Texas Rangers in a 13-2 destruction. The Astros look to bounce back from that trap game to maintain some form going down the stretch. The Astros are the division leader for a reason and have won 8 of the 13 matchups this season against the Mariners. Both teams are starting good pitchers with both having 3 ERAs and similar innings pitched. The Astros do have the slight edge with Luis Garcia having a 3.21 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 123.1 innings. Garcia is very much an enigma and there is a reason his ERA isn’t in the 2s despite his high strikeout rate. Outside of the close pitching situation, the Astros lead in every other team statistic so I’m leaning toward the Astros in a beatdown to avenge their poor loss to the Rangers.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (+106)
Atlanta Braves @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 10.10PM ET
Fresh off a series win over the NL West-leading Giants, capped off with a 9-0 romping last night, the Atlanta Braves now take on the second in the division, the Los Angeles Dodgers. While LA would want to out-do their main rivals for the season and get over the top of the Braves, they just dropped a series to the lowly Rockies, including a 0-5 loss last night.
While both sides are coming off opposing results, with the Braves having the momentum heading into the fresh week, I am sticking with the Dodgers in a close one. While Drew Smyly has an impressive 9-3 record from his 22 starts, that has been boosted by his explosive offense backing him up, given his ERA is just 4.54. Over his last eight games, he has given up 3+ runs on six occasions, and you can’t be doing that against the Dodgers, who have the best run differential in all of baseball. Especially when they are starting Julio Erías. One of LA’s lead pitchers, Erías has a 14-3 record and a 3.17 ERA from his 25 starts and he has registered the loss in just one of his 10 starts at home. Last time out, he pitched five innings to the Padres and kept them scoreless in those, and gave away just one hit. Those are some impressive numbers and it should give LA the advantage in the opener.
Tim’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (+100)
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 28, 2021
This will be the first time the Braves and Dodgers face off this month. The last time the two teams played each other was in June, and the Braves were victorious in that series, winning 2-1. The Dodgers are coming off a 1-2 series loss to the Rockies and the Braves are coming off a 2-1 series win against the Giants. Now it’s stat time! The Braves have won 20 of their previous 26 games on the road and have won seven of their previous eight when it comes to the opening game of a series. Looking now at the Dodgers, they have won 51 of their previous 76 games against a team in the NL East, and have won 127 of their previous 181 games at home. I’m going to stick with the Dodgers here, as I think Smyly has been good enough so far this season to get the Dodgers over the line.
Katherine’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-205)
The NL East Division leader Atlanta Braves take on the 82-win Dodgers. The Dodgers sit just 2.5 games behind the NL West division leader Giants and I have a feeling the Dodgers will be atop the NL West by season’s end. A path getting atop the division involves disposing of strong competition in the Braves. This season the Braves have played well in limited games against the Dodgers. The Braves have won the past 2 matchups against the Dodgers by 2 runs in both occasions. The Dodgers have the edge in every team category and down the stretch they have been insanely good. The Dodgers are a top 3 team in the league and they have shown it lately despite losses to the Rockies and Mets recently. The pitching situation in this specific game also leans to the Dodgers with Julio Urias starting. Urias is a dynamic lefty who has a 3.17 ERA and is a top 15 pitcher in the league. In his last game he pitched 5 innings with just 1 hit and 4 strikeouts. Urias and the Dodgers should even up the season series here in a blowout.
Mike’s MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (+100)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.